Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review

Looking back over the year in blogs…
  • January: President Obama issued an executive order banning employment discrimination based on gender identity for federal jobs.
  • February: The U.S. Tax Court issued a decision that treatment for gender identity disorder qualifies as medical care under the Internal Revenue Code, and is therefore deductible.
  • March: Housing and Urban Development announced that they are going to be studying discrimination against LGBT people in housing.
  • April: I gave a workshop at UConn School of Social Work Field Instructors Training Seminar for social workers who are supervising interns. The workshop was call “Barriers Against Transgender Individuals”
  • May: President Obama declares June 2010 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.
  • June: The high point of the year, my nephew’s wedding in Asheville NC and the visiting the National Air and Space museum on the way down.
  • July: I attended the Transforming New Hampshire conference.
  • August: U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said California’s Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice.
  • September: The big news this fall is the rise of the suicides by LGBT students. I also started my internship and fall semester.
  • October: Reaching out to one person at a time. A very tender story
  • November: We won some and we lost some. We gained big wins in San Francisco a transgender judge was elected to office, and in Ohio two ballot questions added gender identity and expression to Bowling Green anti-discrimination ordinance. However, in Iowa we lost, the judges who supported gay marriage were voted out of office.
  • December: The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” ending the discharge of gays and lesbians from the military. However, transgender military personnel can still be discharged.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Story Part 58 – Christmas Time

I was at my niece’s for Christmas this year, but what I wanted to talk about today is Christmases past. For as long as I can remember opening presents both at Christmas and on my birthday was nothing special, I got ties, shirts or pants that I never did want. Meanwhile, I had to sit there in silence watching others open presents that I really wanted, earrings, necklaces and other gifts that I would just die for to receive. This year I received a nice scarf and an overnight bag, last year a necklace and a pair of Christmas tree earrings. The year before that a pocketbook. It only took fifty years, but wishes do come true.

Now I look forward to the holidays, wondering what Santa will bring.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

American Companies Have Created 1.4 Million Jobs This Year…

Unfortunately, they were all overseas.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, American companies created over half of the new jobs in Asia. With profits soaring and business sitting on cash, they are investing in new factories in other countries.
Job Market Booming Overseas For Many American Companies
Huffington Post
Pallavi Gogoi

Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn't anyone hiring?

Actually, many American companies are – just maybe not in your town. They're hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.
The trend helps explain why unemployment remains high in the United States, edging up to 9.8 percent last month, even though companies are performing well: All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.

But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist.

"There's a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy," says Scott.
Do you remember the Republican argument for continuing the tax cuts to the billionaires? They said that it is the rich who are creating jobs, but what they didn’t say was that those jobs are overseas. In addition, thanks to the Supreme Court decision that allowed multinational corporations to sponsor political ads, the multinational corporations lobbied hard for the Republican candidates. The Washington Post reported that,
The 72 super PACs, all formed this year, together spent $83.7 million on the election. The figures provide the best indication yet of the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions that opened the door for wealthy individuals and corporations to give unlimited contributions.
Most of the donations from the financial industry went to interest groups attacking Democrats, the disclosure reports show.
The manufacturing jobs have moved overseas and now the research jobs are doing the same,
While most of DuPont's research labs are still stateside, Connelly [chief innovation officer at DuPont] says he's impressed with the company's overseas talent. The company opened a large research facility in Hyderabad, India, in 2008.
Before I retired, the company where I worked brought engineers over from eastern Europe to train them for our jobs and the company also sold our technology to South Korean and Chinese companies so what we were making here in the U.S. could be made over there by foreign companies.

Read this 2003 report from the Economic Policy Institute and tell me if what they wrote back then hasn’t come true.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Let It Snow…

This past weekend I was down in New Jersey at my niece’s for Christmas with the whole family. I went down on Friday and I knew there was a chance of snow late Sunday night, but as the weekend progressed, the forecast became much more ominous. On Sunday morning they were now calling it a major blizzard and warning were up all along the East Coast. I had originally planed on leaving around one to beat the snow; however, they were now saying the snow was going to begin in the AM. We came from all over the East Coast; my sister-in-law’s sister and her family had to drive back to eastern Virginia, my nephew and his wife flew up Asheville, they were returning on Monday. My other nephew drove down from northwestern Connecticut and they were planning to return also on Monday. My youngest nephew and his wife live in Brooklyn and they were taking the train back in the evening. My sister-in-law’s sister and her family and I decided to flee as soon as possible, leaving around eleven. It turned out the heading south traveling wasn’t as bad as traveling north, most of the storm had past by then and they only had moderate snow.

When I left a little before eleven, it was just starting to snow, when I got to the Tappan Zee bridge the snow was coming down at a fast pace and on the way up I-684 the highway was covered with the only bare pavement were the tire tracks. Up near the intersection of I-84 I followed sanding trucks. In Connecticut, the roads were better until I got to Southbury and Middlebury and then once again only the bare pavement was in the tire tracks. By the time I got to Waterbury Mountain (back here in Connecticut, our mountains are under a 1000 ft, but the change in elevation can make the difference between freezing and melting on the roads), the snow was coming down heavily and was drifting across the road covering it. Down in the valley the roads were much better all the way home.

We had about 10” of snow and my nephew in northwestern Connecticut had about 14”, while my niece had around 30” of snow. This time lapse video was taken near where she lives.
I remember when I was young, we had one waist deep storm after another, but then one day I realized that when you ten a ten-inch snow storm is waist deep. However, if you are listing the all time blizzards my number one blizzard is the 1978 blizzard on February 6 and 7. For me the day stated out with a forecast of only a couple of inches (the article said that they forecasted the storm, but I don’t remember that. I thought it caught us be surprise) and before noon we already had over six inches on the ground and the wind was starting to blow the snow horizontal. I left work at lunch and the normal half hour drive home was over an hour, those who left work after me almost never made it home. At one o’clock, we had over a foot on the ground and when the snow finally stops the next day, we had over two feet of snow. The governor called a state of emergency and they closed down the state on Friday. There we five and six foot drifts across the road and they plowed the roads with a bulldozer. One of our neighbors died shoveling snow. (you can read a story about the storm in the Hartford Courant)

A major storm that I remember was an ice storm, I don’t remember the date but it must have been in the ‘60s we went several days without power. All the trees were bent over from the ice load, the wires were down on our street and we huddled around the living room fireplace to keep warm and to cook. We also had to drain all the water in the pipes to keep them from freezing.

In 1998, in New Hampshire where we have our cottage, they had a major ice storm that left the trees coated with 3” of ice and many areas were without power for weeks in the middle of January. To this day when I look around the lake, I can see the damage that the storm did to the forest. Friends coming up to the cottage ask why all the treetops are broken off. (WMUR)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Times They Are A Changing…

Back during the Bush administration the United Nations past a resolution that including sexual orientation and gender identity as a Human Right. However, Bush refused to be signator of the resolution, claiming that it infringed upon the rights of the United States and also on religious grounds. It wasn’t until President Obama came to office that the U.S. signed the resolution. A setback occurred in November of this year when African, Middle East and Caribbean nations were able to remove sexual orientation from a UN resolution condemning unjustified executions. However, through the efforts of the Obama administration, sexual orientation was restored…
UN Restores Sexual Orientation Reference To Violence Measure, After U.S. Push
Radio Free Europe
December 22, 2010
By Nikola Krastev

The United States has successfully persuaded the United Nations to include "sexual orientation" as a category of vulnerable populations whose targeted killings the world body condemns.

