Monday, March 30, 2009

Déjà vu All Over Again

I had to go up to the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs tonight to take part in a panel discussion on HB6452 to the Young Democrats organization. Walking back to my car afterward, I had a flashback to 35 years ago when I was at college walking back to my dorm. As I was walking back to my car there were students walking by talking about classes, it reminded me of walking back to the dorm at night after studying at the library. It had that feeling of familiarity that I have done this before.
It got me to thinking how much things have changed, but still stayed the same. I am some 38 years older but it doesn’t seem like that long ago, in some ways it seems like just a few years have gone by.
But then the feeling pasted, and I had a long drive home ahead of me.

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #161

Do you enjoy brain teasers or do you find them frustrating?
I hate them with a passion and I find them extremely frustrating.

Do you have any unusual collections?
Nope, I don’t have any collection.

What do people notice about you within the first hour of meeting you (other than appearance)?
Hmm… that is a hard question. I would have to say it would depend on how and for reason we met. If we met because of trans-rights they would notice that I am very passionate on the subject. However, if we met socially, then they would notice that I am shy and reserved.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The COS Banquet

Last night was the annual Connecticut Outreach Society’s Banquet. We had guests from all of the neighboring state of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York attend, our banquet is the only banquet in the southern New England area. We try to keep the price low since we do not want to make a profit off the banquet, we just want to give our members a safe night out where they can dress-up, dance and enjoy themselves. For many of our members and guests this is the only time that they are able to do that. We had an average turnout of around fifty people, which I thought was very good considering the economy.
Our guest speaker last night was Anne Stanback. She is “a LGBT rights activist and the founder and Executive Director of Love Makes a Family (LMF), which is a statewide non-profit advocacy organization working for gender equality and marriage equality in Connecticut.
On October 18, 2006, she was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame for her work as a social justice activist on behalf of the gay, lesbian community, bisexual and transgender communities.
Anne has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of women and the LGBT community including: the Harriet Tubman Award for Achievement in the Pursuit of Social Justice from the National Organization for Women (CT NOW), 2002.

I left early, around 10:30 and from the reports that I got this morning the banquet was still going strong at 1:00am.

Saturday Six #259

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #259

1. List the social networking sites you have either tried or still use.
LinkedIn, a friend at my internship asked me to join and I have not used it at all. Snapfish, I had for about a month before I dropped out and Facebook I joined last fall and I usually make an entry every couple of days.
Blogger, is the site that I use the most and try to make at least one entry a day on it.

2. Of the social networking sites you’ve actually tried, which one is your favorite?
Blogger, I think that is most read and I have a link from my blog to Facebook, what I write on blogger appears on Facebook. I find that my blog has been quoted and linked to on some national blogs, which I find amazing.

3. What’s the biggest drawback to such sites, in your opinion?
It takes up too much time. Too many little games that people want you to play. Too many people who want to be your friends that I don’t know.

4. Other than it being the “hip thing to do,” what’s the main reason you’d at least consider joining such a site?
It is great for networking. I would imagine that for teenagers, it is great for partying, but for adults it is great for keeping in touch with family, old friends and classmates. For social justice activist it great way for spreading the word about an action.

5. Take the quiz: Are You Facebook, MySpace or Twitter?

You Are Twitter

You are energetic to the point of being hyperactive. You are the ultimate multitasker.
You don't have much of an attention span for anything. You like things short and sweet.

You can't help but let everyone know what you're doing, even if it's just what you're having for dinner.
You are big on sharing what's going on in your life. If anything, you share too much!

6. Do you have more people you’d call friends in real life, or on your profile called friends by the system at your most-used social networking site?
I have more “friends” on Facebook then I real life, however most of those on-line friends are friends because of social justice issues or they are part of the “trans-community”

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday 9: Inside the Actors Studio

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Inside the Actors Studio

1. What is your favorite word?

2. What is your least favorite word?
Any swear word.

3. What turns you on, creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Creatively – I wish I knew, because if I did know, then all my photographs would be perfect
Spiritually – I think it is just looking at all the beauty and variety around us
Emotionally – someone who is hurting either physically or emotionally

4. What turns you off?

5. What is your favorite curse word?
I do not have any favorite curse word – usually they come out spontaneously when I hurt myself accidentally (especially if it was the result of doing something really stupid).

6. What sound or noise do you love?
Birds in the morning or the sound of gentle waves

7. What sound or noise do you hate?
Boom boxes and loud cars or motorcycles

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I think I have already made the switch, from engineering to social work

9. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

That I have already served my time in hell here on earth.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Friday Fill-ins #117

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins


1. "In a hole in the ground there lived _a Hobbit_."

