Friday, April 30, 2010

Saturday 9: Changes

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Changes

1. Tell us about one thing that you'd change about yourself if you could.
I would raise the pitch of my voice

2. Mattel decides to make a Barbie-like (or Ken-like) doll of you -- what would be the most important accessory or accessories they would absolutely have to package you with in order to portray your lifestyle?
A book bag.

3. Hey, do you like surprises? If yes, what kinds?
Good surprises, meeting someone I haven’t seen in awhile

4. What was the last snail mail that you received that was significant?
My credit card bill. Well I think that was significant, after all, if I didn’t pay it, my credit rating might drop.

5. If you could pick out a brand new nickname for yourself, what would you choose and why?
Hmm… that would be hard, my friends call me Di or Dee, so I don’t know what else I could be nicknamed. In high school, some use to call my Einstein, but somehow that doesn’t seem fitting any more.

6. John Edward's mistress was on Oprah this past Thursday. She stated that no third person can break up a marriage, so it had to be broken before the two started doing the nasty. Do you buy that?
It takes two to tango. You have to have a spouse who is unfaithful and another who is willing to sleep with a cheating spouse.

7. Do you think it is okay to keep secrets from your s/o?
Well that depends, if its that you made reservations at your favorite restaurant, then yes. But in general, I don’t think it is OK.

8. Have you ever played Truth or Dare? If yes, what's the weirdest dare that you did?

9. What, in hindsight, the stupidest thing that you have ever done?
I haven’t done any stupid things since I grew up. In my youth, I did too many to categorizes just one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday’s Fill-ins #174

Janet’s Friday’s Fill-ins #174

1. I was _so glad when my last exam was over_.
2. _I ran out of the classroom_ and I left my book _bag on my chair and I had to go back and get it_.
3. Why _did I ever what to go back to college, what was I thinking_.
4. _Questions on the exam_ was in my thoughts today. Did I answer that correctly or should I wrote something different?
5. One of my father's favorite sayings was _”That’s water under the bridge”_.
6. _Second guessing_--I know that feeling!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a house warming party_ and Sunday, I want to _read a book that is not on a required reading list for a class_!

You can tell what was on my mind this week :-)

My Story Part 28 – Under The Microscope

For better or worst, I am the transgender community. Each and every one of us who is an “Out” trans-person is the trans-community. Whether we like it or not we are probably the first trans-person most people have seen and our community will be judged by our actions. Wherever we go we will be judged, at school, grocery shopping, to the dentist, to the car dealer… the community will be judged by what we do and how we act.

Sometimes the encounters are humorous, sometimes they are serious and sometimes they are hostile, but most of the time they are just ordinal day to day encounters. Like the man who held the door open for me, I could see in his face the moment he realized that I was trans, I smiled and said “thank you” or the time I had my car repair after an auto-accident and the manager recognized I was trans, he took a couple of steps backward. However, by the time I picked-up my car, he was relaxed around me and the trans-community probably has another ally. Maybe the next time someone is talking about a transgender person, he might said, “Yeah, I met one once and she was just like everyone else.”

Another time, an older woman in the grocery store asked me to get a can from the top shelve and she read me as trans. In that instant not only was I being judged, but also I feel every other trans-person was also being judged. Do I feel that it is fair to judge the community by the actions of one member of that community? No, I do not. However, that is done all the time, the majority always judges the minority by the actions of a few and the opposite is also true. The majority always forms their opinions based on the action of a few, whether they are black, Latino, Muslin or a person on welfare.

When you hear “Food Stamps”, what do you think? You already have a preconceived image when you hear “Food Stamps” which is strongly fixed in your mind. It is the same thing people have when they see a trans-person, they already have a fixed notion of what to expect. Therefore, I feel that I always have to be on my best behavior to disprove their preconceived image.

I think, that for many of us, we are over achievers because we feel that we have to prove to everyone that we are just like everyone else. I know that it is true for me, if I get a “B” for the class; I feel somehow that I let myself down. That maybe if I only worked a little harder or studied for the test a little longer, that maybe I could have had an “A”. I feel that if I am quiet in class and do not take part in the class discussion, that it will somehow reflex on the trans-community.

I sometimes feel that I don’t know how to say “No” and let myself have some free time. I sometimes feel that I have to relearn the art of delegating, that it is OK to let others do it. I sometimes feel that I have to go to LGBT meetings, because if I don’t there will be no one to speak for the “T” community. Just like the meeting I’m going to this afternoon, it a LGBT Leadership Council meeting of all the major LGBT organizations around the state and I am the only trans-person that attends.

