Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Trans Athletes.

As you know there is controversy that is being stirred up by the conservatives over trans athletes and it is coming to a head with a Supreme Court case.
20 states sue over Biden admin school, work LGBT protections
AP News
By Jonathan Mattise
August 30, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Attorneys general from 20 states sued President Joe Biden’s administration Monday seeking to halt directives that extend federal sex discrimination protections to LGBTQ people, ranging from transgender girls participating in school sports to the use of school and workplace bathrooms that align with a person’s gender identity.

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, arguing that legal interpretations by the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are based on a faulty view of U.S. Supreme Court case law.

The Supreme Court ruled in June 2020 that a landmark civil rights law, under a provision called Title VII, protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment.
Joining Tennessee in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
You know what the states are really asking?

They are asking for the right to discriminate against another group of people. It is what conservatives do, discriminate against people who are different from themselves. Republicans belief is that it is their god giving right to be on the top of the mountain and they can trample anyone who gets in their way.
In June, the Department of Justice filed statements of interest in lawsuits that seek to overturn new laws in two states. In West Virginia, a law prohibits transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Arkansas became the first state to ban gender confirming treatments or surgery for transgender youth.
People who say that there is no difference between the parties, I say look at their bases. The Republican base is made up of white, evangelical Christians, racist, xenophobes, and LGBTQ+ haters. While the Democrats are made up of everyone else.

An interesting contrast to the above is what happened south of the boarder…
LGBTQ+ Rights Victory in Mexico
Equality continues to advance in the neighboring nation.
The Advocate
By Neal Broverman
August 30, 2021

Legislators in the northeastern Mexican state of Yucatán have enacted marriage equality for same-sex couples and also cracked down on “conversion therapy.”

Yucatán lawmakers voted 20-5 Wednesday to extend marriage rights, reports the Washington Blade. The state previously termed marriage a union between a man and a woman, but now the institution is defined as a “free and voluntary legal union of two people with equal rights, duties and obligations.”
They also passed a law banning conversion therapy and in 2003 Mexico passed an anti-discrimination law for lesbians and gays.

Monday, August 30, 2021


It is to late for the woman he murdered but at least the jury convicted him and didn’t buy into his “self defense” story.
Washington state man found guilty in 2019 murder of transgender teen
USA Today
By Associated Press
August 29, 2021

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 27-year-old man has been convicted of second-degree murder and a hate-crime offense in the death of a transgender teen in Washington state two years ago.

A Clark County Superior Court jury returned the verdict Friday against David Bogdanov, The Columbian newspaper reported.

Prosecutors said Bogdanov met 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen in downtown Vancouver in June 2019, and that he strangled her with a phone charger cable after engaging in sexual contact in the back seat of his car and discovering she was transgender.

Kuhnhausen’s family and supporters exclaimed “Yes!” quietly and tearfully as the hate-crime verdict was read in court.
Bogdanov, of Vancouver, claimed self-defense, testifying that he wrapped the cord around her shoulder to prevent her from reaching a gun he had near the driver’s seat after he ordered her to get out of the car. The cord slipped to her neck, he said.
But is justice served?
He faces a range of 11 to 19½ years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 9, prosecutors said. His attorneys declined to comment until after the sentencing.
20 years for taking another person’s life? Is that justice?
Because of her death, a law banning trans/gay panic defenses was passed and named after her.
In March 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1687 — dubbed the Nikki Kuhnhausen Act — that prevents a criminal defense based on discovery of a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation.
To bad that it took a death to pass the law.

Once again our fiat is in the hands of nine people.
Supreme Court could hear transgender student bathroom case, experts say
Circuit courts may be split on rules that ban trans students from using the bathrooms of their gender identity, which could prompt the Supreme Court to step in.
NBC News
By Jo Yurcaba
August 27, 2021

A federal appeals court this week vacated a lower court's ruling in favor of a transgender student’s right to use the bathroom of his gender identity at school. Experts say the appeals court's move could lead the Supreme Court to take up the issue sometime soon.

Last year, a three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Andrew Adams, a transgender student in Ponte Vedra, Florida, who sued his school district in 2017 over a policy that barred him from using the bathroom of his gender identity.

His lawyers argued that the policy violated his rights under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Judge Beverly Martin, who wrote the majority opinion, agreed.

On Monday, however, the full 11th Circuit Court, based in Atlanta, vacated that ruling in a majority vote, meaning that all 12 judges will now hear the case again. Experts said that, given the court's conservative bent, the rehearing probably won’t go in Adams’ favor.

“Given the theological makeup of the 11th Circuit and given the way that they granted a rehearing here, I would say it’s pretty likely that there is a majority of the justices who will say that the school district has the right to make this decision,” said Paul Smith, a law professor at Georgetown University who also argued the landmark Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, which found sodomy laws unconstitutional in 2003.
Sad… Sad… That our right to use the bathroom of our gender is being questioned again.

You may remember that we won a victory in the Hobby Lobby case for trans employee to use the bathroom of her gender identity and that the Supreme Court has leaned our way a couple of times on Title VII and Title IX cases.

And lastly a great big victory for Gavin Grimm, maybe other school boards may see the light now that it hit them in their pocketbooks.
Virginia school board to pay $1.3 million in transgender student's suit
Gavin Grimm argued that a Virginia district's policy denying him access to the boys' restroom was discriminatory. He was assigned female at birth.
NBC News
By Dennis Romero
August 28, 2021

A school district in Virginia has agreed to hand over $1.3 million after fighting a discrimination lawsuit filed by a transgender student for more than five years ago.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday that the Gloucester County School Board has been ordered to pay the money to cover attorneys' fees and costs in the case involving onetime student Gavin Grimm, whom it represented.

The board said in a terse statement that its insurance provider has "addressed" the order. The board and the superintendent did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
Congratulations on a battle well fought!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

An Editorial In Today’s Hartford Courant Got It Right.

If you have been following my blog you know that I have written about Henri’s erratic behavior in yesterday’s Saturday 9 post. Well there are people who are criticizing the National Hurricane Center’s forecast.
Editorial: Stop criticizing the meteorologists. Hurricane Henri could have devastated Connecticut.

As Hurricane Henri churned off the Atlantic Coast on Aug. 21, Connecticut braced for a worst-case scenario. A direct hit somewhere around New Haven and a march up the I-91 corridor through the most densely populated part of the state would have brought devastating winds and rain to our doorsteps. Eversource was looking at the prospect of hundreds of thousands of homes without power. A shutdown of that magnitude would have paralyzed the state.

But then we got lucky. The storm veered a bit to the east and weakened into a tropical storm as it crossed cooler waters. Henri’s punch proved less powerful than predicted. There were scattered outages, localized flooding and a handful of evacuations. For most in the state, it was little more than a rough summer storm.

Now, predictably and sadly, the negativism that is increasingly endemic to our culture has kicked into gear. The meteorologists got it wrong. The storm was overhyped. The weather people just want to frighten us. Some of the attacks have reportedly turned personal.
And here’s the thing: They didn’t get it wrong. The circumstances changed.
How far off were they?

About 60 miles! That is all, it was predicted to make landfall between New Haven and Old Saybrook and instead it made landfall in Point Judith RI just 60 miles away. It also shows another thing, at Tropical Storm impacts only a small area but can do major damage. We got 30 to 40 mile an hour winds while in the center of the storm they were just below hurricane force winds around 69 mph.
What’s remarkable about the backlash is that we’ve been here before. Just a year ago, in fact, with Tropical Storm Isaias. And Sandy before that. And Irene. And the October snowstorm. And a blizzard or two. We have lived through nature’s fury, and we know how dangerous things can get.