The resolution was adopted by the General Assembly on a vote of 122 in favor and 0 against, with 59 nations abstaining.

Controversy broke out after African and Arab states successfully stripped the resolution of a reference to killings for reasons of "sexual orientation," which was included along with killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious, or linguistic reasons, and killings of refugees, indigenous people, and other groups.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said she was "incensed" at the move and vowed to restore the original language in a U.S.-sponsored amendment, which was adopted.
Human Rights should not be at the whim of a president, human rights are basic rights for all people.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
There is no “asterisk” that says “except for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people”

President Bush was wrong not to sign the UN resolution based on religious grounds. Religious law has been used to deny rights to people throughout history. It was used to enslave blacks, to deny women their human rights and it is being used to deny LGBT people their human rights also.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coming Home From Christmas

I had a good time with my family at my niece's house with the whole clan, but now we are fleeing before the storm. I'm coming home early becuase there is a blizzard that is suppose to start here around noon, the area is expected to get over a foot of snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

May you have a joyous and merry Christmas.

Friday Fill-ins #204

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #204


1. These are a few _”Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”_.

2. _At my niece’s house we are having our_ holiday dinner.

3. What's that I hear _it sounds like hoof beats up on the roof_.

4. _I wish that the mouse in the wall really be_ quiet, quiet.

5. Some of my favorite holiday memories include _walking through the woods on a snowy Christmas Eve_.

6. _I wish I could say that nothing was stirring_ not even a mouse.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _having roast beef for dinner at my niece’s house_, tomorrow my plans include _watching my grandnieces and nephews open their presents_ and Sunday, I want to _leave early to beat the snow storm_!

Friday, December 24, 2010

For Those Of You Who Are Traveling This Holiday…Have A Safe Journey

Those of you who are trans, this word from the NTCE,
Know Your Rights
Information on air travel for transgender people
You have the right to:
  • Travel in any gender you wish, whether or not it matches the gender marker on your identification. However, at the airport, you must present an ID with the same gender marker as the one that you provided to your airline when you made the reservation.
  • Refuse the Whole Body Imaging but then you will be required to undergo and enhanced pat-down (see below for more information);
  • Be screened in private;
  • Take a traveling companion with you if you are taken for private or additional screening;
  • Be patted down by a TSA agent who is the same gender as the gender you are presenting (if you are presenting as female, you will be patted down by a woman; if you are presenting as male, you will be patted down by a man);
  • Request a supervisor to assist with your situation;
  • Bind or wear breast forms, packers, wigs or hair pieces, or other prosthetic items (although these may trigger additional screening);
  • Travel without any documentation from your doctor; however, the TSA suggests that transgender travelers carry a letter from their doctor.
In addition, their web-site has other information and tips for traveling this holiday.

Be safe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Story Part 57 – Doors

Today I am writing about doors, all type of doors and the first doors that I am writing about is the standard ordinary doors that you walk through. It was interesting to have a gentleman open a door for me, I was awash with feeling. Everything from “wow this is nice” to “what have I done to deserve this treatment” to “why am I being treated special”. A couple of times it has been a little scary, one time a guy read me as a trans-woman and just let the door close in my face. Sometimes it can be comical, like the time a guy also read me as trans, and his jaw hit the ground, the look on his face was priceless.

Another type of door where women get preferential treatment that I won’t complain about is at an intersection with stop signs. I have noticed a slight, I emphasis slight, preferential treatment at a four way stop. I have noticed that guys tend to wave women ahead of them in the intersection more so than with men. However, with parking spaces it is first come no matter what your gender.

An internal door for me opened up, I am more outgoing. I have nothing to hide anymore; I am not worried that my deep dark terrible secret will come out. Before I transitioned, I had a limited number of friends, now I have a broad circle of friends. From birth until my fifties, I very rarely set foot outside of my town and when I did so it was mainly because of work. I never went to a play or out to dinner with friends. All my life I only knew white, middle class Christians, now I know people from all social-ethnic backgrounds. I know writers, actors, playwrights, photographers and television producers. My life is so much richer in knowing them. One of the other doors that opened was that of the world, I never traveled outside of town; when I came out, I started going to Provincetown MA, for Fantasia Fair, to Boston for First Event. I never went to Hartford; the last time that I went in to Hartford was when my father use to work there and he retired in 1974. Now I am there on a weekly basis.

Other darker doors have opened, I never knew anyone who had attempted or committed suicide, I never knew anyone who had to make their living off the streets, and I never knew anyone who had HIV/AIDS. I never knew anyone who was assaulted because of who they are or fired from a job or thrown out of a restaurant. Sadly, I do now. The anonymous commenter who left a comment two days ago criticizing me for using the work hate, I bet he doesn’t know any of these people or he only sees them in some abstract forms. My field instructor asked me when I was starting my first internship what was my support system, I didn’t know what she meant, I do now and I had to use it several times since. This year I was attending a meeting with the Court Support Services Division and they were looking for safe houses for teenagers who were forced into white slavery. They had about 45 runaway teenagers who were kidnapped from the Bridgeport bus station, forced addicted to heroin and then pimped out that the CSSD needed to find safe house for them. That meeting I will never forget. It opened my eyes to side of Connecticut that I never knew existed.

Since I have come out, many doors have opened for me, both good and bad and I have a favor to ask of you. Open your door to someone who may not have a family to go for whatever the reason this holiday season. I am one of the lucky ones; I will be with my brother’s family.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Happy Little Geranium,

In my atrium.

I snapped these two pictures of the geraniums that I have in my atrium that I had out on my front porch this summer and they seem to be doing quit well.

Now, I guess it is time to start my Christmas shopping.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trans Issues In The News

First up is an article about a trans-woman who was granted asylum. You might remember a story last month about another trans-woman who was from Mexico, this woman is from El Salvador. She also fled her country in fear of her life and was granted asylum.
Immigration Releases Transgender Woman Under the Convention Against Torture

A Salvadorian Transgender Woman was recently released after 2.5 years in ICE custody. Thanks to an immigration lawyer at Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC the transgender woman may now live openly without facing the regular beatings she experienced in El Salvador.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 9, 2010

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released a Salvadorian Transgender Woman known as “Karla” after she was granted Deferral of Removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) by a San Diego Immigration Judge (IJ.) Karla's release and legalized status in the US constitutes the culmination of a two and a half year long struggle with ICE. Most importantly for her, Karla is now able to live openly in a free society without fear of harassment and killings that transgender individuals face in El Salvador.
We sometimes forget when we are working towards civil rights that we are still far better off than many other nations around the world. In some countries you still can be executed or tortured because you are LGBT.

