Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This And That In The News

This and That in the News is articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to share or comment about

No You Can’t fly in Canada…
Comment: The Canadian rule which bans transgender flight
Pink News
By Jane Fae
31 January 2012

Canada is now officially a transgender no-fly zone.

This is the result of new rules, introduced last July, but only now coming to light, which state that an air carrier “shall not transport a passenger if … the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents”.
Its impact will be felt first by members of the Canadian transgender community, who may only change the ‘sex’ designation on a Canadian Passport, on provision of proof that surgery has taken place, or will take place within one year. This, it is argued by blogger, Christin Scarlett Milloy, means that non-operative transgender persons, gender nonconforming (genderqueer) persons, and the vast majority of pre-operative transsexual persons will find it literally impossible to obtain “proper” travel documentation.

However, there is likely to be some degree of impact on trans persons from any other country travelling through Canada on documents that fail to meet these new criteria.
Well I guess my trip to the Canadian Rockies is out. And what about those who are going to Montreal for their surgery? Will they be allowed to fly into Canada?

The next article is about lawyers in Washington DC…
Civil rights lawyers juggle mission, family life
Washington Post
By Vickie Elmer
Published: January 29, 2012

Many 20- and 30-somethings seem “really interested in these types of positions [civil rights lawyers for non-profits],” said Lisa Mottet, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s transgender civil rights project director. Over 10 years, she has worked with 40 legal interns; about seven of them continue to work in the LGBT civil rights movement, she said.

With an interest in public policy, Mottet chose to go to Georgetown University’s Law School in part to be near the center of national policies. When she graduated, she received a fellowship from Equal Justice Works that places new attorneys in nonprofits. “That paid for my salary for two years” at the task force, she said. After that, the group offered her a job so that her work on behalf of transgender rights could continue.
I first met Lisa at the Albany Targeted State Trans Rights workshop in 2006, Lisa and Mara Keisling gave a day and a half day workshop. Since then our paths have crossed many times and she was very helpful when we were working to pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination law, NGLTF supplied strategic support for us.

While we are on the topic of lawyers and laws, there is a court challenge here in Connecticut about harassment in the workplace.
Connecticut Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Hostile Work Environment and CTFMLA Cases
Connecticut Employment Blog
By Daniel Schwartz
January 31st, 2012

But today, two notable cases are being argued in front of the court. Both could have an impact on employers in the state.

In Patino v. Birken Manufacturing, the court is being asked to consider whether a hostile work environment harassment claim can be brought under state law (Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 46a-81c if you’re keeping track at home).
… The plaintiff, Luis Patino, was employed by the defendant, Birken Manufacturing Company (Birken), as a machinist. Beginning in 1991, some of Patino’s coworkers began calling him derogatory homosexual names. The derogatory words were not spoken to Patino directly but were made in his presence.
After trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. Birken filed a motion to set aside the verdict, arguing that no cause of action exists for a hostile work environment claim under the plain and unambiguous language of § 46a-81c.
… Rather, the court opined that the answer to the question before it turned on the interpretation of the phrase “terms, conditions or privileges of employment” in § 46a-81c. The court observed that in Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the United States Supreme Court, in the context of a sexual harassment claim under Title VII, broadly interpreted the phrase “terms, conditions or privileges of employment” to include protection from a hostile work environment.
This will be a very interesting case because it will mean that harassment doesn’t have to be directed at us personally, but harassment is also the environment such as derogatory posters on the wall of cubicles

Monday, January 30, 2012

DADT… What’s Missing

Now that all the celebration has died down over Don’t Ask, Didn’t Tell, it is time to look at the missing part of DADT. I believe that in most of the other NATO countries they allow trans-people to serve openly in the military. I remember reading once a news articles about how in Britain the military were actively recruiting trans-people and in Canada they were discussing when a military trans-person should start wearing the uniform of their true gender. But here in the US we are still throwing out trans-people of the military.
The Next Battle
The question of trans service could be getting a big boost with the focus OutServe has decided to give it
Metro Weeky
by Chris Geidner
Published on January 29, 2012

Jonathan Mills, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, serves as the executive editor of OutServe Magazine. He tells Metro Weekly that ''after the smoke cleared'' from the repeal of ''Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'' which took place on Sept. 20, 2011, the ''common sentiment echoed by our staff and members was, 'When are we gonna start pushing the T of LGBT?'"

''At the last editorial board meeting, it was decided this is the time to start focusing on this," Mills says of the planning for the issue about to be published. "Even though this might not be the politically advantageous time to introduce it, it's important for us to do this.''
Of securing out trans service equality, Keisling [Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality] notes, ''I think there's some reticence from a lot of the groups to bringing this to the Defense Department while they're still working on a lot of things with 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal. But, the Pentagon can do more than one thing at a time, so it's a real shame.''
Transgender service is not allowed, Bryan [A trans-man that OutServe interviewed for the article] says, for two reasons. ''You can't be transgender and in the military because it's considered a medical disqualification on the basis of the hormones and the surgery. They just assume trans people have 'the surgery.' And then, there's a psychological disqualification because they see it as having gender identity disorder.
There is no law preventing a trans-person from serving in the military, all it will take is a policy decision to allow trans-people to serve in the military. It will not require Congress to pass anything, it will only take the President to write an executive order or the Secretary of Defense to issue an order to bring about the change to bring us up to the level of the rest of the NATO countries.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Reading List

I’m backed up on my reading list and I just added a another book to the list. I just came across a book about trans-love; I found it over on the right side of my blog in the Trans-news column… “Two Spirit Ranch by Jaime Stryker…
In this groundbreaking romance novel, Terri Lawson, an alluring young attorney, has it all. She’s on the fast-track at her firm, widely recognized for her pro bono work, and has a handsome suitor, who she’s sure has marriage on his mind. But when her boyfriend abruptly calls off their relationship and her favorite uncle passes away, she suddenly find herself losing all that was important to her.