I answered this question once, “How do we know when we are trans-inclusive?” and my answer was when you stop asking that question, as long as you are asking that question you are not there yet. The person responded, you mean it is like a child in a car asking their parents “Are we home yet?” and that was exactly as I meant, you will know it when you get there. It is when you see the person sitting on the other side of the table as a person and not as a black person, or a Latino or a trans-person, but just as a person. And maybe, I will not be under the microscope any more.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Manic Monday #209

Lisa’s Manic Monday #209

If you could write your own bill of rights, what would you include?
Hmmm, that is a tough question… maybe everyone has an equal right to be employment based on his or her ability. However, I would amend one of the Rights, the right to bear arms to the right to bear muskets. After all when the founders of our country wrote the Bill of Right a gun could fire one round every sixty-seconds, now they can fire sixty rounds a second. I don’t think that our founding father’s ever envisioned anything like that.

What is going on in the world today that affects you the most?
The fight for Civil Rights and equality.

What do you think is the secret to a good life?
Good friends, good food and good wine. Seriously, being true to yourself.

# # # #

I have been busy the last couple of days studying for my finals and writing my term paper, that is all finally done. No more classes until September!!!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tomorrow Is My Last Day Of Class

Tomorrow is my last day of class for this semester! I just finished my term paper and my Independent Studies Project. Now, I just have to study for my final exam :-(

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2010 (H.R. 4530)

There are some who say that we don’t need a Federal Student Non-Discrimination law, but read what happened in Kentucky…
Cheyenne Williams Attacked by Classmates Because She's a Lesbian, Parents Claim
April 23, 2010 6:32 AM
Posted by Carlin DeGuerin Miller

MCKEE, Ky. (CBS/AP) Cheyenne Williams says three of her classmates kidnapped her and took her to Flat Lick Falls, a remote area 60 miles south of Lexington, Ky., where they beat her and tried to push her off a cliff - and she says they did it because she is gay.

The incident happened on April 16, a national "Day of Silence" intended to raise awareness about bullying and harassment due to sexual orientation. Williams' mother believes that is what was at the root of the attack.

According to the criminal complaint, filed by Williams on Monday, the three suspects took Williams against her will to Flat Lick Falls were they allegedly attacked her at the falls and tried to push her off a 50-foot cliff, state police said. Williams then brandished a stick at the girls and was able to get away.
The Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2010 (H.R. 4530) would prohibit discrimination against public school students on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The three have been charged with attempted murder, however, the Student Non-Discrimination Act tries to prevent violence from happening. The act is modeled after Title IX.

“Hatred has no place in the classroom,” said Congressman Polis. “Every student has the right to an education free from harassment and violence. This bill will protect the individual freedoms of our students and enshrine the values of equality and opportunity in our classrooms.”

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 315

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 315

1. Hot Coffee or Iced Coffee…and why?

Winter hot coffee, summer iced coffee. Why? Because I really don’t want to drink cold drinks in the winter or hot drinks in the summer. Actually, I prefer iced tea in the summer to coffee.

2. Front Porch or Rear Patio…and why?
Rear deck because it is quiet and wooded.

3. Dog or Cat…and why?

Neither, I like them both, but I don’t want to own pets. They are too much of a hassle when you go on vacation.

4. Blackberry or iPhone…and why?

Neither, I have just a plan ordinary cell phone. I know it’s un-American not to own a fancy and have all of those bells and whistles.

5. Morning or Night…and why?
Morning, I wish I knew because I would really rather sleep then be up at four in the morning.

6. Beef or Chicken…and why?
Chicken, its white meat.

High School Graduation To Be Held In A Church

Enfield CT high school graduation is being held in a church and that has spurred debate here in Connecticut. The majority of the school board members are in favor of holding the graduation in the church and that has divided the town and brought threats of law suits.

The Hartford Courant reported

The board of education voted 6-3 Tuesday night to hold this year's high school graduations at First Cathedral in Bloomfield and challenge a lawsuit threat by two civil liberties organizations.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State last year threatened to sue the district if it continued to hold ceremonies at First Cathedral.

"We're not picking a fight. We simply want to graduate and do honor to our students," said Chairman Gregory Stokes. "The decision is based on the fiscal situation of the district and not the ideological situation of the district."