The next news article is about crime and punishment. In the past, I wrote inmate.html about a trans-woman who was placed in solitary confinement for no other reason then she was transgender. She was kept in her cell for 23 hours a day and was only let for exercise for one hour. This punishment is usually reserved for only the most harden prisoners. Now in Texas a trans-woman is allowed to have her medicine which a TV station objects.
Texas inmates getting sex hormone pills
by Christine Hass
December 17, 2010

Your tax dollars are paying for sex hormones for people who are in the Texas illegally. And some of them are convicted felons
These days viagra is gone from prisons but we discovered some inmates, even illegal immigrants are still getting sex hormones behind bars and you're paying for it.
This is pure bigotry and transphobia. The TV station is using their voice to promote hate and bigotry to deny inmates a legally prescribed medication based solely on their prejudices. The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WAPTH) and the US Courts have all said that hormones are medically necessary. The National Center for Lesbian Rights said that,
The policy of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is to provide hormones at the level that was maintained prior to incarceration. Specifically, the policy provides:
Inmates who have undergone treatment for gender identity disorder will be maintained only at the level of change which existed when they were incarcerated in the Bureau. Such inmates will receive thorough medical and mental health evaluations, including the review of all available outside records. The Medical Director will be consulted prior to continuing or implementing such treatment. The Medical Director must approve, in writing, hormone use for the maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics in writing.
The APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance quotes WPATH Standard of Care,
People who are receiving treatment for gender identity disorders should continue to receive appropriate treatment following these Standards of Care after incarceration. For example, those who are receiving psychotherapy and/or cross-sex hormonal treatments should be allowed to continue this medically necessary treatment to prevent or limit emotional lability, undesired regression of hormonally-induced physical effects and the sense of desperation that may lead to depression, anxiety and suicidality. Prisoners who are subject to rapid withdrawal of cross-sex hormones are particularly at risk for psychiatric symptoms and self-injurious behaviors. Medical monitoring of hormonal treatment as described in these Standards should also be provided. Housing for transgendered prisoners should take into account their transition status and their personal safety.
The people who are trying to deny proper health care to transgender inmates are doing so not on medical grounds, but hate. Hate for people who are different from themselves.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Broad Brush Of Title IX Discrimination…

Most people think of Title IX only in terms of women sports, to balance out the inequities with men’s sports, but it is much more than just sports. In October, the US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights issued a letter to all people in education reminding them that bullying and harassment can fall under Title IX,
The label used to describe an incident (e.g., bullying, hazing, teasing) does not determine how a school is obligated to respond. Rather, the nature of the conduct itself must be assessed for civil rights implications. So, for example, if the abusive behavior is on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or disability, and creates a hostile environment, a school is obligated to respond in accordance with the applicable federal civil rights statutes and regulations enforced by OCR.
The letter also goes on to state,
Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment and gender based harassment of all students, regardless of the actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of the harasser or target.
The is a very powerful letter, the interpretitation of Title IX to cover not just sports but all civil rights violation protects a broad range of activities.

The importance of hiring an attorney who understands Title IX is an important lesson to learn,
Raped Cheerleader's Suit Misses Title IX Complaint
By Wendy Murphy
WeNews contributing editor
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Title IX has been pigeon-holed as a sports-equity law for schools. Wendy Murphy says an unconscionable case of sex harassment against a Texas cheerleader shows how this widespread misunderstanding of the law hinders justice.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Title IX requires schools to take "prompt and effective" steps to redress sexual harassment, sexual assault and any other form of sex discrimination. It also forbids schools from exacerbating a situation by creating or allowing a hostile environment to develop on campus in the aftermath of a reported sexual assault.

An unconscionable situation in Silsbee, Texas, has unfolded, thus far, completely unaffected by either of these two federal law mandates.

Two years ago, a 16-year-old high school cheerleader was raped by a star athlete at a house party following a football game. The guy was ultimately convicted. But not only was he not punished by the school in any way before that, he was allowed to keep playing sports while the criminal investigation was underway.
Nobody knew the law, not her lawyer nor the school administrators (at least I hope they didn’t know the law and just didn’t want to lose a football player). But her story gets worst…
The victim continued to cheer for the school's teams in general, but she refused to cheer specifically for her attacker. When he did something worthy of individual recognition during a game, she stepped away from the rest of her squad and crossed her arms.

For this act of defiance, the victim was berated and sent home by the school's principal. Days later, she was kicked off the squad completely and banned from cheerleading for the duration of her high school career.
Can you imagine what this woman went through only to be re-victimized again by the school officials. Her lawyer filed a lawsuit against the school for violating her 1st Amendment right of free speech… Wrong, the judge threw out the case.
Her parents filed a lawsuit in federal court, claiming their daughter's free speech rights had been violated. The judge dismissed the case on the grounds that the school had no duty under the First Amendment to allow the victim to cheer--or not to cheer. The judge also ordered her parents to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs to the school's lawyers.
Talk about throwing salt on a wound. All because her lawyer did not know that Title IX requires schools to provide a safe learning environment.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Big News Of The Day…

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) is REPEALED!
After seventeen years since President Clinton sign the bill into law, a major step toward equality has finally been taking with the repeal of DADT. It will not solve all the problems with discrimination against gays and lesbians overnight but it is the beginning of the end.
The bill passed with a vote of 65 to 31 in the Senate with Republican Senators Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John Ensign (Nev.), Richard Burr (N.C.) and George Voinovich (Ohio) voting in favor of the bill. Polls showed that over 2/3 of the voters were in favor of integrating the military. There is a court case that is winding it way through the court system and now become moot. The case was expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court and was expected to win there, forcing the military to integrate gays and lesbians in to the services.

Now for the bad news…

Nowhere in any of the news stories do you see anything about transgender people being mentioned, that is because they are not covered by the repeal, they still can be discharged from the military. While Canada is arguing over what uniforms and when transgender solders can where them, the US still discharges trans persons as mental unfit.
Canadian Military Changes Transgender Policy
Just Out
December 10th, 2010
By Nick Mattos

The Canadian military has changed their policy on transgender troops to be more inclusive of non-cisgender soldiers.

While the United States continues to debate whether openly gay soldiers should be allowed to serve, the Canadian Armed Forces are making themselves more inclusive for their transgender members.

Under the new policy, Canadian soldiers are instructed to wear the uniform of their “target” gender, regardless of their biological sex. Military personnel are also instructed to give transgender soldier privacy and respect for their decision — for example, not asking reasons when a soldier changes his or her name on military records.
So what can be done to protect the trans-soldier? It is very simple… the president can pick up his pen and order the military to stop discharging transgender military personnel. It is not a law like DADT, but it is just a military policy and the president can change it with a stroke of the pen.

So what is next on the horizon…

Not good news, besides having a Republican control House, the chatter coming from Lesbians and Gays is to repeal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), I believe this is wrong strategy. There are only six states that have marriage equality, two states with Civil Unions and six states that have Domestic Marriages, meanwhile 36 states have laws or a constitutional amendments banding marriage equality. I say let the courts handle marriage equality under the 14th Amendment of equal protection clause. Instead we should work on ending discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation for LGBT people. There are millions of lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are still hiding in the closet because they are afraid to come out. They are afraid of being fire or thrown out of their apartments because of who they are or being thrown out of stores or restaurants because they are gay or transgender.

Let us work together to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 349

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 349

1. What book or books are you currently reading?
Textbooks. However, I heard on NPR’s “Where We Live” two books that sounded interesting, The King’s Best Highway by Eric Jaffe and Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz. The King’s Best Highway caught my attention because when I was little, we lived just of the Boston Post Road in Milford CT and the Dylan book because I grew up listening to Dylan, invoking memories of smoked filled dorm rooms.

2. What’s the last book you recall completing?
Proposal Writing: Effective Grantsmanship and the other catchy title, Designing and Managing Programs: An Effectiveness-Based Approach

3. How often do you give a book as a gift?
A lot, I give my grand nieces and nephews books for Christmas.

4. You decide to give a book store gift certificate as a gift: which store are you most likely to choose?
Borders, because they are only 3 miles from my house and I’m lazy.

