Sunday, December 30, 2007

I am Tried!

I was hiking most of the afternoon around Reservoir #6 in West Hartford. It was tough going because of all the old ice and snow caused your footing to slip. It is only about a two-mile walk but it took the three of us an hour and a half.
I need to do this more often.
Last night there was a party at a friend’s house over near Willimantic; it was an open house party for the member of COS and some other friends. They have a beautiful house that they just built; I was there last year when they were just starting to build. Their house is beautiful, sitting on a small hill overlooking a pond on about 50 acres. They have a 5KW solar array that generates enough electric that the electric company actually is paying them money for the power that they generate. The first three months they got a $162 back from the electric company. All the room has radiant heat in the floors; including the basement and the garage.

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

What memories, good or bad, will you take with you from 2007?

Attending classes for the first time in over thirty years…

Coming out to my old high school friends…

Testifying before the Judicial Committee…

Standing on the steps of the Capital building in Washington, DC and lobbying for the Hate Crime bill and ENDA…

The Anti-Discrimination Bill getting filibustered to death…

Getting laid-off and taking early retirement…

Beginning my transition…

The murder of a prominent doctor’s family…

The fashion show…

The dropping of gender identity from the ENDA bill and its passage of the non-inclusive ENDA…


Passing my classes…


Saturday Six - Episode 193

Patrick’s Place – Weekender

1. Compared to 2006, was 2007 better or worse for you?
I think only time will tell which year was better. I need time to figure out how I am dealing with my retirement.

2. Take the quiz: How did your year rate?

You Had a Fantastic Year!

Compared to most years, last year was definitely great.
Overall, you're living a much better life than you were twelve months ago.
And nothing is a better mark of a good year.
Here's to hoping next year is even better!

3. What moment do you remember as being the most emotional for you of 2007?

The judge stamping my name change order.

4. Do you feel that you accomplished any major goals during the year?

Hmm… another hard question to answer. I need time to find out if retirement was good for me and how will I handle transitioing.

5. Compared to your feelings last December, are you more or less optimistic going into 2008?
I am very pessimistic about 2008; I see the economy at a fulcrum point. With the high cost of energy, the sub-prime crisis, the huge national debit that the government has amassed over the Iraqi war and the Presidents tax cuts, the massive credit card debit we are carrying and the devaluation of the U.S. dollar are all coming together in a critical mass.

6. Take one more quiz: Will you keep your new year’s resolution?

You Probably Won't Keep Your New Year's Resolution

Something isn't quite right with the resolution you've selected. Maybe it's time for a different one?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Fill-In #52

From Janet's Blog "Fond of Snape"

Here are the correct quotes:

1. "I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses." [Professor Snape, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone]

2. "Why is the rum always gone?" [Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest]

3. "Harold, *everyone* has the right to make an ass out of themselves." [Maude, Harold and Maude]

4. "Nine companions, so be it. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring." [Elrond, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]

5. "Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself." [Doc Holliday, Tombstone]

6. "Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere." [Forest Gump, Forest Gump]

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to ________, tomorrow my plans include _____________ and Sunday, _____________.

1. "I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, and is an epicurean delight to the pallet of eye of newt and bat ears." [Professor Snape, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone]

2. "Why [are] the cashews in a can of mix nuts always gone?" [Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest]

3. "Harold, *everyone* has the right to make Snowman." [Maude, Harold and Maude]

4. "Nine companions, so be it. You shall be the Three Musketeers Squared.’ [Elrond, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]

5. "Nonsense, I have not yet begun to party." [Doc Holliday, Tombstone]

6. "Mama says they was magic shoes. They could keep a house from falling on me." [Forest Gump, Forest Gump] (OK, OK, I am reading “Wicked” and the house just landed on the Wicked Witch of the East.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing Wicked, tomorrow my plans include a party and Sunday, hiking.

Wednesday Night Dinner

As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I made dinner for the family on Wednesday night and it was a big success. I modified the recipe slightly adding lobster and scallops to the shrimp; also, the store did not have any clam broth left so I substituted vegetable broth. In the original recipe, it called for 1 cup of clam juice and 1 teaspoon of flour I think the sauce is too thin, also there was a ½ cup of grated carrots.

Seafood in a Cream Sauce

1 medium chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoon melted butter
½ lb cocktail size shrimp
½ lb picked lobster
½ lb scallops
½ cup clam juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup Half & Half
1 lb fettuccini

• Start cooking the fettuccini
• In the olive oil and half of the melted butter sauté onion, tomatoes and garlic for a few minutes
• Add the seafood, wine, clam broth and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
• Remove the seafood from the sauce and add the rest of the butter and the Half & Half. Warm over low heat (but do not let boil) and whisk in the flour to thicken.
• Mix in the seafood and pour over the cooked fettuccini.

You can probably change this recipe easily to Seafood Carbonara by adding ¼ lb of chopped bacon and a ½ cup of coarsely grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I had a Great Christmas!

This year I drove up to my brother and sister-in-law’s condo in Maine for Christmas day. My nephew, his wife and their three children were also there at the condo for the holiday.
We exchanged presents after dinner and I finally got the presents I have always wanted all my life; I got a pocketbook from my niece, and a matching necklace and earrings from my sister-in-law. I also got the Eagles new CD, “The Long Road Out of Eden” and the DVD of the new Harry Potter movie, “The Order of the Phoenix”.
Tonight I am making dinner for everyone, Seafood in a Cream Sauce (It is kind of like a Newberg sauce with lobster, shrimp and scallops) and if it comes out all right, I will post the recipe.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


May you all have a safe and a merry Christmas.

And please take a moment of silence this holiday season to stop and think about everyone who for whatever reason cannot be with family or loved ones this holiday season.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

‘Tis the Season for Parties

Yesterday I added a few pounds on; in the afternoon I went to the Twenty Club’s Christmas dinner and at night to uniTy’s Christmas Party. At the Twenty Club they had a turkey dinner with all the fixings and I made my Corn Pudding. At first, I thought there was going to be a lot of the pudding leftover but when I went to take the pan at the end, it was all gone except for a spoonful. So, I guess I will make it again next year. I was a little disappointed in that no former members showed up, in the past we usually had five or six former members attend the dinner, I missed seeing them.
At night, I went up to Springfield, MA to attend the uniTy party. I drove another COS member up there with me, it was nice to have company for the drive up and an extra pair of eye to find the nightclub where the party was being held. It was the first time I was at that nightclub and the party was held before it got too crowded and the music too loud. A couple of the uniTy members brought their guitars and sang Christmas songs, I always love to hear them play and one of my regrets in life the I never learned to sing or play an instrument.
My friend with the camera snapped this picture of me and her; she is the same one who took the photo of me at RAW.