"We're disappointed that after reaching a decision two months ago the Enfield board of education has changed their mind and moved this graduation back to the church," ACLU staff attorney David McGuire said Wednesday. "This decision is disrespectful of religious minorities and forces families and students to choose between attending graduation and being subjected to religious messages."
In another Courant article they report
The board of education prepared itself this week for a potential lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union by agreeing to accept the services of an evangelical Christian law center that has offered free legal help.Chairman Gregory Stokes said the American Center for Law and Justice of Washington, D.C., was appointed at a special meeting Monday.

"I've been hired to advise the board on any issues that arise in this case, and that includes advising on how to handle any suit that may come from the ACLU or Americans United [for Separation of Church and State]," Vincent McCarthy, senior northeast counsel for the ACLJ, said Thursday. "We're preparing in the event that we can settle or in the event that a suit is filed."
So here, we have groups who say they are fighting for religious freedom, however, they are forcing non-Christian students to choose between their religion or their graduation ceremony. The American Center for Law and Justice is a conservative Christian law organization that is fighting against marriage equality, the teaching of Evolution and sex education in classrooms. They have joined forces here in Connecticut with the Family Institute of Connecticut to fight to have Enfield’s graduation held in a Christian church. They are doing that to the detriment of other religions. They are totally disregarding students who are Jewish, Moslem, Jehovah Witnesses and non-Christian students. They hide behind the cloak of “Religious Freedom” when in reality they are just pushing their particular Christian views.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Saturday 9: I Want to Hold Your Hand

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Want to Hold Your Hand

1. What do you notice about other people's hands?
There size, how long their fingers are.

2. If someone was nosing around your house, what would you hope they wouldn't see?

I have nothing to hide, so I don’t care what they find

3. Do you think that the more stuff you own enhances your life or adds to your burden?
It is a burden, you have to store it some place.

4. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

It was either Harry Potter or Star Trek

5. What do you have under your bed?


6. What do you think your s/o or best friend would say about what makes you unique?
My drive

7. What's your current favorite TV commercial?
I don’t have one.

8. Who do you owe a phone call to?

I don’t owe a phone call, I’m owed a phone from a committee member that I’m working with on a project.

9. Do you know about my friend's new meme Wednesday Wickedness? Will you give it a try this week just for me? Please? :)
Nope, maybe. It depends on when I finish my term paper

Friday Fill-ins #173

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #173


1. Where are my _glasses_?
2. If wishes were horses _I’ll have a whole herd_.
3. I'd like to see _people judged by who they are not what they are_.
4. When I was a teen, I thought _I was invincible_.
5. One of my mother's favorite sayings was _”what will the neighbors think?”_.
6. I'd have a hard time doing without my _laptop_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _finishing my term paper_ and Sunday, I want have to _study for my final exam_!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Story Part 27 – The Diary

For some reason I started a diary on September 18, 1999, my first entry was about my reaching out for the first time and contacting a support group. It was a time of turmoil and I recorded my thought of going through that time in my life.

In the diary, I wrote of joy, of anguish, of confusion, of grief, of insight, and looking back now I treasure my words. Each day was a new adventure, a new experience and now I look back and I see how amazed I was with life. Unfortunately, that spark has died out, what was once an adventure is now mundane and I have limited my diary entries to special events like the wedding and bridal shower. I think the process was richly rewarding and at that time it allowed me an outlet for my feelings and only latter did I realize that what I instinctively did was therapeutic.

I wrote of the time that I cried all night, because I was fighting my transition… I knew deep down that the road I was taking was hard, that life wasn’t going to be easy. In one of those sleepless nights I wrote,

The Word Not Spoken

The word said,
means commitment.

The word said,
means obligations.

The word said,
means duty.

The word said,
is a milestone

The word said,
is another stone in the foundation.

The word said,
is a fork in the road taken.

The word said,
closes the door behind and opens the door in front.

The word said,
burns the bridges.

The word said,
can never be unsaid.

I am a …

I was afraid that once I said what I knew was true, that it would be real and I could never deny it to myself ever again. There were so many emotions that had been bottled up for so long that when they surfaced, I needed an outlet to express them and the diary was that vehicle. When I told my brother I wrote,
February 16, 2002

I told R.

I didn’t real start of on the right foot, but he got the idea rather quickly. It went well after that, once he got over the initial shock. I tried explaining it to him, tried to following the outline I had in my head but that quickly fell by the wayside. I have placed the burden on his shoulders, that he must bear it with me. Is that selfish of me? I do not know, but I only know that I had to tell him. I lived a lie that I had to correct.

I do not know where this will lead but I must lay the groundwork.

