Sunday, November 30, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #144

It's "Cyber Monday" today, the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States. Do you do much online shopping, holiday or otherwise?
I will not do any shopping on “Cyber Monday” but I do shop on-line especially for shoes.

Are you a Mac or a PC user? Why?
PC, because the business world is geared toward PC’s. However, I used an Apple way back in 1978, I had an Apple II+ with disk drives. I was a screaming machine with 64K of RAM (that is K not M or G).

What website do you spend more time on than you care to admit?
I usually take a tour of friends blogs a couple times a day and I check my mail a lot.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Six - Episode 242

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 242

1. What single food on the Thanksgiving dinner menu did you most look forward to?
I don’t think I look forward to any one item, but the whole traditional Thanksgiving spread, turkey, stuffing, white potatoes, gravy, candied sweet potatoes, corn and cranberry sauce.

2. What single food was your least favorite?
Candied sweet potatoes.

3. How many plates of food did you eat? Did you take the big nap afterwards?
One plate and not an heaping plate either of food either.

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

You Are a Fruitcake

People pretend you're sweet and precious, but they know how weird you really are!

What the heck type of quiz was that? It was as if it was written for a thirteen year old.

5. What dessert item did you most enjoy from the big feast? Who made it?
Apple pie and we usually get it from the local farm store, but I skipped it this year.

6. How many meals of leftovers did you bring home?
Enough for two or three turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Saturday 9: Just Like a Pill

Crazy Sam's Saturday 9: Just Like a Pill

1. What was the last pill you took?
You don’t want to ask me that, I rattle when I walk. But if you must know Spironolactone, Proscar and Aspirin at night and I have a whole other bunch of pills I take in the morning.

2. What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
The morning when I wake up.

3. Who was the last person you hugged?
A friend at the Day of Remembrance.

4. If you had a restaurant serve you a perfect breakfast, what would it be?
If gaining weight wasn’t a problem, then an omelet with ham, chesses, peppers and onion, bacon and hash browns.

5. What did you do on Thursday?
Worked on my term paper (and I am still working on my term paper), went for a walk and made dinner (see my blog entry “Stuffed and Tired”).

6. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wish I had more will power to stick to a diet.

7. What is your favorite TV commercial at the moment?
The ads for the Mac computers

8. Who would you'd be surprised to wake up and find in your bed?

9. Who is your favorite 80’s band?
I wasn’t a big fan of the 80’s bands, I liked the music from the sixties and seventies and I don’t even know any bands from the eighties.

Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant"

What would Thanksgiving be without Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant"?
So here it is on YouTube.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fill-in Friday #100

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #100

1. My stomach _is stuffed with stuffing_.

2. _Stuffing_ is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3. The yard _is covered in leaves_.

4. _Up at the cottage, curled up in front of the fire reading_ is where I'd rather be at any given time.

5. The smell of _pumpkin pie reminds me of my grandmother’s baking_.

6. _An antacid_ is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _hopefully having my term paper done_, tomorrow my plans include _seeing if my cousin wants to go walking_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Stuffed and Tired.

Whew, I’m stuffed and tired. I went for a two and a half mile walk with a friend this afternoon in Vernon on the Rails to Trails there and I came home and had a big turkey/stuffing/mash potato/cranberry sauce dinner. I was hoping to do some more writing on my term paper but I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open.

May Your Thanksgiving Be Happy

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It this time of year that we reflect on all that has happened this past year and to give thanks. However, for many it is not a time to rejoice, it is a time of loneliness, their families may have moved and left them behind, their family or spouse might have pasted away leaving them without any close relatives or their children might be at their in-laws for this holiday. But for whatever the reason, it is a lonely time.

For many in the LGBT community it is an especially lonely time, they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and chilren have disowned them. Sometimes when we do attend the gathering, we feel like outcasts, like the square peg in the round hole, we just don’t fit in, we are tolerated when we bring our partners or ourselves to the table.

So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #143

Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? What do you talk about?
Yes, all the time, I talk mostly about how dumb I am.

What stresses you out?
Term papers, final exams, etc…

What are your secret talents?
We just covered that on Saturday 9, so this time I would have to say baking. I love to cook.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Six - Episode 241

Patrick's PlaceSaturday Six - Episode 241

1. How often do you visit a coffee shop? If you do, do you drink coffee there, or just pick it up to go?
About once a week, we meet there to listen to the folk singers on Friday or Saturday nights

2. What is the latest time of day you can drink regular coffee (or tea) without messing up your sleep?

I only drink decafe coffee or tea.

3. What is the highest number of cups of coffee (or tea) you’ve had in a single day?
Two or three, I am not a big coffee or tea drinker

4. Take the quiz: What flavor of latte are you?

You Are a Cinnamon Latte

Deep down, you are a sensitive soul. You just want to be loved and appreciated.
You may have a spicy attitude, but you're all sweetness on the inside.