Saturday Six - Episode 192

Patrick’s Place

1. In another tab or window of your browser, open, but don’t answer, this quiz: Which of Santa’s Reindeer Are You? Of the songs listed as possible answers, which one is your absolute favorite?
Santa Clause is Coming to Town

2. Whether it is listed there or not, which Christmas song is your absolute favorite?
The classic “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”

3. Whose performance of that song do you most enjoy?
The “Bing”

4. Of the games listed as possible answers to question 3, how many have you honestly never heard of?

# Duck-duck-goose
# Combing Santa's beard
# Quarters
# Seven minutes in Heaven

5. Which of them would you least be interested in playing?

Duck-duck-goose what ever that is, but it sounds like something I would not like to play.

6. Now take the quiz: Which of Santa’s reindeer are you?

You Are Prancer

You are the perfect reindeer, with perfect hooves and perfect flying form.

Why You're Naughty: Because you're Santa's pet, and you won't let anyone show you up.

Why You're Nice: You have the softest fur and the sweetest carrot breath.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday’s Fill-Ins #51

Friday’s Fill-Ins

1. Snow is going to be all melted for Christmas :-(
2. I'm looking forward to being with my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas
3. This year is the best year ever!
4. One of my favorite old tv shows is The Mary Tyler Moore show.
5. I'm done with working for a living.
6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is the holiday spirit.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and reading Wicked, tomorrow my plans include the Twenty Club’s Christmas dinner and uniTy’s Christmas party and Sunday, I want to recuperate!

Creative Cocktail Hour

Last night I went to the Real Art Ways’ Creative Cocktail Hour and a friend snapped this picture of me…
A couple of us went out first to a local diner Goldroc and then we headed over to RAW. We ate dinner at five and then headed over to the CCH slightly before it started at six. I stayed to around eight and then left, I can only stand loud music for a couple of hours before it gets to me. When you are trying to carry on a conversation it is hard to be understood with the music thumping away; so maybe next month I might skip the dinner or go later to dinner in order to get to the CCH around seven-thirtyish so that I can stay a little later.

Real Art Ways is an avant-garde art gallery that pushes the edge of the art envelop (translated: sometimes the exhibits are so far out that I have trouble understanding what the artist is trying to say.) they have two galleries. One gallery they change monthly and the other exhibit is on display for several months. They also have a movie theater that shows independent movies that you do not get to see in mainstream theaters. Last week I went to see the Pete Seeger movie “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song” which was excellent; it brought back many memories of the sixties and seventies.

Amended 3:00pm
While I was at the CCH I was talking to a friend about the Pete Seeger movie and I was trying to remember the name of a musician who sang a lot of Seeger’s songs. I just couldn’t remember his name and said, "You know, the who can’t sing!” and she said, “Oh you mean Bob Dylan”. We both had a chuckle over that.

Bureaucratic Transphobia

Many people do not know what a paper nightmare a transperson has to go through under the current administration’s policies. The rules and regulations that have come forth from the administration shows a total lack of caring for any LGBT individual. This is a press release from the National Center for Transgender Equality about a blocked regulation that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to impediment for when the employee data does not match the SSA data. The blocked regulation would had imposed fines or required the firing of the employee if there was a mis-match in the data. Besides affecting the transgendered community it also affects everyone else whose data does not match what is on file with Social Security Administration. How many wives out there who never bothered to change their records with SSA when they got married? Or how many typographical errors do you think there are with the SSA data? Either of those these data mis-matches could get you fired under the proposed regulation.
Updates on Identity Documents and Information Privacy
from John Otto

New, Stricter DHS No-Match Letter Regulations On Hold

On October 10, 2007, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations concerning Social Security data that does not match employer submitted data. The regulations would require employers to either fire employees who cannot resolve Social Security Administration (SSA) data mis-matches or face stiff fines. The temporarily blocked regulations would require employees to resolve the SSA information mis-matches within 90 days, among other requirements.

While the media attention surrounding this issue has centered on illegal immigrants, transgender people have increasingly become the targets of Social Security no-match letters. When the gender marker in the Social Security system is different than the gender marker that the employer has on record, gender no-match notification is sent to the employer.

Many transgender people have not changed or are unable to change the gender marker that SSA has on file. The SSA requires that the transgender person’s “surgeon or attending physician must provide a letter verifying the sex change surgery has been completed” in order to change the gender marker.

This is in addition to the current Social Security Administration policy of “Outing” employees if their gender does not match what is on file by sending a letter to the employer tell them that the gender does not match what is on file. Can you imagine if you were a trans-person who had to live full time for one year because of the medical standard of care and your boss comes up to you, telling there is an error in your records. How long do you think you would have that job?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The NY Power Summit Conference Video Clip

This is a video clip that which was taken during the N.Y. Power Summit, November 29 – December 2. The clip is only 2:45 and it shows some of the lectures, workshops and door-to-door canvassing that took part during the conference.

Stop the Hate! Stop the Transphobia!

I found this article on Pam’s House Blend bolg…

Police: Man Beat Boy For Putting Pink Fingernail Polish On Nails

A man was arrested on child abuse charges after he beat a 7-year-old boy with a belt because the child put pink fingernail polish on his own nails, according to Orange County sheriff's deputies.
Aundre Jermaine Hill, 25, was arrested on Saturday at about 5:19 p.m. after sheriff's deputies responded to a home in reference to a call saying that a boy was discovered with bruises on his body.
Orange County sheriff's deputies said the boy's mother was bathing him when she noticed the markings on the boy.
Investigators said it appeared the boy was beaten with a belt and hands on his buttocks, arms, temple and legs.
Hill was located, arrested and transported to the Orange County Jail. He later bonded out of jail.

We have to change! We have to stop the hate speech, we have to stop the “Boy’s Don’t Cry!” mentality, we have to stop preaching hate from the pulpit, and we have to stop running campaigns on bigotry.

Lesbian Quiz...

What famous lesbian do you most closely resemble?
Your Result: Melissa Ethridge

You're ambitious, extremely talented and you live for music. You have overcome some great obstacles in your life which have made you stronger than ever. You are extremely likeable.

Rosie O'Donnell
Katherine Moennig
Portia Di Rossi
Tammy Lynn Michaels
K D Lang
Ellen Degeneres
Jackie Warner
What famous lesbian do you most closely resemble?
Make a Quiz

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dancing and Doing a Jig!

My grades for my Fall semester were just posted…
I got a “B” in Research I and an “A-“ in Human Behavior in a Micro Social Environment. I was expecting (or hoping for) a “B” in Research and a “B+” in Micro theories, so I was pleasantly surprised with an “A-”. My overall GPA is 3.350, which for me is excellent considering that the last time I was in college graduated with a 2.0, just barely squeaked by.
Research I was mostly memorization of terms and research methods, which I have, a hard time memorizing, but Micro theories was mainly about processes, which I am good at visualizing. However, I am still struggling with grammar; it never was my strong point. I like to joke, “I are a ingineer.” I know I have to work harder to over come that liability.
Next semester I am taking “Grassroots Neighborhood Organizing”...
CORG 370 – 3 credits
Elective for the Urban Issues in Social Work Focused Area of
Provides intensive instruction for students who wish to become practitioners or trainers in grassroots neighborhood model of organizing. Examines Alinsky’s model of organizing and the refinement of that model.
I have a feeling that I am going to do well in that class, I think that I have a little knowledge in that.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg: 1951 - 2007

Dan Fogelberg, R.I.P.
Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg died yesterday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer for over three years. He was fifty-six. Fogelberg started out performing in rock bands near his hometown of Peoria, Ill., then switched to performing solo in college, becoming popular in the 70’s and 80’s with songs like “Longer,” “The Power of Gold,” “Leader of the Band” and “Same Old Lang Syne.” Fogelberg released his last album, Full Circle, in 2003. A message posted yesterday on his official site says Fogelberg died with his wife at his side and says, “His strength, dignity, and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him.”

