Tuesday, November 30, 2021

If… (Part Two)

After I posted my blog yesterday which I wrote late last week I came across an article in Pink News that backs up what I wrote.
Supreme Court abortion case could lead to more attacks on human rights – including LGBT+ rights
This week, the US Supreme Court will hear Mississippi’s case for overturning the Roe v Wade decision that federally guaranteed the right to an abortion.
By Lily Wakefield
November 29, 2021

But advocates for reproductive rights are nervous.

The Mississippi case marks the most serious challenge to Roe v Wade in decades, and the court hearing the arguments, beginning on 1 December, has a 6-3 conservative majority thanks to Donald Trump.

Shannon Brewer, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the only abortion clinic in the whole of Mississippi, told ABC: “This is the most worried I’ve ever been.”
So what does this have to do LGBTQ+ people?
The granting of abortion rights across America relied on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the fifth and 14th amendments of the US constitution.

Both amendments guarantee that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. According to the court’s interpretation, the right to privacy falls under “liberty”, and therefore so does the right to an abortion.

But other rights relating to bodily autonomy, including contraception and same-sex marriage, also rest on this interpretation, and are classed as “due process rights”.

Marshall Martinez, executive director of Equality New Mexico, told the non-profit news organisation New Mexico Political Report: “There is a real possibility that if this court said Roe was wrongly decided, it never gave us the right to privacy, then there could be other challenges.”
The potential “diminishment of the 14th amendment”, which would result in a diminishment of the right to privacy and bodily autonomy, could topple a multitude of LGBT+ rights, from marriage equality, to gender-affirming healthcare, to sex itself.
That is what I wrote yesterday in my Rant, that the court might weaken the Fourteenth Amendment and they might see other “Rights” as superseding the Fourteenth Amendment.

Be very worried, this Supreme Court has been packed with justices that are evangelical Christians and put the Bible before the Constitution they were picked by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

When It Becomes Personal.

Most people don’t think about us, we are just some abstract idea until “Mom, I’m a girl.” then it becomes family.
A small-town mom wanted to help her community. And then the community took aim at her child
By Evan McMorris-Santoro and Yon Pomrenze
November 28, 2021

Hastings, Minnesota (CNN)Kelsey and Chris Waits moved to Hastings, Minnesota, to build a dream home for themselves and their two children.

Chris had a promising job opportunity when he left the Navy but it was the neighborhood that drew them in.

"Kelsey said, 'Well, I hope the interview went well because we're moving here. This town is great, this town is perfect, this is what I want,'" Chris recalled his wife telling him.
She was the School Board president and took the heat from COVID-19 when the attacks on the Board about mask mandates…
But when the pandemic put pressure on the community, cracks began to appear. Stressed by school closures and debate over wearing masks, some neighbors started taking aim at the school board.

Kelsey Waits was the face and voice of that school board as its chair. The ugliness that followed in Kelsey's unsuccessful race to be re-elected to the board now has the Waits packing up their dream home to move -- and their love for Hastings likely tainted forever.

"I do feel really betrayed by this community," Kelsey told CNN. "Not because I lost but because not only did people attack a child, but so many of them sat by and allowed it to happen." 
So they moved to another town.
She'd been active in local Republican politics as a young woman, but became disillusioned and drifted away, particularly over the opposition to same-sex marriage. She says she was progressive on lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, but transgender people were not on her radar.
But all that changed!
Assigned male at birth, they were into more traditionally feminine things -- if there was a truck being played with, it was likely being driven by a Disney princess -- so the couple took it in stride when their child asked for a Kit Kittredge American Girl doll for a fourth birthday present. Kelsey wondered about the future but Chris just thought it was his child responding to living with a mother and sister while he was deployed overseas with the Navy Reserve.

"So we got this doll and Kit's eyes just lit up. And Kit was so happy and so excited to get this doll," Kelsey said.

"About a week later, when dad was in Japan, and I was standing right there in the kitchen, Kit walks up to me and goes, 'Mom, can you call me Kit?' And my stomach dropped a little bit. Because all of a sudden, maybe things were making a little more sense. Click. And I said, 'Sure. Still my little ... boy?" And Kit goes, 'No, your little girl.' 
Neither parent said they knew much about trans kids, and decided to let Kit be Kit while they figured things out.
Most parents are like that going from “Oh, that’s interesting.” when it is someone else’s child but when it strikes home then it becomes a horse of a different color and the good folks of Hastings let their true colors show.
"She should be locked up for child abuse," the parent wrote. "Her younger 'daughter' is actually a boy." 
Others jumped in, attacking the Waits as "woke parents" who had pushed their views onto their child.
Kelsey soon found out what was being written.

"This was my most precious secret. The thing I protected most and the thing I was most afraid of ever being used in a political way because for me, this isn't political. This is my family, this is my child," she said. "I dropped to the floor, and I cried." 
This is just anecdotal observations the Trump supporters have no problem using obscenities and vulgar language in front of children. When president Biden visited Hartford daycare the right wing crowd were out there screaming at the top of their lung the young children. That weekend a Republican congresswoman came to Connecticut to a raunchy rally.

My neighbor down the street during the Obama administration had a poster stuck to his mailbox that said piss on Obama that had a black man laying down in front of a white man pissing on him. Yes, there are some liberals who do the same thing but they are few and far between and the same can be said for most Republicans but I feel that the Republicans approve of that behavior by not speaking up against it.
The hate spread and so did the Waits' fears.

"Every interaction we have with new people is me trying to figure out if my child is safe," Kelsey said.

"I'm not talking about if my kid's going to have fun with their kids, it's trying to figure out if my child is ... safe in that household?"
And that is why they do it, to create fear and force you to back down.

How many videos have you seen where at school board meeting a group of raucous conservatives shout down all opposition?

That is all part of their strategy, drown out all opposition and if that doesn’t work threaten them.

Even when they won the election to replace her, the family ordeal didn’t end they were like rabid dogs,
But he says the election did not end the abuse. It may even have spread. The day after the election Chris says he was told by another parent that a middle-schooler was approached by another student and told: "My mom says that we won so now we can deal with sickos like you."
The hater won, they forced them to move.

We are going back to the fifties where if you are not white and straight they put you “in your place.”

Monday, November 29, 2021

If… (Part 1)

There is a lot of discussion on the web about the Supreme Court hearing a case on abortion, many LGBTQ+ people are not interested in the case because it will not affect us. But think again.

Roe v. Wade ruling was based on, “The court held that a woman’s right to an abortion was implicit in the right to privacy protected by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.”

In 2003 the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex was legal, “The court in Lawrence v. Texas explicitly held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by the substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.” 

In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges where the court found same-sex marriage was legal, “...the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that same-sex marriage is protected under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Do you now see why LGBTQ+ people should pay attention? Do you see the common thread?

Each case was based on the Fourteenth Amendment.

If the Supreme Court rules that there is a conflict with the other protections in the Constitution and they overturn Roe v. Wade what is to stop them from unraveling our other protections?

Our rights are like a rope made up of many threads and if you start to unravel one thread all come apart.

This court was picked by evangelical Christians for two things; first to overturn Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas.

Do you remember the Martin Niemölle poem,
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Change that to, first they came for the abortionists, then they came for the gays, then came for me.

Be worried, be very worried.

Court To Rule On A Trans Athlete Case.

Out in Idaho the court is set to hear the arguments for a law that bans trans athletes.
Freeze on Idaho’s transgender athlete ban faces new challenges
The Spokesman-Review
By Blake Jones
November 27, 2021

Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bars transgender women and girls from competing on collegiate and K-12 women’s and girls’ sports teams, hasn’t been active for over a year while it’s being challenged in court. Now, the law’s defenders are pushing a federal district court to unfreeze enforcement.

The legal challenge, made in the Hecox v. Little case, led a judge to freeze, or enjoin, the ban in August 2020 to prevent “irreparable” harm to two student-athletes who brought forth the challenge. But in June, a higher court remanded, or sent the case back to a lower court, because both students were no longer enrolled in their perspective schools and wouldn’t be immediately affected by the law. As stakeholders make written arguments to that lower court this month, the near-term fate of the Idaho law could depend on whether a judge believes one of those athletes, a transgender woman named Lindsay Hecox, still has a stake in the case.