5. Take the quiz: Are You a Hardcover Book or a Paperback Book?

You Are a Hardcover Book

When it comes to reading, you tend to stick to old and modern classics. You are picky about what you read.
You probably anticipate certain books' releases, and you snatch them up the moment they're available.
You have been building a library of books that mean a lot to you. You carefully consider every book before deciding to add it to your collection.
You believe that if a book is worth reading, it's worth paying more to have it in hardcover.

6. If you had your choice, would you prefer all-paperback or all-hardcover books in your own personal library?
Hardcover, if I had unlimited space and money.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Saturday 9: How's It Gonna Be

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: How's It Gonna Be

1. How's it gonna be in 2011 for you?
It is going to be great! I graduate in May with my MSW, but best of all, I get to go to the prom!

2. What is your idea of a perfect romantic evening?
Oh how many times have we heard this one…
A fire crackling in the fireplace, a delicious meal with a good bottle of wine.

3. What strategy would you implement to deal with drug abuse in today's world?
Oh wow, there is a jump from a romantic evening to solving world problems.
I would treat it as a medical problem. Legalize pot and let hard core addicts go on medicinal drugs. I want to get the profit motive out of drugs. It is just like Prohibition was in the ‘20s, the criminal elements fighting over territory.

4. What thing about your family are you least proud of?
I don’t think there is anything that I am not proud of with my family, they have all been so supportive that I am really proud of them.

5. What part of the holidays are you really looking forward to?
The food!

6. Who is the last person you high-fived? Why?

I don’t remember, it was just last week, but I don’t remember who or why.

7. Have you ever made out at a drive-in?
Yes, some 40 years ago when they had drive-ins. Half of you readers are probably thing either “What’s a drive-in” or why wondering why you would want to make love in a drive-thru?

8. If you had only enough energy left in you for one last smile, who would you give it to?
I would save it for a really special occasion.

9. Tell us about that time when you were the “life of the party”.
Back in my undergraduate days, some forty years ago.

Friday Fill-ins #204

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #204


1. What in the world _is that racket up on the roof _.

2. _It looks like a sleigh with eight reindeer that are_ well fed.

3. Go _wake the kids_.

4. _Santa_ sent _the kids all these packages_.

5. I keep _the packages out of site until Christmas morning_.

6. _I can take Christmas parties_ or not.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _celebrating the end of this year’s classes and internship _, tomorrow my plans include _going to Christmas parties_ and Sunday, I want to _recuperate and watch the snow come down_!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Story Part 56 – I Hate To Write!

Or use to. I still have problems with grammar and using the right word, but I have improved since my undergraduate days. I think one of the greatest inventions was the invention of the word processor. I remember back in the old days… we used a typewriter and it was horrible for a person who was a lousy speller and needs to do a lot of rewriting to correct my grammar. Now with a word processor you can cut and paste to move paragraphs around instead of rewriting the whole page and there are spell checkers and grammar editors to help a struggling would be writer.

Back in 2000, I started a Geocities web-site and writing a crude blog. I read a number of other web sites on-line and they help me come out, so I thought that maybe I could do it also. My target audience was the trans-community; I wrote about what I did and where I went. I wanted to show that we can go out in public and have a good time. Geocities had a comment page where readers could leave comments about what I wrote. After a couple of years writing the blog, Peterson Toscano, who would later become a friend, would leave comments on the site and one time he asked why didn’t I try out blogspot it is much better than Geocities.

That was back in 2006 and that is how this blog came about. Since I have transitioned, the focus has changed over the years, I don’t write as much about going out in public any more, it is more about the trans-community. I also got hooked on memes and there are a number of favorite memes that I play each week.

In 2007, I went back to school, back to writing term papers and my first term paper in 35 years was a disaster! I was marked down a whole letter grade because of grammar. When I talked to the professor afterward, he asked why I didn’t have the paper proofread. I didn’t know that you could have someone proofread them, they had all these warnings about plagiarism, I was afraid to have anyone else even look at the paper. Now, I have a friend Stana who proofreads my papers for me. She has read just about every paper that I have written and she probably learned just as much as I learned over the years. Thanks Stana.

I still remember when my father bought my typewriter for me; he bought one with smaller font. When I asked him why he got smaller type, he said because I could get more words on the page. I freaked out! I screamed at him that the professors assign the number of pages you have to write and with the smaller type; I will have to write more!

I have come a long way since then. I just wish he could see me graduate this spring.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Throwing Us Under The Bus Again…

Lets set the Way Back Machine to December 2002…
New York State passes the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA). Ever since the Stonewall Uprising, the trans-community fought to be included in the legislations, only to be rebuffed by the Gay organizations. When our goal of inclusion was finally in sight, a back room deal excluded us from the bill that passed. The Gay community said don’t worry, we will help you now to pass a Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). In April of 2008, the Empire Pride Agenda scheduled a big rally for GENDA legislation, however, a few days before the rally Governor Paterson said that he supported marriage equality…BAM, over night the rally focus became marriage equality. Throwing us under the bus once again.

This brings us up to the elections this past November,
Gay rights take center stage in N.Y.
By Ben Smith & Byron Tau

NEW YORK — Last spring, a low-profile Colorado millionaire, Tim Gill, and other gay donors financed a quiet wave of polling in a state Senate district in Buffalo and another in a Hispanic section of Queens.

The question: Would the news that a candidate “was being targeted by wealthy homosexual activists for his vote against gay marriage” make voters more or less likely to support him? Sizable majorities responded that they didn’t care much one way or the other.
Gay donors “came out of the closet with this,” said David Mixner, a veteran gay activist who called the New York campaign “transformational.”
And so what became of GENDA… it got pushed to the back burner to simmer. Once again we hear, “Don’t worry, your rich gay brothers and sisters will come back for you.” Yup, we heard that many times before.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Government Worker Uses Her Job To Harass A Client

In California, a state DMV clerk sent a harassing letter to a customer, telling her “God will send you to hell.”
Transgender woman files privacy claim against DMV
She says clerk who handled her application for a driver's license sent her a letter calling her gender change a 'very evil decision'
MSNBC/Associated Press
By Lisa Leff

SAN FRANCISCO — A transgender woman on Thursday filed a claim against the California Department of Motor Vehicles, saying the clerk who handled her application for a new driver's license sent her a letter at home calling her gender change a "very evil decision" that would condemn her to hell.
"Although I helped you with the name change, I have to say I do not support the reason for it," says the letter, signed with only a first name and typed on plain paper. "I also do not believe the state's recognition of it — through official documents — makes it legitimate or any less evil."

Yust [The victim] alleges the clerk used a state database to find her home address. She said she also received a pamphlet from a New York-based conservative Catholic ministry to whom she thinks the DMV clerk furnished her address.
This is so very wrong on so many levels. The clerk has been suspended, but she should also be arrested for misuse of government database. It is one thing to refuse to marry a couple or change their driver license’s name and gender, but it is something very different to go and look up a person address and send them harassing letters.

Also here is an update on Duanna Johnson who was beaten by a police officer in a Memphis police station in 2008 and later was murdered by an unknown assailant.
Ex-Memphis cop in transgender beating case pleads guilty to tax evasion
By Lawrence Buser
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Posted December 13, 2010

A former Memphis police officer who pleaded guilty in August to beating a transgender prisoner in 2008 pleaded guilty Monday to an additional charge of failing to pay more than $18,000 in federal taxes.
In August, McRae pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations involving bodily injury to Dwayne "Duanna" Johnson, who was being booked into the Shelby County Jail in February 2008 after being arrested by McRae for prostitution.