For one thing people d not understand the cone of uncertainly. Many think that the line in the center of the cone of uncertainly is the path of the storm and the shading on either side of line is where the hurricane will impact… WRONG. The center line is the mostly likely path and the odds of being hit tappers off the father away from the mostly path.

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are small meandering storms that are highly subject other weather fronts and low/high pressure zones. They are not like fronts moving across a continent and they over water where it makes harder to track, they have to have planes fly through them to get the weather data.
So ease up on our local friends at the weather desks who worked through the weekend to keep us all up to speed, tempting as it may be to join the chorus of negative critics trying to outsnark each other on Facebook and Twitter. We dodged a disaster and stayed safe in the process.

Banned In Boston

When you heard “Banned in Boston” you knew it was a hot sexy book but there is a new book list that is being banned…
Community members from local churches fill BCSD's chambers to speak out against LGBTQ resource library
The Bakersfield Californian
By Emma Gallegos
August 26, 2021

Aug. 26—A large group of community members, many associated with local Christian churches, attended Bakersfield City School District's Tuesday night meeting, mostly to speak against the content of the district's resource library for LGBTQ students.

For the first time since the pandemic began, the crowd in attendance was so large that there wasn't enough room to fit everyone inside the main meeting room, and the crowd outside cheered as they listened in to the speakers.

"There is a steady push to adjust the thinking of children to accept new lifestyles, new LGBT vocabulary, who a boy is, who a girl is," Judith Olson told the board.
The district's Pride library is aimed at addressing bullying issues targeted at the LGBTQ community. On the district's agenda Tuesday was an update of its bullying policy, which mentioned the LGBTQ community. However, the topic of the library had come up during the previous meeting.
"What we are trying to accomplish in our district is to ensure that we have safe spaces for every single child and family member," Luque said.
But they don’t want a “safe space.”
The district's new opt-out form states: "In the event bullying and discrimination towards an LGBTQ students occurs within my student's classroom...," and the parent can answer that they either do or do not give permission for their child to "participate in the LGBTQ Antibullying/Nondiscrimination Inclusive lessons."
You cannot opt out of bigotry and discrimination, it is those very people who are opting out who need the training.

Saturday, August 28, 2021



Okay here is what happened last weekend with Henri… it was a complete fizzle for me but my childhood neighbor who now lives with her husband in Point Judith RI got hammered with Henri, the eye of the hurricane passed right over Pt. Judith.

Here is a recap of Henri:
  • Tuesday – Herni is going out to sea about a hundred miles east of Cape Cod.
  • Wednesday – No problem with going to to the Cape until a week from Friday.
  • Thursday – Henri is now forecast to make landfall between New Bedford and the Cape Cod Canal, the cottage will be on the high wind side of the storm. Batten down the hatches! I’m glad that I had those two big pines next to my cottage.
  • Friday – the storm track will now take it up the Connecticut River Valley… with the eye going right over my house! Yikes! Panic! I have a mighty oaks right next to the deck and house!
  • Saturday morning – Storm track is still going right up the middle of the state. Pack up and head for home at 9:00AM.
  • Saturday afternoon – Convoys of utility trucks from Ohio, Illinois, Canada, and other eastern states on the interstate (I cannot imagine being in a utility truck driving for 10 hours.), I get home around one, unload the car and unpack and I start taking in the lawn chairs, trash cans, anything that can be blown around and cause damage. Storm track is still going right up the middle of the state.
  • Saturday night – Just before going to bed, storm track is still going right up the middle of the state.
  • Sunday morning – Storm track is that Henri will make landfall in Rhode Island???? Hun?
  • Sunday afternoon – Still waiting for Henri, just cloudy with rain bands passing over. Wind is no worst than a summer thunderstorm.
  • Sunday late afternoon – Hello Henri? Where are you?
We ended up with 2 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 40 mph.

Here is an interesting timelapse video of the radar the storm.


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

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

1) In this song, Garth Brooks tells us he wore boots to a black-tie affair. When did you most recently get dressed up? What did you wear?

Well it is going on two years since I had to dressed up to go to a fancy shindig but when I did I wore a LBD, and heels.

2) The lyrics refer to The Oasis, which was a real bar in Concordia, Kansas. What's the name of the last bar or restaurant where you ordered a beverage? (Yes, Dunkin' counts.)
Well is Dunkin counts then it was Dunkin (decaf ice coffee and a Boston Cream donut) yesterday on my way to the car dealer for an admission test.

3) Garth was having a stellar 2021. He kicked the year off by performing "Amazing Grace" at President Biden's inauguration in January, and then over the summer he received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor. Now that we're past the halfway mark, how's your year going?
Flying! Summer only has a few more days, where did summer go?

4) But earlier this month, Garth cancelled the remaining August and September dates of his big concert tour. He's provided refunds for the 350,000 tickets that were sold. How do you tend to react when plans change? Are you easily annoyed, or do you roll with it?
I try to roll with it, but they don’t call Connecticut the “Land of Steady Habits” however I don’t like last minute changes.

5) Before he sang about having friends in low places, Garth hung around in some. When he was as a struggling performer, he supported himself as a bouncer. What's the most physically taxing job you've ever had?
A high school summer job, loading and unloading trucks… very, very hot inside a trailer in the summer.

6) According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), Garth surpassed The Beatles as the top-selling recording artist of the last 30 years. Who do you listen to more often: Garth or the Beatles?
Well since I don’t listen to Garth (it is not that he is not a good musician and singer, it just that I don’t care for country music) I would have to say the Beatles.

7) Garth and singer Trisha Yearwood have been happily married for 15 years now. Trisha says that as much as she loves her husband, his whistling drives her crazy. Come clean: what's your most annoying habit?
Since I am single I don’t have any annoying habit.

8) In 1990, when this song was a hit, Soviet President Gorbachev traveled first to Ottawa to meet Prime Minister Mulroney and then to Washington DC to meet President Bush. Do you have any travel plans? We want to hear about them, even if you aren't meeting any politicians or heads of state.
Well actually I am meeting a politician, the governor next month since I have been appointed to his council to advise him on hate crimes, we are supposed to meet with him (via Zoom) next month.
As for travel plans, I will still be traveling back and forth to the cottage.

9) Random question: Your dear friend spends weeks planning a party. After just 30 minutes, you find yourself having a terrible time. Would you leave at the earliest (polite) opportunity? Or would you stay till the bitter end out of loyalty?

Well first off it depends upon what type of party it is. Is it a dinner party, if it is I will stay until after the food have been served. If not I would stay after a respectable amount of time.

Friday, August 27, 2021

This Can’t Happen Here Or Can It?

The Trans Panic Defense is banned here in Connecticut, in 2019 the legislature passed and the governor signed a bill prohibiting the use of a panic defense...
(2) No defendant may claim as a defense under this section that such mental disease or defect was based solely on the discovery of, knowledge about or potential disclosure of the victim's actual or Substitute Senate Bill No. 58 Public Act No. 19-27 2 of 4 perceived sex, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, including under circumstances in which the victim made an unwanted, nonforcible, romantic or sexual advance toward the defendant, or if the defendant and victim dated or had a romantic relationship.
It shouldn’t happen here but Washington state also has a law banning gay panic defense but it was passed in 2020 and the murder happened in 2019, so I don’t know if it can be applied to a murder before it was passed but he tried to weasel around the law claiming that she went for his gun.
Bogdanov Takes the Stand, Claims Self-Defense in Death of Nikki Kuhnhausen
The Chronicle
By Becca Robbins
August 25, 2021

David Bogdanov testified Tuesday in Clark County Superior Court that he strangled 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen in 2019 while trying to keep her from reaching a loaded gun he had near the driver's seat of his car.