You are dependable and loyal. You have you life together, and you're able to be there for other people.
You like nothing more than a warm, cozy house filled with friends and loved ones.

5. Consider the highest price you’ve ever paid for a cup of coffee and the highest price you’ve paid for a gallon of gas: which of the two items was more expensive?
Gas, the most I paid for coffee was $2.50

6. What is your favorite holiday-flavored coffee?
Regular with cream and sugar.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday 9: Dreaming of You

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Dreaming of You

1. What did you dream about last night?
I can never remember my dreams more than a few minutes after I wake-up.

2. Do you often have nightmares?
I don’t remember if I ever had a nightmare since I was a kid.

3. Do you have any special talents?
I can wiggle my nose and ears at the same time.

4. Who is the most talent person that you know?
I have a number of friends who are equally talented.

5. What did you watch on TV last?

6. Is there a new TV show that you would recommend?
I have not watched any new shows this fall instead I do homework.

7. Who was the last person you phoned and why?
It was last Monday to talk about planning for a Banquet this coming March.

8. Who was the last person who phoned you and why?
Yesterday the nursing home where my aunt is living called to tell me that they changed her meds

9. What was the last snail mail letter that you received?
Does the letters in Christmas cards count?


It seems like every Transgender Day of Remembrance always has some part that get to me emotionally and yesterday was no exception.
One of the guest speakers was Rabbi Bremen and she loaned the Transgender Day of Remembrance the “Window of Hope” which is a window made up of shattered glass to symbolize Krystal Nacht, the night that the Holocaust began, the night they came for the Jews.

She talked so elegantly about the bigotry, hate and violence of that night and how they still exists today. How we must all fight that hatred as one and we must always be vigilant in our fight against the hatred and violence.

She went on to tell how the “Window of Hope” was made of glass from a Krystal Nacht service many years ago. Everyone had a piece of glass that they dropped on the floor to shatter in order to symbolize the broking glass of that night 70 years ago. It was from those pieces, that they made the “Window of Hope.” Last year when they were bringing the window to the Transgender Day of Remembrance some of the panes cracked and they debated long and hard on whether or not they should replace the shattered panes. They decided to leave it as is, to symbolize the continuing struggle against bigotry and hate and violence.

Fill-in Friday #99

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #99

1. The last band I saw live was _was so long ago that I can’t even remember the name of the band_.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is _the food_. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is _not even started_.
4. Thoughts of _term papers and final exams_ fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear _size 18 again_.
6. Bagpipes _are for blowhards_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _moderating a support group_ and Sunday, I want to _start my last term paper_!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kellie Telesford
Location: Thornton Heath, UK
Cause of Death: Strangled
Date of Death: November 21, 2007
Kellie was strangled to death with a scarf, by 18 year old Shanniel Hyatt, who then covered the body of 39-year-old Kellie Telesford with a white blanket - with the brown furry scarf used to choke her still bound tightly round her neck. Hyatt said he killer her after discovering she had a penis.

Brian McGlothin (Liked to dress in Women’s clothes
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Cause of Death: Shot in the head with an automatic rifle by Antonio Williams who is serving a six year sentence. Brian was 25 years old.
Date of Death: December 23, 2007

Gabriela Alejandra Albornoz
Location: Santiago, Chile
Cause of Death: Attacked and stabbed
Date of Death: December 28, 2007

Patrick Murphy (Found Dressed in Women’s clothes)
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Cause of Death: Shot Several times in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Patrick was 39 years old.

Stacy Brown
Location: Baltimore, MD
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: January 8, 2008
Stacy was 30 years old.

Adolphus Simmons
Location: Charleston, SC
Cause of Death: Shot to Death (Aldophus was 18 yrs. old)
Date of Death: January 21, 2008

Fedra (a known transvestite)
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Cause of Death: Was found lying face up in a pool of blood,
cause of death was not reported.
Date of Death: January 22, 2008

Ashley Sweeney
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: Shot in the head
Date of Death: February 4, 2008
The age of Ashley Sweeney is unknown, she was only described as a young transgender woman in a press release.

Sanesha (Talib) Stewart
Location: Bronx, NY
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: February 10, 2008
Sanesha was 25 years old.

Lawrence King
Location: Oxnard, California
Cause of Death: Shot to death by a classmate because he liked to wear
women’s clothes. (Lawrence King was 15 years old).
Date of Death: February 12, 2008

Simmie Williams Jr.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death, Simmie was found wearing women’s clothing. (Simmie was 17 years old)
Date of Death: February 22, 2008

Luna (no last name reported)
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Cause of Death: Brutally beaten to death and tossed into a dumpster.
Date of Death: March 15, 2008

Lloyd Nixon
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Cause of Death:Repeatedly beat in the head with a brick.
Date of Death: April 16, 2008
Lloyd was 45 years old.