A surveillance tape showed McRae wrapping his handcuffs around his fist and punching Johnson in the head and then using his pepper spray.

McRae testified in trial in April that Johnson became upset and uncooperative during the fingerprinting process because he was referring to Johnson as Dwayne instead of Duanna.
Lets stop the hate!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Discrimination In The News

Protection for LGBT people has been blocked over and over again by right wing Christian conservatives in Congress. They say it blocks their religious rights, but there are numerous states and cities around the country that have such laws and they do not in fringe on religious rights. For example, many states prohibit discrimination based on religion, they prevent someone being denied employment, housing and public accommodation based on their religion and the courts have upheld the laws. The courts have said it is illegal not employing someone who is not Christian, even if you want to only hire Christians (There was a court case where an owner of a business said that he believed non-Christians are sinners and he didn't want to employ sinner to work for him) or it is illegal not to rent an apartment to a black couple, even it is against your religion (yes there are white supremacist Christian religious groups out there has been cases where they claimed it was against their religion to hire a black person.). However, it is still legal to fire someone because they are LGBT…
Lesbian coach out after revealing pregnancy
Dec 3rd, 2010
by Jim Buzinski.

Lisa Howe, women’s soccer coach at Belmont University in Tennessee lost her job after she told the school she wanted to reveal that she and her female partner were expecting a baby (her partner is pregnant).
Tennessee does not have a non-discrimination policy based on sexual orientation, so Howe has no legal recourse. She was not commenting, but did issue a release saying “I am at a point in my life where I am satisfied to move on.”
It is time that we have laws that a person should be judged by their work, not who they are.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 348

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 348

1. When do you usually buy your Christmas cards: leading up to the time to mail them or at the half-off counter the day after Christmas?
When I run out or I cannot find them from last year

2. What store do you most prefer to avoid when you shop?
The malls! I rather shop at local stores or stores located away from the malls.

3. How likely do you buy a little something for yourself while you’re shopping for everyone else?
Not very, I’m a penny pincher.

4. You find what you consider a perfect gift for a close friend, but it costs about twice what you want to pay: would you buy it anyway?
See answer #3, I would have to asses my budget, if I’m over or under

5. Take the quiz:
Do You Spend Like a Santa or a Scrooge?

You Spend Sensibly

You love to shop for holiday presents, but you are above all a savvy shopper.
You know you don't have to spend a fortune to get the perfect gift, and you'll shop around to find the right thing at the right price.

You prefer gifts that people actually want to receive to gifts that dazzle or impress.
You hope that your gifts stand the test of time. If someone keeps your gift for years, you consider it a success!

6. How do you feel about shopping this time of year: do you dread it like a root canal or are you raring to go at every opportunity?
I’m not fond of shopping. It cost money… bah humbug!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday 9: Reason to Believe

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Reason to Believe

1. Has anyone asked you to believe in something that called for a huge leap of faith on your part?
Yes, that I am going to graduate in the spring.

2. When is the last time you moved? Why did you move?
Twenty years ago, to move into my own house.

3. Malls? …or one Internet? Are you doing more online shopping this year? The polls say we are, but I'm curious about what the real people are doing.
I go shopping on December 24th, that way it is much easier to pick out gifts, you take what ever is left on the selves. Just make sure of the store’s return policy

4. Do you remember the first meme you participated in and if so, what was it?
Yes, I do. However, I’m not going to name names because when I went to post a link to my site for the answers, a message popped up that blocked my posting saying my link had “objectionable adult material”.

5. If you could invent something, what would it be?
A brain/computer interface to make surfing the web easier.

6. Are you finished with your shopping? Do you still a few things to go? What? Not even a game plan? ...or is there just one person you're having trouble finding something for?
See answer #3, I still have 13 days before Christmas… why rush.

7. What's left to do at your place (or where you are going)? Is the tree up? ...or maybe you're just happy you found the Christmas coffee mug and are calling that good?
Bah Humbug…

8. Is your life turning out the way you thought it would when you were a kid? If not, is it better or worse?
Oh, it definitely has taking a turn and I think it is for the better. It is not that I never thought about it as a kid, it is that I never thought it possible.

9. Tell us about something you'll miss about 2010.
I liked going down to Asheville, I had a good time exploring the area. I would like to travel the whole Blue Ridge parkway someday. (See all the June "On the Road Again" series)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Transphobia In The LG Community

Friday Fill-ins #203

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #203


1. I wish _I didn’t have to travel so far for Christmas_.

2. _She should not be at this meeting if she is going to do that_...that's what I'm thinking.

3. Please bring _a dessert_.

4. _The holiday feeling this time of year_ is so amazing.

5. One of my fondest hopes _is for peace_.

6. _For all of your support_ and I just wanted to say thank you.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _a church to talk about gender rights and bullying_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the support group’s Holiday party _ and Sunday, I want have to _do my homework_!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

My Story Part 55 – The Internet

The internet changed everything. You can separate time into, BI and AI, before the internet and after the internet.

50 BI or 1959
I felt alone, I thought I was the only boy in the world that thought I should have been a girl. I was isolated. The first time that I thought that there were other kids out there that felt the same way was when I heard the song “Lola”, “Boys will be girls and girls would be boys”… I was not alone!

20 BI or 1979
I just bought my first computer, an Apple II+ with 64K of RAM and two 5 ¼ inch floppy drives and I could reach out to the world through a 300 BAUD dial-up modem. I used a network called Delphi. There wasn’t very much out there just mainly news and sports, and it was a long distance call to East Hartford for the nearest portal.

It you wanted to find out information about anything transgender (The word “transgender” was just being coined by Virginia Prince) you had to physically go to the library and look it up. However, there was very little information out there on the subject and what there was called us abnormal and Transvestic Fetishism. There were some support groups and they use to leave their business cards in the card file (a large file cabinet the held 3X5 index cards with the book information on them.), until the librarian found them and tore them up.

1 day BI or spring of 1999
We just got our own computers at work that were connected to the internet and my boss asked me to use this new fangled device to find a replacement transformer for a circuit board. I used one of those primitive search engines, I think it was called Lycos, and lo and behold what came up, but crossdressers. There were all these sites about crossdressers, transgender and transsexuals…Wow!

1 day AI or spring of 1999
I went home that night, bought a computer and ordered the internet.

11 AI
Where would we be without the internet? I found a community out there in the ether, I found the web sites of Melanie Phillips and Dr Becky, along with all the support groups. It was one of those support groups that I found on-line that I went to, Connecticut Outreach Society, which I eventually became the Executive Director, that gave me a sense of community. It was because of the blogs of other trans-people that I was able to summon the courage to go to the first meeting and it was through email that I contacted COS. It is because of the internet that I became an activist.

I now communicate with other trans-people from around the world and I can keep up to-date on events happening in and to the trans-community. With a click of a mouse I can find the current laws on trans-rights in England, with a click of a mouse I can find out that a transgender judge was elected in California.