2. "_I’m just an intern_ but that ain't no matter."

3. "After dark the rain began to fall again, _coating the tree with a thin layer of ice_."

4. "_The divers brought up gold coins by the bucket full_ from the hold of the Spanish galleon."

5. "There was a hand in the darkness and _there was no arm attacked to it_."

6. "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, _driver_."

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffeehouse to listen to the folk singers_, tomorrow my plans include _going to my support group annual banquet_ and Sunday, I want to _watch the rain come down and read my homework assignment_!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last Night On Cable Access Television

Once again, I was asked to come on a call-in transgender cable access television show down in southeast Connecticut. We received phone calls from a viewer who just had to call to damn us to hell, and called us freaks and faggots, but what was interesting was what happened after he called each time. We received three or four calls thanking us for having the show, they thanked us for our courage and apologized for the earlier caller.

After the show, I was talking to the co-hosts and they said that is a common response that they receive after calls like that. That they normally receive a few calls from their regular viewers, but when they get hate-calls the phone-lines light up afterward as they did last night.

I think that the Gainesville FL vote reflects what we observed first-hand last night. That no matter how many lies and hate that the bigots spread, the majority of people believe in fairness and equality. In Gainesville that voter rejected Amendment 1, according to the Gainesville Sun, “…approximately 58 percent of city voters who said no Tuesday to Amendment 1 — a ballot initiative that would have made Gainesville's anti-discrimination ordinance the same as Florida's Civil Rights Act.

Those voting no on Tuesday represents 11,717 voters, compared to the 42 percent who voted for the amendment, or 8,375 votes.”

Compare the elections results to a poll that was conducted last year by the Empire State Pride Agenda of New York. They commissioned a poll of New York state voters that was conducted by Global Strategy Group1. The results of the poll showed “that overall 78 percent of registered New York voters support passing a bill that protects transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, education and other areas of everyday life"

Now if only the legislators would only listen to the majority and not the rhetoric of few rightwing bigots as they try to spread their hate and lies.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gainesville FL Voters Go To The Polls Today

UPDATE: National Center for Transgender Equality (NTCE)

Gainesville, Florida: NCTE congratulates the wonderful advocates at Equality is Gainesville's Business who organized and executed a highly professional and effective campaign to counter yet another organized anti-LGBT fear mongering effort. With 100% of the city ballots counted, the discriminatory Charter Amendment One has been soundly defeated by a vote of 58% to 42%.

Charter Amendment 1 was an effort by national rightwing organizations to repeal the city's new anti-discrimination law that would-and now will-allow gay, bi and transgender people to work and live based on their qualifications.

Equality has won. Truth has won. The LGBT-obsessed Right Wing Lie Machine has fallen way short again.

And residents of Gainesville and the amazing people at Equality is Gainesville's Business ROCK.

In Gainesville Florida today voters are voting on whether to repeal the city’s anti-discrimination laws.
Gainesville may shed gay discrimination ban
Associated Press Writer

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A charter amendment that would strip this university city's anti-discrimination protections extended to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender residents is before voters Tuesday.

The fight began after the city commission last year revised Gainesville's anti-discrimination ordinance to protect transgender people - those who are born one sex but identify with the other. That allows the city's approximately 100 transgender residents to use the public restroom of their choosing, along with protecting them from job and housing discrimination.

Those supporting repeal say their message has remained consistent: "Keep men out of women's restrooms!"

"That's our motive, plain and simple," said Jim Gilbert, a spokesman for Citizens for Good Public Policy.
The Citizens for Good Public Policy say that is their only motive, but it is not, they are also removing protection from discrimination for sexual orientation. The law would repeal job and housing protection for lesbians, gats, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

Why is it that organizations that have “citizens” or “family” in their name are not for all citizens or all families; they are for exclusion, hate and discrimination.

Monday, March 23, 2009

People of faith and transgender advocacy

Bishop John Selders of the UCC reflects on the progress in Connecticut and in the nation on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights, and urges people of faith to be strong voices for inclusion and legal protections for transgender people.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa's Manic Monday #160

Do you screen your phone calls?
No, I cannot get my phone through a sifter. :-)
No, I do not have caller ID and I try to answer the phone before the answering machine pickups.

When was the last time you lost your temper?
I cannot remember, it takes an awful lot to get me to lose my temper.