Felicia Melton-Smyth
Location: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Cause of Death: brutally stabbed to death by Francisco Javier Hollos, who said he killed her because she would not pay for sex. Felicia was an HIV activist on vacation from Wisconsin.
Date of Death: May 26, 2008

Silvana Berisha
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: June 24, 2008

Ebony (Rodney) Whitaker
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death:Shot (Ebony was 20 yrs. old)
Date of Death:July 1, 2008

Rosa Pazos
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Cause of Death: Was found in her apartment, she had been stabbed in the throat.
Date of Death: July 11, 2008

Juan Carlos Aucalle Coronel
Location: Lombardi, Italy
Cause of Death severely beaten causing fractures to the head and face before being run over by a car.
Date of Death July 14, 2008
Juan Carlos was 35 years old.

Angie Zapata
Location: Greeley, Colorado
Cause of Death: She was found in her home with two severe fractures in her skull.
Angie was murdered by 31 year old, Alan Ray Andrade. Angie was 18 years old.
Date of Death: July 17, 2008

Jaylynn L. Namauu
Location: Makiki Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of Death: Stabbed to Death
Date of Death: July 17, 2008
Jaylynn was 35 years old.

Samantha Rangel Brandau
Location: Milan, Italy
Cause of Death: beaten, gang raped and stabbed numerous times before being left for dead.
Date of Death: July 29, 2008
Samantha was 30 years old.

Nakhia (Nikki) Williams
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Cause of Death: Found near the dumpster next to her home, she had been shot.
Date of Death: August 20, 2008
Nikki was 29 years old..

Ruby Molina
Location: Sacramento, California

Cause of Death: Drowned
Date of Death: September 21, 2008
Ruby’s naked body was found floating in the American river.
She was 22 years old.

Aimee Wilcoxson
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Cause of Death: undetermined (Police have yet to reveal cause)
Date of Death: November 3, 2008
Aimee was found dead in her bed. She was 34 years old.

Duanna Johnson
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 9, 2008
Duanna was found dead in the middle of the street. She was 42 years old.

Dilek Ince
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Cause of Death:Shot in the back of the head
Date of Death: November 11, 2008

Teish (Moses) Cannon
Location: Syracuse, New York
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: November 14, 2008
Teish was 22 years old.

Cause of Death:executed for being transgender
Date of Death:2008, Month is Unknown

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 20th Transgender Day of Remembrance

Year called "pivotal" for transgender people

HARTFORD, Connecticut, November 17, 2008 – On Thursday, November 20th, Ct TransAdvocacy Coalition and MCC/Hartford will observe Connecticut’s 7th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance with a vigil walk at 5:15 PM from First Presbyterian Church (136 Capitol Ave, Hartford) to the steps of the Ct State Capitol. There will be a Rally and Reading of Names on the Capitol Steps from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. followed by the Transgender DOR Program at 7 PM inside the MCC/Hartford Church (155 Wyllys Street). This year we will be remembering twenty-nine individuals murdered due to anti-transgender violence over the previous twelve months. All events are open to the public.

This year the Transgender Day of Remembrance is particularly important here in Connecticut, for as we achieved full Marriage Equality for same-sex couples we are still actively working to secure basic human rights for the transgender community within Connecticut’s non-discrimination statutes. Our motto this year is Marriage Equality in ’08 ~ Transgender Equality in ’09. The transgender community suffers from severe discrimination of their basic human rights in areas such as employment, housing and healthcare; and sadly as the Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds all of us, many in the transgender community suffer the ultimate forms of discrimination and that is the hate crimes, violence and murders that are inflicted upon far too many in our community ~ simply for being different.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998, was a primary impetus behind the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved. Such Transphobic hate crimes are not just against transgender people, but anyone who transgresses the so-called acceptable masculine/feminine norms of our society. These could be your children, your brothers, your sisters, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, you!

Tragic murders of those individuals who visibly transgress the gender binaries of male/female [Transgender and gender non-conforming] are occurring nationally at a rate of over one person a month. And each year the number of these murders is increasing, with very few being solved most sensationalized by the press and many ignored by the police or plea-bargained by the prosecutor. And each murder is horrific in nature, with many against our youth of color.

Thursday, November 20, 2008
5:15 PM Gathering at First Presbyterian Church, 136 Capitol Ave, Hartford
Vigil Walk from First Presbyterian Church to the State Capitol
5:30 PM Rally at the State Capitol
7:00 PM Transgender DOR Program at MCC Hartford, 155 Wyllys Street, Hartford

List of Vigils to be held around the U.S. and Canada

Lame Duck President Bush Pushes Right Wing Christian Agenda

President Bush is pushing a last minute rule change that would allow doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health care workers to refuse treating rape victims, lesbian, gay and trans-people because of religious objections.
Protests Over a Rule to Protect Health Providers
NY Times
Published: November 17, 2008

WASHINGTON — A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job discrimination laws.