I was very emotional, choked up and teary eyed. Even now it still hard, I can only think of his thoughts as he drives back home. I worry about him the long drive back home. I believe that he knows it was hard burden to carry by myself and that it was even harder to tell him about.

Well, the “cat’s out of the bag”, the bridges are burnt and the word has been said.

Now I can tell him the truth.
The next day I wrote…
Still a little emotional from last night.
Of all that I said, I think the thing that hit him the hardest was when I told him about the time when he was working for CL&P. That summer when he came home for lunch and he found me in bed, I told him the reason was that I was crossdressed. He said that far back?

After he left I sent a short e-mail to Teresa, “I did it. I told my brother and it went well.” About an hour later it received a phone call from her, we had a teary hour phone call. Thank you Teresa, I needed that. She also said “I smell a poem” and as usual she was right. This morning I woke up with one.

The Word Spoken
The word has been spoken.
The bridges burned.
I can only go forward.
To the beat of a different drummer.
The regrets put behind.
What lies before me, I cannot say.
Hope is eternal.
To the light of a new day.
I cast my lot.
I pray to see the way.
I will not perish.
Come what may.
I will survive.

The regret, not tell him sooner.
A couple of days later I received an email from him…
Date: February 19, 2002 6:11PM
Subject: I haven't forgotten you!
Just because you haven't heard back from me, doesn't mean you weren't on my mind - I've been thinking about you all weekend and how much pain you must have endured. I can't believe you've had to keep all this to yourself for so many years. I opened up your disc and read your poems - they reveal so much! I also started looking things up on the web.... give me time to learn more and we can talk again, hopefully, we'll have more time. I won't tell D, I'm not sure what's best to do yet, we can talk more about that, too.
I'll give you a call later in the week and I'll always be there for you,
Those memories are so precious to me and are still so filled with emotion, I am so glad that kept them. Now I a way this blog has taken over as my diary to the world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CBS Poll On The Tea Party

Last week CBS and the New York Times released the results of a poll on the Tea Party and they found that…

  • 18% of Americans identify as Tea Party supporters of those…
  • 89% are White
  • 58% live in the Midwest or the South
  • 75% are 45 years old or older
  • 73% are Conservatives
  • 39% are Evangelicals
  • 76% make over $50,000
  • 54% are Republicans
  • 63% say they get the majority of their political and current events news on television from the Fox News Channel
  • 84% say the views of the Tea Party movement reflect the views of most Americans (However, Americans overall disagree: Just 25 percent say the Tea Party movement reflects their beliefs, while 36 percent say it does not)
  • 30% say they believe Mr. Obama was born in another country
  • 92% say that President Obama's policies are moving the country toward socialism (Compared to 52% of American)
  • 93% say the economy as at least somewhat bad, and 42% say it is getting worse.
  • 82% say they see illegal immigration as a serious problem
  • 66% say they doubt the impact of global warming
  • 40% say they oppose same-sex marriage and civil unions

So what does this tell us?
That the Tea Party is made up of white middle aged upper income conservatives. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! As Gomer Pyle use to say.

What I do find interesting is that 84% believed the rest of America believes in the same things are they believe. Which brings up another topic, Media Matters reports that…
While discussing a recent New York Times/CBS News poll showing the demographics of tea party supporters, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade falsely suggested that tea party supporters do not identify with either the Republican or Democratic parties.
Are they living in their own little dream world?

Also consider this…
Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia
Associated Press
Sean Murphy And Tim Talley
Mon Apr 12,

OKLAHOMA CITY – Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Manic Monday #208

Lisa’s Manic Monday #208

How has your life been different than you imagined?

I don’t know. It probably all depends upon what stage in life I am in. When I was little, I dreamed of being many things from being a firefighter to an explorer battling my way through dense jungle. As I got older, my dreams became more realistic. Twelve years ago, I would never have dreamed of going back to college at my age. In general, life is hard but it has always been hard.

What lessons have you learned from your relationships?

That problems have to be worked out together.

If you had to move to a city besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?

Well first of all, I wouldn’t move to a city. If I did decide to move, I think that I would like to move to the southern coast of Maine. I like the towns and the fact it is near the ocean and the mountains.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This Weekend’s Recap

As I mentioned in the Saturday 9 meme I was one of the organizer for the conference yesterday and we had a lot of positive feedback today about it. We have been planning the conference since August, meeting once a month and then weekly starting in March. As a result, this was our largest conference yet, we had over 180 attendees up from about 150 last year. You can see the program guide here.