When you're lost, do you ask for directions?
I don’t get lost! I have a GPS!
Before GPS, I did not stop for directions, but on the other hand, that was also before I started estrogen. Now, I find myself willing to stop for directions or read instruction manuals.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Six - Episode 258

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 258

1. You discover that someone at another website has copied some of your site’s content, word for word, retitled it as if it were something he or she created, and did not provide any link to your site. How would you handle things?
It happened to me, someone did copy my blog and I sent them a nice email saying that you should give credit to me. The next day there was a link back to my blog.
I do not mind if they copy it word for word, but just give me credit. They same goes for my photographs and poems, you can use them for non-commercial purposes, but don’t sell them or use them on a commercial site.

2. When someone publishes or creates something original — writing, artwork, music, etc.— how long do you think is a reasonable amount of time for copyright protection to be provided: for a set period of time, for the life of the author, or for a period of time that extends beyond the author’s life to cover his heirs?
Twenty years. I think the copyright laws are too excessive.

3. If you find a piece of artwork, photography or music that no longer has copyright protection (i.e., has moved into “public doman”) and you modify or perform it in a unique way, do you feel that you should receive copyright protection despite the fact that it started as public domain material?
I think that you should be able to copyright it as long as you state that it was derived from the original work.

4. Should people be allowed to download music, television shows or movies freely from the web without paying the copyright holders? If not, who should be punished in such cases: the downloader, the sites that provide the material, or both?
Television show yes, as long as it is for you own personnel use. Music and movies no, unless you buy the original and them you should be able to make copies from it, but not second generation copies (that is making copies from copies) and not for profit.

5. Take the quiz: How do you do in the Five Factor Values Test?

You are Honest, Loyal, Generous, Humble and Tolerant

You value loyalty a fair amount.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties.
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.

You value honesty a fair amount.
You're honest when you can be, but you aren't a stickler for it.
If a little white lie will make a situation more comfortable, you'll go for it.
In the end, you mostly care about "situational integrity."

You value generosity a fair amount.
You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.
Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.
But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!

You value humility highly.
You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.
And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.
You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.

You value tolerance highly.
Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...
You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.
You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

6. You produce a movie or television show and discover that a third party is reselling copies of your work that have been edited to remove content they find inappropriate. Would you allow them to continue to do so, or would you take legal action against them to stop them from altering your work?
I do not think that they should be able to edit the contents and I think that legal action is warranted.

I think you also should have added a question about software. At the hearing that I attended Thursday, there was a discussion about software. Because of budget cuts, the schools do not have a big enough budget to renew all the software licenses. It seems that all the research labs’ data at the universities would be useless became they could not access the data once the license run out. The databases are proprietary.

Saturday 9: Crank Up the Tunes

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Crank Up the Tunes

1. What is your favorite 50’s band?
Ricky Nelson - Poor Little Fool
I think for me, Ricky Nelson is probably my choice because of the TV show, “The Nelson’s.” That was the show that we always watched and I remember him playing that song on the show all the time.

2. What is your favorite 60’s band?
The Animals - The House Of The Rising Sun
The late sixties had so many classic bands that it made it impossible to pick one band. So, I chose a band from the mid-sixties when my generation was just becoming aware of music. “The House Of The Rising Sun” is a great classic that is over shadowed by some of the great band like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

3. What is your favorite 60’s record album?
I cannot pick just one, that is like asking who is your favorite son or daughter, it is impossible to pick just one.
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Abbey Road, The Beatles ("The White Album"), Are You Experienced, Led Zeppelin I & II, Tommy, The Doors, The Band, Days Of Future Passed, On The Threshold Of A Dream, Steppenwolf, Chicago Transit Authority, Santana, Fresh Cream, Younger Than Yesterday, Volunteers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grand Funk Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale, Traffic, Live Dead, and I could just go on and on. For me, the sixties and the seventies are the golden age of music.

4. What is your favorite 70’s band?

How do I pick one? How do I pick among Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, The Eagles, Elton John, Van Morrison, Queen, The Allman Brothers Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Boston, Yes, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, Heart, and Kiss. How do you just pick one from a list like that?

5. What is your favorite 70’s record album?
This is impossible! Near the top of my choices are Dark Side of The Moon, Workingman’s Dead, Rumours, The Eagles.

6. What is your favorite 80’s band?

I would have to pick either the Police or Bon Jovi

7. What is your favorite 80’s record album?


8. What is your favorite 90’s band?

I do not have any favorite bands from the 90’s

9. What is your favorite 90’s record album?
Ditto, the golden age of music was over.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins


1. Why do we have to_have homework_?

2. _What we do over and over again_ are now habits.

3. I have _learn to relax_.

4. I had never heard the phrase "_YMMV_" and it _meant “Your Mileage May Vary” _.

5. _It is hard not to do something_ the way I always do.