The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposal is supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association, which represents Catholic hospitals.

Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, said that in recent years, “we have seen a variety of efforts to force Catholic and other health care providers to perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations.”

In a letter commenting on the proposed rule, Mr. Ishimaru and Ms. Griffin, from the employment commission, said that 40 years of court decisions had carefully balanced “employees’ rights to religious freedom and employers’ business needs.”

The proposed rule, they said, “would throw this entire body of law into question.”

As an example of the policies to which they object, Bush administration officials cited a Connecticut law that generally requires hospitals to provide rape victims with timely access to and information about emergency contraception.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut, a Republican, said the state law represented “an earnest compromise” between the rights of rape victims and the interests of health care practitioners who had moral or religious scruples against emergency contraception.

The state attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said the proposed regulation “would blow apart solutions and compromises that have been reached by people of good will in Connecticut and elsewhere.”

This brings Bush’s administration to a new height of bigotry and persecution .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa's Manic Monday #142

Do you believe people are basically good?

Yes, maybe that is why it affects me so strongly when I find out that a person could not be trusted.

If you could change the custom of shaking hands, what would you replace it with?
How about the Vulcan greeting – “Live long and prosper.” or putting our hands together and give a little bow? Actually, I think a handshake is a good custom.

What is something that you enjoy that is a chore for most other people?
I do not think I enjoy doing any chore, now if it was hobbies, I would say photography or hiking.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Term Paper (or one of them)

I am writing my term paper for my Marco Foundation Practice class that is due Tuesday. The paper asks what the agency that I am interning with does to follow the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics to “promote conditions that encourage respect for cultural and social diversity”

I feel so tempted to write… “They hired me” but it is suppose to be a scholarly paper so I will have to write something profound and verbose.

Update: 7:53
I just finished my paper... whew!
I hate it that the professor didn't cover all the chapters that the paper is based on and she didn't review what she wanted on the paper on this past Tuesday. So I couldn't really begin the paper until last Tuesday night and I had meeting that I had to attend Wednesday and Friday nights.

My next paper is due December 2nd, but I can start on it this weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Has Bush Admitted That His Presidency Is A Failure?

In a speech yesterday, Bush said,

Bush cautioned that it would take time to solve the financial crisis. However, he noted that actions taken, including massive government intervention, numerous reductions in interest rates, and continued liquidity injections "are having an impact."

"Credit markets are beginning to thaw. Businesses are gaining access to essential short-term financing. And a measure of stability is returning to financial systems around the world," he said.

Several reforms should be enacted, Bush said, including increasing transparency, ensuring that markets are properly regulated, enhancing financial market integrity, protecting against market manipulation and fraud, and increasing international cooperation by global financial authorities. Specifically, Bush called for an update of the structure of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Isn’t that the exact opposite of his eight years in office where he pushed deregulation, less government oversight, less transparency in government and less governmental intrusion in business? He also did a 180 deg. in a call for strengthening the SEC and more international cooperation. Now he is advocating government buying ownership in banks which is called Socialism.

However, one thing that Bush did say that will come true… he advocated for a smarter government and that will come true when Barack Obama takes office.

Saturday Six - Episode 240

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 240

1. Between breakfast, lunch or dinner, which meal are you most likely to skip on a typical day?
Lunch, because I am usually rushing around and I miss taking lunch. Definitely not breakfast because I am up so early that I always have time for breakfast.

2. Do you prefer a hot breakfast, like oatmeal, or a cold breakfast, like cereal?
Hot, I am a bacon and eggs type person.

3. When you’re in the mood for a big breakfast, what do you typically crave?

An omelet with ham, cheese, peppers and onions, hash browns, bacon, juice and tea.

4. Take the quiz: What kind of muffin are you?

You Are a Blueberry Muffin

You are a nurturing, domestic, homey person
Of all the types, you are the most likely to make your own muffins at home

You don't like to rock the boat, and you're most content when you're making everyone else happy
You are very loyal. You'll defend your family and friends, even if you secretly disapprove of what they're doing

You tend to be a bit shy and withdrawn. You don't make friends quickly or easily
But once you do make a good friend, the chances are high that you'll be friends for life.

5. What are you more likely to cook for yourself for breakfast if you’re alone: a stack of pancakes, a waffle, or grits?
A stack of pancakes, consisting of two pancakes.