Not sure where to turn next, Terri heads off for a trip to small town Clearview, Montana to explore the sprawling ranch her uncle left her. It’s there that Terri while speeding down the highway has a run in with the ruggedly handsome sheriff, Jake Collins. As the two find their mutual attraction too strong to deny, Terri, who had only planned to be in town a few days, finds herself wondering if she can risk opening her heart again and sharing a secret from her past with Jake...Terri was once Terrence.

Debut novelist Jaime Stryker presents not only a romance with a transgendered heroine but a tale of true love and acceptance.
I don’t usually read romantic novels but I’m going to read this novel.

Also on my reading list is Fly Into Fire (Extrahumans) by Susan Jane Bigelow, a local Connecticut author. I read her first novel Broken and I couldn’t put it down. The write-up for her new book sounds just as good
The last Sky Ranger of the now-vanished Extrahuman Union, defeated by his former allies and detested by everyone else, fled Earth and the repressive Confederation in a desperate attempt to put the past to rest. But when his refugee ship crashes on a desert planet, his life is thrown back into chaos, and his future becomes less certain than ever. In that hostile environment, he meets abrasive, impulsive Renna, and Dee, a flighty, secretive orphan girl, who are the only two refugees who can stand him.

When Dee wanders into the wilderness, Sky Ranger chases after her, touching off a series of events that lead them and their companions from the deserts of Seera Terron through alien Räton space and into the very heart of the Confederation itself. Sky Ranger must confront his past and a intrusive, ruthless government if he wants to be able to save both Dee and what remains of his people, the Extrahumans, from utter destruction.
The book I’m reading now, The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson is dragging on, the book is about...
John Percival Hackworth is a nanotech engineer on the rise when he steals a copy of "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" for his daughter Fiona. The primer is actually a super computer built with nanotechnology that was designed to educate Lord Finkle-McGraw's daughter and to teach her how to think for herself in the stifling neo-Victorian society. But Hackworth loses the primer before he can give it to Fiona, and now the "book" has fallen into the hands of young Nell, an underprivileged girl whose life is about to change.

Update 1/1/12: I just finished reading Two Spirit Ranch, excellent, I couldn't put it down and a really nice love story. I read it in one day, it is really more of a novelette than a novel.

I’ve Been Procrastinating…

I have to write up the Learning Agreement for my intern and I have been putting it off. I have to list what she will be doing for us this semester and how it will relate to her course of study; it is mostly BS and fluff. Last year I was on the other side of the contract and I think it is a lot harder writing it than doing it.

Here are some of the questions that I have to fill out…
Description of generalist social work assignments:

Individuals, Groups & Families assignments: (For example, list specific number and type of individual, group, family cases and whether the student is assigned to be primary worker, co-facilitator, observer etc.)

Community/Policy Practice assignments: (For example, students might be assigned to research a policy and its impact on clients; track a legislative initiative; interview clients to learn their perspective as service recipients; participate in a committee writing new policies for the agency; or participate in a coalition)
Then I have to fill a list of competences…
Competence #1: Intern identifies as a professional social worker and conducts himself/herself accordingly. Assignments should involve: client advocacy, understanding of professional development and deportment, professional roles and boundaries, and the use of supervision.

Competence #2: Intern applies social work ethical principles to guide his or her professional practice. Assignments should include: discussing personal values and practice in using the NASW Code of Ethics to make ethical decisions.
And they go up to list 10 competencies. Then at the end of the semester I have to evaluate her.

Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Train Show

This afternoon I went up to Springfield MA with a friend to see the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show. A friend asked if I wanted to go see the show, I had never been there before and it sounded interesting and I wasn’t doing anything so I said yes. I was glad that I went.

I figured maybe a couple hundred people would be there… wrong. It was a couple of thousand and the exhibits were spread out over four buildings on the Eastern States fairgrounds. Some of the layouts were unbelievable; they must have covered more than 900 square feet! The layout that I like best was by the host group, Amherst Railway Society. They had a small TV camera in the cab of one of the trains and it was neat to see the layout from the perspective of train when it went over a bridge. Another exhibit had an actual scale model steam engines that they can sit on.

While I was wandering around the show, I came across the booth of some friends from where I worked. I had forgot that they make railroad videos and would be at the show, I stopped and talked to them for a while catching what been happening at where I used to work before I retired.

Would I go back next year, no I don’t think so because I think that it was nice to see it, but I am not that interested in model trains.