The Idaho Attorney General’s office, tasked with defending the law, argues she doesn’t. Hecox withdrew from Boise State University a week after unsuccessfully trying out for the women’s cross-country team last school year, rendering her claims moot, a brief filed earlier this month by the Attorney General argued.

“For over a year, the preliminary injunction impinged Idaho’s sovereignty while providing no relief to Hecox,” the brief reads.
Yeah… they are defending their right to discriminate against a group of people in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Then when courts try to decide who’s a woman and whose not opens a whole new avenue to discrimination and invasive procedures.
The second woman listed in the case is Kayden Hulquist, a cisgender soccer player who worried she’d have to undergo invasive medical exams to verify her sex when she played for Boise High School. Hulquist, referred to as Jane Doe when she was a minor, has since graduated. That’s another reason the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court remanded the case to a district court to unpack the mootness challenge being made before the case moves forward.
When the International Olympic Committee tried to do that they were bogged down in a quagmire, Mother Nature doesn’t care about legal niceties.
The Attorney General has been active in defending the ban nationally, too. Wasden’s office signed onto a letter clashing with the Biden administration on transgender student protections in July of this year, and joined a related lawsuit in August. Wasden’s office cited its stake in Hecox v. Little in making both moves.
You would think that as a lawyer that the Attorney General would be cognizant of the Supreme Court ruling on Title VII, the Bostock v. Clayton County case?

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Every Once In A While A Ray Of Sun Shine.

When thing look the dimmest once in a while I come across a news article that offers hope for a better future.
Dutch government apologizes for discredited transgender law
The Dutch government has publicly apologized for a now discredited and scrapped law that required transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization if they wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate
ABC News
By The Associated Press
November 27, 2021

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The Dutch government made a public apology Saturday for a now discredited and scrapped law that required transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization if they wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate.

“Nobody should have experienced what you have experienced. I am truly sorry that it happened," said Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven in an emotional speech at a ceremony in the historic Knights Hall in the Dutch parliamentary complex.

The law was in place for nearly 30 years until being scrapped in 2014.

“For decades, people underwent medical procedures that they did not want at all. But they knew they had no other choice," Van Engelshoven said. "Others have waited because of this law; they were forced to postpone becoming themselves for years.”
Actually just about everywhere had that requirement, in Connecticut, most states also required it along with the federal government.
Willemijn van Kempen, who campaigned for the apology, said in a statement that the government “structurally disadvantaged and damaged transgender and intersex people for almost thirty years. It is important that it now apologizes."
Surgery always be informed consent.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday 9: Black Velvet

Sam’s Saturday 9: Black Velvet (1989)

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

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

1) This song was chosen because yesterday was Black Friday, the traditional day of sales. Have you begun your Christmas shopping?

Ha! I wait until a couple of days before Christmas and then buy what’s left on the selves and make sure   they have a good return policy.

2)  Was there an adult beverage served with your Thanksgiving feast?

Yes, wine.

3) Did any pets enjoy scraps from your Thanksgiving table?

No pets.

4) Are there any Thanksgiving leftovers in your refrigerator right now?

Yes, the Dutch Apple pie. When I was getting apple cider and apple donuts from a local orchard they had homemade apples pie out so I grabbed one. I only cooked a Turkey Breast Tenderloin and stuffing.

5) Football is a popular Thanksgiving weekend pastime. Will you be watching any games over the next few days? If yes, which team(s) are you rooting for?

Bah humbug… you can have your sports, I will pass.

6) This week's song is by Canadian Alannah Myles. She was born Alannah Byles (with a B), but changed her name to differentiate herself from her father. He was influential in Canadian broadcasting and she didn't want to be accused of riding his coattails. Have you ever received a professional leg up from a relative?

Nope. My relatives are scattered to the four winds.

7) In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Instead of pumpkin pie, Canadians traditionally enjoy butter tarts for dessert. What dessert was on your Thanksgiving menu?

Dutch Apple pie.

8) "Black Velvet" is a tribute to Elvis. Songwriter Christopher Ward said he was inspired by a trip to Memphis, long after Elvis' death, where he spoke to The King's fans and was touched by how much they still loved their favorite singer. Who is your favorite singer?

Oh, there are some many great singers out there it is so hard to pick one, but near the top of the list is Linda Ronstadt.

9) Share a memory from Thanksgiving 2020.

A family Zoom.

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, November 26, 2021

Oh Really?

If you believe that they have changed, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Game has changed for LGBTQ community, now welcomed by GOP
Ocala Star Banner
By Jason Godfrey Guest columnist
November 23, 2021

The game has changed for LGBT Republicans.

A year ago, I had no idea what Log Cabin Republicans was or who it represented. Despite the fact that I am a gay conservative, as far as I was aware, the only nation-wide organization representing people like me was the Republican Party itself. And let’s face it … for years, the GOP wasn’t the most inclusive to LGBT conservatives.

That all changed in the 2020 election, when I got involved with the Log Cabin Republicans, which I soon learned is the nation’s largest organization representing LGBT conservatives and their allies. Since that time, I have witnessed firsthand that the Republican Party has never been more welcoming of LGBT conservatives than it is today. Countless people like me across the country are getting involved in the Party and its future.

As the president of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, I see it every day.
He lives in his little dream world, where up is down and right is left.
Many members of our chapter credit President Trump with giving them the courage to stand up as proud Republicans despite the enormous pressure from the rest of the LGBT community to stay silent. Gay conservatives are now more vocal and more active, and have become a visible presence on the national stage.
Hey I want what he is smoking!

So why do they have their heads in the sand and not see what is happening to us?

Let me count the way…
  1. Greed.
  2. Self-interest.
  3. Narcissism.
  4. Me verses Us.
  5. I’m gay and not one of those flaming gays.
  6. I’m gay you’re trans.
  7. I’m gay and you’re crazy.
  8. I’m stealth and you’re out.
  9. Oh and did I mention greed and self-interest.
The Williams Institute looked into the...
Differences Between LGB Democrats and Republicans in Identity and Community Connectedness
Compared to LGB Democrats, fewer LGB Republicans said they feel a part of the LGBT community and view participation in the community as positive.
  • 41% of the Republican LGB people say that they would want to be straight.
  • 38% of the Republican LGB people think being LGB is a short coming.
  • 46% of the Republican LGB feel a part of the LGBTQ compared to 72% of the Democrat LGB.
Perceived Stigma
Also, Republican and Democratic LGB people perceived similar levels of rejection and discrimination in the communities where they lived. A majority of each group said that they believed that people thought less of an LGB person and that most people would not want to hire an openly LGB person to take care of their children. Still, a majority of people of both party affiliations thought that most employers would hire an openly LGB person who is qualified for the job.

Centrality of LGB Identity
Republican and Democratic LGB people differed in how they felt about their sexual identity and relationship to the LGBT community. Compared with Democratic LGB people, fewer (but still a majority) of Republican LGB people said that being LGB is a very important aspect of their life.

Internalized Homophobia
Compared with Democratic LGB people, more Republican LGB people said they would want to be completely heterosexual and that being LGB is a personal shortcoming. But similar proportions—more than a third—of LGB people of both party affiliations said they had tried to stop being attracted to same-sex partners at some point in their life.
It is like the battle between some of the trans people who have transitioned and had surgery from those who “just crossdress.” It is “Lateral Hostility” where I am more trans than you. You are “just a” man in a dress while I’m a woman!
In summary, this shows a diversity of opinions among LGB people. Although a small minority, LGB people are affiliated as Republicans. Republican and Democratic LGB people similarly perceive stigma against LGB people in their communities. But they differ in terms of their connections with LGBT communities. Our data show that Republican LGB people have a weaker connection to the LGBT community than Democratic LGB people and half as many Republican as Democratic LGB people said that it was important for them to be politically active in the LGBT community.
We saw it in Caitlyn Jenner on her reality TV show when they brought her to LGBTQ community center, she didn’t feel any connections with them. She had no empathy towards them.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

401 Hundred Years Ago…

The Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod and most of the history that we learned about it is wrong.