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for December 17, 2007

What is your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
My idea of a perfect romantic evening is; a snowy evening inside with soft music, a dinner by candle light and curling up in front of the fire with your lover.

Imagine you had to take part in the winter Olympics. What sport would you do? (Here's a link to the official sports, in case you need help.)
Skeleton, I think it is crazy and wild. Just hurling down an banked ice track head first with no steering or brakes.

What's something that people do in traffic that really bothers you?

Its hard to come up with just one thing, the list is so long to pick just one. However, I think the number one thing that people do that bothers me is speeding and unsafe lane changes; the idiot who is flying much faster than traffic and weaving in and out. They are going so fast that you do not see them in the rear view mirrors until they are right up on you, cutting you off as they zip in front changing lanes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter’s Onset

Here are a couple of photos I have been meaning post, but never got around to it.
The first picture was taken at the family cottage on Thanksgiving weekend and was taken early in the morning as the fog was lifting from the lake. Thanksgiving day it was up in the sixties at the cottage in New Hampshire but overnight it dropped down into the teens. The open water created a thick icy fog and around the edges of the lake ice formed overnight. Late morning the fog started to lift and I took this picture.
The other photo was taken in my backyard after an ice storm we had on December 9th. It was so beautiful after the ice storm; everything was coated in sparking diamonds when the sun came out. As the ice fell off the limbs, it broke up into thousand of jewels that glittered in the sun light. The red berries contrast sharply to the black and white of the woods behind my house adding color to the monochromatic landscape.

I have no idea what type of bush it is, they were there when I cleared the woods when I built the house.

By the Way Sunday

~Eanie, Meanie, Minie, Moe~

By the way...
pick YOUR Christmas favorites...

Sugar cookies, pecan pie, German chocolate cake, or a candy cane?

German chocolate cake, I go for the most decadent.

Snow, no snow but cold, sunshine but cold, sunshine and warm?

I like to say snow for Christmas, a white Christmas is what defines the season, but… I am at a stage in my life that says, forget traditional – go for a tropical beach. Moreover, as I sit here writing this I am watching the snow, sleet and freezing rain come down out side on top of the ten inches of snow that we already have on the ground.

Clothing, electronics, jewelry, or a gift card?

It is a toss up between clothes or jewelry. Having had my ears just pierced, I only had two pairs of earring, so I would have to say jewelry.

Jingle Bells, Silent Night, White Christmas, or Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree?

What about the Singing Waitresses? OK then, if I can’t choose them, then I would have to say Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.

Skiing, sledding, ice skating, or caroling?

Sledding, I use to ski when I was young and I am no longer in shape to ski again sledding is almost as much fun as skiing but have the work. Ice skating, the ice is just too hard when you fall and I can not carry a tune so caroling is out.

Christmas shopping, Christmas Eve joy, Christmas Day surprises, day after Christmas sales?

Christmas Eve joy, I think what makes Christmas, Christmas is family. Being with family is like a warm cocoon.

Saturday Six - Episode 191

Patrick’s Weekender

1. If you could receive only the gift of food this Christmas, which single item would you choose?

Lobster Newberg. Now everyone who follows my blog, would you expect anything else.

2. Dessert. What’s the first food that just came to mind when you read that word?
Blueberry pie.

3. What do you eat more of when you’re trying to lose weight?

Cottage cheese and salads, yummy.

4. Take the quiz: What holiday food are you?

You Are a Gingerbread House

A little spicy and a little sweet, anyone would like to be lost in the woods with you.

5. When you were a kid, did you ever really leave food for Santa Claus? If so, what was the typical fare you placed near the tree for Jolly Ol’ St. Nick?

Cookies and milk, very traditional.

6. Do you tend to eat more, less, or about the same at Christmas dinner than you do at Thanksgiving dinner?

I eat about the same judging by the weight I gain the next day.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Tried Making the Cookies Last Night

I tried making the Apple Oatmeal Cookies last night for the cookie swap and I give the recipe two thumbs down. I followed the recipe and the cookies did have any cohesiveness. They tasted good but they were like baked oatmeal, I think the recipe needs another egg or two and maybe a little brown sugar.
So I guess it is off to the baker to buy the cookies for this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How Did We Get Here?

I am old enough to remember President Kennedy’s campaign speech on his religious beliefs. The general concern at the time was that he would bring his Catholic tenants to office with him and the line that defined the separation of church and state would have been violated. Now some forty plus years later the debate is not only who is the most religious, but also who is the most Christian; shattering the line separating the church and state. However, not only Christian beliefs; but orthodox Christian beliefs in the old testament that are based on oppression and not love, understanding and acceptance.

Do we want a government based on the beliefs that deny us so much of the freedom that we have had in the last forty years? I want a government that believes that: we are only the stewards of the land not on the beliefs that this is my land and I can do what I want on it. I want a government: that lets me determine what I want to do with my body not which bans abortions or birth control. I want a government: that helps the poor, not a government that says screw you, I got mine. I want a government that believes that: in religious freedom not a government that says that we are a Christian nation. Lastly, I want a government that believes in marriage based on love not on religious beliefs that are not shared by everyone but only a few.

How did we get to the point where we now have a litmus test on religion?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I just got my oil tank filled today, the bill was $417 (134 gal. @ $3.099) and that was with a $0.03 discount! I already have my unused rooms closed off, the thermostat set for 65ºF during the day and 55ºF at night. The house is passive solar, 2X6 construction and the non-southern exposure windows are at a minimum.

It is going to be a long cold and expensive winter.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for December 10, 2007

For the holidays, are you a last-minute shopper or do you shop well ahead of time?
Yes, I am a last minute shopper, it makes shopping easy; you just buy what are left on the selves.

If you had to pick a new first name for yourself, what name would you choose?
Hmm… do you mean when I changed it from Don to Diana or should I pick a second new name? If I had to pick a new name I think it would be Debra.

What's worse, having expectations that are too high, or having no expectations at all?
Both, I think you have to have realistic expectations. If you set your goals too high and you never achieve them that can lead to depression and if you do not set them high enough you will not reach your full potential.

Cookie Swap

I was invited to a cookie swap next Saturday, so I was browsing the internet for cookie recipes and I found this one….
Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Original recipe yield: 4 dozen

* 1/2 cup margarine, softened
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup stone ground whole wheat flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
* 1 apple, cored and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, honey, egg and vanilla until smooth. Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats and apple. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

However, I thought of substituting dehydrated apples for fresh apples and adding a little bit of apple cider to re-hydrate the apples.