Bogdanov, 27, took the stand as the only witness in his defense Tuesday. He is charged with second-degree murder and malicious harassment. Prosecutors said he killed Kuhnhausen after he learned she was transgender and then dumped her body down a hillside on Larch Mountain.

The trial began last week, and prosecutors rested their case Monday. Closing statements will begin Wednesday morning.
Bogdanov and Kuhnhausen began hooking up in the back seat of his car when Bogdanov found out Kuhnhausen was transgender. He became tearful when describing sexual contact between the two of them.

He said he pushed Kuhnhausen away from him and cursed at her to get out of his car. Bogdanov said he was "humiliated" once he found out he was having sexual contact with someone who was born male. He said he would've been shunned if his family found out.

Bogdanov testified that Kuhnhausen started fighting against him after he pushed her into the passenger door of the car and said that Kuhnhausen reached toward the front seat, where he had tucked his gun.

He described attempting to pull her back away from the gun, which he said he always kept loaded. He said he'd told Kuhnhausen he carried a gun, "so she wouldn't freak out," and that he had a concealed carry permit for it. He described fearing for his life if she got her hands on the weapon.
Okay let me get this straight.

When he found out that she was trans he attacked her pushing her into the door and he reaches for the gun, she struggles to get the gun away from him and he is claiming self-defense?

KATU Ch 2 reported,
There is some dispute about the gun -- whether she reached for it and when Bogdanov became aware that she was reaching for it.
Lawyer: To your knowledge, while this was going on, Nikki had never even touched your gun, correct?
Bogdanov: While what was going on?
Lawyer: While you were having a cord around her neck.
Bogdanov: She was trying to reach for it.
Lawyer: She never actually touched that gun to your knowledge?
Bogdanov: She did.
Lawyer: Well, you said you saw afterwards the gun was moved, you didn't know that at the time?
Bogdanov: She did. I saw her reaching for the gun and the gun was not wedged between the seat anymore, it was on the seat.
Lawyer: Earlier, didn't you say that was something you noticed after she was dead?
Bogdanov: It was when she passed out and I pushed her off and I go for the gun myself and I saw it was laying on the seat.
Lawyer: So up to that point you had no idea she'd even touched that gun?
Bogdanov: I know she was going for the gun.
Lawyer: But up to that point, you had no idea she even touched it, right?
Bogdanov: I wasn't sure.
So she was struggling for her because he was trying to kill her and he is claim self-defense because she reached for his gun and he strangled her.

The closing arguments were reported in another Chronicle article by Becca Robbins.
Jurors will return Thursday to continue deliberating in the murder and hate-crime trial of David Bogdanov, who's accused of strangling 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen in 2019.
During closing arguments, Deputy Prosecutor Kristen Arnaud pointed out inconsistencies in Bogdanov's testimony. She also noted that he lied multiple times to police and never told them he had to defend himself from Kuhnhausen.

Defense attorney Matthew Hoff said Bogdanov didn't tell the truth because he didn't want to tell police or his family about having sexual contact with someone who was born male. Bogdanov testified he would've been shunned if his family found out.

Arnaud told the jury Bogdanov used more force than was necessary or that a reasonable person would use when he strangled Kuhnhausen with a phone cord.

She argued Bogdanov's testimony showed the thought going through his head as Kuhnhausen fought back was that he had been deceived — not that he was fearful.

Arnaud said Bogdanov's actions made him the first aggressor, not Kuhnhausen. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Colin Hayes added that the teenager had as much right to defend herself from Bogdanov as he did to defend himself from her.

"Even if you don't agree with her choices, she is entitled to equal protection under the law," Arnaud said.

Bogdanov had testified that on the day of Kuhnhausen's death, he booked a one-way flight to Ukraine, and he called a friend to "get rid" of his car.

Hayes said those are not the actions of someone who has done nothing wrong.

Hoff argued Bogdanov was in emotional distress and said Bogdanov voluntarily returned to the U.S. about six weeks later.

"Nikki Kuhnhausen is not here today, not because she was transgender but because Mr. Bogdanov was put in a life-or-death situation," Hoff said.
The jury continues to deliberate the case.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

There Is “Out” And Then There Is “OUT”

There is coming out to the family and then there is coming out to the world and when you are an actress or an actor when you come out the whole world knows.
Tommy Dorfman Says She's "Genuinely Happy" for the First Time Since Transitioning
Tommy Dorfman opened up about her medical transition, sharing that she no longer feels saddled by depression and drug and alcohol addiction.
By Cydney Contreras
August 24, 2021

The 13 Reasons Why actress told Ladies First podcast host Laura Brown that beginning her medical transition has done wonders for her mental health. "I just switched my hormones, and I've never felt better in my life," she said, noting that she spent the last "28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.

"I don't think I've ever been genuinely happy until this past year. I look at the Internet chronicle of photos of me since I started working, and I can see how f--king unhappy I was in every photo," she remarked. "It's wild."

Part of this newfound contentment comes from the fact that Tommy is living as the woman she always saw herself as. She shared, "Whenever I close my eyes or dream, I see myself as a woman. That was always the case."
That’s the thing, for us we grew up being trans, no one knew our internal struggle so when we came out it was a complete surprise to everyone and a big relief to us not to hide anymore.
Part of this newfound contentment comes from the fact that Tommy is living as the woman she always saw herself as. She shared, "Whenever I close my eyes or dream, I see myself as a woman. That was always the case."
I know that it was hard for me to come out to the family, just imagine coming out to the world.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Don’t Go Down That Path.

I think it is only natural to wonder why we are trans or gay but that is a trap unless you recognize that it could be only one of many paths.
Genetic patterns offer clues to evolution of homosexuality
Massive study finds that genetic markers associated with same-sex encounters might aid reproduction. But some scientists question the conclusions.
By Sara Reardon
August 24, 2021

To evolutionary biologists, the genetics of homosexuality seems like a paradox. In theory, humans and other animals who are exclusively attracted to others of the same sex should be unlikely to produce many biological children, so any genes that predispose people to homosexuality would rarely be passed on to future generations. Yet same-sex attraction is widespread in humans, and research suggests that it is partly genetic.

In a study of data from hundreds of thousands of people, researchers have now identified genetic patterns that could be associated with homosexual behaviour, and showed how these might also help people to find different-sex mates, and reproduce. The authors say their findings, published on 23 August in Nature Human Behaviour, could help to explain why genes that predispose people to homosexuality continue to be passed down. But other scientists question whether these data can provide definitive conclusions.

Evolutionary geneticist Brendan Zietsch at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and his colleagues used data from the UK Biobank, the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health and the company 23andMe, based in Sunnyvale, California, which sequence genomes and use questionnaires to collect information from their participants. The team analysed the genomes of 477,522 people who said they had had sex at least once with someone of the same sex, then compared these genomes with those of 358,426 people who said they’d only had heterosexual sex. The study looked only at biological sex, not gender, and excluded participants whose gender and sex did not match.
That is a big sample size but I see many problems with the study for one thing there could be many other variables that they overlooked.
The authors acknowledge many limitations of the study. All of the participants lived in the United Kingdom or United States, and were of European descent. And the databases’ questionnaires asked about sexual behaviour, not sexual attraction. Most of the participants were born during a time when homosexuality was either illegal or culturally taboo in their countries, so many people who were attracted to others of the same sex might never have actually acted on their attraction, and could therefore have ended up in the wrong group in the study.
The article referred to a 2019 Nature article…
No ‘gay gene’: Massive study homes in on genetic basis of human sexuality
Nearly half a million genomes reveal five DNA markers associated with sexual behaviour — but none with the power to predict the sexuality of an individual.
By Jonathan Lambert

The largest study1 to date on the genetic basis of sexuality has revealed five spots on the human genome that are linked to same-sex sexual behaviour — but none of the markers are reliable enough to predict someone’s sexuality.