The New York Post has this article about the Pilgrims…
Pilgrims’ descendants defend their ancestors — and the history of America
By Peter W. Wood
November 21, 2020

Rebecca Locklear, 64, a 12th-generation Cape Codder, is a descendant of four of the families who arrived on the Mayflower in November 1620. She worries that society today, “is put into groups that are supposedly in a struggle against one another, rather than looking for commonality” — a view that opposes “the more open, inclusive society that the signers of the Mayflower Compact envisioned.”
Locklear and Whitaker both wrote to me after they read my recent New York Post essay, “This American Lie.” In it, I argued that The New York Times’ 1619 Project — which links the beginning of our country to the arrival of the first slaves on our shores in 1619 — is completely wrong. Instead, the Pilgrims’ signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620 is a more accurate root of our nation, which is built on the idea that “all men are created equal.” Even before the Pilgrims and dozens of non-Pilgrims (or “Strangers” as the Pilgrims called them) stepped ashore in Plymouth, they set aside their deep divisions and voluntarily joined together to sign the Compact, agreeing to govern themselves with “just and equal laws.” After settling in Plymouth, this group lived in peace alongside their Native American neighbors, the Wampanoags, in a treaty that was unbroken for more than 50 years. In 1621, the autumn harvest meal between the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoags marked the first ever Thanksgiving feast in America.
Yes, the Mayflower Compact was an important document but they brought over slaves and indentured servants. And they didn’t live in peace with the indigenous population… Did you ever hear of the King Phillip War and the Pequot War?

First off the Mayflower wasn’t just carrying Pilgrims, there were also Brownists or Separatists who were fleeing England on board the Mayflower.
The Mayflower compact is a significant historical document, the "wave-rocked cradle of our liberties", as one historian evocatively put it. Signed by the Pilgrims and the so-called Strangers, the craftsmen, merchants and indentured servants brought with them to establish a successful colony, it agreed to pass "just and equal laws for the good of the Colony"1
The Mayflower first stop in “New World” (which was really only the “New World” if you came from Europe because the indigenous peoples lived here for tens of thousands of years.) wasn’t Provincetown, they first stopped in Newfoundland to resupply, probably at Renews in Newfoundland. And they were actually heading for the Hudson River where they had a charter from the Virginia Colony to settle.

The Pilgrims had slaves and indentured servants (a fancy word for slaves).
Just as their brutality has traditionally been downplayed, the Puritans' embrace of slavery has been ignored. Not only did the colonists import African slaves, they exported Native Americans. By the 1660s, half of the ships in Boston Harbour were involved in the slave trade. At least hundreds of indigenous Americans were enslaved.1
Provincetown was a known harbor, fishing fleets from England, France, Portugal, and Spanish ships all stopped there to resupply and get fresh water. The Grand Banks are only a couple of hundred miles offshore.

In an article in the Cape Cod Times they write...
Myth: The Pilgrims were the first Europeans to land in Southern New England and to interact with the Native people. 
The commonly told version of the 1620 Mayflower landing is that the Pilgrims were the first Europeans to step onto the shores of Massachusetts. According to historic accounts, however, Europeans had been visiting New England since at least the late 1400s. The Basques, English and French had a thriving fishing industry off the coast of Maine and New England. The first documented European to make contact with either the Narragansetts or the Wampanoags in Southern New England was Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano, who, in 1524, while sailing for the French, traveled up Narragansett Bay and traded with the Native people he found there. 6
The BBC article also mentioned earlier contacts with Europeans,
It's also a mistake to view the arrival of the Mayflower as the first interaction between white settlers and indigenous North Americans. Contact with Europeans had been going on for at least a century, partly because slave traders targeted Native Americans. When the pilgrims came ashore, a few members of the Wampanoag tribe could even speak English.1
While sitting out in Provincetown harbor they realized that they didn't have a charter to settle there and there were no laws governing them. So they got this idea… The Mayflower Compact.
Quickly, the Pilgrim leadership drafted a rudimentary constitution to “combine our selves together into a civil body politick”—which would, through democratic process, enact “just and equal laws…for the general good of the Colony.”
In reality, the signing was probably more of an informal affair, Pickering says. “The document was carried from person to person: ‘Here—sign this!’ There was also a bit of coercion involved. You weren’t getting off the boat until you signed.”2
And they were not good neighbors… They stole the Wampanoag food!

Oh look somebody buried corn in clay pots!
To narrow it down to the outermost areas of Cape Cod, the Nauset tribe, which was part of the Wampanoag Nation, would likely have been watching and wondering what the intentions of the Mayflower occupants were, Peters said.
“Certainly the Nausets didn’t write down (that) they were watching the Mayflower come ashore, but we absolutely know that they would have. You can’t pull that boat up to the coast and people not notice,” he said. “And for them, it must have been such an odd sight to all of a sudden see women and children step off the ship …”
The text also describes how the exploring party came across “heaps of sand” under which they found baskets of “fair Indian corn” and ears of corn of varying colors. The Englishmen dug up the food stores and stole them.
After stealing their food the Nausets said enough…
“I think they would have thought about that very carefully, and I think they were careful in how they responded,” he said. “Ultimately, they did respond in the ‘first encounter’... you know, shoot some arrows at them to say, ‘OK, time for you to move along. We don’t want to take the risk of having Europeans hanging around here.’ That ultimately pushed them over to Plymouth, which was just a short ride in the shallop for them to get there.”3
The Wampanoag tells their story for the 400 anniversary of the Mayflower…
The Wampanoag have lived in southeastern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. They are the tribe first encountered by Mayflower Pilgrims when they landed in Provincetown harbor and explored the eastern coast of Cape Cod and when they continued on to Patuxet (Plymouth) to establish Plymouth Colony.
Chapter 1: Captured: 1614
In 1614, a European explorer kidnapped twenty Wampanoag men from Patuxet (now Plymouth) and seven more from Nauset on Cape Cod to sell them as slaves in Spain. Only one is known to have returned home: Tisquantum, who came to be known as Squanto. This tragic and compelling backstory to the colonization of Plymouth has been long overlooked comes to life in the exhibit’s dramatic images and video impact statements.
Chapter 3: The Great Dying – 2016
God’s Will or Unfortunate Circumstance?

Between 1616 and 1619 Native villages of coastal New England from Maine to Cape Cod were stricken by a catastrophic plague that killed tens of thousands, weakening the Wampanoag nation politically, economically and militarily.5
And then came the Mayflower.

As for the first "Thanksgiving" the indigenous peoples were not invited but can a running. 
Myth: The Pilgrims and Wampanoags came together in November 1621 for a Thanksgiving feast. 
There’s a lot to unpack with this one, and not just because it forms the basis of our country’s Thanksgiving Day story. 

First, while the Puritans did have “days of Thanksgiving” they were literally the opposite of a big, fun, family feast. They were usually days of fasting and prayer that maybe would be broken with a larger meal. 

Edward Winslow, in his writing about the first few years in Plymouth titled “Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims in Plymouth,” does mention a celebration marking the settlement’s first successful harvest, probably held around October 1621. Given the context, it certainly wasn’t a huge deal but it would later become one in modern America.

According to Winslow, despite the fact that the Wampanoags had allowed the Pilgrims to live on their land, provided them with aid and taught them how to successfully grow native crops, the Wampanoags were not invited to this celebration. They arrived only after the Pilgrims started shooting their guns into the air. Believing themselves to be under attack, the Wampanoags head sachem, Massasoit, showed up at the settlement with about 90 warriors expecting war. Instead, they found a celebration and they decided to stay, with their hunters bringing in five deer as a contribution. Rather than a happy celebration of camaraderie and partnership, the feast that would serve as the basis of the traditional Thanksgiving myth was actually quite a tense affair, fraught with political implications.6

The Pilgrims and the Mayflower have been romanticized and the truth has been swept under the rug and glossed over and now on the 400 anniversary of their landing in the “New World” is still trying to be whitewashed and the Trump is creating of the 1776 Commission to continue to whitewash history.