I wasn’t planning on giving a workshop, but we needed an extra panel member for one workshop, so I filled in for it. Also, I was asked to introduce our keynote speaker, Donna Rose and I only flubbed the intro in one spot.

After the conference, there was an impromptu wine and cheese party at the director of Community-Based Education at UConn for the conference organizers. I only had one glass of wine, but when I got home, I just licked off my shoes and fell asleep on my bed. I was awake at 3:30AM, was at the conference at 7:30AM, stayed to the end at 6:00PM, and I was at the party until 7:00PM… it was a long day.

However, the conference was the only thing that I did this week. On Friday, I gave a presentation at the UConn School of Social Work on “Working with Gender-Variant Clients – Macro Perspectives” to the field supervisors for the school’s interns. Each year the supervisors are required to get CEU’s to maintain their positions. I received a lot of positive feedback from my presentation and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs came up to me afterward and said that it was very informative and that I am a good public speaker. That I'm very knowledgeable in the laws and polices that affect the community. It was also my very first paid gig, I received a honorarium.

Photos by Glenn Koetzner

Saturday Six – Episode 314

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 314

1. East coast or West coast…and why?
Both. I love both coasts, I think the coast lines are very photogenic and adds a certain character to people, maybe it is the rhythm of the sea and cycle of the tides.

2. Painting or photo…and why?
Both. I love looking at good art, they both can be a thing of beauty. However, I love taking photographics.

3. Coke or Pepsi…and why?

Here you will be a definitive answers from me… Pepsi. I like its taste.

4. PC or Mac…and why?
PC, because that is what industry uses. However, I grew up on an Apple II+

5. Shower or bath…and why?
Shower for when I am in a hurry and a bath for when I want to relax.

6. Paper or plastic…and why?
Paper, because it is renewable.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saturday 9: Kicks (Keep Getting Harder to Find)

Janet’s Saturday 9: Kicks (Keep Getting Harder to Find)

1. As you get older, do you find that kicks are harder to find?

No, I get my kicks in knowing that I got out of bed.

2. Who is your favorite relative and why?

I hate just picking one relative, because a number of my relatives read my blog and I just don’t want to name just one… so I’ll cop out and say that they are all my favorite relatives.

3. Who is the most important person in your life?


4. Name one thing you used to do that you are not proud of.

Doing drugs in my early college days ('69 - '74), but back then I had my own demon on my shoulder.

5. Tell us about the furthest you've ever been from what you consider "home".

The west coast for my cousin’s son’s wedding

6. Who would you want to be locked in a room with for 24 hours?
No comment.

7. What are you doing this weekend?

Helping out at a conference on Saturday

8. Other than your own, whose car were you in last?

Wow! Is that a hard question to answer, it was many moons ago that I can’t remember. You see when you have a hybrid, everyone thinks that you should be the driver, so I end up driving everyone around. Which I don’t mind, since I would have been going there myself, so I love the company. The worst person I ever gave a ride to got in my car, put in his earphones and listened to music all the way, never saying a word.

9. Tell us about the last compliment that you've received.

It was today at a work shop that I gave, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs said that I was a good public speaker.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #172

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #172


1. I'd like _lobster_. (If anyone didn’t know that then you haven’t beem reading my blog long enough!)
2. One of my most favorite romantic memories is _going to the prom_.
3. Last night, I had _soup_ for dinner.
4. Sorry for the _burnt toast, the toaster just went on the frits _.
5. Can we _dance_ now?
6. One of my worst temptations is _eating_; _food is_ hard to resist!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _doing homework_, tomorrow my plans include _working at the conference that I have been in the planning committee for the last nine months_ and Sunday, I want to _resting up after the conference_!

April Is Poetry Month

And this is a poem that I just wrote…

Oh where, oh where have my friends gone

The world did not end with a bang, but a whimper
The world slowly faded to black
With promises
And pledges

They were by my side during my life
When I needed them
I was alone

They would not follow where I lead
In the shadows
They are found

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Story Part 26 – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

People erect walls all the time around things that we don’t understand or fear and we have to break sown those walls one brick at a time.

This is a story of one of those bricks being taken down.

It was the day I wrote about last week, “A Busy Day Today” and it was the last event of the day that tore down some bricks. I went to the workshop not knowing what to expect, the description of the workshop was how the location of where you live can make you sick. We had discussed the topic in one of my classes where we compared two Indian reservations, one had water and the other did not. The one with water could grow their own vegetables and the other was depend in food stamp. The one that had fresh vegetables had a very low rate of diabetes and obesity, while the other tribe the rates were epidemic. Depending upon the food stamps forced the tribe to eat high fat, high calorie food, low fiber foods.