6. How (w)as I to know _I shouldn’t press the red button_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to a coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _working on my paper that is due Wednesday_ and Sunday, I want to _go for a hike (its that season again)_!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

2009 Testimony to the Judicial Committee

An Act Concerning Discrimination HB6452

Honorable chairs, senators and representatives, my name is Diana ________ and I live in ________. I would like to urge you to vote in favor of HB6452 An Act Concerning Discrimination.

Ten years ago, I come out as transgender and attended a support group.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone that committed suicide nor attempted to commit suicide.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone who was homeless and begging for a place to stay.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone who worked the streets.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone with AIDS.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone who was fired from work because of who they are.
Ten years ago, I never knew anyone who was thrown out of a store because of who they are.
These are life lesson that I never thought that I would learn. In the support group, I met people who were fired from their jobs and ended up on state assistance. I met people who were harassed when they went to the grocery store. I met people who just wanted to live their lives and support their families. We need to stop this discrimination, and this bill will help to end these injustices.

I do not know if you have seen the movie “Milk” but what struck me while watching the movie, was the argument that the opposition made back in 1978 for Proposition 6, to ban “homosexual teachers from teaching.” It was the same argument made before this Judiciary Committee in 1991 when the gay rights bill was passed. And, it is the same argument that they are making now… “The students will not understand.” Their fears were groundless then and their fears are groundless now.

Thirteen states have passed a gender identity non-discrimination law; gender inclusive non-discrimination laws protect 39% of the U.S. population and teachers transitioning have not been a problem in any of those states. These are not new laws, they have been around for decades The first city to pass a gender Non-Discrimination ordinance was Minneapolis, in 1975. Rhode Island passed their law eight years ago, Maine passed their gender identity law four years ago and Vermont passed their law two years ago. None of these states or municipalities report issues in the implementation of the law.

I have heard it argued that parents do not want their children to know about transsexuals because the parents are uncomfortable talking about lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people. I am uncomfortable about many things that people do, but I do not go around trying band their actions and treat them as second-class citizens. When I was a child, there were many things that my parents taught me, and one thing that they taught me was not to treat people who are different any differently then we treat anyone else. If we prohibit teachers from transitioning, we are teaching children that it is OK to treat people who are different differently. That is a wrong message to send to our children. Instead, we should teach our children to treating everyone with respect just as my father taught me. Please let us teach our children about fairness and equality not about exclusion.

In closing, I would like to read a quote from Frederick Douglass that he made at the International Council of Women in Seneca Falls New York in 1848, Douglas said this about women’s rights,
When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself; when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act.”

Please pass HB6452 An Act Concerning Discrimination and find that nobility in your heart.
Thank you.

It was a very, very long day, but interesting. We had a couple of parents speak about their children, a couple of lawyers, a minister, a child psychologist and a number of trans-people talk. I was there at 8:30 to draw my number for the speaking order and I drew 147! At least not every number was picked, so that there was only about 43 people before me. We each have 3 minutes to speak and if you do the math, it is a little over two hours, not too bad. However, that does not count the government offices who speak first and they get questioned. In addition, the committee meeting before the hearing ran over. Also, some of the people testifying got questioned after their testimony. Anyhow, I didn’t get to testify until 6:00pm.

The big show was when the head of the organization that is our chief opposition testified. He testified about teachers, students and bathrooms and was questioned for a little over a half hour. The child psychologist was questioned for over an hour, the Republicans were asking some stupid questions which she handled well.

It is funny, last week when the hearing for the bill to formalize marriage equality was being held and the Democrats questioned the same person from the opposition, he cried that he was being persecuted. That the co-chairs were punishing for his opposition to the bill. It was plaster all over the news and he call for the co-chairs to be impeached. I wonder if he felt the same way when the Republicans were grilling the child psychologist?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When Politics Get Personnel

As many of you know, I am graduate student studying social work. In the classes that I take, one thing that they emphasize over and over, is that you should not make politics personnel. When you make it personnel, it is a sign of weakness and it becomes a vendetta.

Last week, I believe that politics did become personnel when an ill-advised bill was introduced and then withdrawn. The bill was a bill to increase the number of parishioners on parish councils to give the parishioners control of the church finances. I am on the side of the church; I think that it was unconstitutional. However, instead of arguing the bill merits they made it an attack on the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee.

The Fairfield Advocate said, “It was supposed to be a fight over church sovereignty, but it quickly devolved into a gay-bashing bonanza and a platform for Catholics to blame two openly homosexual lawmakers for every setback their political agenda has suffered.

By making it personnel, they made it into a vendetta, weakening their position and stirring up hate

Monday, March 16, 2009

How Nerdy Are You

OK, I just had to take this test...