The findings, which are published on 29 August in Science and based on the genomes of nearly 500,000 people, shore up the results of earlier, smaller studies and confirm the suspicions of many scientists: while sexual preferences have a genetic component, no single gene has a large effect on sexual behaviours.

“There is no ‘gay gene’,” says lead study author Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ganna and his colleagues also used the analysis to estimate that up to 25% of sexual behaviour can be explained by genetics, with the rest influenced by environmental and cultural factors — a figure similar to the findings of smaller studies.

The thing is the causes of why someone is LGBTQ+ might be caused to a whole host of reasons and could even be caused by an interactions with other factors. Such as a heredity factor and a real life environmental factors such as having a kiss by person could be a trigger.

Or if they do find a “trans gene” it could not be “the” factor but rather one of possible infinite possibilities. Mother Nature loves to experiment.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

States: This Could Be Heaven Or This Could Be Hell

Depending upon where you live it could be heaven or hell.

State, County School Officials Punt Responsibility for Enforcing West Virginia Transgender Student-Athlete Ban
The Intelligencer
By Steven Allen Adams
August 24, 2021

CHARLESTON — State and local education officials and West Virginia’s regulator of sports at middle and high schools continue to deflect responsibility for a new law prohibiting transgender female student-athletes from playing in girls’ and women’s sports, according to court documents.

The Harrison County Board of Education, the state Board of Education and the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission filed responses Friday to their earlier motions to dismiss a complaint brought in May by Becky Pepper-Jackson, an 11-year-old transgender student at Bridgeport Middle School who wished to join her middle school’s girls’ cross-country team.

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin granted Pepper-Jackson a preliminary injunction in July preventing enforcement of House Bill 3293, relating to single-sex participation in interscholastic athletic events. Pepper-Jackson is represented by Lambda Legal, the state and national chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union, and law firm Cooley LLP.
Victory for Transgender Illinoisans
My Radio Link
Aug 17, 2021

CHICAGO – On Friday, August 13, 2021, the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed the expansive protections of the Illinois Human Rights Act (Act) for transgender individuals. In Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. v. Sommerville (2021 IL App (2d) 190362), the Court addressed an issue of first impression, holding that transgender individuals in Illinois have the right to access restrooms corresponding to their gender identity. Meggan Sommerville, a transgender woman, filed a charge with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) against her employer Hobby Lobby for not allowing her to use the women’s restroom. The Court agreed that Hobby Lobby violated the Act both as an employer and as a place of public accommodation by discriminating against Ms. Sommerville based on her gender identity.

“I’m pleased to see the court recognize Hobby Lobby’s stance against its employee as what it is: discrimination based on gender-identity,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Ours is a welcoming and inclusive state, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights will go toe to toe with any employer or business that tries to treat individuals differently because of their identity. Just last month, I convened a round table with leaders in the state’s transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming community to connect with those on the ground, fighting these fights every day, on the work still left to do. In our continued efforts to shape a safer Illinois, my administration is on a mission to lift up and empower those who too often have been overlooked or forgotten.”
New law gives Virginia transgender students more rights in school – here’s how districts are reacting
By: Alex Thorson
August 17, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — How transgender and nonbinary students are treated in Virginia’s public schools will change this fall.

During the 2020 session, the General Assembly passed a law that would create a new, statewide set of guidelines, or “model policy” for school districts. Districts are now tasked with adopting the new model policy by the start of the 2021-2022 school year, but some Virginia school boards are pushing back against the changes.

So far, a handful of school boards, predominantly in western Virginia, have voted against adopting the new policy. These are the districts so far, according to Equality Virginia:
Michigan senate bill targeting transgender high school athletes threatens girls
Detroit Free Press
By Brad Emons
August 17, 2021

Senate Bill 218, currently sitting in the Education and Career Readiness Committee and introduced by Sen. Lana Theis, has been co-authored by 11 other Michigan Republicans.

The bill would prohibit girls and transgender boys from competing on boys’ teams, and boys and transgender girls from competing on girls' teams. However, the Michigan High School Athletic Association, which has a policy to deal with such situations, has called the bill “unnecessary.”

The MHSAA currently allows girls to participate on combined sports teams including football, wrestling, golf, tennis and swimming.
Heaven & Heaven:
Attorney General Bonta: Transgender Americans Are Entitled to IDs Matching Their Gender Identity

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today led a coalition of 15 attorneys general in an amicus brief in Corbitt v. Taylor in defense of the right of transgender Alabamians to obtain driver’s licenses that correspond with their gender identity. Under Alabama’s Policy Order 63, transgender Alabamians are unable to access driver’s licenses that accurately reflect the gender and sex with which they identify unless they have undergone “gender reassignment surgery.” In the friend-of-the-court brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the coalition blasts the patently unconstitutional policy and urges the appellate court to uphold the district court’s ruling finding that the policy was an impermissible form of sex discrimination.
AG Tong Defends Rights Of Transgender Americans To Change IDs
"Barring transgender people from having driver's licenses consistent with their gender identity causes unnecessary stigma and isolation."

Press release from the AG's Office:
Aug. 18, 2021

Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general, led by California, in an amicus brief in Corbitt v. Taylor in defense of the right of transgender Alabamians to obtain driver's licenses that correspond with their gender identity. Under Alabama's Policy Order 63, transgender Alabamians are unable to access driver's licenses that accurately reflect the gender and sex with which they identify unless they have undergone "gender reassignment surgery." In the friend-of-the-court brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the coalition blasts the patently unconstitutional policy and urges the appellate court to uphold the district court's ruling finding that the policy was an impermissible form of sex discrimination.

"Discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression is wrong and barring transgender people from having driver's licenses consistent with their gender identity causes unnecessary stigma, isolation and harm," Attorney General Tong said. "This Alabama policy is unconstitutional and flies in the face of common sense and modern practices."
Depending on which state you live in your life could be either heaven or hell! It shouldn't be that way that is why we need to pass on a federal level the Equality Act

Monday, August 23, 2021

What Do You Do?

When you are in the heart of Bible country and you are LGBTQ+?

I go back to Hilary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” and in our case the village is the LGBTQ+ community and their families.
How Families Help Support LGBTQ Kids in One of the Most Conservative States in the Country
"I could've never imagined five years ago that this is where I would be," Katelyn Handy, 20, tells PEOPLE of coming out in Utah. "I am happy. I'm healthy."
By Wendy Naugle
August 20, 2021

Utah is one of the most conservative states in the country, and more than 60 percent of the population there identifies as Mormon, a faith that firmly believes acting on same-sex attraction is a sin.