I am up at the cottage this Thanksgiving by choice, the family is down on New Jersey and I chose to be at the cottage because I think that the traffic this year will be insane. People want to get out of the house. They forecasted record breaking traffic this year so I decided to come up here on Tuesday and go home the first of December, hopefully the traffic will not be that bad then. If I went to New Jersey that would have meant a week at a motel in scenic New Jersey or if I went down Thanksgiving morning and drove back home that night it would have made a very long day for four hours with family.

The Holidays are an especially lonely time, they might have been estranged from their family since they came out to them or their families and children have disowned them, for them Thanksgiving is a time when they feel their loss the greatest. Thanksgiving is a time where we reflect on all that we have been thankful for the year but for those of us it could also be a time a great sadness while they see others around them celebrating during the holiday seasons. So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table (If they want to be with others, some want to be alone).

I also want to thank all the military men and women who are away from their loved ones this holiday... thank you for your service.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

My Story Part 185: Makeup.

Those that know me know that I very rarely wear any makeup, well there was an exception to that.

I get requests for interviews all the time and in 2018 I got one from Comcast… Hun?

Well they have a program that they call “Newsmakers” and they invited me on their program and they were taping it at the Infinity Music Hall in Hartford, that peaked my interest in doing the interview.

So I am wandering around the deserted lobby of the music hall wondering if this was the right place. The place is deserted. So I go into the music hall and there are people up on the stage just milling about and I walk down there, and say “Hi I here for an interview for ‘Newsmakers.’”

This woman walks over to me and says she’s someone with the show and puts her arm around my shoulders and steers me backstage. Whoa how neat is that wandering around backstage of Connecticut premier music venues! She then introduces me to the person who will be doing the interview and then she asks me the question… do I want any makeup for the show?

My first inclination was to say no. But then I remembered the Nixon Kennedy debates how Nixon refused makeup and lost the election to Kennedy. So I said yes.

The woman leads me over to another woman next to a tall director’s chairs and seats me in it, puts a towel over my dress… yes you read right I was wearing a dress and not my usual Tee shirt and jeans. I was then lead out on to the stage and seated at a desk with the interviewer.

We chatted for a while and somebody said “Two minutes” and the interviewer went over the questions he was going to ask (I found out that when you are going to be interviewed for a show like the Sunday talking heads show they go over the questions they are going to ask.) and then someone said “30 seconds.”

We sat up straight in our chairs… 3, 2, 1!

When it was over we shook hands, they said that they would email me with the link when the show came out.

I emailed the link to my brother’s family, I thought that it was neat that I was on a cable show that is on the New England News Network, the response I got blew me away!

Instead of hearing back “That’s cool!” I go emails back from them “You got to meet Eric Clemons!!!!”


Eric Clemons!!!! 


The ESPN sportscaster!


You don’t know who Eric Clemons is?

Um… no.

He’s been a sportscaster for ESPN, FOX NFL Sunday, and FOX Sports Net!

Okay if you say so. 

Photo by Comcast

Oh... getting the makeup done was really neat. Sitting up on stage with the lights, mic booms, and the bustle of the stage crew made it feel like I was in a Hollywood movie. I have been on the local Sunday talk shows on the local network affiliates for Fox, NBC, and CBS and they don’t do any makeup so this made me feel kind of neat, like it was a big production and it made the interview special.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Travel Day.

I am heading up to the cottage this weekend where I will be spending Thanksgiving.

On the lighter side... I leave you with some Thanksgiving cartoons and what would Thanksgiving be without "Alice's Restaurant" and "WKRP" turkey drop.

One of my favorite sitcom skits was from WKRP in Cincinnati, "Turkey Drop"

Monday, November 22, 2021

Tonight, Tonight, I Watch Jeopardy

I usually watch Jeopardy but last week I missed a couple of shows, only to find out,
Amy Schneider, a transgender woman, wraps Trans Awareness Week with a 'Jeopardy!' win
USA Today
By Hannah Yasharoff
November 21, 2021

"Jeopardy!" contestant Amy Schneider is heading into Monday's episode with a winning streak, joining the few openly trans winners on the show, and is thanking the trans competitors who came before her.

Schneider, an engineering manager from Oakland, California, became a three-day champion on Friday's episode with $110,200 in winnings after she entered the Final Jeopardy round $25,000 ahead of her competitor and wagered a whopping $15,000.

The Final Jeopardy category: 20th century American authors. Schneider correctly answered that Harper Lee and Truman Capote were the two authors and childhood friends with exhibits at the Old Courthouse Museum in Monroeville, Alabama.
Yes, you read that right she is a member of the tribe.

But as usual when we are involved there is push-back, this time it is about “Naturalized Women.”
She also addressed backlash from viewers who thought it was insensitive for the show to include a category titled "Naturalized Woman," which featured questions about famous women who were not born in the U.S. and later became naturalized citizens. USA TODAY has reached out to "Jeopardy!" representatives for further comment.

"There wasn't actually anything wrong with it, and I had forgotten it entirely until I watched the episode today," Schneider said. "But I think it's clear it landed differently with a trans woman on stage, which is unfortunate."
So anyhow, I will be watching tonight’s show to see how she does.


Update 11/22/21 7:45 PM

She won big tonight!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

So You Think Connecticut Is The Promise Land For Us?

Well think again, our senator Chris Murphy wrote on Facebook,
Too many transgender Americans still have to live in fear of violence. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, let's recommit to stamping out discrimination and violence.
I commented…
Sadly a record has been set for the number of transgender people that were murdered this year. Hate crimes have been increasing not only for the transgender community but also all other minorities.
The replies…
  • that's because the left brings out the division in us, sadly.
  • the only hate I see is from the left
Other replies to the senator’s post…
  • How many people live in fear in Democrat run cities of being shot or stabbed?Robbed or beaten?Regardless of orientation?
  • Maybe if they dresses normally instead of making fools of themselves no one would notice them, let alone aggress them
There are some defenders…
  • That is because the right wing cult of hate, despise anyone who is different 😕 Hate crimes rose sharply under 45
  • Hmmm....odd. It always seems to be those of us on the left, trying to protect the rights of ALL citizens. Instead of making fun of people and being paranoid of them.
In all there were 258 comments to his post.

There is still a lot of hate in Connecticut.

It is not just in Charlotte GA where drivers drive through protesters, in Manchester a man drives through crowd of BLM protesters in Manchester.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Saturday 9: Somewhere

Sam’s Saturday 9: Somewhere (1983)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Sorry about last week’s Saturday 9, I have company show up unexpectedly.

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

1) This song is from the hit musical West Side Story. It has just been remade by Steven Speilberg. Are you interested in seeing the 2021 version?
Maybe. But unless I find some others who are also interested in going to the play then I most likely not see it on Broadway.

(Nave me, I thought it was a play not a movie. But same answer.)

2) Growing up, Crazy Sam thought this song was called, "A Place for Us." Tell us about a song whose title or lyrics you got wrong or misheard.
Revved up like a douche.
I always wondered about those lyrics, it wasn’t until the internet that I found out that they were saying, in Manfred Mann's Earth Band song Blinded By Light but what they were actually saying “Revved up like a deuce.”

3) Barbra Streisand sings of longing for "time to spare, time to learn and time to care." The holidays are often too busy for many of us. With Thanksgiving almost upon us, do you wish you had more time?
Nope, I’m all set. I already bought all my “fixings” for the dinner. Except one the apple pie… well I actually did buy the pie but it never made it through the week.

4) Early in her career, Barbra was pressured to have her nose fixed. She stubbornly refused, and did rather well anyway. Tell us about a time you resisted pressure.
Well how about I tell you about the time I didn’t manage to resist the pressure?

On Monday I bought the food for my Thanksgiving dinner including an apple pie… Well the pie didn’t make it past Thursday.

5) In the late 1960s she briefly dated Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of current PM Justin Trudeau. Obviously Barbra knew what became of Pierre and his family without having to look them up. Without the advantage of Google, do you know where one of your former loves is in 2021?
Yes, we are friends on Facebook.