Saturday Six Episode 407

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 407

1. What is the last good piece of advice you received?
To go get my Masters in Social Work

2. To what degree have you taken that advice and actually applied it?
I did follow it and it was the estt thing that happened to me

3. What over-the-counter medicine have you taken the most in the past 12 months?
None. Now if you asked what prescriptions do I take, the list would be a page long.

4. What is the healthiest food in your refrigerator right now?
Vegetables for a salad.

5. Which room in your home needs a paint job the worst?
All of them. I was planning on redecorating my house, but I got laid-off first and my plans went out the window.

6. What errand that you’ve been putting off do you most need to accomplish before the weekend is over?
Fix the light switch in my bedroom, after 20 years it finally wore out.

Saturday 9: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: How Do You Mend a Broken Heart

1. How did you cope with your biggest heartache?
Time heals all wounds.

2. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
Well I did didn’t really visit, I took her to her appointment.

3. How many jobs have you held in your life? How many of those were part of your chosen career field?
Counting summer jobs…
CT Dept. of Education, inventory control
Bristol Electric
After college…
Pioneer Medical
Allied Control
Electro Mechanics/Combustion Engineering/ABB/Westinghouse/Toshiba – all at the same desk

4. How did you discover Saturday 9?
Through other blogs playing

5. If you could take the train from anywhere to anywhere, where would 'anywhere' be?
Canada, through the Rockies

6. When was the first time you cooked for someone else?
How in the heck can I remember? I’m in my 60’s.

7. What is the worst beverage you've ever tasted?
Probably some type of medicine

8. Is there anything in life you are "certain" about? Firm in your beliefs? Strong in your convictions?
Yes, to treat everybody the same. I believe in equality.

9. Do you know anyone who has as very unusual pet?
No not really, back in my undergraduate days someone in the dorm had a snake and some else had a tarantulas

Friday, January 27, 2012

How Many Of You Remeber Art Linkletter?

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. It's time to _break out the spring clothes_. (It has been a very mild winter so far)
2. _Come on we’ll late_ ... and don't forget the _tickets_!
3. I'm trying to _change my diet_.
4. "_I look like my mother_", that was the last funny comment I received.
5. Please send _money_.
6. _Don’t expect it to happen overnight_ cause I'm in it for the long haul.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _reading_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a model train show (I never been to one and I thought it might be interesting)_ and Sunday, I want to _finish my book_!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Story Part 105 – I Am Preoccupied Lately

Last week was crazy. I usually start roughing out an idea on what to write for “My Story” the week before, but this week my mind was on other things.

As the song says, “I get by with a little help from my friends”, last week I needed them and they were there for me. Last week was my annual medical exam and the doctor found something, I won’t go into details other than to say it is under control now.

I’m lucky that I have insurance; even still, I imagine that I will get wacked with a large deductible bill from all of the tests that they did last week. I am also very lucky that all of the medical staff that treated me had no problem with me being trans. The hospital where I went for some of the tests had problems with trans-people in the past and a discrimination report was filed with the CHRO; however, I had no problems. I had one problem with the insurance, the doctor listed me as female and the insurance company has me listed as male so they rejected the claim.

Another problem that I had was with the pharmacy, when I went to pick up my new meds they gave me one bag. When the samples that the doctor gave ran out Saturday morning I found out that they only gave me one bag when they should have giving me two bags. Of course I found that out in the middle of the snow storm Saturday and I had to wait until the roads were cleared to go back down there to pick up the other bag.

I’m not saying that I am worrying all the time, but when you put your life in another person hands you want them to be competent and caring.

# # # # #

Yesterday afternoon I went out to “Afternoon Tea” with some friends, it was a great relaxing afternoon, talking with friends, sipping tea and eating finger food. I was searching for bulk tea on the internet and I came across the tearoom in Cromwell, it looked like a good way to get the gang together and spend a relaxing afternoon. So being the instigator, I sent an email to my friends and started the ball rolling.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Recession

I believe that our standard of living will continue decreasing no matter what the politicians say. They will never do what have to be done to get out of this recession.
Cheap Labor, Taxes, Location: Why Apple Doesn't Build Products in the U.S.
By Micheline Maynard

He [Jeffrey Liker - University of Michigan professor and author] gave three main reasons why he believes Apple won’t build in America.