So anyhow, after the movie, we were broken up into random groups and we discussed how health care inequities affected our organization. Most of our group members were with health care agencies and the were either in the medical field or social workers. I started to discuss how discrimination, poverty and lack of health care causes health care problems in the trans-community. They began asking question and they were amazed that they never thought about the problems we faced and the extent of the health care inequities. By the end of the night, I think that a few more bricks were torn down from the wall.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Manic Monday #207

Lisa’s Manic Monday #207

Are you doing what you really want to do?
Now I am, I’m helping others and it gives you a good feeling inside.

What is your biggest fear? How can you conquer that fear?
Failing. Just do your best all the time.

Have you settled for mediocrity in your life?
I did once. Where I worked, we were bought out by a multinational corporation and they announced that they were closing out factory in a couple of years. The spark just went out of me and with lay-offs, I was doing more paperwork instead helping my technicians fix problems.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Manic Monday #206

Lisa’s Manic Monday #206

What are you grateful for today?
For being able to live my life.

What's missing in your life?


Has the conflict and harm religion has caused outweighed the good it has produced?

I would have to say that it is about a wash. Churches have done great good and they have done great evil. Churches are at their best when they work for social justice and they are at their worst when they propagate hate and bigotry.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 313

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 313

1. What is the most exotic restaurant you’ve ever visited on a vacation?
It was in San Francisco, we had just arrived late in the day and my sister-in-law’s brother was showing us around the city and we wanted to stop for dinner. They took us a Mexican restaurant in the Mexican part of the city. I like Mexican food, but the local restaurant that I usually go to Americanized the food even though they are a Mexican family that runs it. This restaurant was true Mexican food, the taste and texture was very different, but it was very good.

2. What’s the single most exotic dish you’ve ever tried (even if it wasn’t at the restaurant in your previous answer)?

It was Thai food.

3. As a general rule, which restaurant would you most recommend to a visitor to your current home city or town?

4. What is your own favorite single dish at that restaurant?
Lobster ravioli in a Newburg sauce.

5. Take the quiz: What’s Your Cheesecake Personality?

You Are a Blueberry Cheesecake

You are a unique and quirky person... the type of person who's suited for purple foods.
You are bouncy and hyperactive. You're always excited by something!

People may be surprised to know how deep you are too. You are brave and willing to face your fears.
You are also quite emotive and expressive. You're not afraid to show how different you are.

6. You’ve had a very satisfying meal with your closest friends, but you find that you still have room for dessert: if you haven’t seen the menu and you know the chef will make you anything you desire, what would you ask for?
I will add a caveat to the question, “and I wasn’t watching my weight.”
Strawberry Tiramisu

Friday, April 09, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #171

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #171


1. In 1992, I was _only living in my house for one year_.
2. _Nothing reduces stress like_ laughter and smiles.
3. Do what you _want to do_, with what you _have_, where you _live_.
4. _Nowhere else_ is where I'd like to be.
5. The trees and flowers are telling me _that spring has arrived_.
6. _It seems like we are in a warm spell_ that just keeps going on. (Not that I’m complaining)
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _going to the same ol’ coffee shop_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a shower_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends_!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Busy Day Today

I’m a glutton for punishment! Last week I wrote about how busy I am, today I’m going from one end of the state to the other.

At 9:30AM I will be up in Storrs at University of Connecticut's Rainbow Center to hear Sen. Lieberman talk about DADT. Then I kill a couple of hours in Storrs before I head over Enfield to be on a LGBT panel at Asnuntuck Community College. After that I zip on over to Farmington to an event at the UConn Health Center to watch a move called “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" and then I head home.

Isn’t retirement grand! And I can remember when I was just sitting around the house all day doing nothing.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My Story Part 25 – A Secret Shared

Before I transitioned and I was still working, I came out to three people at work and another accidentally found out. The first person that told was the Human Resources director. But first, let me set the stage.

The first time that I ever when out as Diana was to a support group, the Connecticut Outreach Society (COS). It was with them that I started going out in public, they had dinners, they went to plays and out to the movies. As I gained confidence, I started going out on my own and I started getting active in the trans-community to end the oppression of trans-people. I was going to events where there were members of the press in attendance. It was at that time that I thought about coming out to HR.