The internet transformed isolated enclaves in to a community. Through the internet, a child can now communicate with other children from around the world and learn that they are not alone in the way they feel.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Crime And Punishment

Yesterday’s topic was family acceptance and how it is related to the well being of the child. Today, I want to cover bias toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth when it comes to sentencing and punishment. The results of a study done at Yale found a disparity between non-LGBT persons and LGBT person in the criminal justice system and also in school discipline. The Washington Times reported…
Gay and lesbian teens are punished more at school, by police, study says
By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer
December 6, 2010

Gay and lesbian teens in the United States are about 40 percent more likely than their straight peers to be punished by schools, police and the courts, according to a study published Monday, which finds that girls are especially at risk for unequal treatment.
The study, from Yale University, adds another layer, finding substantial disparities between gay and straight teens in school expulsions, arrests, convictions and police stops. The harsher approach is not explained by differences in misconduct, the study says.

"The most striking difference was for lesbian and bisexual girls, and they were two to three times as likely as girls with similar behavior to be punished," said Kathryn Himmelstein, lead author of the study, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Also, consider the fact that many times the LGBT student are the victim of bullying and the initial incidence of the violence by the bully is not seen, but only the victim defending themselves. As the report states, this disparity may not be overt, but maybe more of a subconscious bias, which results in more in school expulsions, arrests and convictions. As a result LGBT youth have higher dropout rates and criminal records than straight students.

Budgets cuts will aggravate the situation by cutting the number of social workers both in the school system and in the court system that work with troubled youth.
Andrew Barnett, executive director of the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League, which serves 300 teens a year in Washington, said he was not surprised by the findings.

"This is a symptom of school administrators, teachers, court officials, police officers - anyone who works with youth - not necessarily being equipped to handle the challenges" faced by the teens in their care, he said. "It's much easier to punish the youth than to work with them and figure out why they may keep getting in fights and what is leading to this behavior."
The article goes on to explain where the data for the research came from…
Using data from more than 15,000 middle school and high school students who were followed into early adulthood as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, researchers compared categories of misconduct against six punishments. The interviews used for the study started in 1994-95 and continued until 2001-02, but researchers said they expect the findings would be similar today because the institutions involved have not dramatically changed.
So what can be done to lessen the disparity? The community must work together, not just the school administrators or teachers or the court system, but it must be an integrated approach of all of these entities including the parents and community leaders all working together to create a safe environment. It can work! In Beaverton OR they reduced suspension from 175 a year down to less than a dozen. (What We’ve Learned About Safe and Effective Schools)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Family Values

There is much talk today about family values, what are your family values? Mine are love, caring, trust, and honesty. Not lying or hating. However, some of the so called “Family” organization, lie and create fear and hate, they disown family members who lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and throw them out on the street to survive any way they can. They create fear where there is none. They call them names like pervert and pedophile, trying to block laws that allow LGBT families to adopt.
Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior
San Francisco Chronicle
December 6, 2010
San Francisco, CA (Vocus) December 5, 2010

For the first time, researchers have established a clear link between accepting family attitudes and behaviors towards their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and significantly decreased risk and better overall health in adulthood. The study shows that specific parental and caregiver behaviors -- such as advocating for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity or supporting their gender expression -- protect against depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in early adulthood. In addition, LGBT youth with highly accepting families have significantly higher levels of self-esteem and social support in young adulthood. The study is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, a journal of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, in a peer-reviewed article titled "Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults."
Now compare this with what the Christian Post had to say about the report…
Study Measures Effect of Family Acceptance on Gay Teens
Christian Post
By Stephanie Samuel
Dec. 06 2010

But Christian family groups refute the notion that religious and traditional values lead to teen suicides and say Christians can prevent against depression and bullying without condoning sin.
Pro-family leaders agree that it is important that children feel loved and accepted, but say that Christians should not accept social pressure to stray from their traditional values for fear of driving their children to suicide.

“Activist adults essentially are saying that American parents who want their kids to avoid high risk homosexual sex acts and remain abstinent until traditional marriage, are harming kids. This is preposterous, and local parents and communities need to resist enforced political correctness," said Buddy Smith, executive vice president of American Family Association.

In a November commentary, Christopher Doyle of the support group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)calls efforts to scare parents into embracing their children’s sexual behavior for fear of suicide “minority stress” theory propagated by gay activists.
Traditional family values… creating an environment where you tell your children that you feel that they are sick because they are gay. Creating a society which stigmatizes gay, lesbians and transgender children and then blaming them when they commit suicide or depressed because of the societal pressure.

What are your family values?

Monday, December 06, 2010

The First Coating Of Snow…

Brought havoc to the roads, but it is also hard on the homeless who are out in the cold.
For Transgender Homeless, Choice Of Shelter Can Prevent Violence
A pilot policy to allow transgender people to choose between men's and women's shelters has reduced violence. But women's shelters are safer for either identity.
City Limits
By Diana Scholl
Monday, Dec 6, 2010

Tiffany Jones became homeless when she aged out of foster care last year. Although Jones identifies as a woman and takes female hormones, her legal paperwork identifies her as a man. But Jones was pleasantly surprised when she went to apply for help at a men's shelter last September and was asked if she was transgender and wanted to live in a women’s shelter.
Jones was fortunate that the staff member who handled her intake at the men's shelter knew about [ the city Department of Homeless Services (DHS) policy allowing a transgender and gender nonconforming person to choose to stay in the shelter for the gender that he or she identifies as, regardless of whether the person has taken legal or medical steps to align his or her body with that identity.

New York City's policy was implemented in January 2006 after LGBT advocates lobbied DHS for three years about ending the harassment of transgender women living in men's shelters.
Finally, some sense in the world!
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people are more likely to be homeless than the general population. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey's report on housing, to be released at the end of this year, showed that of the 6,560 people surveyed nationwide,19 percent of survey participants have experienced homelessness.
The survey found 19 percent of participants have experienced homelessness. Of that group, 29 percent were denied access to a shelter, 42 percent were "forced to live as the wrong gender to be allowed to stay in a shelter" and 47 percent decided to leave a shelter because of poor treatment. Twenty-five percent have been physically assaulted or attacked by resident or staff and 22 percent have been sexually assaulted by residents or staff.
Advocates say they have received fewer complaints of violence and harassment since the policy's implementation.
Here in Connecticut there are no policies, it is hit or miss. It all depends upon the whim of the person who is doing the intake. There is no state agency to set policies, it all boils down to the individual shelter and since most are run by religious organizations, the odds are slim that they will allow trans-women to shelter in a women’s homeless shelter. The results are that we find more trans-women under bridges or in abandon houses. When they are giving shelter and if they get harassed, it is usually the trans-woman, the victim, who is thrown out of the sheltet.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way as the article shows, lets work together to bring about change.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

As You Sow So Shall You Reap

And now they are demanding their due…
72 super PACs spent $83.7 million on election, financial disclosure reports show
By T.W. Farnam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 3, 2010

The newly created independent political groups known as super PACs, which raised and spent millions of dollars on last month's elections, drew much of their funding from private-equity partners and others in the financial industry, according to new financial disclosure reports.