6. What’s your favorite beverage to drink with your breakfast?
Lemonade. Not orange juice? No because orange juice is high in potassium and I have to limit my potassium intake.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday 9: Kiss and Tell

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Kiss and Tell

1. Who was the last person you kissed?
That I kissed, not be kissed? We have to go a long ways back for the answer.

2. What are you wearing now?
A cotton turtleneck sweater, jeans and ankle boots.

3. What is your favorite meal at a fast food restaurant?

Wopper Jr. with cheese.

4. Are you a morning person?
Yes, I am usually up by five.

5. When you were young, what career did you want?

To be an electrical engineer and I was for thirty-three years.

6. Do you have a thing (it can be just fantasy) for a blogger that you read?
Kind of, but I would just like to meet them and to see what they are like in person, that’s all.

7. Do you wear jewelry?

Earrings and a watch.

8. Do you wear perfume or cologne? If yes what type?
No, I do not want to impose on others who might be allergic to scents.

9. Do you think about sex a lot?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fill-in Friday #98

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #98

1. Please feel free to _smell the Daisies_.
2. When I _am making chili_ I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is _Lobster Newburg_.
4. _Chocolate_ is something I can't get enough of.
5. That's the thing I love most about _November, is Thanksgiving_.
6. _Driving a long distance_ always makes me think to myself, what the heck [am I doing driving for so long]?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _Transgender Day of Remembrance in Springfield_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the California Proposition 8 protest in Hartford_ and Sunday, I want to _work on my term-paper_!

Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) Survey

The Transgender American Veterans Association released their survey of the Veteran Administration treatment of transgender veterans and the survey shows that the VA has a long way to go end discrimination.

The study found:

  • About a third of those using the VA hospital had broached the subject of medical gender transitions with the VA staff. Most of them had their requests denied.
  • 10% of the sample reported being turned away from the VA due to being transgender.
  • Respondents reported organizational discrimination at the VA in a lack of clear and consistent practice, and little support for gender transitions. In addition, there were many reports of interpersonal discrimination, via lack of respect from VA doctors, non-medical staff, and nurses.
  • Few respondents reported being turned down for procedures that are considered medically necessary for their birth gender: pap smears for female-bodied people and prostate exams for male-bodied.

In addition, there were many reports of interpersonal discrimination, via lack of respect from VA doctors (22%), non-medical staff (21%), and nurses (13%). These cases of interpersonal discrimination ranged from what many veterans describe as “typical” – refusing to change to gender-appropriate pronouns, failure to use a new name consistently – to the extreme – refusing to look at transgender patients, referring to them in dismissive ways, refusing to treat them for general medical care. One FTM respondent noted, “I was told by a religious clerk that I should just go away because I was an insult to the brave real men who were there for treatment.” Another MTF respondent noted, “I am asked about my genitals and my plans for SRS regardless of whether or not it has relevance to my treatment.” Other transgender veterans reported having their medical privacy violated by VA doctors and nurses. In many of these cases, doctors and nurses violated the Hippocratic Oath – do no harm – by singling out and stigmatizing their transgender patients. Illustrating this, one MTF respondent recounted the following experience: “A nurse pulled my partner out in the hall of the VA Hospital where I was an in-patient [and said], ‘You know that is really a man, don’t you?’” While these are just a few examples, they clearly show the discriminatory experiences transgender veterans are facing in VA hospitals – discrimination based on their non-traditional gender identities. This discrimination is not unique to transgender veterans – many transgender people face similar issues of access to care and stigmatization by medical staff in their daily lives.

This survey shows that the VA has a very long way to go to end the discrimination and the sexual harassment in their hospitals. Those10% who were turned away for routine medical treatment is totally unacceptable.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

California Vote NO on Proposition 8 Ads

Some of the ads are quite funny; my favorite is the first one, a spoof on the Apple/PC ads…

Keith Olbermann on Prop 8

I found this on Christine’s blog “Rising Up Whole,” and what I found interesting was that Mr. Olbermann comment that until the Supreme Court overturned the laws banned interracial marriage, Barack Obama's parents couldn’t marry. Some critic of the Connecticut Supreme Court decision claim that the courts are making laws, that is not correct, they are "Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice." They are preventing the tyranny of the majority from oppressing the rights of the minority. I firmly believe that the California Supreme Court will overturn Proposition 8.

I Am A Glutton For Punishment

I just volunteered to help with the Pride organization at school, yesterday.
In my first class of the day one of the students asked if I would be interested in attending a Pride meeting. At first, I wasn’t that interested but I asked if she could post a notice on the college list-server and she told me that she couldn’t but the person who could would be at the meeting. So I went to the meeting and ending up volunteering to help.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

California Proposition 8 Unconstitutional?

Could the courts overturn California's Proposition 8 that bans marriage equality...