It was a Friday afternoon on the day when the local LGBT community center was having a fundraiser; I believe it was in 2006, the year before I transitioned. I worked with her for close to twenty years and we were friends, that day I was in her office finishing up some business about my technicians that I supervised. She asked me what I was doing for the weekend and I told her I was going to a semi-formal affair. She said, “Oh, are you getting a tux?” After a long pause while I thought how to reply, I said, “Well not exactly…” and I sat down and told her about myself. We talked for about an hour, me telling my story and her asking questions, after I finished with my story, the first thing that she said was, “They are having a 1/3 off dress sale at Syms,”

I didn’t just tell her out of the blue, as I said I knew for almost 20 years and I knew she was a LGBT ally. I had made some comments in the pass to feel her out on LGBT issues. So from our conversations I knew that her daughter was an ally to a gay high school student and I knew that she was against discrimination. In addition, I wanted to tell her about myself for two reasons, first it is hard to keep lying to a friend and second to have an ally at work. Latter on I also told her administrative assistance and later my boss who was the general manager of the division. I told my boss because I was asked to be a backup guest for the local NPR station to talk about the anti-discrimination legislation, so I thought it might be good for him to know before he heard me on the radio (As it turned out, their primary guest was able to go on the show).

When I accidentally came out to one of my technicians, I knew that I had the support of management. I was reviewing my testimony on the anti-discrimination bill before I sent it, and somehow I accidentally printed it on the department’s printer. I don’t know how long it was in the printer out basket, but one of my technicians found it and asked me if it was mine. Since it had my female name on it, I said it was my cousin’s testimony that she asked me to review.

The moral to this story is that before you come out to your co-workers, think! Plan! Try to keep it on a need to know basis and remember, “A secret shared, is a secret no more.” Try to be in control of the dissemination of the news and don’t let the news control you.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Fulton, Mississippi – The Meanest Town In America

It all started in March when the Itawamba Agricultural High School forbad a lesbian student from bring her girlfriend to the prom. USA Today reported…
Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba, recently challenged a school policy prohibiting her from bringing her girlfriend as her date to the April 2 prom. McMillen, who is a lesbian, and the Mississippi chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged school officials to reverse the policy both on McMillen's choice of date and attire. She also wanted to wear a tuxedo to the dance.

School officials told McMillen last month that she could not bring her sophomore girlfriend to the prom and also told her she could not wear a tuxedo. The school then circulated a memo that prohibited same-sex dates.
She won the right for her to bring her date and wear a tuxedo, so the school district cancelled the prom making McMillen the villain.
A Mississippi county school board announced Wednesday it would cancel its upcoming prom after a gay student petitioned to bring a same-sex date to the event.

"Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events, the Itawamba County School District has decided to not host a prom at Itawamba Agricultural High School this year," school board members said in a statement.
What did the parents and the others students do, did they ban together in a protest to hold an inclusive prom? No, that held a secret prom and they didn't invite her or the special needs students at the school.
McMillen: I Was Sent to Fake Prom
By Editors
April 05, 2010
To avoid Constance McMillen bringing a female date to her prom, the teen was sent to a "fake prom" while the rest of her class partied at a secret location at an event organized by parents.

"They had two proms and I was only invited to one of them," McMillen says. "The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to."

Last week McMillen asked one of the students organizing the prom for details about the event, and was directed to the country club. "It hurts my feelings," McMillen says.

Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. "They had the time of their lives," McMillen says. "That's the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn't have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom]."

The judge declined to force the school district to hold the prom because a parent-sponsored, private prom was being organized — and the understanding was that McMillen and her date were invited to that event. But Hampton says McMillen was never invited and organizers made it very difficult for her to find information on the time and location. That prom was later mysteriously canceled, with the Friday night event at the country club officially replacing it.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Saturday Six – Episode 312

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 312

1. When you go to buy clothes, what store do you generally visit for the best deals?
I usually go to a local discount store (That is not Walmart), they seem to have the best selection.

2. Of the stores near you, which one is likely the last one you’d consider visiting to look for a bargain on clothes?
The same store

3. Which are you more likely to spend more on: a haircut or a bottle of your favorite shampoo? What did you last pay for that?
I do not have either one of those costs, instead I spend my money on wigs

4. Which are you likely to spend more money on: a pair of slacks you’d be willing to wear or a pair of shoes you’d be willing to wear? What did you last pay for that item?
A pair of shoes, I can buy a pair of slacks for $25 - $30, while shoes cost $50 or more.