By the Way Sunday

By the way . . .
What do you think of when you think of “Christmas?”
Using the word “Christmas,” list one thing you think of per letter.
For example:

C – Christ child
H – Holly
R – Reindeer
I – Imagine a world without war
S – Santa
T – Tree, the tree all decked out in Christmas spender
M – Midnight Mass, we use to go to every Christmas when I was little.
A – Appreciate what we have been given.
S – Smiling children as they spy the presents under the tree

Saturday Six - Episode 190

Patrick's Place
1. You have to leave a snack for Santa, but you’re concerned about his health so you don’t want to leave sweets: what healthier snack would you choose instead?
How about Tofu cookies and fat free milk that should earn me a lump of coal in my stocking.

2. Santa decides to be especially generous this year, and says he’ll bring you a car. What make and model would you like to find in your driveway on Christmas morning?
How about a Maserati Quattroporte Sedan, I just saw an add on TV for it and it looked like a nice car to run to the grocery store with.

3. Santa is also giving you a vacation to any spot in the world for a week. Where would you like to go?
Right now, I would pick Hawaii. I just heard the forecast for over ½ inch of ice overnight.

4. Take the quiz:
What will be in your Christmas stocking?

Your Christmas Stocking Will Be Filled With a Puppy

Well - one cute, soft, cuddly puppy...
And a very soiled Christmas stocking.

5. When was the last time you had a picture taken with Santa Claus?
Maybe fifty or so years ago.

6. If Santa could bring you 12 of any single item mentioned in the lyrics of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which gift would you choose and why?

Why of course the five golden rings and hopefully, they also have a large diamond or two attached to them. All the other gifts cost money; you have to feed the partridge and just what are you going to do with "Maid a milking"?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Keeping Busy

I have been running around the last couple of days and as a result, I kind of neglected my blogging.
Wednesday afternoon, I did some volunteering work at True Colors calling up vendors to see if they wanted a table at next year’s conference. In the evening, I picked up a friend to rush down to Yale to take part of a panel discussion on Trans-Advoacy. At the last minute, I was invited because one of the panelist got sick. The panel consisted of two trans activist lawyers, the Co-chair of the Judicial Committee and myself. One of the lawyers was the lawyer who argued the case before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities that ruled that we are covered under the existing Anti-Discrimination Statues. It was a rather distinguished panel and I was honored to be invited to be a panelist.
Yesterday, I had a eye doctors appointment in the morning. As usual, I was worried because this was the first time I went to this doctor as Diana and as usual all my worrying was for naught. However, he did find something and he wants to come back for more tests. :-( In the afternoon I went down to Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven to do an Outreach there and then after the class, I rushed up to Hartford for an Anti-Discrimination Coalition meeting.
Today I am just sitting around the house and twittering my thumbs wondering what to do. Boring! Maybe I will do some shopping.

I came across this posted on “(en)gender” forum…

I have mixed feelings about it, it presents a too simple picture of being trans, but I give it one thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This and That

I just emailed off my last paper for the Micro Theories class that was due today. The paper was on Behavior Modification, which is what I need so I will not procrastinate and finish the paper on the day its due. Now I just have to wait for the professor to post the grade. I got a “B” in my Research I class, which brought my GPA down a little.

You never know where your photo might turn up. I saw a YouTube video of Saturday’s night Entertainment Tonight from last May and low and behold, there I was for a couple of seconds. It really is not worth watching, if you know where to look you can see me way up in back on the left on the Capital steps and it is about 3:15 into the clip. The video clip was mainly about Donna Rose and a few other women who transitioned.

In January, I am attending Lobbyist training at an office in Hartford. The workshops I signed up for are; Legislative Process 101, Issues and Tactics, Lobbying One on One and Building Networks and Coalitions. This training is by a non-profit lobbying firm in Hartford and I have worked with them on the Anti-Discrimination legislation.
So by the time I have finished with all the training I will be well ahead in Community Organization when I have to take it as a class, I will have attended five or more seminars on grassroots organizing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for December 3, 2007

What is the longest you have ever waited in line?

I do not remember, but it was a long time probably an hour or more at the DMV.

It has been said that, "The best things in life are free." Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Yes, I think that the best thing in life are free, the love of your family or spouse, the look of a child on Christmas day and all those other little things.

If you could go back in time and re-live one day in your life, which day would you choose and why?

I guess back to a quieter time in my youth when you did not have to worry about making a living and all the other worries of modern adult life. All your needs were taken care of by your parents and they did the worrying for you.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Interesting Factoid from the Conference

They had over two hundred attendees for the four day conference, most of them came from New York states but others came from around the country. Including a number of clergy who were looking for a way to create a safe space for their LGBT community.

During the two hour door-to-door canvas over 1500 homes were visited and slightly fewer than 50% voters said that are in favor of marriage equality of those 166 signed a post card to that said that, wow!

When we did the canvassing of Nassau County on Long Island N.Y. we asked the voters if the were in favor of the New York Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), 74% said that they were in favor of the bill. That percent corresponded with other polls that were taken in other parts of the country, one of them was in New Jersey which was 71%.

It was one of the largest LGBT canvases that was ever done with over 150 people taking part. (I didn’t go door-to-door, but I drove around two canvasser. I did not feel comfortable going up to strangers’ doors.)

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

Are you participating in any holiday festivities today?

Bah! Humbug! No

Do you enjoy listening to holiday music?

Only on December 24th

Is your tree up and decorated? Any gifts under it yet?
Ha! Who are you kidding! If I do get a tree, it will go up the weekend before Christmas and come down the weekend after New Years.

In the 12 Days of Christmas, which gift would be your favorite?

I will take the five golden rings

What makes you feel the "Grinchiest" during the holiday season?

Nothing, I feel like the Grinch all the time, so there is nothing special about the holidays.

What does Christmas really mean to you?

To be with you family and friends, and celebrate the joy of life together.

If you could give only ONE gift this year, what would it be?

My love to my family.

Saturday Six - Episode 189

Patrick’s Place

1. What is your favorite holiday song?
“The Singing Waitresses” I like it because it ends happily and she meets her boyfriend.

2. What is your least favorite holiday song?
“White Christmas” It is So old, I remember when every Christmas on TV there would be the “Bing Crosby Special” and we always had to watch it.

3. If you had to sing a holiday song Karioke style at a Christmas party, which one would you choose, and why?

“Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer” it is simple to sing.

4. Take the quiz: Which Christmas Carol are you?
Your Christmas Song Is

Redneck 12 Days of Christmas

Twelve-pack of Bud
Eleven Wrastling tickets
Ten o' Copenhagen
Nine years probation
Eight table dancers
Seven packs of Redman
Six cans of Spam
Five flannel shirts
Four big mud tires
Three shotgun shells
Two hunting dogs
... And some parts to a Mustang GT.