Legality of Same-Sex Marriage Ban Challenged

By Ashley Surdin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 11, 2008; Page A02

LOS ANGELES -- The future of same-sex marriage in the Golden State will rest, once again, in the hands of its highest court. But this time, its fate will hinge on a different question: Can a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage go before voters? Or must it go before the legislature first?

"In passing Prop 8, the people of California basically put an asterisk next to the equal protection clause in the constitution," said William Araiza, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Now, he said, "it fundamentally comes down to whether the court considers this a major change or not a major change."

Specifically, opponents of Proposition 8 argue that this kind of change is a "revision," not an "amendment." The distinction is important, legal experts say, because revisions require two-thirds approval in the legislature and then a popular vote. Amendments can be approved by popular vote only.

If, as opponents say, the court finds that Proposition 8 qualifies as a revision, then the proposition would be found unconstitutional because its proponents would have, in effect, skipped the required legislative step. If the court strikes down the initiative on these grounds, it is not certain the lawmakers would take up the issue again.

Community Acess Television

We talk with Diana, a CT trans activist and lobbyist associated with the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition, about the outcome of the 2008 elections how it will affect a gender inclusive ENDA, the loss of rights in CAs prop 8 and the passing of hetero-only marriage definitions in FL and AZ, as well as CTs success in voting down a constitutional convention. We also talk in general about being an activist or lobbyist and how folks can get started supporting issues in which they believe.

Update 8:40am
The Hartford Courant this morning had an article about Saturday's Dinner and they had a picture of me and two friends.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Job Openings…

This is from the "" Office of the President-Elect...

"This website is designed to provide prospective applicants with information to help them apply for positions in the Obama-Biden Administration. President-Elect Obama will make appointments throughout the federal government. Some positions will require Senate confirmation while others will not. Some appointments will be made during the transition process and others during the early part of the new Administration."
"The Obama-Biden Transition Project does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or any other basis of discrimination prohibited by law."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #141

What was the first thing you thought when you looked at yourself in the mirror today?
Am I Fat! I need to lose 30 pounds.

Do you have a recurring nightmare? If so, explain.

I don’t remember my dreams and I don’t think that I have had nightmare in a very long time.

List three foods you can’t stand:

I probably can’t stand at least one vegetable for each letter of the alphabet.

HGLHC Banquet

Last night I went to a fundraiser for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective, it was a semiformal big gala dinners, this one in called “One Big Event.” They had a very good comedian for the entertainment, Suzanne Westenhoefer and she had me laughing for most of her act, of course it was on the elections, gays and California.

The dinner was so-so, but I really don’t expect the food to be good when you have all most six hundred people that they have to feed. I left right after her act was over and before the band started playing, I am not that much for dancing and the band looked like they were going to be loud. So I left around ten-thirty.

One of the support group that I with has a banquet ever year in the spring and we have a heated argument discussion each year over food. Some people want more than two choices, but in order to add a third choice to the menus means a higher price for the dinner and we try to keep it under $50. The two dinners that I attended this fall were $65 and $100 and you didn’t have a choice of menus. Some of our members think it should be held at restaurant instead of a hotel, but many of our members cannot come dressed en femme because of family reasons, so they need a room to change in. Some people come a long ways and they stay over for the night or they drink too much and need a room to crash in. Other people think that we make a ton of money from the banquet, but we price it to the nearest $5 of the actual cost and we charge an extra $5 if they make their reservations late, so we only make about $3 - $8 per person and we have a little over fifty attendees.

It is so much fun organizing a banquet.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Six - Episode 239

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 239

1. If you had to fill in as a substitute teacher at a local middle school, what subject would you be most comfortable teaching?

Math or Science, definitely not English.

2. When you were in school, what was a better indication of your true understanding of what you were learning: class participation, the accuracy of your homework, or your test scores?
I freeze up on tests, I do OK with homework if I have enough time to review my work to make sure I didn’t make some stupid error. In class participation I excel; but it is funny all through school and college I never answered a question unless it was directed to me. However, now that I am in Grad school I sometimes feel that I am monopolizing the conversation.

3. You meet someone for the first time and have a brief conversation with them. If you run into them the next afternoon, how likely are you to remember their name?
Ten - twenty percent chance I would remember their names and lets go beyond remembering their name to remembering their face. It is funny, I have a hard time remembering someone outside of the context where I know them. If I met you professionally and I met you at an art gallery, I would have a hard time connecting your face. I one time didn’t recognize a girlfriend in a bank because it wasn’t a setting that I associated her with… she didn’t take too kindly to me not recognizing her… Ops.

4. Take the quiz:
Do You Have Gaps in Your Knowledge?

There Are 0 Gaps in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:
No Gaps!
Where you don't have gaps in your knowledge:

5. If you had “gaps” in your knowledge, did you expect to have them where they were predicted? If you had none, which of the listed subjects would be the ones you’d most expect gaps to be?
I wasn’t too sure about Plato's teacher, which poet was not an American, and which composer was deaf, they were lucky guesses.