Cheap labor. Apple executives may not want to admit it, but Liker says one of the biggest advantages of going overseas is that workers there are much, much cheaper. This is really an obvious reason, and we all know it. But it’s worth remembering whenever someone tries to claim that the actual reason is because our workers don’t have the right skills. “Right now is the worst time to make that statement since the recession has put so many people out of work,” Liker says. “There are all kinds of skilled workers right now.”
We can’t compete with worker who don’t get any benefits at all, no vacations, no sick time, no minimum wages, no overtime, nothing and that only earn a few dollars a day. The only way we can even come close is to lower our standard of living down to theirs.
Taxes. Liker says another big reason Apple and other manufacturers do work in Asia is because taxes are cheaper there. Usually, if a company makes profits from something built overseas, they have to pay American taxes when they “repatriate” those profits back to their headquarters here. But if a company spends money at lots of overseas factories, it just re-invests the profits over there, and it never pays the higher tax. Liker estimates this could make a 20-30 percent difference in profits for a company like Apple.
Again, the only way we can complete is to go back to the sweatshops of the 1800’s, no EPA… go back to the days of smog and pollution. I remember watching the Naugatuck River turn all colors from the pollutions from the chemical companies. I remember see a cloud of smog over the city. No OSHA… let’s return to era of one arm workers and of missing fingers, of black lung disease. Go back to the era of child labor. The Republicans have proposed all of these.
They’re there because they’re there. Once the decision to make products overseas has been made, it becomes incredibly difficult to reverse, Liker says. “Apple is not a manufacturing company,” he says. “They’re a design and marketing company.” All of Apple’s manufacturing plants in Asia are owned by suppliers, not by Apple. If Apple executives suddenly decided they wanted their products built in the U.S., they’d have to invest billions of dollars in new factories. In China, the infrastructure is already there. “They made that decision decades ago,” Liker says. “I don’t think they’re revisiting it.”
This is why I took early retirement, the company I worked for decided that they wanted to farm out manufacturing and they closed down our shop. They didn’t close our shop because we were not profitable or productive, we were the only division in the company that made the profit goals each year and we were never late on any order in the 28 years that I worked there. They closed our shop because they just didn’t want to make anything, they just wanted to design them.

What can be done to end this cycle? I believe that one of the things that can be done is to end free trade with countries that do not protect the environment and its workers. Work to bring others countries up to our standard of living, not down to theirs.

My Workshop Proposal Was Accepted

I submitted a workshop proposal for the True Colors conference in March on “Transgender Activist History: From World War II to the Presents”. The conference of the largest conference for LGBT youth in the world! Last year they had close to 3000 people attend it, I know because I was an intern working on planning the conference.

My workshop summary (in a 150 words or less)…
The workshop will look at transgender activist from World War II until the present. It will cover the history of the movement and notable transgender activists such as Sylvia Rivera, Dallas Denny, Virginia Prince and Christine Jorgensen. In addition, the workshop will look at the Stonewall Uprising from a trans-perspective and will cover legislative victories, defeats and betrayals, both locally and nationally.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Primary Care Protocol For Transgender Patient Care

I just came across this story from last spring about guidelines for doctors who have transgender patients. There are already guidelines for therapists (Standard of Care), but there was never really any guidelines GPs.
A New Tool for Treating Transgender People
Huffington Post
By Joanne Herman
Posted: 4/17/11

Last week saw the release of a very important new resource for medical providers serving transsexual and gender-variant patients. The Primary Care Protocol for Transgender Patient Care is a web-based resource that goes beyond hormone treatment and surgery options to cover important topics such as sexual health and fertility, cancer and cardiovascular disease, patient intake and insurance issues, and harm reduction.

The Protocol is the creation of The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the University of California, San Francisco. The Center's aim is to increase access to comprehensive, effective and affirming health care services for trans and gender-variant communities.
The issuance of the new Primary Care Protocol is another big step forward. It gives medical professionals easy access to the consensus of eight physicians with extensive experience treating transsexual patients. The Protocol also gives doctors a credible source which can be helpful in responding to inaccurate information patients may receive through community grapevines or other non-medical sources.
This is very important because for many of us when we go to our doctors we are the only trans-patient that our doctor has as patient, we end up teaching our doctor.

Monday, January 23, 2012

When Fear Overrides Reason

No matter how many times we say that there has never been a case where a woman was attacked by a trans-person, the right-wing conservatives still use it against us. They use innuendos to create fear of trans-people.
MD police official: Transgender rights bill did not lead to rapes, assaults in public restrooms
LGBTQ Nation
By Brody Levesque
January 20, 2012

TOWSON, Md. — Montgomery County police chief Thomas Manger says that allegations that rapes and sexual assaults occurred in public restrooms following passage of a transgender accommodation law are “untrue.”

The assertion comes in response to opposition to a transgender rights bill introduced Tuesday in Baltimore County, Md., by freshman Democratic councilman Tom Quirk — his bill would protect transgender people and allow use of restrooms according to their gender identity.
“Promoted as a ‘gender identity anti-discrimination bill,’ Human Relations Bill No. 3-12 forces the public to recognize men as women, thereby allowing men access to women’s bathrooms, This takes away from a woman being a woman,” Jacobs [president of Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government] said.
The truth doesn’t matter them. They just see people who are different form them and hate them. We faced the same opposition here in Connecticut, the opposition did everything to try to label our bill the “Bathroom Bill” but they couldn’t make it stick.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Sixteenth State

Thursday the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, signed into law the gender inclusive anti-discrimination and hate crime laws which will go into effect in July.
Massachusetts Gov. Patrick Signs Transgender Equality Bill Into Law
By Jorge Rivas
January 19 2012

On Thursday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick held a ceremonial signing for H.3810, “An Act Relative To Gender Identity,” which now legally protects transgender individuals from discrimination in housing, education, employment and credit. The new law also provides additional civil rights and protections from hate crimes.

“No individual should face discrimination because of who they are,” Governor Patrick said in a press release. “This legislation gives Massachusetts the necessary tools to stop hate crimes against transgender people and to treat others fairly. I am proud to sign it.”