You don't think that 27 strings of Christmas lights are tacky
And you swear that eggnog from last year is still good!

5. Does it bother you if you walk through a store that has signs that say “Happy Holidays?”
No, those that have a problem with it I think are narrow minded. It is not only Christmas but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Eid al-Adha.

6. Does it bother you if you find that the same store has displays that mention Hanukkah and Kwanzaa by name, but make no specific mention of Christmas?

No, it is their store and they say anything they want.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The NY Power Summit Conference is Over

Tomorrow I will be leaving early because of the snowstorm that is forecast for tomorrow. I learned a lot about how to build a grassroots organization, network between organization and door–to-door canvassing. I meet a number of trans-people from across the northeast and attending a trans-caucus, setting up a regional network.

Today I drove a couple of people out to a suburb and followed them around in my car as they went door-to-door in the neighborhood. I really do not think that is not a viable tactic for the trans-community, we just do not have the people to do that with and our members are too closeted for it to be affective. But it was good practice to putting together a plan and a team to go out like that.

Last night they had a social at an Indian restaurant. When we got there we walked into the wrong banquet room; an Indian birthday party was going on. The women were all dressed sarongs and the men in suits; I walked in on them with an African-American lesbian couple. We all stopped and looked at each others, and I said we got the wrong room to my friends. When I left the room I started laughing; the look on their faces was priceless when they saw us, one six foot trannie and two African-American women holding hands, their jaws just dropped. I didn’t like the food it was too spicy for me, I was up at three in the morning popping antacids.

The conference was good and was put together well, they made an effort to be trans-inclusive. Now if I can avoid battling the snow on the way home tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2007

More Fuel to the HRC Fire

A critical report from the Washington Blade on the method used by the HRC for their survey…

Conducted for HRC by Knowledge Networks, the survey shows most respondents believe national gay groups should support ENDA despite its lack of protections for transgender workers “because it helps gay, lesbian and bisexual workers and is a step toward transgender employment rights.”

According to survey excerpts, about 68 percent of respondents chose that scripted statement among three offered lines to best represent their “point of view.”

Meanwhile a poll by Hunter College found that...
When asked about the proposed federal law making it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gays, and bisexuals in employment, LGBs (by a margin of 60 to 37 percent) said that those seeking to pass the law were wrong to remove protections for transgendered people in order to get the votes necessary for passage in Congress.

The Hunter College Poll was funded by a grant from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Sole control over the design of the study’s questionnaire and analysis of the data were maintained by the study’s investigators. The survey was conducted among those who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual to Knowledge Networks, which recruits its nationally representative sample of respondents by telephone and administers surveys to them via the Internet. The survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points.

But wait a minute! Two polls conducted by the HRC that results are totally opposite?

Here is some more excerpts from the Washington Blade…

“I don’t know based upon this response that you could say how the community — the gay, lesbian, bisexual community — feels about the legislation,” Stahura said. “I don’t think those questions give you that answer.”

Christopher Barron, a Washington political consultant Log Cabin’s former political director, who is gay and does survey interpretation, agreed. He said the methodology, which he described as “bizarre,” might not allow the results to be projected nationally.

“It may be that it’s completely and totally sound,” he said. “But there’s nothing there that tells us that it is, so you can’t assume it’s a nationally representative sample.”

Luna told the Blade this week that the survey is nationally representative.

Barron and Stahura, who reviewed a two-page memorandum and three data sets prepared by Knowledge Networks and provided to the Blade, also noted they could not determine whether the survey is scientific.

Both experts said that lingering question would preclude them from using the survey’s findings in their work.

“I would not approve it for publication,” Stahura said. “I think with the ‘becauses,’ you’re really pushing people toward particular responses in this instance.”

Safe and Sound on Long Island

Right now I am on Long Island for a four day conference. I drove three other people down here to the conference and I took the Bridgeport Port Jefferson ferry. Every one turned green except me, I had a blast. Watching them undock and head out into the Sound, watching all the other ships pass by. When they asked how long it will take to cross the Sound, I said that you can see the port where we were heading. They looked out the window to where I was pointed, they moaned as the horizon bobbed up and down. Oh well, I guess I will be driving home on Sunday through New York.

One disappointment was you could not take any pictures on the deck for security reasons, only of the inside of the cabin. I do not think that you want to see the hot dog counter and a picture of my green friends; although they were an interesting shade of green.

The conference is on organizing grassroots actions and is sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. It was off to a good start last night with the opening ceremony and a workshop problem. There are a number of trans-people here and that I should be able to network with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This and That

My aunt is so sweet! Yesterday I was visiting her at the nursing home when a new nurse came in and asked, “Is this your daughter?” We both replied at the same time; my aunt saying “nephew” and I said “niece”. You just have to love her. :-)

Also, last night was the support group meeting and a few of us went out to dinner at the Goldroc Diner. While we were there someone walked by the booth and waved; I was busy talking to my friends and just noticed him at the last second so I never got a good look at him. I think it was an engineer from where I use to work, if it was, I would like to thank him for his support.

Off to Long Island for the New York Power Summit

I am leaving this afternoon to go to the New York Power Summit; the hotel has WiFi so I should be able to post from there. It is going to be a very busy schedule for the next four days: Thursday 7 – 9 PM, Friday and Saturday 9 – 6 PM and Sunday 9 – 3 PM.
Hopefully I will have some photo of the ferry trip over to the island and it will not be too rough (I do not want to get off the boat looking like Elphaba from Wicked.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CNN News

There was a news story on CNN about an assault at a McDonald’s in Memphis Tennessee, why did an assault make national news? There must a dozen assaults at restaurants across the country each day, so why was this covered?

It was because the assault was done by "drag queen" and “transvestite”, do you think the story would have been covered by CNN if they were not involved? Did that make the story worthy of the national news? Or was it to do more with transphobia or heterosexism?

I found this story totally derogatory; the story had air time just for its sensationalism at the expense of a minority. I found this story on the same level as racist, sexist, ethnic and religious bigotry.

What do you think lead up to the assault? Do you think that they did it just for the ”hell of it” deciding to beat up the employees because they were bored? Or was there provocation? In the video the reporter said an argument started at the drive-thru window; were there any trans-baiting comments involved? It should be interesting to see the surveillance video on what precipitated the incident.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Donna Rose and Jamison Green Resign from HRC Business Council

The last two transgender members resign from the HRC Business Council. Donna Rose resigned from the HRC Board of Directors last month, she was the only transgendered member of the Board.

…Recent HRC policy decisions - to actively support a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that excludes our transgender brothers and sisters as well as gender-variant lesbian, gay, and bisexual people - have placed us in an untenable position. On November 8, the day after the ENDA vote in the House of Representatives, we requested an opportunity to meet personally with HRC President Joe Solmonese to share our concerns and to discuss HRC's strategy for addressing recent legislative shortcomings before making a decision to stay or go. As the only transgender representatives on the Business Council our community expects us to have some influence, or at least to receive the courtesy of a consultation. Almost 3 weeks have passed since that request and we have heard nothing in response. This lack of response speaks volumes, so we feel compelled to take this stand today.
We are announcing our resignations from the HRC Business Council, effective immediately. Considering recent broken promises, the lack of credibility that HRC has with the transgender community at large, and HRC's apparent lack of commitment to healing the breach it has caused, we find it impossible to maintain an effective working relationship with the organization….