6) One of Barbra's hit movies is The Way We Were, a love story about hopelessly mismatched lovers. Streisand always wanted to do a sequel and worked with a screenwriter on a treatment. Her costar, Robert Redford, refused. He simply was not interested in revisiting his character. Is there a movie series that you especially enjoy?
Well I just started to watch the “Wheel of Time” on Prime and it is pretty good.

7) Barbra met her husband, James Brolin, at a dinner thrown by friends. They hit it off immediately, but he had to leave the next day to begin a movie in Ireland, so they began their romance over the phone. Do you enjoy long phone calls? Would you prefer video calls (Zoom)?
Oh… don’t talk about Zoom, I’m all Zoomed out. I had a total of 4 hours of Zoom meeting this week!
When I talk to my brother we usually talk for about an hour.

8) On July 1, 1998, two years to the day after their first meeting, Barbra and Brolin married. It used to be that brides were advised against wearing white for their second wedding, but Barbra ignored that, wearing a white beaded gown. Do you believe brides should still avoid white the second time around?
Bah Humbug! Wear what you want.
“You can’t wear white after Labor Day” what if it is 90 degrees out and a nice white light cotton blouse is more comfortable than a heavier fabric.

9) Random question: Is anyone on your bad side this morning?
Nope. Since I’m single there is no one who can get on my bad side in the morning, now latter in the day might be different. There is time to get on my “bad side.”

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!

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Every November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance is when we remember the trans-people who were murdered in the last 12 months. They were murdered for who they were; not for money or passion but were murdered but because of hate. They were killed because they had the courage to live their lives as the person they were. This year we set a record… The most killed ever.

This year’s TDoRs will be held virtually. I am still debating whether or not I want to attend the virtual services. It is one thing to be around other through the emotional service, but to be alone in your house, the stress and emotions might be over bearing and I’m thinking it might be too emotionally to watch by myself. (If I do attend it will be the MCC Hartford church's TDoR.)

When I went to my first TDoR on 2001 and it was very emotional for me as I read the name of Ontwon Curtis, I cried while I read her name. She was a stranger to me but we shared a common trait, we were both trans. It never gets easy reading the names. 