The 72 super PACs, all formed this year, together spent $83.7 million on the election. The figures provide the best indication yet of the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions that opened the door for wealthy individuals and corporations to give unlimited contributions.
Most of the donations from the financial industry went to interest groups attacking Democrats, the disclosure reports show.
Now they are demanding their pound of flesh. Tax cuts for billionaires. This is who they want to give the tax cuts to…
In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2007, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).
Source: G. William Domhoff UCSC Dept. of Sociology
The Republicans are holding the middle class hostage so that these billionaires can make millions more at the expense of the middle class.
Senate Republicans Defeat Reauthorization Of Jobless Aid, Tax Cuts
Arthur Delaney
Huffington Post
Dec. 4, 2010

Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats Saturday defeated a bill to reauthorize unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and a plethora of tax provisions for the middle class not because of the bill's trillion-dollar deficit impact, but because it did not include tax cuts for the rich.

"In economic times like these, 9.8 percent unemployment, you should not raise taxes on anyone," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told HuffPost.
Yup…lets not give the middle class relief from Bush’s depression until the fat cats gets theirs.
Republicans and conservative Democrats have opposed reauthorizing the benefits without offsetting their deficit impact by cutting spending from elsewhere in the budget. But those same lawmakers have not insisted that tax cuts for the rich, estimated to cost nearly $700 billion over 10 years, be offset in any way. A yearlong reauthorization of unemployment benefits would cost roughly $60 billion.
Not a bad return on investment…spend $80 million on the election and get back $60 billion.

The Tea Partiers ran on a campaign of reform, but all I see is still the same… take from the poor, give to the rich. Where will the cuts come from to pay for the billions that will go to the rich? Why, from cuts in Social Security, Medicare and TANF, of course.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said during floor debate that Republicans are taking their strategy from Lucy van Pelt, the cartoon girl who takes the football away right before Charlie Brown tries to kick it.

"We've all heard Republicans weep for the deficit they say they fear. Democrats agree that we need to do something about it," Reid said. "But what did Republicans do? They pulled away the football and said: Rather than reduce the deficit, we'd really rather give an unnecessary, unwanted and unaffordable handout to the richest of the rich”
We are returning to the era of the Robber Barons, when the likes of Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J. P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt had politicians in their back pocket to do their bidding. Before there were labor laws, the EPA, OSHA and civil rights laws, all of which the Tea Party has vowed to do away with and defund them.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Cost Of Bush Tax Cuts…

P.S. Sorry about not posting Friday Fill-ins and Saturday 9, but I have term paper and other school that I need to finish by Wednesday.

Friday, December 03, 2010

In The News…

First up, is that the L.P.G.A. has done away with the rule that you must be a “born” woman to play golf.
LPGA Votes To Allow Transgender Golfers After Lawsuit
Huffington Post

12/ 1/10

ORLANDO, Fla. — LPGA players have voted to allow transgender players to compete on tour in response to a lawsuit filed by a California woman who had her sex changed five years ago.

The players voted to remove the "female at birth" requirement from the tour's constitution at a year-end meeting at the LPGA Tour Championship, commissioner Michael Whan said. He said steps will be taken in the coming weeks to make the change.
The second article is also about sports…
Kye Allums, Transgender George Washington University Basketball Player, Takes The Court
Huffington Post
11- 2-10 12:19

On Monday, George Washington University junior Kye Allums came out publicly as the first openly transgender man to play on a Division 1 basketball team. Allums, who started identifying as a male during his sophomore year, is still biologically a female, and so will be able to continue playing on the women's team -- and to hold on to his scholarship.
For the most part, National Collegiate Athletic Association teams follow conduct outlined by a report released last month by the National Center for Lesbian Rights. On The Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student Athletes, offers guiding principles and policy recommendations for high schools and colleges. The report emphasizes the need for transgender athletes to have the opportunity to play free from discrimination, and warns that an environment that is not friendly to trans students can harm all members of the team.
However, he has been sidelined because of a concussion he received during the November 18 game.

One thing to remember while reading these stories… hormones are powerful drugs. Testosterone builds muscles and estrogen decreases muscle mass, Kye, is not taking “T” yet and Ms. Lawless has been on estrogen. I think, one thing that my brother got a chuckle from was that I could not open a pickle jar, I was never strong to begin with, but I lost many of what muscles that I did have. I think I would starve to death if I didn’t have a jar opener.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Story Part 55 – Regrets

My biggest regret is that I wish when I was interviewed by the press, that I didn’t use my real name. Now when you Google my name, there is no doubt that I am transgender.

Google sees all…Google knows all.

I have a friend who did that. When he married, he took his wife’s last name and he uses his old name for all of the trans-activism that he does out in the community. I wish that I had thought of that when I first was interviewed down in Washington DC and that interview from 2007 still shows up when I do a vanity search. There is no putting the cat back in the bag.

The worst offendersare those web-sites that collect data on people as business affiliations. I am listed as working for companies that were mentioned in articles that had my name in them. I have contacted a number of them to take my name down and they have, but it keeps popping back up on their sites.

So a word to the wise, it you do not want you name forever and ever associated with being transgender, do not post anything on the web with your last name.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

World AIDS Day

AIDS/HIV affects us all. One of the fastest growing demographics is people over fifty.
Senior Citizens and HIV Over 50
HIV and the Older Adult - A Growing Population
By Mark Cichocki, R.N.

When we think of HIV we have certain populations in mind. We hear about its ravages on young men and women; on the gay and transgender populations; on the homeless and the intravenous drug user. We seldom think about hiv and senior citizens. What no one talks about is HIV and the older adult. It's no wonder that when you talk to our senior citizens, they feel HIV is not a risk to them. Is HIV a risk to older adults. Is HIV over 50 a problem?

The truth of the matter is that HIV surveillance shows that 11 percent of all new AIDS cases are in people over the age of 50. Statistics also show that new AIDS cases rose faster in the over 50 population than in people under 40. The following information sheds light on HIV and the older adult population and what can be done to raise awareness, slow the infection rate, and sustain a high quality of life for our seniors.
We also need to be aware that the transgender population is also at risk.
World AIDS Day- What Does It Mean for Transgender People?
By Mul K. Kim

World AIDS Day is fast approaching on December 1st. It is an internationally recognized day to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, reduce stigma and discrimination, and commemorate those who have died from the disease.

NCTE is very concerned about the high HIV infection rates among transgender individuals. It is well-established that transgender people in the U.S. disproportionately suffer from HIV infection compared to other populations. NCTE and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s national survey recently found that transgender people are over four times more likely than the general population to be infected with HIV. Furthermore, transgender people of color experience HIV infection at exponential rates compared to that of the general population. For example, African-American transgender people in our survey reported an HIV infection rate of 24.9% while the general population has a HIV infection rate of 2.64%.

People who are diagnosed with HIV experience stigma and discrimination due to a variety of factors. Many people continue to be uneducated about HIV/AIDS and remain fearful that they may be infected by casual contact. Lambda Legal issued a report on HIV stigma and discrimination which found that 34% of individuals had false beliefs about HIV transmission, including mistakenly believing that transmission can occur through sharing a drinking glass, touching a toilet seat, or swimming in the same pool. The same report noted that disclosure of one’s HIV status can lead to wrongful termination from a job, wrongful eviction from one’s residence, denial of services, or assault.

On World AIDS Day, one of the commitments we can make is to review the information HIV/AIDS and make sure we each do our part to eliminate the disease.
Here in the greater Hartford area, the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition and the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective are conducting a survey to determine the impact of AIDS/HIV on the transgender population. Hopefully, the survey will shed some light in the size of the transgender community and the threat of AIDS/HIV to the community.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 346... A Couple Of Days Late

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 346

1. How long did you spend browsing Black Friday ads on Thanksgiving Day?

2. What’s the earliest you’ve ever been to a store on any Black Friday?
The earliest that I have been to a store on Black Friday was December 24.