I am nerdier than 92% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk on the nerd forum!

Everyone Matters: Dignity and Safety for Transgender People

Legislation is currently pending in Connecticut that would provide transgender citizens with needed protections against discrimination and hate crimes. Find the information and resources you need to contact your legislators about the Gender Identity and Expression Anti-Discrimination Bill [HB 6452] by clicking here.

Manic Monday #159

Lisa’s Manic Monday #159

Are you a saver or spender?
I am a saver. But look where it got me, I lost a third of my life savings in one day.

Do you prefer to walk around barefoot in your home? Socks? Shoes?
Neither, I prefer slippers.

Do you talk to yourself?
Yes, but only when I am mad at myself. I scold myself for being stupid.
My grandmother use to say it was alright to talk to yourself as long you don’t hear answers.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The True Colors Conference: True Colors XVI: Mental and Behavioral Health

I just got back from the True Colors conference at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus and once again they out done themselves in organizing the conference.

I first went to the conference back in 2002 when it was called “Children from the Shadows” and it was on the University of Hartford campus. The first time and every since I am always amazed at the kids when they get off the buses, their eyes just light up. The children and their chaperones come from all over the country, as far north as Maine, as far south from North Carolina and as far west as Michigan. For many of the children, this is the first time that they were ever in a safe space where they can be themselves without worrying about being harassed or bullied.
Channel 61 News said…
True Colors Event for LGBT Youth at UConn Draws Hundreds
Jeff Valin
March 13, 2009

The Storrs campus of UConn is hosting the biggest conference of its kind in the country.

It's the 16th annual edition of "True Colors”, by the state-wide agency of the same name.

True Colors promotes education and advocacy for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. And this weekend's festivities include teachers, social workers, clinicians, workshops and relatives of gay and lesbian teens.

Robin McHaelen, the Executive Director, of True Colors said, “The most important factor for gay kids is the response of their families; if their families reject them they're at higher risk for everything. If their families support them they're just like any other teen.”

Hillary Weiss, a True Colors intern said, “I also think it's really important for straight people to come out here too and show their support because not a lot of the youth here get the support because people look at them differently.”

The event runs through Saturday, and includes 144 workshops, a dance, and a talent show called "Rainbow Idol".
This year, since I am a graduate student I could attend the professional workshops on Thursday and I could get student rates. The workshop that I attended on Thursday was “From Toddlers to Teens: Creating Developmentally Appropriate Support for Gender Variant/Transgender Youth” which was excellent. I got some excellent information from the workshop that I can use.
One of the support groups that I help out, had a table at the conference where I stayed most of the conference since I have attended most of the workshops before.

One of the workshops that I attended was the “History of the LGBT Movement.” Three guesses on how much “T” was covered, none. Once again we are not even a footnote. I do not mind that they just cover the LG, but it gets my goat that they include the “T” when there isn’t any. Be honest! Lets have truth in advertising. After the professor and her grad student finished, I politely filled them in on all of the “T” history that they missed. I had more questions from the audience then they did. Afterwards the professor came up an apologized for not having any information on the history of the trans-movement (How many times have I heard that before.).

I was contacted a number of weeks before the conference by at film major at Ithaca college who is doing a documentary for a class project and wanted to interview me. Since she was coming to the conference she asked if we could met at the conference, we did and she interviewed me on video for about 45 minute. She wants to do a full interview with a film camera later.

They were three very long and wonderful days.

Saturday Six #257

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #257

1. What kind of workspace would you most prefer: a desk out in the open with your co-workers, a cubicle that’s part of a maze of cubicles, a small office just large enough to give you a little privacy when you need it, or a grandiose office with a big city view?
I would prefer a small office with a window. This is view from my office where I intern.

2. Is your desk at work more organized or less organized than your workspace at home?
About the same, piled high with projects

3. Which single office supply do you find that you use the most?
Paper. We do not use that much where I am interning, but where I used to work I use to joke that we produced more paper than product.

4. You notice that a co-worker has taken one of your office supplies: a pair of scissors or a stapler, for example. You see that your name is on it when he opens his desk drawer. Shortly afterwards, he leaves for lunch. Do you retrieve your stuff or leave it there?
No, I just order a new one. it is not worth the fight, I just keep that information for future reference.

5. Take the quiz:
What Office Supply Are You?

You Are a Calculator

No matter what someone tells you, you're likely to focus on facts and data. You're a highly analytic person. You are only concerned with what you can know for sure.

You look at situations objectively, and you have no problem approaching problems from multiple angles. You would make a good analyst or investment banker. You are confident enough to make tough calls and hard decisions.