"I was very, very devout in the church," Katelyn Handy, 20, tells PEOPLE. "I ended up having a crush on someone, and it wasn't a guy. That kind of shocked me to my core."
So how are kids and their families there finding ways to thrive? Below, four families who have found support through Encircle, a network of homes that support LGBTQ youth and their families, share their stories.
It takes a family…
Katelyn: I started falling away from the church — just not believing in it as much — at the same time I was figuring out that I was gay. The first person I told was my mom. We were having a conversation, and she said, "You know, if one of you guys ever came out as gay, it wouldn't be a big deal." For context, my parents are divorced and my mom is not LDS [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. So I was like, I guess this is it. I was like, "Mom, I have something to tell you." I was so scared, even though she had just said that it would be fine. It's still terrifying to say those words: "I think I like girls."

Jen: My first thought was, I want her to still be here. I didn't think that she would be suicidal per se, but I could imagine that it was possible. Then the next thought was hoping that she could find a community she would be able to relate with, that there would be safety and acceptance from within the family.

Research has shown that having a support network can make all the difference in living or dying. Whether it is a family member, GSA in school, or a LGBTQ community center it makes a huge difference in the lives of young LGBTQ+ people.
GLSEN reported,
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.
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.
Connecticut is one of the states that are leading the way.
Only 3 states have a gay-straight alliance in more than half of their high schools
Child Trends

By Dominique Parris and Brandon Stratford
November 5, 2019

In 45 states and the District of Columbia, less than half of all high schools report having a gay-straight alliance (also known as a genders and sexualities alliance, or GSA), according to 2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among the 48 states (as well as the District of Columbia) that provide data, only three states (New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) can claim that more than half of their high schools have a GSA. Massachusetts has the highest percentage of high schools (60.5%) with a GSA, while South Dakota has the lowest (9.3%). Less than 16 percent of high schools in four states (including South Dakota) have a GSA. In 25 states, 17.9 percent to roughly one-third of high schools have a GSA; in an additional 16 states and the District of Columbia, GSAs can be found in roughly one-third to 46.9 percent of secondary schools.
Republican conservative states have the fewest;
  • South Dakota: 9.3%
  • Arkansas: 13.9%
  • North Dakota: 14.4%
  • Nebraska: 15.9%
In those states and others LGBTQ+ youth need to form peer support groups and their parents and family need to let know that they are loved.

Families of celebrity have been speaking out in support.
Celebrity Parents Who've Spoken Out in Support of Their LGBTQ+ Kids
See what Jamie Lee Curtis, Dwyane Wade, Cynthia Nixon and more stars have said about their kids' LGBTQ+ journeys
By Sophie Dodd
August 06, 2021

Jamie Lee Curtis
"[My husband and I] have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby."

— Knives Out actress Jamie Lee Curtis, revealing that her youngest child with husband Christopher Guest is transgender in AARP the magaizine's August/September 2021 issue
Cynthia Nixon
"I'm so proud of my son Samuel Joseph Mozes (called Seph) who graduated college this month. I salute him and everyone else marking today's #TransDayofAction. #TDOA."

— Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, sharing publicly that her son is transgender, on Instagram
Sally Field
"Sam is my youngest son, by 18 years, and he's gay. To that, I say: So what? [...] His journey to allow himself to be what nature intended him to be was not an easy one [...] I could make it easier only by standing visibly to the side, clearly loving him, always being there and always letting him know."

— Lincoln star Sally Field, on supporting son Samuel Greisman as he grappled with his sexuality growing up, in an open letter to the Human Rights Campaign
Billy Ray Cyrus
"We've always been very open-minded. Listen, it's all about love and light. Forget the negativity and the haters […] She's rocking and rolling and having a good time. What the world needs is love. There's too much hate […] The world needs positive influences."

— Singer Billy Ray Cyrus, on daughter Miley Cyrus coming out as pansexual, to E! News.
Khary Payton
"Man, there is nothing more beautiful than watching your child feel the joy of exploring what it means to be true to themselves," Payton continued. "This is his journey, and I am here for it. I hope you all have the opportunity to feel the unquenchable love that I am feeling right now."

—Walking Dead star Khary Payton about son Karter, who came out as transgender in 2020, on Instagram
It may seem like a little thing the support of their parents but it has massive impact on the lives of their children and other LGBTQ+ children.

Parents in northwestern Connecticut saw a void of support for their LGBTQ+ children and are forming their own parent network and in other parts of the country parents and LGBTQ+ children are forming their own safe spaces.

I keep on remembering Harvey Milk’s “Come out, come out, wherever you are” is also true for our parents.

Speaking Of A Safe Space

With the virus running rampant again and once again people are getting violent over wearing masks as schools require the wearing of masks, even some governors are getting in to the fray by banning the wearing of masks in schools.
A mother's email challenging the sexist dress codes of her daughter's schools has gone viral after she asserted her "beliefs" about the mandate on spaghetti straps.
By LGBTQ Nation 
August 18, 2021

A mother’s email opposing the dress code of her daughter’s school has gone viral for challenging the sexist gender roles and highlighting her state’s absurd ban on school mask mandates.

On August 17, Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order requiring schools districts with mask mandates to allow parents to opt out. The policy increases the likelihood of a COVID-19 outbreak.

In response, an unknown parent wrote an email to the Hamilton County School Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee requesting a form to opt her daughter out of the school’s dress code.
She says that the dress code violates her deeply held feminists beliefs.
“In light of the opt-out option related to the recently-announced mask mandate, I can only assume that parents are now in a position to pick and choose the school policies to which their children should be subject,” the email continued.

“I therefore intend to opt out of this policy and send my daughter to school in spaghetti straps, leggings, cut offs, and anything else she feels comfortable wearing to school. Please make a note that she is not, under any circumstances, to be dress coded, as I have clearly communicated my decision to opt out of this policy,” the email concluded.
I suggest that there is another way to force schools to mandate masks and it uses a law that requires schools to have a safe learning environment.

Under U.S. law every child has the right to attend public school from
kindergarten through 12th grade, regardless of race, gender, religion or
immigration status.

School officials are responsible for providing a safe learning environment,
free from discrimination, harassment or violence. They are not allowed to
make policies or act in a manner that would deny a child access to education. 
If masks are not mandatory how can you have a safe space for learning?

Sunday, August 22, 2021

A Glancing Blow!

Henri took a last minute turn to the east and was about 60 miles further east from the track last night a 9. There was very little wind and no downpours, a typical Sunday afternoon thunderstorm have strong winds than where I’m. Meanwhile Newport RI got hammered with 75 mph winds and tidal surges. 

But… you always know that there is a but. The ex-tropical storm is going to hang around overnight and that is bad news for the Berkshires, the Green Mountains, and the White Mountains. One just has to remember the damage done Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, friends in southern Vermont were isolated for weeks while they rebuilt the roads.

Mountains + tropical storms = floods!

Learn Our History!

You know the saying about history repeating itself if you don’t learn it, well it is also true for our history. And there is a good place learn it… in the archives.

I went to the True Colors conference workshop once that was called LGBTQ History and it was all about LG history.

I went to a thesis dissertation on LGBTQ in the media and it was all about LG in the media.

I went to a Pride fiftieth anniversary in 2019 and they had all these posters of the leaders of the Stonewall and not one of them was trans.

They all used the same excuse… they couldn’t find any information about trans people. (Translated: they didn’t look and didn’t expect to be called out on it.)

These point out that if we do not know our history it will get lumped into “Gay” history and forgotten.

So where do we look to find our history?

A good place to begin is the Internet Archives.

A quick search of the book archives using “transgender” and we find two classics…

Digging a little deeper, the autobiography, and the biography...
            "The true story of the miraculous transformation of the Danish painter, Einar Wegener (Andreas                Sparre)."

But is is not just books but also news letters and magazines. The Twenty Club newsletters are archived here.