6. If you could go back to school for one semester free of charge and “try again” with any subject, which one would you choose and why?
Funny you should ask that, because I have gone back to college after thirty years. I have a Bachelor’s Electrical Technology and I went back to college for my Master’s in Social Work because I want to help the trans-community.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Saturday 9: So Far Away

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: So Far Away

1. Where is the furthest place that you have traveled and how far away from home is it?
Port Townsend Washington.

2. What is a blog that you would recommend for us to read and why?
Most of the blogs that I read are political and are related to trans or LGBT issues.

3. What is the biggest surprise you ever have had and was it a good one?
My grades in Graduate school, you have to realize that I barely squeaked by when I got my Bachelor’s and I was on probation most of the time. Now I have somewhere around B+/A- average (I still having trouble with grammar, but it has improved somewhat.).

4. What is your favorite quote? (We know we've asked this recently. But there is always another great quote! :)
"The point is that there are always obstacles, whether they seem insurmountable or merely bothersome. The question is not how difficult the path, but whether in your heart, you wish to undertake the journey."
Zandru's Forge

5. Have you ever been hospitalized for a major health situation?

Yes, I thought I was having a heart attack, instead it was an Arrhythmia

6. Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?
Well it all depend on what you consider long, my hair is shoulder length.

7. What was your favorite amusement park ride growing up?
The tame ones, I do not like wide rides.

8. How long do you talk on your phone on a typical day?
Zero minutes. Yup, I usually do not talk on the phone, I talk to my brother for 30 – 45 minutes once a week but my other calls are mainly short and to the point. I pay by the minute on my cell and land-line phones.

9. Other than Saturday 9, what is your favorite meme to do each week?
It is a tie between Manic Mondays and Fill-in Fridays.

Fill-in Friday #97

Janet’s Fill-in Friday #97

1. My blueprint for success includes _hard work_.
2. _Hershey’s Kiss_ was the last candy I ate.
3. The best facial moisturizer I've ever used is _was steam shower_.
4. _Chocolate cherry ice cream_ can be good therapy.
5. I'd like to tell you about _myself_.
6. _Honesty_ is my strongest characteristic.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _studying_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the “One Big Event” dinner_ and Sunday, I want to _recuperate_!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let Me Toot My Own Horn

I got an “A” on both of my mid-term papers, Micro Foundation Practice and Marco Foundation Practice. The papers are based on my two internship projects that I am working on this year. The Micro paper was about the support group that I am facilitating and the Marco paper was about the work I am doing with an organization on the Anti-Discrimination legislation.

Two papers down, two more to go, the Marco paper is due November 18 and the Micro paper is due December 2.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We Lost!

In Florida and Arizona the voters passed by narrow margins ban on marriage equality and in California the vote is too close to call. The vote count in California with 89% of the vote counted is 52% “yes” 48% “no,” at least 48% pf the people did the right thing. Over $60 million was spent on the ballot question.
Once again, the tyranny of the majority oppressed the rights of the minority.
What ever happen to the “equal protection” clause pf the U.S. Constitution; I guess “Animal Farm” is correct, “All animal are equal, but some are more equal then others” especially if you are Christian.

Update 9:00am
In an ironic twist of logic, Californian’s have pasted an amendment giving rights to farm animals with the passage of Proposition #2, but not to gays and lesbians with the passage of Proposition #8.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Why I Am Voting “NO” on the Constitutional Convention Question Part 6

In California Proposition 8, special interest groups have spent over $60 million dollars lobbying the public and $1.6 million dollars came from the Knights of Columbus located here in Connecticut. Here in Connecticut the Knights of Columbus are also a heavy spender on our ballot question on the Constitutional Convention.

The reason that the Connecticut Catholic Conference, the Knights of Columbus and the Family Institute of Connecticut are spending millions of dollars on ballot initiatives is that they want to pass Constitutional amendments to limit marriage to between a man and a woman. They also want to ban abortions, to limit immigrants rights to basic human services. In addition, they are trying to repel the Anti-Discrimination laws on sexual orientation and to prevent the passage of a gender inclusive Anti-Discrimination law. All those television commercials to vote “yes” on the Constitution Convention ballot question are paid for by the Connecticut Catholic Conference.

We do not want ballot initiatives that are bought with special interest groups’ money.

Vote “NO” on question #1 tomorrow.

Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #140

How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Do you feel that's too much, not enough or just right?
About 15 hours a week, I watch the morning news, the evening news and a hour before I go to bed.

Which of the 5 senses do you feel is your strongest sense?
Sight, I think that is evident in my photographs.