Transgender Day of Remembrance Photos and Speech

Here are some of the photos from the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The first photo is us marching to the state Capital building. We are right in front of the Bushnell Theater when this picture was taken.

This photo was taken at the MCC Chapel as I was reading my speech.

Here is a link to a short (30seconds) video clip from the Ten O’clock news.

And this is my speech that I gave that night….
All of us here tonight are activists. We are activists because we took the time come here tonight to remember those who were murder this year by showing that we care.
There are other ways in which we can show that we care and one of the ways we can show it is by helping others. We have all in one way or another come “Out of the Closet” and we remember what it was like when we for the first time told others that “I am Trans”. We can share that knowledge to help others who are trying to come out. We can be there for them if they need a shoulder to cry on or in sharing their joy. Those of us who have gone out in public can be there for our brother and sisters by offering a hand to guide them and lead the way.
We are a rich diverse group and we can use that diversity in helping others. Some of us have struggled with our families; some of us have fought to keep our jobs, and some of us have fought to stay alive. We can use that knowledge to help others who face the same battles to help guide them.
We do not have to be out there on the frontlines banging our drums; we can help in other way. The theme for tonight is Love Transcends and it does, it can build bridges. It can build a bridge between those who are a just starting out on their journey and those who have progressed further along on their own journey.
One way we can help is by volunteering. We have heard Robin talk about True Colors and their mentoring program. They also have a conference every year for GLBT Youth and they always need mentors and volunteers to help them at the conference. There is the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective and also the Suicide Prevention Hotline. There are so many places out there where we can help and share our knowledge and love.
I know that I have found that volunteering has been both rewarding and enriching. Knowing that in some small way I have helped out others has given purpose to my life. One of the greatest moments in my life was when I was standing in line for our reservations at City Steam and a woman came up to me and said; “You probably do not remember me. But you spoke in my class at University of Hartford and because of what you said that night I was able to help my client when she came out as transgendered.” Can you imagine what it felt like to hear those words?
Volunteering is so easy to do, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call, just say “What can I do to help?” and by doing that you can affect generations to come, just by that one simple act.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for November 26, 2007

Which personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble?
I talk before I think and afterward I feel I want to hit my head and go DUH!
Like at Thanksgiving I was talking to my sister-in-law’s sister-in-law about how much I hatred the vegetarian food at the facilitator training last month then I remembered that she is a vegetarian and she was making a vegetarian stuffing…. DUH!

If you had to gain 10 pounds what would you eat to gain the weight?
I am trying to lose forty pounds, not gain it! But if I had to gain ten pounds I would eat lobster and have New England clam chowder.

How is your private self different from your public self?
It uses to be way different, but now the two are a lot closer. The difference is that I am less confident in private.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Just Another Visit by the State Police

Oh hum, it was just another visit by the state police at ten o’clock at night.
It seems that my garage door didn’t go all the way down and the light was flashing so a state cop on his way home stopped by to report it to me. At least I wasn’t in my nightgown and he did call me “Miss.” Well I guess at least one neighbor now knows that I am trans.


I hate it when the garage door does that! In cold weather the safety device settings changes and as a result the garage door opens. The last time it did it, it was three in the morning when the doorbell rang and it was the police to tell me my garage light was blink..

People Magazine

Up at the cottage this Thanksgiving there was an ample supply of People magazines thanks to my niece and my nephew’s wife. I was reading an article in the November 19th issue and was very surprised to find a serious article on Gays and Lesbians.
So I thought I would share it with you, this is from the writer’s web-site….

Mary Lou has completed her book entitled THE SLOW MIRACLE OF TRANSFORMATION. The following story highlights a small part of Mary Lou's pilgrimage.

I used to think that the only way to relate to gays was to confront them. I had no use for them. I didn't understand them, and I was judgmental and arrogant. And then one day our lives were changed forever.

It was about 5:15 p.m. on December 8, 1988. I had just walked into the house from work with the mail in my hand. There was a letter from my daughter, Anna. I opened it with the pleasure of anticipation that a mom feels when she hears from her daughter who is away at college. Her letter was dated December 4, 1988. She told me that lots had happened in her life with regard to her sexuality. She said she had fought long and hard to be comfortable and now she was. She said she was comfortable with women.

She went on to say she loved me and hoped I wouldn't try to change her. She said she loved God and knew He loved her.

On December 20, 1988, I answered her letter and told her I was devastated by what she had written. Please allow me to quote one paragraph from my letter to Anna:

“Undoubtedly the most difficult part of your letter was the gay thing. I will never accept that in you. I feel it’s a terrible waste, besides being spiritually and morally wrong. For a reason I don’t quite fathom, I have a harder time dealing with that issues than almost anything in the world. I do and will continue to love you, but I will always hate that and will pray every day that you will change your mind and attitude”

Almost a year later, August 13, 1989, I was taking Anna back to the airport to go back to college after she played the piano for her cousin's wedding. I told her that IF she ever decided she wanted to get her act together, she was welcome to come home.

What followed were more than 8 stormy years, at best. We had a few good times, but not many.

In mid-August 1996, I received a letter from Anna. She basically said she wanted nothing more to do with me. She said that I was her mother biologically only, that I had stolen her childhood from her, and that I had done colossal damage to her soul with my shaming words. She did not want me in her life, not then, maybe not ever. She told me she did not want to, and did not have to forgive me.

I sought advice from a counselor, several friends and family members. To a person, all said the same thing: You must respect Anna's wishes and give her the space she needs. And that's what I did.

I keep wondering what would have happened if, after receiving her letter, I had grabbed my toothbrush, credit card and car keys, driven the 550 miles to where she was living and told her that I loved her no matter what. I didn't do that. The worst part is that I'll never be able to do that.

On February 28, 1997 at 10:00 p.m., I received a phone call from my ex-husband and Anna's Dad. At about 4:00 p.m. that afternoon, Anna had been found hanging from the bar in her closet. She had been dead for 15 hours. It was ruled a suicide by the coroner -- no autopsy, no note, no nothing -- but days, weeks, months and years of pain and anguish.

I have heard it said that when a loved one dies of suicide, there is a sense of utter failure. I can identify with that. I did not love her unconditionally, even though I knew 1 Corinthians 13 well. Among other things it says, Love is patient...and kind; Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs...It always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.

Throughout these years, since Anna's death, I have done a lot of soul searching to figure out just what part I played in Anna's death. I have wrestled with who I am and how I treated my own flesh and blood.