6. Which of the following are you most likely to use the most at work: a cheap ballpoint, a felt-tip, a Sharpie marker, a dry erase marker, or a pencil?
Actually none of the above, I like a gel-tip pen with rubber cushions.

Saturday 9: School Daze

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: School Daze

1. Do you have children in school?
No, I do not have any children.

2. Did you go to public school? If you have children did/do they?
Yes, 1 – 6, 8 – 12, seventh grade I went to a Catholic Junior High and I could not stand it.

3. Are you currently in school or taking classes?
Yes, I am back in college after 34 years.

4. What level of education have you completed?

5. Do you, or did you have loans out for your (or your children's) education?
No, I do not have any outstanding loans

6. What are your thoughts on the cost of tuition for colleges and universities?
They are horrible, $500 a credit and I am taking 10 credits. The tuition is suppose to go up 8% next yesr.

7. Did school prepare you education wise for working in the real world?
No, it prepared me to party for fours years and kept me out of Vietnam.

8. Did school prepare you emotionally for what lay ahead?
No. Work? What is that?

9. If you were to run a high school, what changes would you make?
It would welcome diversity and be strongly anti-bullying.
I just got back from a conference at the University of Connecticut Storrs campus where they just had a conference on LGBT youth. The first day, Thursday, was for professionals such as guidance counselors, social workers, DCF, GSA’s, etc. Friday and Saturday are open to the public and on Friday, they must have had close to 2,000 students, GSA advisor, guidance counselors and teachers there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fill-ins #115

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #115


1. When I look to the left, I see _where our country is heading at long last _.

2. _Atrium_ is the room that has the best view in my home.

3. Let it work _be finished for the weekend_.

4. _My internship is_ done dirt cheap!

5. _Leadership_ is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

6. If you have any _questions_ feel free _to ask them_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the True Color Conference_, tomorrow my plans include _ going back to the True Color Conference _ and Sunday, I want to _write the paper that is due Wednesday_!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do You Believe This? Police Seize Cash Claiming Its Drug Money

I found this on Pam’s House Blend

Driving through Tenaha, Texas, doesn't pay for some
Howard Witt / Chicago Tribune
March 10, 2009

You can drive into this dusty fleck of a town near the Texas-Louisiana state line if you're African American, but you might not be able to drive out of it -- at least not with your car, your cash, your jewelry or other valuables.

That's because the police here allegedly have found a way to strip motorists, many of them black, of their property without ever charging them with a crime. Instead they offer out-of-towners a grim choice: Sign over your belongings to the town, or face felony charges of money laundering or other serious crimes.

More than 140 people reluctantly accepted that deal from June 2006 to June 2008, according to court records. Among them were a black grandmother from Akron, Ohio, who surrendered $4,000 in cash after Tenaha police pulled her over, and an interracial couple from Houston, who gave up more than $6,000 after police threatened to seize their children and put them into foster care, the court documents show. Neither the grandmother nor the couple were charged with or convicted of any crime.
Tenaha officials "have developed an illegal 'stop and seize' practice of targeting, stopping, detaining, searching, and often seizing property from apparently nonwhite citizens and those traveling with nonwhite citizens," asserts the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.

David Guillory, an attorney in nearby Nacogdoches who filed the federal lawsuit, said he combed through Shelby County court records from 2006 to 2008 and discovered nearly 200 cases in which Tenaha police seized cash and property from motorists. In about 50 of the cases, suspects were charged with drug possession.

But in 147 others, Guillory said the court records showed, the police seized cash, jewelry, cellphones and sometimes even automobiles from motorists but never found any contraband or charged them with any crime. Of those, Guillory said he managed to contact 40 of the motorists directly -- and discovered that all but one of them were black.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #158

What would you do with an extra hour each day?


Do you wear a watch? If so, tell us about it. If not, how do you keep track of time?

Yes, I used to wear fancy watch but now I just buy cheap watches like Timex and Casio. They work just as good but when they break you just throw them away.

If it was possible, would you want to know how many days you had left to live?
No thanks. I rather it be a guessing game, it make life more interesting and amazes me each morning when I wake up.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Prop 8

This week the California Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Will Law Demand We Support Gay Marriage?

There was an opinion piece in the Hartford Courant Thursday that asked that question and my answer is “it depends.” The opinion was written by Robin Fretwell Wilson the co-editor of "Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts." In his opinion he asks some questions…
Is same-sex marriage a way to provide benefits to same-sex couples? Or will same-sex marriage be misused as a hammer to punish traditional religious communities who do not have progressive views on marriage? The nation will be watching Connecticut for an answer.