…This change will create equal protections for transgender individuals seeking employment, housing, credit and education…
Note what it covers, employment, housing, credit and education, do you see anything missing? What about public accommodations? An article in the Huffington Post said,
Still, many transgender rights activists found fault with the new legislation, drawing attention to its lack of public accommodation protections. Last fall's removal of such a protection, which would have required all "sex-segregated facilities" such as rest rooms or locker rooms to grant admission to people based on gender identity was heavily criticized by many who considered it a key component.

“Just because it’s such a basic right for people and the fact that it’s not protected is kind of atrocious,” said Kaylin MacNeil of Holyoke.
So what does it mean that public accommodations is not covered? I don’t know. And neither does anyone else. Case law in this area was based on the face that the legislature had never voted protection for trans-people and the courts ruled that we were covered under existing laws. Will the case law prevail now that the legislature has voted and excluded public accommodation or will they now claim that because the legislature has voted and specifically voted to exclude public accommodations. Who knows, it’s a crap shoot.

Public accommodations are more than just bathroom and showers. They are restaurants, movie theaters, parks, hospitals, grocery stores, anything that is open to the public.

I hope the case law does prevail, becuase it is a long ride to New Hampshire.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Six – Episode 406

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six – Episode 406

1. What is your single biggest concern about legislation to block piracy on the web?
That it will limit “Fair Use” of copyrighted material. I comment on news items and I try to keep it within fair use limits and credit the author.

2. How much do you agree that creators (and copyright holders) of intellectual property should have legal protection to prevent others from directly profiting from their work?
I totally agree, that is why I always credit the author.

3. What would be your first reaction if you found that someone else had reproduced your blog’s content without any credit?
I would be mad.
As an aside, I had a major national organization blog, comment on my blog, they did give me credit and a link to my posting. That day I had the highest number of hits ever and also looking at my stats, a few of the visitors came back again.

4. Have you ever had a website shut down (through a DMCA takedown notice) for plagiarism or copyright infringement?

5. If you saw that a website was reproducing your content as though it was the writer’s own content, and that the writer didn’t respond to an email from you asking that your content be removed, would you consider filing a DMCA takedown notice?
No, unless they were making money off of ads to their website.

6. What do you think should be the ideal response when someone posts copyrighted content, such as a pop song he doesn’t have legal rights to, on a site like YouTube?
It depends on their use of the material (such as making money off of it). also how frequent do they use copyrighted materials and how many people visit the website.

Comment: I think that the DMCA extends the life of copyrighted material too long. I think that it should be limited to 20 years.

Saturday 9: Home

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Home

1. Do you live close to where you grew up? Why?
Yes, my job was here, my family was here, and my friends are here.

2. Have you ever been so angry that you almost lost control?
Not that I can remember.

3. Are you a fan of a musical act that slightly embarrasses you?
No, unless you call liking all the bands from the 60s & 70s

4. Is there a movie that always makes you cry?
Under the Tuscany Sun

5. Who is the most famous person that you've met?
The governor, I’ve known him for the last 6 years

6. Before you leave your home, what must you have?
My keys

7. What do you miss the most about being a kid?
My youth

8. Tell us about a passion of yours that your readers would not expect.
Eating, and that has gotten my in trouble.

9. At what age do you think you'd be to think, “I've had a great run”?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Story Part 104 – What Me Worry?

I am having a lot of routine medical test lately and that always raises concerns about how I will be treated by the medical staff. Not only do I worry about the outcome of the tests but I also worry about how I will be treated by the medical and clerical staff. Today I had my annual mammogram and my anxiety levels go up… how will I be treated? Will other patient say anything?

If you read the surveys you will see that I am not worrying over nothing. And it is not just the national surveys; it is how friends have been treated by the medical staff. A friend who went to the same medical facility where I’m going for some test, her doctor refused to put her in the women’s ward, which is in direct violation of Connecticut law. Another friend went a different hospital when she slipped and fell on some ice, in the emergency room when they found out that she was trans, they sent her home without taking x-ray and she could hear the medical staff saying, “you deal with It, I don’t want to treat It.” When she went to her GP the next day, he sent her for x-rays and they found she had broken her back in multiply places.

So I think that I am justified in worrying about how they will treat as a patient. Last year the x-ray technician treated with respect and joked, “welcome to the world of womanhood, isn’t it great!” as she was squeezing my breast into the x-ray machine for my mammogram. I have been lucky so far and I’ll like to think that is the norm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Health Care For Trans-People

I came across this article and at first the title threw me…
Healthcare of transsexual persons causes unnecessary suffering
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Nov 10, 2011