Transgender Tapestry which was a magazine published by International Foundation for Gender Education and they have the complete collection of the magazine.

In one edition they have an article by Shannon Miller on the HRC and another article by attorney Phyllis Randolph Frye. Another issue has a photo on the cover of a very young GLAD attorney Jennifer Levi. They have another issue that discusses the tragic death of Robert Eads (If you haven’t heard about him I strongly suggest you read the article.).

It also contains the entire University of Victoria Transgender Archives Collection!

Another great place to get out history is the Digital Transgender Archives.

They have…

            This collection features materials related to Christine Jorgensen, the first person in the United                 States to become publicly known for receiving gender realignment surgery. The collection                     includes newspaper clippings, one video, and photographs created between the 1950s and the                 early 1980s. Including both press coverage and candid photographs, the collection depicts                     Jorgensen's public life as well as her personal life.

  • Then there is the Chrysalis Quarterly was published by AEGIS, the Atlanta Educational Gender Information Service.
  • There is this tantalizing collection, Dime Novels: A collection of 19th century books that sensationally portray figures who crossdressed for various purposes.

Some books that I use when I give my trans history workshops…

  • Currah P. & Minter S., (2000). Transgender Equality A HANDBOOK FOR ACTIVISTS AND POLICYMAKERS.. NGLTF Policy Institute, Retrieved September 22, 2009, from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/TransgenderEquality.pdf
  • Ekins, R., & King, D. (2005, October). Virginia Prince: Transgender Pioneer. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(4), 5-15. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from LGBT Life with Full Text database .
  • Fienberg, L. (1993). Stone Butch Blues. Los Angeles, CA. Alyson Books.
  • Feinberg, L. (1994). Transgender Warrior. Boston, MA. Beacon Press.
  • Feinberg, L. (1998). 'I'm glad I was in the Stonewall riot'. Worker’s World. Retrieved August 1, 2009. From http://www.workers.org/ww/1998/sylvia0702.php
  • Gan, J. (2007, Spring). Still at the back of the bus: Sylvia Rivera's struggle. Centro Journal, 19(1), 124-139. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from LGBT Life with Full Text database.
  • Green J. (2004, January). Becoming a Visible Man. Nashville, TN. Vanderbilt University Press.
  • D'Emilio, J., Turner, W., & Vaid, U.(2000) FACING DISCRIMINATION, ORGANIZING FOR FREEDOM:THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY. CREATING CHANGE: PUBLIC POLICY, AND CIVIL RIGHTS, Retrieved Sept. 24, 2009, from http://www.transgenderlegal.com/chpt22.htm 
  • King, D., Ekins, R., (2000), Pioneers of Transgendering: The Life and Work of Virginia Prince, GENDYS 2k, The Sixth International Gender Dysphoria Conference, Manchester England. 
  • MacKenzie, G. (1994). Transgender Nation. Bowling Green OH. Popular Press.
  • Meyerowitz, J. (2002). How Sex Changed. Boston, MA. Harvard Press.
  • Roberts, M., (2007, October 18). The 1965 Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-In. TransGriot, Retrieved September 22, 2009, from http://transgriot.blogspot.com/2007/10/1965-deweys-lunch-counter-sit-it.html 
  • Roberts, M., (2012, March). A Look at African-American Trans Trailblazers, Ebony. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.ebony.com/news-views/trans-trailblazers
  • Stryker, S. (2008). Transgender History. Berkley CA. Seal Press.

Please learn our history so it will not be forgotten or become part of “Gay” history.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Saturday 9: Woman in Love

Sam's Saturday 9: Woman in Love (1980)

We interrupt today’s blog post to bring some important information.
I might not be able to approve or post comments on your Saturday 9 posts because there is a hurricane heading my way.

I am batting down the hatches!

Henri is making a beeline to Cape Cod Bay and then stay around there making havoc. The National Hurricane Center's cone-of-uncertainly just west of the Cape Cod Canal slowing as it bumps into a high pressure wave. It is supposed to be a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall on Cape Cod and then just hang around for a day as it bumps into warm front and stalls.

If I do lose power then I will be heading home.

We now return you to our regular scheduled blog post.

Since I wrote this this Thursday there has been major changes to the hurricane path, it will no longer hit the Cape but Connecticut so I am going home this morning. 


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

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

1) In this song, Barbra dreams of love. What's something you've been dreaming of, or wishing for, lately? (It doesn't have to be romantic.)
Having a cookout on my new patio.

2) She sings that she and her lover are oceans apart. Tell us about someone who is far away, and that you wish was nearer this Saturday morning.
My brother’s family.

3) This was a #1 hit for Streisand, so popular it knocked Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" out of the top spot on the charts. Are you a Freddie Mercury/Queen fan?
One time I was waving my hand and singing in my car Bohemian Rhapsody at a stoplight and a cop pulled up next to me in the turn lane. He looked at me funny and I lowered my window and he lowered his window, and the song was at,
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go
Bismillah! No, we will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go
(Let me go) Will not let you go
(Let me go)(Never) Never let you go
(Let me go) (Never) let you go (Let me go) Ah
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
And we both started laughing, and the light turned green

4) This song was written specifically for Barbra by Barry and Robin Gibb of the BeeGees. During the late 1970s, when the BeeGees were riding high on the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, she let them know she was a fan and would love to record one of their songs. The collaboration went so well that they ended up writing not one but nearly a dozen songs for her. Tell us about something that went way better for you than you predicted it would.
Getting my MSW when I was 63.

5) Barbra traveled to Miami Beach to record this song in Barry's favorite studio. Have you ever been to Miami Beach?
Yes, when I was knee high to a grasshopper, it was back in the late 1950.

6) Barbra went to Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. She had a mad crush on one of her classmates. That boy was Bobby Fischer, who grew up to be an international chess champion. Do you remember one of your big high school crushes? Do you know whatever became of him or her?
Yes, she was at our 50th high school reunion, she is a grandmother now and her daughter bought my parents house which is a couple of houses down from my parent’s house.

7) Barbra is responsible for the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai. It's dedicated to the study of heart disease, its impact on women, and the search for more effective treatment. If you could fund a not-for-profit, as Barbra has done, what cause would you champion?
Three guesses and I am the executive director of a non-profit, and one of the founding members of it.

8) In 1980, when "Woman in Love" was popular, Macaulay Culkin was born. He's best known for the Home Alone movies. Have you seen them? If yes, did you enjoy them?
Yes, during a Thanksgiving at my nieces house. Not really.

9) Random question: On social media, people keystroke LOL all the time. When is the last time you literally laughed out loud?
It was probably a couple of months ago.

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, August 20, 2021

Some Good News

I don’t know about you but we are due some good news…

I’ll start out in my home state, in a press release.
Attorney General Tong Defends Right of Transgender Americans to Have IDs That Match Their Gender Identity
August 17, 2021

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general, led by California, in an amicus brief in Corbitt v. Taylor in defense of the right of transgender Alabamians to obtain driver’s licenses that correspond with their gender identity. Under Alabama’s Policy Order 63, transgender Alabamians are unable to access driver’s licenses that accurately reflect the gender and sex with which they identify unless they have undergone “gender reassignment surgery.” In the friend-of-the-court brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the coalition blasts the patently unconstitutional policy and urges the appellate court to uphold the district court’s ruling finding that the policy was an impermissible form of sex discrimination.

“Discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression is wrong and barring transgender people from having driver’s licenses consistent with their gender identity causes unnecessary stigma, isolation and harm,” Attorney General Tong said. “This Alabama policy is unconstitutional and flies in the face of common sense and modern practices.”