5. Take the quiz:
What’s Your Shopping Stereotype?

Your Shopping Stereotype is Balanced

Unlike most people, you don't really obsess over shopping. It's a chore, just like any other.
You crave a simple, stress free experience when you go shopping. Convenience is very important to you.

You tend to know what you want, and you're willing to pay to get it quickly. You probably enjoy shopping online.
You enjoy taking time to pick out what you want, but once you're ready to buy, you don't want to drag out the process.

6. If you had to cut out three “luxury” or unnecessary things you often buy for three months to save money during an income crisis, which three would you choose?

Extended Basic and my land line telephone. I don’t have that many things that I spend money on, I am very frugal.

Saturday 9: Hurts So Good

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Hurts So Good

1. Tell us about the last time you really got hurt.
I was running for the phone, when I tripped and fell. I did a cross body block into the door frame, hitting the corner of the door frame with my back and my head in the edge of the counter.

2. What's your oldest possession?
Oh, that is a hard question. I have a shop box filled with sentimental stuff from my childhood. One item is a dime that I got when we visited Oak Ridge Tennessee back in the 50’s. It looks like junket to everyone else, but it is memories to me.

3. Do you have any phobias?
Not really, I do hate going into strange places and not knowing anyone. But it is not debilitating.

4. What values did your parents instill in you?
Honesty, treat everyone equally and fairly.

5. What are your plans for Easter?
Going up to my brother’s and sister-in-law’s in Maine

6. I like sun more than snow.
Sun, if you asked me 50 years ago, I would have said snow. However, we all grow up.

7. Tell us about 3 fads from your teenage years.
Pet rocks
Pop rocks
Beatle hair cuts

8. Tell us what is the most important attribute in a lover.
That is impossible to say. There are so many things that attract us to one another, what you see important in one person might be something else in another

9. What new piece of technology have you resisted buying and what would it take for you to change your mind?
Those internet phones, the monthly price would have to come way down before I bought one

Friday, April 02, 2010

I'm A Little Busy Right Now!

It seems like all I'm doing lately is homework. I figured that my Independent Studies class would be a breeze, but it is a pain with all the research that I have to do for it! My other class requires a lot of research and writing that is also keeping me busier then I expected.

On top of all the homework, is my volunteer work is taking up a lot more time than I would like. We have a conference that we have been planning since September that is in two weeks and the planning is at a fever pitch right now. If the conference wasn't enough, I am working with a group to conduct a survey of the transgender community in the Greater Hartford area for AIDS/HIV with a grant from Yale. We are suppose to do a pilot test of the survey by early May. Then to fill in my spare time, I am giving a presentation with three former students to the faculty and field intern supervisors of UConn' School of Social Work in the 16th.

So I am a little ragged right now, but at least the conference and a school will be over by the end of April.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Friday Fill-ins #170

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins #170


1. All you need is _love, love is all you need__.
2. _A well thought out April Fools joke_ fills me with laughter.
3. Each generation, as it grows up, _thinks it has the best music_.
4. _A pierced tongue_ is something I have a hard time dealing with.
5. A trip to _Maine_ is what I need.
6. _The love that you give_ you get back.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _the coffee shop to hear some folk music_, tomorrow my plans include _driving up to Maine to my brother and sister-in-law’s condo_ and Sunday, I want to _have Easter with them, my niece and her son_!

Senseless Regulation

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is requiring the gender of the person who bought a transportation pass be stamped on the pass. This is a senseless regulation that creates undue hardship on the trans-community. They claim this will stop people from sharing the pass. At first glance you might think this is a good idea, but it is not a good idea on several levels…

First, people can still share transportation passes with friends of the same gender.
Second, agencies sometimes buy passes for their clients so that they can get to appointments or job interviews. Here in Connecticut, the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition buys buss passes for trnas-people who have a doctors appointment and they need help in getting to the doctors office.
Third, it creates undue hardship for trans-people who maybe have to go to work in their birth gender and at night they go out in their true gender.

In a staff editorial in the Swarthmore College newspaper, The Phoenix, they write,
… This policy, a weak attempt to reduce prohibited sharing of passes, unfairly forces transgender and gender-non-conforming riders to identify as either male or female. It also compels SEPTA conductors to act as “gender police” as they are responsible for judging whether or not cardholders’ gender matches the category indicated on their pass, resulting in many a situation in which a rider whose gender is misperceived by the conductor may be denied the card discount if not denied access to SEPTA transportation entirely.