No matter what else happens in my life, I will always acknowledge the pain and tragedy of Anna's suicide. However, her death has also brought me face-to-face with the untruth I have been taught throughout my life by the church. My transformation has occurred through a wonderful gift given to me by God: getting to know, understand, and love GLBTA (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgenders, and Allies). I am now proud to call myself an ally and am honored to count these children of God amongst my closest and dearest friends. This new awareness has been supported through intense study of biblical passages, as well as continued dialogue with individuals on both sides of the issue.

Recently, I went to the curio cabinet that holds Anna's pictures and dolphin collection. I said to her, "I will never again treat a gay person the way I treated you. That's a promise!"

After reading this, I hope you will take this message to heart. In keeping with this promise, my husband, Bob and I are reaching out to all of our new friends. We pray that you will contact us and share your journey. Let us all remember that we are here to support and nourish one another, as Christ does us.

-- Mary Lou

TEACH Ministries
8 Apple Tree Circle
North Little Rock, AR 72118

Please do not let it be a tragic ending to get you to see the way to love and acceptance of your children.

Saturday Six - Episode 188

Patrick'a Weekender: Saturday Six - Episode 188

1. As a general rule, are you more stressed or less stressed during the holiday season?

More stressed, trying to get everything coordinated with the extended family is not an easy thing to do.

2. Do you tend to be happier or sad during the holiday season?
Both, it is a rollercoaster ride, with it highs and lows.

3. How much shopping did you do on the day after Thanksgiving?

- 0 –

4. Take the quiz
: What color is your brain?

Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.

5. When it comes to Christmas gifts, how organized are you in terms of gift ideas and choosing the right ones for the right recipients?

Not very, we usually past a Christmas list around.

6. What was the most inaccurate part of the answer you received to the brain color quiz?
“You don't try to think away your troubles.” That is totally opposite of what I think, if anyone reads this blog regularly you will know that I am a worrier


Whew! It over and now I get to relax.
I got home last night after a long chaotic day with four kids and ten adults all crammed into the cottage. It was bitter cold outside keeping the kids inside, but the guys did hike up to the top of the mountain (A mountain by New England standards: elv.= 2740 about a 1000ft. raise from the lake.) on Saturday. With way too much food (but that is what Thanksgiving is all about.), catching up on family lives, with the dogs come out of nowhere when some food lands on the floor and the kids running around with their hide and seek games, peeking out from under the table
I did have a good time, it was nice to be with the family and I managed to keep my weight gain down to two pounds.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I hope you all have a nice and safe Thanksgiving and please take a little time to remember those who do not have a family to go home to. I am one of the lucky ones whose family accepts me.
All the planning has come together and we are all going to be up at the cottage this holiday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I have always been interested in the brain for obvious reasons and being left handed had leaded me to wonder why about ten percent of the people are left handed. No one has yet to explain why a person is left handed just like no one has ever explained why a person is trans. Are you born left handed or is it something that we learn; is it nature or nurture?
There was an article in the Hartford Courant yesterday about the latest thinking on the causes of left-handedness.
The brains of left-handed people develop more freely in utero, they say, allowing the organization to stray more from the standard design.


Other scientists are examining how LRRTM1 and other genes might tie left-handedness loosely with all sorts of characteristics. Various studies have found weak but statistically significant associations between left-handedness and schizophrenia, autism and even homosexuality.


There is some evidence, he says, that mixed-handers have a wider connecting pathway — called the corpus callosum — between the right and left hemispheres. Having a wider connection seems to make it harder to do more than one thing at a time — playing a different rhythm with each hand, for example.

The brain works in mysterious ways that we are just barely starting to understand.

Two years ago during the True Colors Conference (a GLBT youth conference), I was getting signatures for a petition for the Anti-discrimination Coalition and I noticed that a many of signers were left handed. I do not know the actual percentage but I do know that it made an impression on me at the time that there were so many lefties.
I am not saying that there is any links between being gender variant and left handedness but it does raise an interesting question.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Who We Remember…

Nakia Ladelle Baker
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head
Date of Death: January 7, 2007

Ruby Rodriguez
Location: San Francisco, California
Cause of Death: She had been strangled and was found naked in the street.
Date of Death: March 16, 2007

Erica Keel
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death: A car repeatedly struck her
Date of Death: March 23, 2007

Bret T. Turner
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Cause of Death: Multiple stab wounds
Date of Death: April 2, 2007

Victoria Arellano
Location: San Pedro, California
Cause of Death: Denied necessary medications to treat HIV-related side effects.
Date of Death: July 20, 2007

Oscar Mosqueda
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death
Date of Death: July 29, 2007

Maribelle Reyes
Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: AIDS; Reyes was turned away from several treatment centers due to her transgender status.
Date of Death: August 30, 2007

This year Congress passed a Federal Hate Crime bill that includes Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, but President Bush is expected to veto the bill.

I found this on a friend’s blog: Femulate
Julia Serano: There’s Something About “Deception”

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 20th will be the 9th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those who are killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. Trans people are often targeted for violence because their gender presentation, appearance and/or anatomy falls outside the norms of what is considered acceptable for a woman or man. A large percentage of trans people who are killed are prostitutes, and their murders often go unreported or underreported due to the public presumption that those engaged in sex work are not deserving of attention or somehow had it coming to them.

Some trans people are killed as the result of being denied medical services specifically because of their trans status, for example, Tyra Hunter, a transsexual woman who died in 1995 after being in a car accident. EMTs who arrived on the scene stopped providing her with medical care—and instead laughed and made slurs at her—upon discovering that she had male genitals.

Much of the violence that is directed at trans people is predicated on the myth of deception. For example, straight men who become attracted to trans women sometimes erupt into homophobic/transphobic rage and violence upon discovering that the woman in question was born male. Perhaps the most well known of such cases is that of Gwen Araujo, who was bludgeoned to death by a four men, two of whom she had been sexually intimate with. Despite the fact that the men plotted her murder a week in advance, defense lawyers insisted that the murder was merely manslaughter because the defendants were victims of Gwen’s “sexual deceit.”


I found this on another friend’s blog: In Shel's Corner - Bloggery and Stuff

Monday, November 19, 2007

Wicked was Wicked!

I went to see the Tony Award winning musical Wicked at the Bushnell last night and it was excellent. We first went out to dinner at the Olive Garden in Manchester and then we to the Bushnell.

If you do not know what the play is about there is a good synopsis on Wikipedia, but I saw the play through a slightly different lens. Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, I saw more as a victim of discrimination because she is different from everyone else (She is green) and is shunned because of her difference. At school everyone makes fun of her and because of her defense of the animals puts her at odd with the head mistress of the school and of the Wizard of Oz. She then becomes an outcast and persecuted. At the end when Dorothy threw the water on Elphaba, as she was melting, I was crying.

I would highly recommend seeing the play. But then I am prejudiced, I love the theater and any play to me is a good play. I just find it amazing how the actors can memorize their lines and I love the sets from the simple sets, Doubts to the high production sets in Wicked.

Manic Monday

Manic Monday for November 19, 2007

What is your least favorite day of the week and why?
When I was working it was Mondays because you had the whole week ahead of you. But now that I am retired one day is just like the next.