Although gender-affirming surgery is an important form of healthcare, many transgender Americans do not want or need it — and some cannot afford it. No matter an individual’s reasons, they are still entitled to have a license that can be safely used without putting at risk their dignity and safety. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s policy prevents transgender Alabamians from having that chance. In fact, the policy is an extreme outlier among states and is unsupported by any legitimate governmental interest. Critically, it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The amici states have a profound interest in protecting all Americans against unconstitutional discrimination in any form — in particular, to help reverse and remedy the stigma and discrimination that transgender Americans have experienced for decades.

Moreover, many states across the country — including Connecticut — have successfully adopted policies contrary to Alabama’s, issuing driver’s licenses and state identification cards with updated sex designations without requiring applicants to undergo surgery. These policies help reduce discrimination and, in some instances, even violence. Used routinely when applying for jobs, patronizing restaurants and bars, and applying for housing and bank accounts, identification cards and driver’s licenses can have a direct impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of transgender Americans in their daily interactions with society. According to a recent Gallup poll, approximately 0.6% of all U.S. adults — or roughly 1.9 million Americans — identify as transgender.

In the amicus brief, the coalition of attorneys general asserts:
• Alabama’s Policy Order 63 fails scrutiny under any constitutional standard;
• The express surgery requirement is rare and out of step with modern practices;
• Driver’s licenses that reflect a transgender person’s gender identity serve state interests in lowering hate violence; and
• Alabama’s asserted interests are unsupported and contrary to federal law.
In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Tong joins the attorneys general of California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.
I am proud to be a resident of Connecticut a state that doesn’t play politics with people’s lives.

Now on to a court case involving a business that we all know.
Transgender victory over Hobby Lobby could have national impact
LGBTQ advocates say the "sweeping" ruling could be used to attack “bathroom bills” and trans sports bans across the country.
Out NBC News
By Dan Avery
August 18, 2021

In appellate court deciding Hobby Lobby violated Illinois anti-discrimination law by denying a transgender employee access to the women’s restroom could have nationwide implications, experts say.

Meggan Sommerville, a trans woman who has worked at a Hobby Lobby location in Aurora for more than 20 years, has been denied access to the store’s women’s room since transitioning at work in 2010. As a result, she has had anxiety and recurring nightmares and has been forced to limit her fluid intake, according to filings.

On Friday, the Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court upheld a lower court decision that determined the crafts chain violated the Illinois Human Rights Act both as an employer and as a place of public accommodation.

“Sommerville is female, just like the women who are permitted to use the women’s bathroom,” the three-judge panel said in its decision. “The only reason that Sommerville is barred from using the women’s bathroom is that she is a transgender woman.”

The ruling is one of first impression, meaning it presents a legal issue that has never been decided in the court’s jurisdiction.

“They stuck to the law,” Sommerville, 51, told Forbes. “This is a precedent-setting case in Illinois, because the Human Rights Act has never been tested in this way in Illinois, and actually in the country.”
But it is not over yet…
Hobby Lobby could appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court and theoretically take it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney Whitman Brisky, who represented the company, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Yes, I imagine that we will see this go all the way to the Supreme Court.

Lastly here is an article about a homophobic church.
Anti-vax cardinal, who blamed ‘homosexual culture’ for child rape, hospitalised with COVID
Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the most extreme anti-LGBT+ figures in the Catholic Church, has been hospitalised after contracting COVID-19.
Pink News UK
By Emma Powys Maurice
August 19, 2021

73-year-old Burke is sedated on a ventilator in a stable but serious condition, according to officials at a Wisconsin shrine he founded, who have asked people to “pray the Rosary for him”.

The ultraconservative bishop is an outspoken vaccine skeptic who believes the best weapon for fighting the virus is Jesus Christ. Several holy relics have been placed in his hospital room, religious officials say.

Burke criticised early COVID measures and encouraged Catholics to attend Mass in person, partly to combat “the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality”.

“We need only to think of the pervasive attack upon the integrity of human sexuality, of our identity as man or woman, with the pretence of defining for ourselves, often employing violent means, a sexual identity other than that given to us by God,” he wrote on his website early in the pandemic.
Maybe God is telling him something, that God is about love, not hate.


I am batting down the hatches!

Henri is making a beeline to Cape Cod Bay and then stay around there making havoc. The National Hurricane Center's cone-of-uncertainly goes right over Cape Cod Canal slowing as it bumps into a high pressure wave. If worse comes to worse, I will head back to Connecticut.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

My Story Part 175: Jury Duty

This a short story today, it is very anticlimactic. 

A few years after I transitioned I got a summons for jury duty, being retired I had no problem with it as a matter of fact I looked forward to it.

One, I wanted to see how they handle a trans juror.

Two, being retired it was a good excuse to get out of the house and do something different.

And three, I had been on juries before and it was like a live soap opera. I wouldn’t want a murder trial but a nice fender bender sure why not.

So the night before I called the phone number of the court house and it was a “go” for the next day and I laid out my clothes for the next; slacks, blouse, and low heel pumps with knee highs.

I showed up at where you sign-in, the bored clerk looked asked me my name, checked me off on the list, and handed me a pamphlet. She said that we couldn’t listen to the radio because it might have something about the trial, and she asked me if I had any reading material related to the trial, I said no unless we are on the planet Darkover.

I walked in to the room marked “Jury Waiting Room” as I walked in the room people looked up at me and then went back to what they were doing. To one side was a row of vending machines and on the other side approved reading material.

I got a vending machine coffee… Mmm, and a day old New York Times and sat at a table with an open seat. We each had a yellow sticker marked “Juror.”

The bored clerk from the check-in desk called us to order and showed a video of some bored judge telling us how important juror duty was. One by one we went into to be drilled by the attorneys for the Voir dire... lunch… rushed out to a Burger King… back to our very own waiting room.

The bored clerk put on the movie “The Help” for those who wanted to watch. I was reading my book, but the movie kept on calling me. I would glance up now and then, but I started to get into the movie.

The bored clerk came out and said that the case was settled, and we can go home now. She then turned off the TV. One juror said that she wanted to see the end of the movie, we all chimed in… Yeah, it is almost over! The bored clerk shrugged and turned it back on and retreated to her office.

When I got home… off came the pumps and on came the slippers.

It was a totally uneventfull day. No stares. No comments. Being a trans juror was no different than when I was a cis gender juror.

1955 v. 2021

In 1955 we got hit be a one two punch.

Hurricanes Connie and Diane hit within days of one another.

Tropical Storm Fred and Hurricane Henri will hit within days of each other.
Hurricanes Connie & Diane Deliver Double Hit – Who Knew?
CT History
August 12, 2020

…that Hurricanes Connie and Diane, which struck within days of each other in August 1955, exceeded the combined property damage of the Flood of 1936 and Hurricane of 1938? The latter alone had caused an estimated $100 million in property damage and the loss of 85 lives.

Connie struck first, on August 12 and 13, sparing the state high winds but dropping up to 8 inches of rain, particularly saturating southwestern Connecticut. Five days later, Diane arrived, pouring another 16 inches of rain on the state, hitting the Naugatuck Valley and the northwestern towns hard; northeastern towns such as Stafford Springs and Putnam were also hard hit, the latter suffering from the Quinebaug Dam’s collapse in Southbridge, Massachusetts.
Jump forward 66 years…
Small Tornado Likely in Thompson; Roads Flooded; Power Outages
NBC Conncticut
By Kaitlyn McGrath

The NBC Connecticut meteorologists were tracking a rotation in storms moving through Thursday morning and said a storm in Thompson was likely a small tornado.