In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to legislate healthcare for transsexualism within the state-financed healthcare system. In an international perspective, this was considered to be radical. It was expected that the life situation of people in the transsexual group would improve, now that state-financed healthcare was available for this group. A thesis published at the University of Gothenburg, however, describes this care as an oppressive gender-conservative system that causes suffering for transsexual persons.
When I read that I thought what are they talking about? All the studies that read said the exact opposite, reading further…
“Those who qualify for gender-corrective measures also known as sex reassignment treatment, become legally acknowledged as the gender in which they recognize themselves. But a prerequisite for this is that they lose something: namely the possibility of having biological children, since the law states that a transsexual person must be sterilised (sterile) ”, says ethnologist Signe Bremer. Her thesis describes studies of autobiographical blogs and in-depth interviews with people at various stages of gender-corrective care.
Her thesis shows that the physical bodies that transsexual persons wish to correct, play an important role in the assessments made by the psychiatric system about who is considered to be suitable for gender correction. A transsexual woman who demonstrates visible beard stubble, for example, may receive negative comments, while a transsexual man with a muscular body and flat chest may receive compliments. In summary, a “suitable” body can be described as a body that health care staff consider compatible with that gender that the transsexual person recognize him/her-self.
“The gender investigation tends to focus heavily on the genitals. One of the transsexual women I interviewed did not express sufficient rejection of her sexual organ, and the investigation was delayed because of this”, says Signe Bremer.
So what the author is talking about is not about the healthcare, but the selection of patient. By requiring sterilization, choosing only candidates who pass and that you have to hate your sex organ to have treatment “has severe consequences for individual persons’ lives”.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stealing A Heritage

I thought we had gotten beyond the eighteen hundreds where we forced the Native Americans to become Christians. But guess I was wrong, we are still taking away their heritage…
Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors
The Narcosphere
Posted by Brenda Norrell
January 14, 2012

TUCSON -- Outrage was the response to the news that Tucson schools has banned books, including "Rethinking Columbus," with an essay by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, who lives in Tucson, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie, Winona LaDuke, Leonard Peltier and Rigoberta Menchu.

The decision to ban books follows the 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday by the Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona, and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state decision.

Students said the banned books were seized from their classrooms and out of their hands, after Tucson schools banned Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico. Crying, students said it was like Nazi Germany, and they were unable to sleep since it happened.
I guess that the Tucson school district doesn’t want the students to learn the we practiced genocide, that we stole their land and forced them in to reservations. I guess we don’t want them to learn that in Arizona the Spanish were there before the European came and we took their land in battle.

Monday, January 16, 2012

This And That In The News

This and That in the News is articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to share or comment about.

Sometimes we forget about trans-people around the world when we think about the progress we have made. Consider Kuwait…
Kuwait Times
January 15, 2012

KUWAIT: Arbitrary arrest, detention, torture and sexual assaults on transgender persons have increased in Kuwait during the last four years, says the Human Rights Watch (HRW). Transgender ‘women’ are individuals who are born male but identify themselves as female. “They hunt us down for fun” was the title of a HRW report on the issue of transgender, launched at the Le Royal Hotel yesterday.

Nadim Houry, HRW Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, slammed authorities for using Article 198 of the amended 2007 law to arrest, abuse and persecute a transgender. The 63-page report bears documents and testimonies by transgender women victimized by Kuwaiti police since 2008.

“The law has been a huge enabling factor to arrest and abuse members of the transgender. It is like giving a green light to authorities, not only to police but even members of society, to arrest and torture transgender persons and use force and impunity against them.”
Transgender women reported being arrested even when they were wearing male clothing and then later being forced by police to dress in women’s clothing. In some cases documented by Human Rights Watch, transgender women said police arrested them because they had a “soft voice” or “smooth skin.” Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East Director, noted in a statement that “No one-regardless of his or her gender identity-deserves to be arrested on the basis of a vague, arbitrary law and then abused and tortured by police.”
Sometimes we do not know how lucky we are to living here in the United States, sometimes we do not know how lucky we are to living here in Connecticut.

Sometimes we do not know how lucky we are to be white,
Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More than Marriage Equality
Center for American Progress
January 19, 2012

Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, Americans continue to experience stark social, economic, and health disparities despite significant gains in securing basic rights for LGBT people over the last decade. According to recent data families headed by black same-sex couples are more likely to raise their children in poverty, black lesbians are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, and black LGBT youth are more likely to end up homeless and living on the streets.

These statistics suggests that some of the high-profile gay policy priorities that have garnered the most attention and advocacy—such as marriage equality—underserve this population even though they are important for overall progress. This also applies to racial and economic justice priorities that overlook gay and transgender people within their constituencies. How can we make progress in bridging these gaps?
The next article is about a person that I have known since his transition…
True LGBTQ Stories: Transgender Man Receives Apology, Respect After 5-Year Wait (VIDEO)
Huffington Post
By Nathan Manske
Posted: 1/13/12

Dru Levasseur, prior to coming out as a transgender man, was very active in the lesbian community:
It was a really scary time, when I was starting to realize I was trans. I had had a lesbian wedding -- two white dresses -- and was very visibly a lesbian. I was very much identifying with that culture, and gay bars were the place I could go to feel safe and feel like I could be myself.