3. Which store would be your first choice as one to line up outside before it opened on Black Friday?
Dunkin’ Donuts

4. What is the first thing you purchased on Friday?

A bridge crossing… I drove home from New Jersey on Friday

5. Take the quiz: What’s Your Black Friday Shopping Style?

You Are an Online Deal Seeker

You are technologically savvy and extremely comfortable with online shopping.
When it comes to Black Friday, there's no other choice but to shop online. How else can you be at multiple stores at once?

Besides, you don't even have to leave your warm home to shop. You may have to get up early to get the best deals, but at least you can do it in your pj's.
You don't need the stress of crazy crowds and long lines. The sales are just as good online!

6. How much of your Black Friday shopping did you do online?
Zero. I do not go shopping until just before Christmas, that way you just buy what’s left in the selves.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Manic Monday #227

Lisa’s Manic Monday #227

What do you cook when home alone?
I cook a wide variety of foods, chicken, pork, and seafood dinners, along with side dishes. I just made a couple of Quiche and last week I made an apple cobbler.

What is something you'd like a chance to eat or cook?
Lobster, I haven’t had it in a while.

What is your favorite cookbook?
My mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Saturday 9: Dark Lady

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Dark Lady

1. Have you ever been to a fortune teller? If yes, what happened?
Nope, I don’t believe in them.

2. How do you cope in an uncomfortable social situation?
Wow, that is a broad question, which can cover anything from burping at the Thanksgiving table to walking in on your college roommate having sex.
It all depends upon the social situation.

3. A genie appears (of course). She asks, “If you had 3 wishes but each took 3 years off your life, what would you wish for and why?”
I would ask for 10 more additional years, win the Powerball lottery for $300 million and 10 more wishes.

4. Would you rather lose your soul mate or never meet them at all?
I would rather lose a soul mate then never have met them.

5. What is the hardest thing that you have ever had to do?
Ha! Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

6. Have you ever had a miracle happen to you or your loved ones?
Nope, I don’t believe in them

7. Tell us about a quote that you can relate to. Why can you relate with it?
I have a number of quote that I like on my blog, down the right side of it. But my favorite quote ringht up on top of my blog.
"So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key"
Already Gone – Eagles

I carried shame and stigma around all my life and it wasn’t until I realized that inside me held the key to break out.

8. What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble?
My shyness.

9. For those in The States, how was your Turkey Day? If not from the US, do you celebrate a day like Thanksgiving?
It was so, so… for something I rather not discuss here.

Friday Fill-ins #201

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #201

1. Three things I must have on my Thanksgiving table: _Turkey, stuffing and gray_.

2. _I had shrimp cocktail as I_ sacked out on the couch.

3. This is _great holiday_.

4. _It is not time_ to decorate _for Christmas yet_.

5. Oh, man, thankfully it's _stopped raining_.

6. _Thanksgiving is the time to_ perfect the art of _craving_.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm not looking forward to _driving home from New Jersey_, tomorrow my plans include _relax_ and Sunday, I want have to _do homework_!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Classic

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. However, 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 children 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.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Order In The Court!

There have been a number of trans-items in the news lately, so good some bad. First the bad news…
Arrested Transgendered Woman Speaks to FOX 26 News
By: Isiah Carey
Monday, 22 Nov 2010
MyFox News

HOUSTON - Tyjanae Moore is the transgendered woman who was cited and thrown behind bars by a Houston police officer because she was caught using the ladies restroom. "I felt so belittled going to a jail over something so simple and stupid," says Moore.
Moore was arrested Nov. 17 at the Houston Public Library in downtown. The offense? Police say despite being a transgendered female, she is still officially a man -- a man who was caught using the ladies' restroom.

"When I came out, the female told me I wasn't supposed to be and I asked if there was any particular reason why not. She said I'm a transgendered female and I was really shocked that they even stopped me for this," says Moore.

Even though she is seen as a protected class by the City of Houston, Moore entered a guilty plea.
Bad legal advice from her lawyer. There have been a number of similar cases in Houston where the courts have ruled in favor of the trans-person. She should have never been arrested in first place and in the second place she should have plead not-guilty.

Now the good news…
Judge Appointment Angers Pastors
First transgender judge in Texas
By: Sally MacDonald
Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010
MyFox News

HOUSTON - Hundreds of area pastors say Houston Mayor Annise Parker is pursuing a personal and radical agenda at City Hall.

They're not happy with one of the mayor's appointments. Today Mayor Parker announced her associate municipal judge appointments, and one is longtime transgender activist Phyllis Frye. Frye becomes the first transgender judge in Texas and only the third in the country.

City Council unanimously approved the appointment. Mayor Parker addressed the new judges and appeared to fight back tears when acknowledging Frye.
"She is a well-qualified attorney. She has done civil and criminal work for decades. She is also a certified professional engineer so she has pretty good knowledge that will help with building code violations. I think she's a great addition to our judiciary here as an associate municipal judge. I'm very proud I was able to nominate her and she agreed to serve."
The Houston Area Pastoral Council, which represents about 300 churches, has a big problem with the appointment. Executive Director Dave Welch says for years Frye has been undermining Texas marriage laws. He says the appointment confirms Mayor Parker, who is openly gay, is making her lifestyle a central part of her policy agenda.

"This is not just a benign act. This is someone (Frye) who is very well known as an aggressive activist on sexual diversity issues and very much against the mainstream of most of the people....As we all know municipal court judges are the first step in the elevation of different judgeships. They typically go on to civil district court judges or family court judges and beyond, so this is not a benign appointment. It's a statement. It really is. We'll be calling on the churches to stand up and be involved," said Welch.
Hey… Wait a minute, are we talking about the same city? Yup. Kind of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

So the mayor appointed a highly qualified person for the judgeship, someone who understands the law and the building code and the Christian Churches see the appointment as a diminishment of their rights? Why? Is it because they are afraid of someone who will see both sides of the case and threat them both equally or is it because they want someone who is biased and bigoted to rule in the churches favor all the time.

Now out to San Francisco where another transgender person is now a judge…
Victoria Kolakowski, First Openly Transgender U.S. Trial Judge, Elected In California
Huffington Post

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 49-year-old California patent lawyer has been elected as the nation's first openly transgender trial judge.

Alameda County elections officials say Victoria Kolakowski beat prosecutor John Creighton 51 to 48 percent – a margin of nearly 10,000 votes – in the Nov. 2 election to fill the vacancy in California's Superior Court.
I’m still against electing judges, but I happy to have another highly qualified trans-woman as a judge and the voters saw the person, not that she's a trans-woman.

Lastly, lets go to another type of court…
Transgender Man Is on Women’s Team
By Katie Thomas
November 1, 2010
New York Times

Monday was a lazy day for Kye Allums, a typically busy junior playing Division I basketball at George Washington University. Without any classes or practice on his schedule, Allums woke up late, stopped in at a team meeting, worked on a class project, then took an afternoon nap.

But Monday was anything but ordinary because it was the day the world would learn about the decision Allums had embarked on one year earlier: to come out as a transgender man playing on a women’s basketball team.

Advocates for transgender athletes said they believed Allums was the first Division I college basketball player to compete publicly as a transgender person, although not the first to play as a college athlete. In a statement, a George Washington official said Allums would remain on the women’s basketball team.