  • Tyianna Alexander, who was also known as Davarea Alexander, was a 28-year-old Black trans woman. Tyianna was shot to death in Chicago on January 6. On social media, friends of Tyianna posted that she had “good energy” and had “a beautiful light,” with one friend saying “I loved everything about her.” Said another friend, “this lady was nothing but life, encouragement, motivation and fun.”
  • Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, a transgender man, was killed on January 9 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Samuel was looking forward to starting a new year. On January 1, he posted on his Facebook, “a new year to come, grateful for all the experiences who [taught] me how strong we really are, to life, to good and bad, and for all justice that is forth to come.” He also spoke out against violence in Puerto Rico, expressing his hope for a Puerto Rico without killings.
  • Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Atlanta, Ga. on January 17. On Friday, January 29, Bianca’s friends and the Trans Housing Coalition (THC) held a vigil outside of her apartment to remember her. Said THC’s Founder and Co-Director Jesse Pratt López, “Muffin was just blossoming into herself.”
  • Dominique Jackson, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Jackson, Miss. on January 25. According to her Facebook, Dominique was the Mother of the Haus of Redd, and the Founder of The Ladi Redd Inc. Friends are remembering her on social media, with one saying “my heart is heavy,” and another sharing “I’m at a loss for words.”
  • Fifty Bandz, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman,was shot to death in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 28. Friends of Fifty Bandz and advocates said her name as they released balloons to remember her life. On Facebook, one friend shared, “When are we as a community going to do something?!”
  • Alexus Braxton, also known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, a 45-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on Feb. 4 in Miami. Braxton was a hairstylist and active on social media, posting regularly. One of her most recent posts said “they can’t stop my shine.” Family and friends held a balloon release to honor Alexus’s life on February 8 and have been remembering her on social media, with one saying “I’m beyond devastated.”
  • Chyna Carrillo, who also went by Chyna Cardenas, was killed in the morning hours of February 18, 2021, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Not much is known at the time about Chyna’s personal life. One of her social media posts suggested she would have celebrated her 25th birthday just weeks before her death. “Chyna was very young and did not deserve to have her life cut short,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper.
  • Siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, a 16-year-old trans boy, and Jasmine Cannady, a 22-year-old non-binary person, both from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, were killed on February 22. Jeffrey was a student at Ambridge High School, while Jasmine worked at FedEx, according to their Facebook page. Both siblings were active in PRISM, a non-profit organization for the LGBTQ+ youth of Beaver County, Pa. “JJ is a part of our PRISM family,” PRISM shared on their Facebook. “JJ was a beautiful person with the biggest and brightest smile.” PRISM describes Jasmine as “a sweet, shy and artistic soul,” and according to the Transfamily of NWPA, Jasmine “loved to dance. They cared deeply for their friends.” On February 23, PRISM held a candlelight vigil in memory of Jasmine and Jeffrey.
  • Jenna Franks, a 34-year-old white transgender woman, was killed in Jacksonville, North Carolina in February. Jenna was a part of the Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center family. She was remembered on Facebook by friends and family as “sweet” and “a rock star.” Dennis Biancuzzo, Executive Director for the Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center, described Jenna as “a beautiful soul” and “a breath of fresh air.”
  • Diamond Kyree Sanders, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Cincinnati, Ohio on March 3. Diamond was described by a family member on social media as “beloved.” An obituary shared by her family describes many loving memories. “She valued her family and enjoyed spending time with them. As a child, she would say “I love my WHOLE family!,” the obituary states. In her adult life, Diamond was a traveler, known to be in New York City one week and New Orleans the following week, also according to her obituary.
  • Rayanna Pardo, a 26-year-old Latina trans woman, was killed on March 17 in Los Angeles. A former colleague of Rayanna’s from Starbucks shared that as co-workers, they had an “amazing time together.” According to The Advocate, the TransLatin@ Coalition and Rayanna’s friends and family held a candlelight vigil in her memory on March 20. “Rayanna was such a beautiful young person who just wanted to live her life and be herself,” said Trans Latin@ Coalition President Bamby Salcedo.
  • Jaida Peterson, a 29-year-old Black trans woman, was killed on April 4 in Charlotte, N.C. Jaida’s family and friends have been remembering her on social media, with her sister sharing, “you are going to be truly missed and once again we love you always.” Local advocates in Charlotte held a vigil on April 9 to remember her.
  • Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed on April 8 in Springfield, Missouri. According to her Facebook account, Dominique was a fan of the TV show “Empire.” On social media, many of Dominique’s friends expressed their love for her and how much she will be missed. One friend shared “Many don’t get to live in their authentic truth. You were fierce, glam, and hunny gorgeous! I love you now, tomorrow and forever.”
  • Remy Fennell, a Black transgender woman in her 20s, was shot to death on April 15 in Charlotte, N.C. Remy's aunt said, “She was a vibrant young transgender woman who was just trying to make it & was doing it. She started her own business, graduated from cosmetology school…She has left her mark on the hair industry.”
  • Tiara Banks, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Chicago, Illinois on April 21, 2021. According to a news report, Tiara was sitting alone in her Ford Fusion when the shooter approached the vehicle and shot Tiara multiple times. Tiara was pronounced dead at the scene. “At just 24 years old, Tiara had her whole entire life ahead of her and, instead, we are remembering her because of the ongoing fatal violence against transgender people," said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper.
  • Natalia Smut, a 24-year-old Black and Puerto Rican transgender woman, was killed on April 23 in Milpitas, California. Natalia was a celebrated drag artist in the San Jose LGBTQ community with local community members describing her as a “motivating and creative spirit" with "captivating performances" and a "love for advocacy within the community.” Friends and community members organized a vigil for Natalia, with more than 100 people attending.
  • Iris Santos, a 22-year-old Latinx transgender woman, was killed in Houston, Texas on April 23, 2021. Iris was sitting at a picnic table enjoying a meal when an unidentified suspect approached and shot her. Iris was taken to a local hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. “Iris was so young with so many things to look forward to,” said Tori Cooper, Human Rights campaign director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Iris was simply minding her own business, sitting and eating when her life was abruptly cut short.”
  • Tiffany Thomas, a 38-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed on April 24 in Dallas, Texas. Tiffany is being remembered as someone who had a “big heart, who was “funny” and “stayed laughing,” and who was stylish.
  • Keri Washington, a 49-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed on May 1 in Clearwater, Florida. “Our community is yet again in mourning as a result of senseless acts of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Keri was at least the fourth transgender woman killed in less than 10 days, each of them Black or Brown. We urge everyone to end the stigma against transgender people, and to destroy the roots of transphobia and racism that fuel this violence.”
  • Jahaira DeAlto, a 42-year-old transgender woman, was killed on May 2 in Boston, Mass. A well-known and beloved transgender advocate, advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and member of the ballroom community, Jahaira was a member of the House of Balenciaga and was a founder of Berkshire Transgender Day of Remembrance and Berkshire Pride Festival. She shared on Twitter, “I am the mother who raised the children whose rainbow sparkled too brightly and blinded their birth moms… I know what gratitude in the eyes of a young person who finally feels seen looks like. And for me, that’s enough.”
  • Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, a 41-year-old Indigenous non-binary person, was shot in York, Pennsylvania on May 3 and died early on May 4. They often shared photos of meaningful quotes on their Facebook. Friends and family are remembering them on Facebook, with one sharing “you are missed” and another remembering Whispering Wind as “a beautiful and kind soul.”
  • Sophie Vásquez, a 36-year-old Latina transgender woman, was shot and killed in Georgia on May 4. Sophie was a part of the EsTr (El / La) Community, or Community Estrella, a community that works to support transgender people in the Atlanta area. She is remembered as “the kindest person on the planet” and as someone who was “truly beautiful inside and out.”
  • Danika “Danny” Henson, who also went by Pryynce Daniel and Niia Da Don on Facebook, a 31-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 4. Henson also may have identified as genderfluid. According to family, Henson had just begun transitioning. One family member shared that Henson “always had a BIG heart… there was love behind everything!” On May 6, friends, family and the Baltimore Safe Haven hosted a candlelight and balloon release vigil to remember Henson.
  • Serenity Hollis, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Albany, Georgia, on May 8. Her mother said that “the person that’s responsible has no idea what they took from us...I absolutely want to see that justice is served.”
  • Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, a 17-year-old white trans boy, died on May 19 after being kidnapped and shot on May 12 in Gervais, Oregon. He was a student at Gervais High School, where he was involved in the Gervais Future Farmers of America organization. The high school held a vigil to remember Oliver on May 20. Oliver is remembered as “an amazing child with a quirky sense of humor, who impacted so many people.”
  • Thomas Hardin, a 35-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed on May 2 in York, South Carolina. According to local news, friends have shared that Hardin “identified as a woman,” continued to use the name Thomas and used both he and she pronouns. Friends remembered Hardin as someone who “always kept you laughing.” A funeral service was held on May 12. Sadly, not much is currently known about Hardin’s life.
  • Poe Black, who also went by Oliver Jackson and Legion, was a 21-year-old transgender man who was killed in Niland, California in an area called Slab City, in early May. His body was found on May 11. Poe was originally from Nashville, Tennessee and often posted about disability rights and Black Lives Matter on social media. He was also an artist, with several online stores where he displayed and sold his art.
  • EJ Boykin, who also went by Novaa Watson, was killed in Lynchburg, Virginia on June 14. He had just recently celebrated his 23rd birthday on June 10 and was studying at Morgan State University. It appears EJ was also the parent of a young child. One of Boykin’s friends told HRC that “He was loved and like[d] by everyone. He was one of those people that was just good vibes and energy.”
  • Aidelen Evans, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in March in Port Arthur, Texas. Initially investigated as suspicious, as of July, her death is being investigated as a homicide. Aidelen was originally from Beaumont, Texas and had recently spent time in Port Arthur, Beaumont and Houston. “Nobody — no parent should have to go through this,” said Lois Balka, Aidelen’s grandmother, in March. “You will always be in my heart.” Sadly, not much is currently known about Aidelen’s life.
  • Taya Ashton, a 20-year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Suitland, Prince George’s County, Maryland on July 17. According to social media, friends and family held a vigil and balloon release to remember Taya. “Taya was just at the beginning of her life -- a life that she deserved to live to its fullest,” said Lindsey Clark, HRC Associate Director of the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Black transgender women continue to be killed in this country, and this violence is unacceptable.”
  • Shai Vanderpump, a 23-year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 30. According to Garden State Equality, Shai was “a fierce LGBTQ advocate.” A GoFundMe remembered Shai as being known for her “style [and] love of family,” as someone who had a “heart of gold” and who “loved to dress, smile and see everyone happy and smiling.”
  • Tierramarie Lewis, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Cleveland, Ohio on June 12. Due to misgendering and misnaming from local officials and a lack of media coverage, her death was not reported until recently. According to reporting from The Buckeye Flame, Tierramarie moved to Cleveland last year for a fresh start. One friend remembered Tierramarie as “a spirited girl… one day she would have purple hair, one day pink hair and always an outfit to go with those colors.”
  • Miss CoCo, a 44-year-old trans woman of color, was killed in Dallas, Texas on August 7, 2021. According to Nu Trans Movement, she was “a well-known small girl with a big, bubbly personality. CoCo was a happy person [and] proud to be living her truth!” Sadly, not much beyond this is publicly known about Miss CoCo’s life at this time.
  • Pooh Johnson, a 25- year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Shreveport, Louisiana on August 23, 2021. Johnson was an accomplished makeup artist under the name Titanizer. Sadly, not much beyond this is publicly known about Johnson’s life at this time.
  • Disaya Monaee, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman, was fatally shot in Chicago, Illinois on September 6. “The epidemic of violence plaguing the transgender community, particularly Black transgender women, is appalling,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “It is often the result of a toxic combination of transphobia, racism and misogyny.”
  • Briana Hamilton was a 25-year-old Black transgender woman who was fatally shot in Chicago, Illinois. On social media, Hamilton’s mother described her as Brianna as an “amazing person who touched so many people hearts with her presence and her memory will forever live on.”
  • Kiér Laprí Kartier, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was fatally shot in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 30, 2021. Kartier was from Dallas, Texas and graduated from Skyline High School. Her friends remembered her on social media as a “very strong, independent person” who “always had my back through thick and thin.”
  • Mel Groves, a 25-year-old Black trans man, was fatally shot on Oct. 11, 2021 in Jackson, Miss. Groves was a plant soil scientist at Alcorn State University who loved agriculture and animals. Groves was also an active member of The Knights & Orchids Society, “a southern centered grassroots startup founded and led by black, queer, transgender, and gender non-conforming people supporting gender justice and LGBTQ visibility.”
  • Royal Poetical Starz, a 26-year-old Black trans woman, was fatally shot in Miami Gardens, Florida on Oct. 2, was a graduate of Florida Career College Vocational School. On social media, she was remembered as “the life of the party.”
  • Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, a 20-year-old Latina trans woman, was fatally shot in Maple Valley, Washington back on Aug. 31, 2021. Her body was later found in Seattle. Initial reports did not recognize Zoey as transgender until her family confirmed her identity this month. In a statement to HRC, Martinez’s family shared that Zoey “Zoey mastered makeup that accentuated her loving and caring personality...Zoey had a beautiful spirit, she always had a smile and had only kind words to say about others. Zoey was a born leader and her peers acknowledged her as such.”
  • Jo Acker, a white 26-year-old transgender woman, was killed in Boise, Idaho on October 26, 2021. Acker was one of the victims of a tragic shooting at Boise Towne Square mall while working security. She had previously served in the U.S. Army as a forward observer. Her family said she ran toward the suspect to stop him, likely saving many lives. Her family also told the media that she was “a hero” and “the type of person that always wanted to help people.” They added that she “will be greatly missed.”
  • Jessi Hart, a white 42-year-old transgender woman, was killed in Banks, Oregon. Her body was found on Oct. 17, 2021. Prior to her death, Hart and her teenaged son, Caleb, had been struggling with housing insecurity, staying in hotel rooms through subsidized and nonprofit assistance. Later, they both were staying in her black Saab. Unfortunately, not much is known about Hart’s personal life. “As transgender people, we often face so many challenges and uncertainties, including housing and employment security,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Sadly, these situations can lead to greatly unfortunate outcomes. My heart and that of the community goes out to her son, Caleb.”
  • Rikkey Outumuro, a.k.a. Tru Starlet, was a 39-year-old Latina transgender woman who was fatally shot in Centralia, WA. on the night of October 30 or the morning of October 31, 2021. Outumuro was a popular and well-loved member of the Washington LGBTQ+ community. She performed under the drag name Tru Starlet and was a former Miss Gay Lewis County. Friends remembered her on social media, with one writing that she was “an incredible advocate for the queer and trans community for nearly 20 years.”
  • Marquiisha Lawrence, a 28-year-old Black trans woman, was “very humble,” as one friend remembers her, and had a “heart of gold.” Lawrence’s friend said that her favorite thing to do was to cook because she felt it “filled the belly and fed the heart.” Lawrence was fatally shot in South Carolina on Nov. 4, 2021.
  • Jenny De Leon, was a 25-year-old Latina transgender woman who was found dead in Tampa, Florida, on Nov.2, 2021. De Leon attended PFLAG Tampa meetings and sought their help when she began transitioning. The organization wrote that “Jenny was an enigmatic, bright soul with enough energy to fill any room.”
  • Angel Naira, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman, was found fatally shot at her home in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania on Nov. 11, 2021. Naira was a graduate of Aliquippa High School and Beaver Falls Beauty Academy and worked full time in home health care. Naira’s brother wrote that she was “a great person and loved everyone. She had a big heart and would do anything for her family and friends.”