In the summer of 2003, Dru's best friend suddenly died of a brain hemorrhage at age 29. The night he found out, he wanted to go to a gay bar to cope with the horrible news. While there he decided to use the men's bathroom for the first time:
This was a really scary, courageous step to take for me... Unfortunately, this bouncer came in after me and said, 'You're in the wrong bathroom.' Because of what happened with my best friend and what I was going through at the time, I responded, 'No, I'm not,' and I wasn't gonna leave.
The confrontation escalated, and the bouncer asked for Dru's ID:
Of course, I felt scared of him. I pulled out my ID and it had an 'F' on it. I felt very ashamed and embarrassed about it, and really degraded. I felt very powerless, handing him my ID. He looked at it and said, 'See? Get out.'
Following the interaction, Dru decided to file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission:
The lesbians that own the bar said during the hearing, "We don't have to do anything for those people." That was my wake-up call that my community of 10 to 12 years was turning on me. After all of that was said and done, I never got an apology.
Five years later Dru got his apology from her when Dru was organizing the first trans-pride in Northampton MA. Dru is now a lawyer with Lambda Legal and has worked on many court cases that has broaden our human rights. His parents were one of the leaders that helped us pass the Connecticut gender inclusive anti-discrimination legislation.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Would Never Vote Republican

I would never vote for anyone who denies my right to exist. I would never vote for anyone who wants me to wants me to stay in the closet. I would never vote for anyone who would deny me of basic human rights.

Listening to the Republican candidate down on South Carolina where they are fighting over who is more conservative and Christian then the other candidates. Not just any Christian but evangelical Christians. All but one candidates signed the Pledge.
Iowa Conservatives Unveil Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge
Mother Jones
By Tim Murphy
Jul. 7, 2011

The group, which spearheaded the successful campaign to unseat state supreme court judges who had voted to legalize gay marriage, has been courted by candidates like Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty as a way of tapping into the state's huge bloc of conservative Christian caucusgoers. What's in the pledge? Here's a quick rundown:
Presidential candidates who sign The Marriage Vow will sign off on support of personal fidelity to his/her spouse, appointing faithful constitutionalists as judges, opposition to any redefinition of marriage, and prompt reform of uneconomic and anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and divorce law. The Marriage Vow also outlines support for the legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), humane efforts to protect women and children, rejection of anti-women Sharia Islam, safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. military personnel, and commitment to downsizing government and the burden upon American families.
If you are listen or reading the news, you’ll know that a lot of the rhetoric that is coming out of South Carolina is anti-LGBT. In Tennessee there is a bill that was filed by two Republicans that would force trans-people to use the bathroom of their birth gender.
Tennessee Republicans Try to Kick Transgender People Out of Public Restrooms
Nashville Scene
Posted by Jeff Woods
Jan 12, 2012

The Tennessee General Assembly has taken another big step toward long-sought recognition as the most contemptible legislature in the land. This time, lawmakers have earned quick ridicule by introducing a bill aimed at keeping transgender people out of public restrooms. Thanks to Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, for this thoughtful proposal. Under their bill, it's a criminal offense—complete with a $50 fine—for transgender people to use restrooms designated for the sex other than the one listed on their birth certificates.
What do you think is the result of all of the attacks on our human rights have on the LGBT community? How do you think it affects the kids who are just coming out?
Suicide claims another LGBT youth: Trevor Project intern Eric Borges
LGBT Nation
By Jim Reeves
January 12, 2012

Eric James Borges, 19, of Visalia, Calif., succumbed to suicide Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Known as EricJames to his friends, he was an intern with The Trevor Project, and a Supplemental instructor at the College of the Sequoias.

Word began spreading late Wednesday among shocked and saddened friends and acquaintances. Not accepted by his birth family, EricJames was striking out on his own, trying to deal with his personal situation, but also wanting to help others.

Sadly, even involvement with the Trevor Project was not enough to help him navigate the turbulent waters of young adulthood.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Six Episode 405

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six Episode 405

1. Considering your childhood, do you feel you had it easier or tougher than your parents did when they were children?
Definitely easier, my father was from an immigrant family that moved here from Italy.

2. Considering your life now, at your current age, how does yours compare to what you know about your parents when they were your age?
When they were at my age, they had it a lot easier. My father was about four years from retirement from where he worked most of his life and he had a very good pension, not like now a days when you are lucky to have Social Security (and the Republicans are trying to take that away also) and retire at 70.

3. What do you miss today most about your childhood?
My youth.

4. What percentage of the time during your childhood did you get what you asked for (within reason)?
Most. After all that was in the fifties.

5. What percentage of the time do you end up getting what you want today (within reason)?
Most of the time, it just that I don’t get it right away. I have to save up for it.

6. Take the quiz: Are You Spoiled?

You Are 20% Spoiled

You are definitely not spoiled. You've worked hard for what you have.
Down to earth and grounded, you don't need a lot to make you happy.

Saturday 9: I Know I'm Losing You

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Know I'm Losing You

1. Have you ever still been in a relationship that you knew was ending, but you hung in with it anyway? If yes, why?
No, there was no sense of prolonging the inevitable.

2. Tell why people around the world should be completely enthralled by you.
I’m so likeable

3. Other than where you live, what's your favorite city and why?
I don’t think that I would want to live in a city. I lived in Rochester NY when I went to college and it’s too noisy. Car horns, sirens and loud neighbors, there is just never any quite.

4. What is something you are really passionate about?
Photography, take a look at my photo page (over on the right side of the page).