The bill specifically exempts clergy from solemnizing same-sex marriages. But the First Amendment already provides that protection.
He then asks these questions…
Must clerks who issue marriage licenses provide licenses to same-sex couples notwithstanding their own religious beliefs? Must a restaurant or church group opposed to same-sex marriage open its doors for a reception dinner or ceremony? Can a Christian marriage counselor refuse to help same-sex couples stay together or must she choose between her job and her moral beliefs?
As I said, “it depends” upon if they are serving the public. If it is a private organization like the Boy Scouts or a private golf course, they can discriminate because they are not “open to the public” they can chose their membership. However, a restaurant owner that serves the public cannot, nor could a marriage counselor if they service the public. A clerk cannot because they are public officals.

The opposition argues that if it against a person’s religious believes they should not have serve or accommodate homosexuals or transgender individuals. They ask why should they have go against their religious tenants.

My answer is, would it be OK for a clerk to refuse to give an inter-racial couple a marriage license? That was the argument that was made back in the sixties when inter-racial marriage first became legal by the Supreme Court. Would it be legal if an orthodox Christian refused to hire a Jewish person? There are many situation where society has said that it is illegal to discriminate against a person even if it goes against your religious beliefs and to grant an exception in the case of homosexuals and transgender people would be wrong. And if we did grant an exception, what message would that send? The message would that it is OK to discriminate against certain groups, and isn’t that discrimination? I also wonder how we are going to prove that it is a religious exception. Are we going to give them a test? Or could a person just say it is against their religious beliefs and be allowed to discriminate?

Right wing conservatives like to hold this up as an example of what they are being forced to do against their religious beliefs…
In New Jersey, a Methodist-affiliated church group, the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, denied the requests of two lesbian couples to use the group's boardwalk pavilion for the couples' commitment ceremonies. The couples sued. Tax authorities yanked the group's property tax exemption and levied $20,000 in back taxes. All across the country, legitimate fears about what same-sex marriage will mean for religious dissenters is fueling opposition to same-sex marriage.
However, they leave out some facts about the case (you know those pesky little facts that get in the way of your argument.) like
The Division ruled that the couple, Harriet Bernstein and Luisa Paster, have “probable cause” to claim that the ban violates New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. Today’s opinion was based on the boardwalk pavilion’s being public by nature of its historic use, open to everyone for decades without restrictions. In fact, the Camp Meeting Association had for years advanced that very argument, by applying for – and receiving – state tax breaks under New Jersey’s “Green Acres” program that requires facilities to be open and nondiscriminatory to all.

Saturday Six - Episode 256

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six - Episode 256

1. You wake up and discover that it’s a rainy, dreary day out. Does this affect your attitude at all or do you tend to stay happy no matter what the weather is doing?
It depends on when and what I was planning on doing. Right now, my life revolves around homework and all my spare time is taken up reading, so if it was a rainy day, I would open the books. However, if it was a nice spring day and I was planning on going walking with my friends, it might get me down a little.

2. What would you rather receive from a good friend: a specially-chosen gift or a quiet evening just spent together?
I rather have a specially-chosen gift.

3. Do you tend to be happiest in a crowd of close friends, with one or two close friends, or alone?
I would rather be with two or four close friends; I tend to get lost in a crowd.

4. If money were no object, would you remain in your current career?
I am one of the lucky ones who were in a job that they liked up until the last company bought us out and changed my job function. However, since I took early retirement I have been able to start a new career in a profession that I love.

5. Take the quiz: What Kind of Happy Are You?

You Are Peaceful

You are feeling very serene and centered. You're content with your life.
You have a clear head and a peaceful spirit. You are relaxed enough to appreciate what you have.
You are able to let go of your fears. You are trusting and generous toward others.
You live a quiet, mellow life. It may not be dramatic, but it's very fulfilling.

6. What single part of your life are you happiest with at the moment?
Being able to live my life. To be able to live my life the way I was born. However, there are people who feel that I should not be able to be myself because it makes them uncomfortable.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Fill-ins #114

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #114

1. _Helping a woman get something down from the top self at the supermarket_ was my last random act of kindness.

2. Another place _would have better_.

3. _Think before acting_ in matters of the heart.

4. Coffee, tea or _soda_.

5. _We all our on our own journey and must follow our own_ separate paths.