This year's list is from the HRC

Friday, November 19, 2021

You Got To See Both Sides… Not!

Sometimes there is only one side. Down in Texas they say you have to teach both sides of the Holocaust, there is only one side. The Holocaust is not debatable!
Not a 'two-sides issue': Transgender people exist. Why is there a debate over whether they should have rights?
USA Today
By Susan Miller
November 18, 2021

In the U.S., 1.4 million adults identify as transgender.
For a transgender person to feel like their very existence is being debated – or denied – is devastating, says Jay Brown, a senior vice president with the Human Rights Campaign.

“It is very dehumanizing,” he said. “Like you are standing there as a person and you exist and people are talking about you as if you don’t.”

The transgender community “for a long time has been a go-to source for fearmongering when it comes to politics,” he said. “A lot of folks still don’t know us. And in the absence of knowing us there are misunderstandings, doubts and confusion. Some of that is at play and being politicized.”
The focus on trans youths by some elected officials has been particularly troublesome, said Brown, who recalls the same “scare tactics” that targeted young people coming out as gay and lesbian in earlier years.

“Most of us now believe that gay kids exist,” he said. “We have got to catch up to the reality that trans kids do exist, too.”
Putting transgender youths in the crosshairs has real-life consequences on the mental health of those already grappling with high rates of discrimination and bullying, Paley said. “Words and actions matter, especially from those in positions of power. We urge all adults with large platforms to consider the weight of their words.”
But the thing is those who are denying our existence want us back in the closet. They don’t care that it causes pain and increase suicidal idealizations, they are glad that it does.

It is just like Holocaust denials they know it happened but they just want to cause pain in the Jewish community. And it is the same people who deny the Holocaust and us.
The trans community can't stop reading horrific news. There's a way to turn away.
USA Today
By David Oliver
November 18, 2021

The transgender community faces a barrage of negative headlines daily. Between anti-transgender legislation and people claiming transgender people don't exist at every turn, you can't miss them.

Negative headline after negative headline can take its toll on anyone. But statistics show the transgender community – specifically transgender youth – is particularly vulnerable to a lack of acceptance, with higher rates of suicide attempts than their lesbian, gay and bisexual peers, according to The Trevor Project.
Brady-Davis adds: "I don't think people see the fullness of the humanity of trans folks. And so that's what I try to do, particularly in, in my work, and sometimes we have the right to tune out what, the world is always saying about us."

If you can't turn away try taking deep breaths and feeling your body to stay present.
I know that I have to say enough to the news sometimes, it just get too oppressive to see all the hate out there.
But don't let the idea of sweeping change deter you from trying to make a small difference, too. "So often, people are always looking for the big victory," Brady-Davis says. "They're looking for the splashy byline. And I think it's about celebrating the small victories, helping someone navigate getting a job, helping someone find housing. There are tangible things that we can assist and help and build community."
We need to support each other, reach out and touch someone’s life and see the different it will make, just letting them know that they are not alone is powerful.

When I was an intern for my MSW my field instructor asked me who was my lifeline. At first I didn’t understand what she meant, then I realized what she was asking was whose shoulder do you cry on. I told her that he was my old brother, but I am not going to be doing therapy but community organizing. If you want to organize a protest I’m you person. But I did need a shoulder to lean on.

We all need a shoulder to lean on.

But sometimes no one is there to lean on.
Transgender Students Need Adult Support in School. Is It Slipping?
Ed Week
By Sarah D. Sparks
November 17, 2021

Acceptance and support from teachers and administrators can be crucial to transgender students’ mental health and engagement in school, but there are signs that a backlash against these students has deepened since the pandemic.

Transgender students, who make up nearly 1 in 50 U.S. high school students, have been among the most isolated groups during the pandemic, and they returned to campus this year amid a new wave of anti-transgender legislation. While before the pandemic, proposed and enacted legislative restrictions focused on students’ use of single-sex facilities like restrooms, more than 90 bills introduced in the last few years have focused on limiting their participation in single-sex sports and extracurricular activities.

A new, nationally representative survey suggests these ongoing debates may be eroding support for transgender students among the adults at their schools. In the survey conducted in October and November, less than 41 percent of educators and school and district administrators told the EdWeek Research Center that transgender students should be allowed to use the bathroom or locker room that aligns with the gender with which they identify, as opposed to the sex assigned at birth. That’s down from 51 percent of these key school staff members who said they supported transgender students in an EdWeek Research Center survey in 2017, during the first wave of so-called “bathroom bills.”

More than 59 percent of school staff respondents in the October EdWeek Research Center survey said students should use restrooms and locker rooms aligned with the sex identified at birth. The Northeast was the only region where a majority of school staff supported transgender students using the school restrooms and locker rooms aligned to their current identified gender.
With more state passing draconian laws that prevent teachers from helping us, banning LGBTQ clubs in schools. Laws banning healthcare for us. Laws banning teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues in class we are feeling more pain.
Even when district policies support transgender students, individual teachers vary considerably in how they behave toward them. Loudon County, Va., public schools, for example, settled a lawsuit this week to reinstate an elementary school gym teacher who was suspended for refusing to acknowledge a transgender student’s chosen pronouns. Teachers and librarians in Texas and other states have also ended up on both sides of conservative efforts to ban books that include references to LGBT children or issues.
As “Religious Freedom” becomes the buzz word for discrimination more teachers are using that to discriminate against us. I just don’t understand how a teacher can do their job if they create pain in their students when they don’t follow school policy, but they can’t be fired because it is their “religious freedom.” Can you imagine if they used the “N” word in class and claimed it was their religion belief to use it. What an uproar that would create but it is okay for them to do it to us.

There is no debate.

We are here and we demand our right to exist.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

No It Doesn’t

Public funding should be for all people, it shouldn’t be used to exclude some people.
ERLC: Child-care proposal threatens religious liberty
The Baptist Press
By Tom Strode
November 16, 2021

Religious freedom concerns for faith-based child-care programs plague President Biden’s Build Back Better Act as it nears apparent action by Congress, according to Southern Baptists’ ethics entity.

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and other organizations have urged congressional members to revise provisions in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.