Eversource is reporting 1,495 power outages and more than 450 of them are in Thompson.

Storms brought heavy downpours, remnants of Fred, which caused flooding in parts of the state and issues on the roads.

There are flash flood warnings for Windham, Hartford, and Tolland counties.

The rain is also causing several issues on the roads this morning.

Hartford police said there is heavy flooding in several locations around the city.

They have been receiving calls in the Blue Hills/Granby Street area.

They urge people not to drive in standing water.
Some areas of Connecticut got close to 5 inches of rain, my town got 2 inches.

Now add to that Henri that is scheduled to arrive Sunday… beware this is the same scenario as 1955. Depending on the track this could be a biggie!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Another Barrier Is Down

One that you probably never thought about but it has been struck down.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Declares LGBTQ People Must Be Protected from Discrimination in Jury Selection, Reaffirms that Challenges to Discriminatory Strikes on the Basis of Race or Any Protected Class Must be Addressed Individually
August 16, 2021

In its opinion reversing trial court convictions in Commonwealth v. Carter on the basis of the trial judge’s failure to inquire into defense claims of improper racial discrimination during jury selection, the SJC [Supreme Judicial Court ] also explicitly articulated for the first time that sexual orientation is a protected class for purposes of a Batson-Soares objection to peremptory challenges.
Up until this ruling lawyers could kick us off a jury for just being trans or a lesbian, or a gay man. I know many may not consider it a victory because they don’t want to be on a jury.
August 16, 2021 (BOSTON, MA) – In a novel ruling with important implications for addressing discrimination on the basis of both race and LGBTQ status in jury selection, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today said explicitly that peremptory challenges based on a prospective juror’s sexual orientation are prohibited by both the Massachusetts and federal constitutions. In its opinion, the SJC also strongly reaffirmed that having some members of a protected class seated on a jury does not alter a trial court’s obligation to require neutral justification for strikes of other members of that class which are challenged as discriminatory.

Black and Pink MA, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and Lambda Legal filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court arguing that by failing to examine the prosecution’s peremptory strikes – exclusion of prospective jurors without reason – of four Black jurors and two jurors perceived to be LGBTQ, the trial court denied the defendant access to an impartial jury of his peers and subjected those individual jurors to impermissible discrimination.
Think of it another way… Suppose you are the defendant in a case either civil or criminal and the prosecutor or the other side’s lawyer kicks a trans person off of the jury. That person might have swayed the jury on your favor or at the very least showed the other jurors that we are human and deserves a fair trial.

But other side might also have picked jurors who were anti-trans and packed the jury bigots, I don’t know about you but I would want an impartial jury.
While the SJC found that the record did not present sufficient evidence of anti-gay bias in jury selection, both the majority and a concurring opinion asserted firmly that peremptory jury strikes based on the presumed sexual orientation of a juror are prohibited under both the Massachusetts and Federal constitutions.

“This ruling is a win for Black and queer people who too often have the deck stacked against them when interacting with the criminal legal system,” said Michael Cox, executive director at Black and Pink Massachusetts. “Racial- and LGBTQ-status discrimination have no place in jury service or selection.”
Thank you GLAD for fighting for us we are glad that you do.
I hear negative comments about GLAD, Lambda Legal, and organizations for LGBTQ+ rights on how they didn’t help them on their case of discrimination. These organizations are not like the lawyers who advertise on TV, they only take cases that set precedent, that change basic law for all LGBTQ+ people. They want cases that go all the way to all the way to the top court like this did. They don’t want cases about “me” but cases about “us.” They want cases that are “clean,” cases that do not have complications. Like a cop who arrests you saying you caused an accident because you were drunk and you say that you were arrested because the cop made derogatory about you being trans. He may have but you were also driving while drunk.

The other side also has legal organizations like this, one of them is Alliance Defending Freedom, law group that brought the case against of the trans athletes they are taking that case to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Praying/Beating The Gay Out Of You.

Yes, it is still happening in conservative states and still the same results.
Yes, conversion therapy is still going on, and Independence still hasn’t banned it
By the Kansas City Star Editorial Board
August 16, 2021

Efforts to change a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity through talk therapy or some other, more physical means of conversion are still going on in the Kansas City metropolitan area. On Monday, the Independence City Council will once again vote on whether to ban the practice.

Several young members of the LGBTQ and nonbinary community who experienced electroshock or some other form of conversion therapy have been pushing eastern Jackson County leaders to pass legislation banning it. Kansas City banned it two years ago, and North Kansas City took the step last month. It’s no longer allowed as a business practice in Columbia, Lawrence or St. Louis.

Zoe Dunning, 22 and nonbinary, says they were 15 years old when their parents sent them to a private “spiritual life coach” working through Dunning’s church to talk Dunning into gender conformity.
They give it all types of fancy names like “spiritual life coach” or “gender critical therapy” or “reparative therapy” but they all do the same thing to force you become “straight” by psychological pressure or physical abuse.

There are twenty states that ban it out right, and five with partial bans, Connecticut is one with a total ban on conversion therapy (religious organization are exempt because of the First Amendment).
The Independence ordinance wouldn’t completely eliminate the practice, because it can’t stop any religious group from attempting to counsel LGBTQ individuals into straight, cisgender versions of themselves.
In another Kansas town they are not even consider the ordinance…
Ross [Blue Springs Mayor] called it “feel-good legislation,” and said he doesn’t support passing a conversion therapy ban ordinance just to have it on the books. But how about just to let young LGBTQ residents know their city sees them as OK the way they are?
They are minors who are being tortured and taking their own lives, these are children who are being forced to be straight! Many times by parents religious beliefs.

While I was researching this I came across a court ruling blocking conversion therapy bans, the judges who struck down the law are Trump appointees.
Bans on conversion therapy in Palm Beach County, Boca Raton violate First Amendment, court rules
Therapists are banned from treating minors through 'sexual orientation change efforts'
By: Miranda Christian , Matt Papaycik
December 02, 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A federal appeals court has ruled that Palm Beach County and the city of Boca Raton have violated the First Amendment right of free speech in the U.S. Constitution by banning therapists from practicing "conversion therapy" on minors, which is attempting to change their sexual orientation.

In 2017, the county and city passed ordinances which ban medical providers from treating minors with "any counseling, practice or treatment performed with the goal of changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity."

Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton, licensed marriage and family therapists based in Palm Beach County, sued the county and city of Boca Raton, arguing the ordinances violate the First Amendment and prevent them from speaking freely with clients.
The court ruled that "this decision allows speech that many find concerning—even dangerous. But consider the alternative. If the speech restrictions in these ordinances can stand, then so can their inverse. Local communities could prevent therapists from validating a client’s same-sex attractions if the city council deemed that message harmful. And the same goes for gender transition—counseling supporting a client’s gender identification could be banned."
In 2017 the Supreme Court supported a low court ruling was legal.
Supreme Court upholds California’s ban on gay ‘conversion therapy’
Washington Post
By Amy B Wang
May 2, 2017

The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a California ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, letting stand a lower federal court ruling that upheld the state law passed in 2012.

The appeal challenging the ban was filed by a Christian minister in San Diego and others, who argued that the law violated their rights to religious freedom.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco had previously upheld the California law as constitutional. The Supreme Court justices did not comment Monday in refusing to hear the appeal, according to the Associated Press.

It was the second time the Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to the California law.
So this will be the third time but with a difference; Kavanaugh and Barrett sit on the court now, both Trump’s picks.