6. Our _hobbies_ reminds me that there is _more to life than work_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _I don’t know, spring breaks begins today_, tomorrow my plans include _shopping for my nephew’s four year old son (any ideas?)_ and Sunday, I want to _go to his birthday party_!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sometimes Work Is Fun

Today was one of those days; I had to walk to the Legislative Office Building (LOB) to delivery some fact sheets on HB6452 An Act Concerning Discrimination. It was a nice day for a walk,
the LOB is only two blocks from where I intern, the sun was shining, and the temperature is in the mid-thirties.
I stopped off at the LOB mailroom to leave off the literature and then went to our mailbox to pick-up booklets on all of the bills. It was a while since the last time someone collected them and I was chastised for not picking them more often. The stack was about a foot high.
When you walk into the LOB, you can just feel the power. When you enter from the west entrance, you enter a big five story atrium with marbled walls and floors (a three minute video by the League of Women Votes) and you see small groups of people in tailored suits standing taking, these are the lobbyists. As you want across the atrium, you feel dwarfed by the immense size of the room.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Diversity On Television

We all have seen trans-people, lesbians and gays on television. We also have seen a growing number of minorities on television. But when have you seen a handicap person on television?

I found this on Bilerico Project and it made me think…
Parents need to get used to diversity
Filed by: Alex Blaze
March 1, 2009 4:00 PM
Via Feministing, a children's BBC show hired a presenter who's missing part of her right arm. Some parents didn't like the hire that much:
“Disparaging comments by adults about a children's presenter have led to an angry backlash in support of Cerrie Burnell, the 29-year-old CBeebies host who was born missing the lower section of her right arm. One man said that he would stop his daughter from watching the BBC children's channel because Burnell would give his child nightmares.

“"Is it just me, or does anyone else think the new woman presenter on CBeebies may scare the kids because of her disability?" wrote one adult on the CBeebies website. Other adults claimed that their children were asking difficult questions as a result.”
When I read this the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my blood pressure skyrocketed. What is it with “these people” that they cannot stand to see people who are different from them! They hide behind “the children will not understand” what they really mean is that “we are bigots” but we want you to think we are doing this for a noble cause.
What they are really doing is to teach their children to hate people who are different. It reminds me of a song from a 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein song in “South Pacific,”

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

We need more handicap, African Americans, Hispanics, intersexed, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people on television. We need more people on television who are not your white, middle class, 9 to 5 professionals. We need more diversity to teach our children that it is OK to be different.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

GLAD Files Suit Challenging DOMA Section 3

GLAD Press Release

March 02, 2009
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) is filing the first concerted, multi-plaintiff legal challenge to Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on March 3, 2009.

Gill et al. v. Office of Personnel Management et al. targets the denial of certain federal rights and protections to married same-sex couples in Massachusetts. This suit, filed today in federal District Court in Boston, addresses the use of DOMA Section 3 to deny spousal protections in Social Security, federal income tax, federal employees’ and retirees’ benefits, and in the issuance of passports.

“It’s time for the federal government to end its blatant double standard of providing rights and protections to all married couples except gay and lesbian married couples,” says Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto. “Same-sex married couples have taken on the commitment of marriage, play by the rules, and pay into the system. But they are denied critical federal legal protections that form a safety net to support other married couples and their children.”

The plaintiffs are eight married couples and three widowers, each of whom is currently eligible for a federal program.

Passed in 1996, DOMA Section 3, now codified at 1 U.S.C. section 7, limits the marriages the federal government will respect to those between a man and a woman. Section 2 of DOMA, not at issue in this lawsuit, allows states to establish public policies about what marriages they will and will not respect.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Milestone

I just had my 2000th comment!

Amber was the 2000th commenter when she commented on "Banning the Rainbow"

NPR This American Life: Act Two, Tom Girls

I found this over on Helen Boyd’s blog en|Gender
Act Two. Tom Girls.

Lilly and Thomasina have a lot in common. They’re both 8 years old. And they were both born boys, although it became clear pretty early on that they'd prefer to be girls. There aren’t all that many kids in the world like them, but recently, at a conference in Seattle on transgender parenting, they met. And they immediately hit it off. They could talk about things with each other that they'd never been able to share with other friends back home. And that’s comforting, even if they never see each other after the conference ends. Producer Mary Beth Kirchner tells the story, with production help from Rebecca Weiker. (17 minutes)[starts at 29:00]

Song: "Somewhere Out There," The soundtrack to "American Tail"
What her father and neighbor did to her are just so horrible and unbelievable. Why can’t people let us just live our lives!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Manic Monday

Lisa’s Manic Monday #157

It's going to be super-easy this week!

If I was a car, I'd be:
A flashy red MGB. When I was in high school my brother let me drive his MGB while he was away at college.

If I was a drink, I'd be:

A Shirley Temple, I very rarely have an alcoholic drink

If I was emotion, I'd be:

Banning The Rainbow

The Rainbow is banned but not the Confederate flag, is that homophobic or what.