They say the legislation will prevent faith-based centers and schools from participating in good conscience in the proposal’s expansive pre-kindergarten and child-care programs. Its mandates, the ERLC and others say, would affect the practice of faith-based recipients, if they choose to participate, in such areas as hiring, admissions and teaching. It could open providers to requirements regarding gay and transgender rights that conflict with their religious beliefs, critics say.

“Faith-based groups play a vital role in providing quality child care and pre-K [education] to America’s children,” said Chelsea Sobolik, the ERLC’s director of public policy. “These organizations must have the freedom to serve parents and children according to their religious beliefs.

“Many nonpublic schools intentionally avoid federal financial recipient status because of how it could subject them to troubling provisions related to sexual orientation and gender identity language that raises serious religious liberty concerns,” she said in a written statement. “The Build Back Better proposal must respect the religious freedom of these institutions.”
No they don’t!

Will they accept a person’s child of a different faith?

Will they accept an unmarried mother child?

Will they accept an interracial couples child?

Federal funds should be available for everyone.

Suppose in a rural town the church is the only daycare in town and they do not allow a child of a Muslin and the nearest non-religious daycare is an hour away. Because it is a small town they have need of only one daycare and they refuse children not of their faith and the Muslim family if the only non-Christian family in town, is it right for them to be forced to drive two hours round trip to leave their child off at a daycare?
The House of Representatives version of the budget reconciliation bill, however, would mandate faith-based providers that receive certificates in the expanded program must abide by the bans on religious requirements for hiring and admissions. The legislation must guarantee that recipients “will not be required to adhere to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) language” in order to participate, the ERLC said.
Yes, that is how it should be.

It wasn’t always like that, back during the Reagan administration religious organizations started elbowing their way in to federal funding even though they were discriminating against protected classes. First it was school busing for parochial schools, then it was for basic education courses such as math and English. Now they want unlimited use of federal funds to discriminate against people who are not of their faith.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Homosexual?

I have here a list of homosexuals in our government claimed Senator Joseph McCarthy.
More Republican leaders try to ban books on race, LGBTQ issues
By Deepa Shivaram
November 13, 2021

In the latest call from Republican leaders to ban certain books in schools, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is telling his state's department of education to investigate a graphic novel on queer identity being available at a school's library. He says the content in the book is "sexually explicit" and "pornographic."

The book, Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe, is recommended for grades 10 and up by its publisher and tells an autobiographical story of a person who is grappling with their gender and sexual identity.

"I call on the Department of Education or the State Board of Education, as appropriate, to promulgate statewide standards and directives to prevent pornography and other obscene content from entering our State's public schools and libraries," the governor said in a letter sent Wednesday to the superintendent of education.

McMaster's call is the latest instance of Republican elected leaders and local school board members lashing out at books in school libraries that address topics such as queer identity, racism and sex education.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the state's school board association saying public schools shouldn't have "pornographic or obscene material." He did not provide any specific examples of content.
This paranoid is spreading across the country including here in Connecticut school boards are questioning what books are in our schools and in Virginia,
Two school board members, Rabih Abuismail and Kirk Twigg, went on to say they would like to see the banned books burned.

"I think we should throw those books in a fire," Abuismail said, according to NBC Washington. "I guess we live in a world now that our public schools would rather have kids read about gay pornography than Christ."

Twigg said he wants to "see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff."

Book burning was a practice perpetuated in Nazi Germany in order to oppress authors and ideas that were in opposition to Nazi ideology.
In Ohio a mayor made unsubstantiated charges of pornography, 
The mayor of Hudson, Ohio, accused the local school board of "distributing essentially child pornography" at a September meeting.
By Kenneth Niemeye
November 16, 2021

A local prosecutor released a report on Tuesday condemning the mayor of Hudson, Ohio, for threatening to criminally charge school board members over a writing assignment.

Some parents in the Hudson School District were upset about a book, "642 things to Write About," that was given to high school students through a college-level class, according to Fox 8. The news outlet reported that parents criticized the book for having "inappropriate themes." 
During a Hudson School Board meeting in September, Mayor Craig Shubert threatened officials with criminal charges if they allowed the book to stay in the school's curriculum.

During a Hudson School Board meeting in September, Mayor Craig Shubert threatened officials with criminal charges if they allowed the book to stay in the school's curriculum.
The chief of the Hudson Police Department requested that Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh investigate the curriculum and the mayor's comments, according to Fox 8.

Walsh released her report on Tuesday and announced that she would not be filing charges against Shubert, but did condemn his comments as "irresponsible." Walsh also found that "642 things to Write About" does not contain child pornography and is not graphic.
Other states Attorney Generals have looked into the charges and found them false and the people are starting to pushback. In Kansas where the school board banned the books the people said enough!
‘Make a stand’: Liberty parents push back against suggested school book bans
Kansas City Star via Yahoo News
By Bill Lukitsch, Sarah Ritter
November 16, 2021

Parents of students in the Liberty School District pushed back Tuesday night against a recent tide of alarmed rhetoric raised by people seeking to have some books banned from its libraries.

A group of roughly 50 parents showed up to the district’s regular school board meeting with the purpose of countering recent calls for books centered on LGBTQ issues and race to be removed from shelves. Among those speaking were a former history teacher, a school librarian, a high school senior and several parents united behind the concept that such books generally should be available to students at the high school level.

Matt Sameck, father of one student, told district leaders the books have been targeted by social media groups “notable for their anti-public school rhetoric and far-right bent.”
But after receiving national backlash, including from authors and free speech advocates, the Goddard school district reversed the decision to remove the books from circulation in its libraries.
I am old enough to remember red and lavender scares brought about by Sen. McCarthy which became know as McCarthyism.
LGBT History: The Lavender Scare
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
By James Gleason
October 3, 2017

Interrogations of one’s sexuality became commonplace in the 1950s and 1960s’ federal workplace. Questions like “Do you identify as a homosexual or have you ever had same-sex sexual relations?” were commonplace as employers attempted to root out LGBT employees. This period of time is often known as the Lavender Scare—the interrogation and firing of LGBT-identifying civil servants.

Before the Lavender Scare and post-World War II, LGBT individuals from rural towns began congregating to cities where they could keep anonymity. This newfound peace and community, however, was disturbed in 1947 when the United States Park Police created a Sex Perversion Elimination Act. Primarily targeting these communities in parks, at least five hundred people were arrested and 76 were charged.
Do you want to guess which party Sen. McCarthy was a member of?

If you guested Republican you would be right.

The hero of the Lavender Scare was…
Several LGBT people later stepped up to challenge federal government’s “sexual perversion” components, including civil servant Frank Kameny who took his case to the Supreme Court. Although Kameny lost, a few federal courts began ruling in his favor by 1969. More gay rights organizations also developed such as the Mattachine Society (1950) as well as the Daughters of Bilitis (1955). The Lavender Scare’s effects, however, were still lasting.
Out History reports that,
In 1953, the pressure to strengthen security procedures became codified when newly elected President Eisenhower signed executive order 10450, which expanded Truman’s loyalty program to include issues of character and suitability. For the first time, “sexual perversion” was included in the list of behaviors that would exclude one from holding a job with the federal government or receiving a security clearance from a federal contractor. Agencies set up new policies and procedures for detecting and removing men and women suspected of being gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Applicants were personally interviewed to look for subtle signs of homosexuality, such as gender non-conformity. Invoking the notion of “guilt by association,” investigators checked whether an employee’s friends or roommates were gay. Some were placed under surveillance to determine whether they frequented gay bars or associated with “known homosexuals.” Local police agencies were encouraged to clamp down on local gay meeting places and then share their arrest records. Investigators vigorously interrogated civil servants about their private sex lives and offered a “lie-detector” test as one of the only means of establishing their innocence. Thousands lost their jobs or resigned under pressure. A small number were driven to suicide.
This what will take… parents speaking out against this madness. You cannot keep silence, silence will only empower those who want to force us back into the closets.

Have You No Sense of Decency?

Edward R. Murrow ended the pogrom by Senator Joe McCarthy.

Tell me does this sound familiar?