What's the wackiest belief you held as a child?
That an old barn was haunted.

Why I Am Voting “NO” on the Constitutional Convention Question Part 5

There was a couple of comments on my blog that began…

I'm sorry that gays have been targeted by intolerant abusers of the initiative process. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater!

That statement reeks of “Male Power” it comes from people who have never experienced what it is like to be discriminated against. It comes from people who have never been told that “Your kind are not welcome here.” as has happened here in Connecticut just recently when a trans-woman was asked to leave a bar because she was upsetting the customers. It comes from people who have never been fired from a job because they are different.

In Montgomery County in Maryland if it wasn’t for a legal technicality there would have been a ballot initiative to repeal the gender inclusive Anti-Discrimination statue. It was an effort that was lead by a right wing Christian group that used lies and innuendos to get the recall initiative on the ballot. In California, there is are phony mailed flyers that reports that Sen. Obama is in favor of Proposition 8 that is being sent out by right wing Christian groups. We do not need that type of “Democracy” of winning by dirty politics here in Connecticut.

Also in the blog comment on my blog, he said that ballot initiatives are more democratic, but writes…

He's used his wealth to fund Dem campaigns, but also to sponsor 2 very successful ballot initiatives…

Where money determines the elections even though they are good causes, their victories were bought. We do not need that type of “Democracy” of the dollar here in Connecticut.

In Florida the courts are looking into illegal funding of the ballot initiative to band marriage equality by a right wing Christian organizations. They are being investigated for hiding contributions and under-reporting campaign expenditures. The special interest groups will use every dirty trick in the book to get amendments passed. Do we want that here in Connecticut?

In the Hartford Courant on Thursday there was an article on the convention that said that voter who are in favor of the convention want to end entrenched special interests but that is just what is happening. The article says that “In other states with citizen initiative, ballot questions can generate multimillion-dollar media campaigns.” We already have that just look at the two special interest groups fighting over our ballot question and the ads they are running on television. In Colorado $46 million from special interest groups has been spent on their ballot initiatives this year, a good part of that came from out-of-state special interest groups.

The article also had the results of a poll on the Constitutional Convention question and in the article, they said that 95 % are not aware that amendments to the constitution can be proposed by the General Assembly without holding a constitutional convention. I think that most voters do not learn what a bill is about, they do not take the time to learn about what they are being asked to vote on. In Colorado, they have 14 amendments on the ballot and the election officials handed out a 65 page booklet explaining the ballots. How many people do you think read it? We end up being educated by who can have the fanciest 30 second commercial.

Florida passed an amendment to the Constitution protecting “Pregnant Pigs.” However, they will not pass an amendment protecting sexual orientation and gender identity; in Florida, pigs have more rights then lesbians, gay and transsexuals.

We have in Connecticut amended the state Constitution 30 times without the need of a Constitutional Convention and the ballot initiative. There are two Constitutional questions on the ballot, the first is on the Constitutional Convention and the second is to amend the Constitution to allow 17 year olds to vote in the primaries if they turn 18 before the elections. Do you think that it is ironic that we are arguing over amending the Constitution so that voters can vote on changing the Constitution when that voters are voting on changing to the Constitution?

Ballot initiatives do not make good laws.

Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday Six - Episode 238

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 238

1. In your own blog, are you more likely to discuss personal relationships, religion or politics?
My blog covers topics that have personal meaning to me, including politics.

2. If you needed a “tagline” or sub-title for your blog, what would you use to describe your blog?
A collection of unrelated thoughts that are dear and near to me.

3. You notice that a close “blog buddy” of yours has suddenly removed the link to your blog from his or her website. Do you contact that person to ask why you’re no longer linked, or ignore it?

No, I might wonder why, but I would not ask them. If I liked their blog, I would keep my link to them.

4. Take the quiz:
What Kind of Blogger Are You?

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
You're up on the latest news, and you have an interesting spin on things.
Of all the blogging types, you put the most thought and effort into your blog.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.

5. If there was no such thing as feed readers, the sites or that allow you keep up with multiple blogs at once, and the only way for you to actually keep up with your blogging friends was to actually go to their own individual blog every time, how many blogs do you think you would seriously read regularly?
Up until this week I didn’t use feed readers and I surfed about a dozen sites each day. Now I added that feature to my blog.

6. If you learned that each of the following people had been secretly reading your blog for a while now, which one would make you want to look back through your content to see if any apologies might be necessary: your parents, your children, your best friend, your pastor, your boss, or your worst enemy?
When I was working, I worried about my co-workers finding my blog because I wasn’t “Out” to anyone at work and after I left, they did find it. I have about 50 – 75 hits a day and when they found out my hit counter was showing 150 – 200 hits a day for about a week and then the novelty wore off.