What's the best way to end the day?
Coming home from a night out on the town with friends.

Which animal would you have left out of the ark?

The skunks, I think the answer is obvious.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Desmond Tutu - Part II

Last month I wrote about Desmond Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Price winner, and I just found this update on a friends blog, she posted this BBC article on her blog….
Tutu Chides Church for Gay Stance

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican Church and its leadership for its attitudes towards homosexuality.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, had failed to demonstrate that God is "welcoming".


Criticising Dr Williams, he said: "Why doesn't he demonstrate a particular attribute of God's which is that God is a welcoming God."

'Extraordinarily homophobic'

Archbishop Tutu referred to the debate about whether Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, could serve as the bishop of New Hampshire.

He said the Anglican Church had seemed "extraordinarily homophobic" in its handling of the issue, and that he had felt "saddened" and "ashamed" of his church at the time.


In the interview, Archbishop Tutu also rebuked religious conservatives who said homosexuality was a choice.

By the Way Sunday

By the way...

Are you generally early or late?
Late, I try to be on time but it always seems to be I get there late.

Are you concerned with being on time?

Yes, as I said I try to there on time. Read the posting below about “All Dressed Up”, I got there on time but to the wrong place.

If you are chronically late, do you believe it's the result of poor planning or choosing to be late?

Mostly I am running around getting last minute things. Also traffic is hard to judge sometimes. Sometimes it takes only twenty minutes to get to Hartford and other times it can take forty-five minutes.

When others are late, does it bother you?
No, I think there is a saying about stones and living in glass houses

Do you have any tips for being on time?

Yes, leave earlier.

All Dressed Up and No Where to Go!

I had a speaking engagement this morning at a church down in the Southwestern part of the state and I after I drove all the way down there I could not find the church. It turned out the address that she had at the bottom of the email was her home address and the contact information was also her home phone number. So when I got there it was her house and not the church and when I called the number I could hear the phone ringing in the house. I then tried the cell phone number and the phone went to voice mail, so I went into town and asked around if anyone knew where the church was located and had no luck. I came back home after driving around down there. I drove a total 170 miles and three hours driving. Grrr….
I did find the address when I got home it was on a program guide that she made and it was in fine print on the cover. No where in the emails that went back and forth was there any address other than hers.

At least I am going out tonight to dinner and see the play Wicked at the Bushnell.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Which Superhero are you?"

Your results:
You are Superman

Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Friday, November 16, 2007

2007 - Transgender Day of Remembrance

Every year around this time we remember all those who were killed because they were transgender. There are memorial services that are going to be held all around the world. To find a service near you check out this list, it is only a partial list of cities. If your city is not on the list try Googling your city using your city name and “Transgender Day of Remembrance” in quotes.
Here in Connecticut we are holding our ceremony on Tuesday November 20th, but other cities are hold their this weekend. The Connecticut program is…

Connecticut's 6th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance
“Love Tran-scends: The Importance of Allies”

(6:00pm) Meet at First Presbyterian Church and march to Stairs of State Capitol for Candlelight Vigil


Memorial………..Names of those we remember

(7:00pm) Proceed to Metropolitan Community Church for program “Love Tran-scends: The Importance of Allies”

(7:30pm) Welcoming…..

Song……………MCC Gospel Choir


Memorial………..Names of those we remember

Songs…………..MCC Gospel Choir and Eve – “They Won’t Accept Us”

(8:30) Closing and Reception

You can come to either or both of the ceremonies. At the Capital there will be speeches and also a reading of a proclamation by member of the Hartford City Council. It will be more public then the MCC Chapel.

Off On Another Great Adventure. – Part 2

I just got an email from the Power Summit; I am not too keen on some of the workshops they have listed. One of the workshops that we have to do is go door to door to talk to people about “Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act” (GENDA) and the other workshop is on phone banks. I have had enough of phone banks when I worked for the Lamont campaign, long enough to know that I do not want to do that again and I don’t even want to think about going door to door.
According to the instructions; we have to come up with a list of 50 names to call on Thursday night. I do not know 50 people who I could list or if I would want to impose on them. You all know how I hate to tag somebody with memes; well it is even more pronounced with phoning. I hate to call someone unannounced, I would much rather email them. My cell phone is also pay as you take at a rate of 30 cents a minute and if each is three minutes that will be $45, no thanks.
As for going door to door, I can just see them now when a 6ft tranny is knocking at heir door, yeah right!
I still think it will be good to go to the conference; I might go door to door but no way am I going to call.

I was Up At the Cottage the Last Couple of Days

I was finishing up some wiring at the cottage yesterday and today. I ran into a couple of problems that had to be fixed before Thanksgiving. While we were up there it snowed all day but it did not accumulate, however on the way home I could see that all the tops of the mountains were covered with snow above a certain elevation. It kind of looked like someone picked them up a dipped the tops in confectionery sugar.

When I was coming up the stairs I heard my brother talking to his wife and he used my name and the correct pronoun, YES! In the past I only heard him use “D” not Diana, so this was a big milestone.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The HRC Tries to Mend the Bridges

I found this on TransGriot blog. She has a letter from the HRC that tries to explain why they felt that they had to throw us to the wolves. The letter was sent from the HRC’s Religion and Faith Program to a pastor in Atlanta GA. and also she has the reply from the pastor.
The pastor said….

Dear Harry,

Nice try with this letter, but it does not wash.

The transgender are real flesh and blood people and are not HRC's bargaining chip.


This is not Animal farm where "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal then others"!


If the hypocrites in congress didn't want transgender people in the bill, then they should have been forced to make an amendment to take it out from the floor...not have HRC bargaining and agreeing that a part of our community was expendable and could simply way for another day.

By removing Transgender people from the bill y'all sent a clear message to everyone concerned that the transgender community is some how not on equal footing with the rest of the community.

Read the her entire blog entry, the garbage that the HRC is trying to push to justify their dumping us is really amazing, make sure you have your boots on it is piled high in S**t.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yahoo Email Problems

Is anyone else having problems with Yahoo email? I have not been able to access it consistently since last night. It has only been working sporadically all morning and it is very frustrating to see that you have mail but not be able to read it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Off On Another Great Adventure.

In two weeks I will be going down to Nassau County on Long Island in New York for a four day training workshop on activism giving by the “National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” I was invited to the “New York Power Summit Grassroots Organizing Training for the LGBT Communities and Our Allies”.....

“The Task Force’s Power Summit is an intensive action-oriented training designed to provide activists with the concrete skills, tactics, and strategies they need to get lawmakers on our side, talk with the public about the issues facing the LGBT community and, most importantly, build grassroots organizations and coalitions that will win critical rights and protections for the LGBT community.”

I looking forward to it, the last one I attended was great and I learned a lot and made a number of network contacts. I am going with two other CTAC Board members plus someone from “Loves Makes A Family”. I am planning on taking the Bridgeport – Port Jefferson ferry to avoid driving through New York City. I can just sit back enjoy trip and take a lot of photos from the ferry.