5. What has been your most exciting prize that you've won?
I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.

6. Do you think there was there a second gunman behind the grassy knoll?

7. What was the silliest, most fun, crazy or impractical gift that you received?
A talking fish.

8. What was the most practical gift that you received?
I guess it would have be clothes.

9. What blogger has been in your blogroll the longest? How did you discover them?
Peterson Tuscano. He read my old blog on Geocities and he is the one that told me about blogger

Friday, January 13, 2012

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. When I looked out the window this morning _I see that the rain has finally stopped_.
2. _Why people are afraid of Friday the thirtieth _ doesn't make sense to me.
3. Remind me _where I left my glasses_.
4. _Photography__ is something I love to do!
5. TP is _running low_.
6. I cleaned the refrigerator recently and I found _a jar of spaghetti sauce that turned into a science project_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _read_, tomorrow my plans include _going to a support group meeting_ and Sunday, I want to _visit some friends in Springfield_!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Story Part 102 – Blast From The Past

I was looking at my blog stats the other day and I saw that someone searched for a keyword and went to an old posting. After reading it I decided to repost it…
What Does Gender Variant Mean?
That question was asked on a forum that I read and of course, I took it literally. I answered in part…

“To me being “Gender Variant” mean not acting or behaving the way you are expected for your birth gender. Crossing the gender “norms.”

For me, “Gender Variant” is a very broad term. It means being androgynous or a male with long hair or a female with short masculine style of hair, it also mean a woman who likes to dress in male style clothing. It also includes gays or lesbians, as well as a trans-person.”

However, other members answered more personal answers, one wrote in part…

Being an outcast, feeling that I didn't belong ever. Started in third grade.
Being alone even around loved ones
Being a loner.
Being bullied, ridiculed and laughed at.
Being scared even for my own survival.
Feeling like I was the only one like this and I must be a freak.
Having to hide my true feelings, behavior and mannerisms to pass as a boy/man.
Being a fraud as a man and a husband.
Like I conned my partner and our children.
Angry sometimes I didn't ask for this, what did I ever do? Why me?
It means that finally after years and years of repression, I am going to explode. My head hurts and I look back and think to myself what if?

And that hit home to me, just about everything (except for being married and children) that she said, I could have written. I have always felt like an outcast, a loner, and been bullied. I thought that I was the only one who must be transgendered, it was my deep dark secret and burden to bear. I do not know how many times I cried myself to sleep asking myself “Why Me?”

Now I have transitioned none of this has changed; I’m still to some extent a loner, I still get ridiculed and laughed at, I still feel angry sometimes, and think that I didn't ask for this, what did I ever do to deserve this?

What did change? I now have pride in who I am, I now have self-esteem, I have accepted myself. I am a member of a very unique tribe, whose membership is very limited. I have developed many new friendships and I have met so many people who accept me for myself. Being gender variant has made me stronger and has challenged me in ways I have never imagined.

I have found that my family loves me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“I Don’t Get It”

By now I think most of you have heard the ABC comedy “Work It”, which has the trans-community up in arms. The show is so wrong on so many levels.
ABC chief on 'Work It' harming transgender community: 'I don't get it'
Entertainment Weekly
By Lynette Rice
January 10, 2012

Sorry, GLAAD — ABC Entertainment topper Paul Lee doesn’t get why you have issues with Work It.

While talking to reporters at the annual Television Critics Tour in Pasadena today, Lee said he was stumped by a campaign from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign that accuses the cross dressing comedy of being harmful to transgenders. “I didn’t really get it,” he said. “I loved Tootsie. I still love Tootsie. I didn’t get it. But that’s probably me.”

But he clearly realizes the polarizing show remains a hot topic — which is why he began his morning panel with his idea of a joke: “So what do you think of Work It?” The Brit was loath to say exactly how he feels about the comedy’s (dreadful) performance so far, other than to stick to his original mantra about developing “ambitious” shows. “We thought there was room for a very very very silly show.”But apparently, there isn’t room for another light comedy, Cougar Town. ABC’s still not ready to announce a start date.
Why is that the people with power never know how they are oppressing those without power? For the trans-community this is the equivalent of Blackface. This is not Tootsie, but it is slapstick and the butt of the jokes is trans-people.

About eight or ten years ago a local gay bar had a blackface comedy act where a white man was in blackface as a fat black woman and when there was a huge backlash the bar owner just couldn’t understand why people were upset. The television show is just as degrading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Quest For Human Rights

When the oppressed fight for their Human Right against their oppressor, does that result in the loss of Human Rights for the oppressor?
Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?
By Barbara Bradley Hagerty
January 8, 2012

Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.

Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."
Religious conservatives see an escalating war with the Obama White House. One Catholic bishop called it "the most secularist administration in history." Another bishop says it is an "a-theocracy." Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' new Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, believes the First Amendment is clear: The government cannot make people choose between obeying the law and following their faith.
Because of that kind of force, Lori notes, Catholic Charities in Illinois shut down its adoption services rather than place children with same-sex couples, as the state required. The church also lost a federal contract to aid victims of human trafficking because the administration favored groups that provide contraceptive and abortion services. Lori admits no one has a right to federal money, but he says the government should accommodate religious beliefs.

"We don't have a constitutional right to a contract, but we do have a constitutional right not to be discriminated against because we're following our own convictions," he says.
OK, let me get this straight, they are saying that they are being discriminated against because they feel that it is their right to discriminate against people.
Staver [Founder of the conservative law group, Liberty Counsel.] says as rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make gains, religious conservatives are having to set aside their convictions. A Christian counselor was penalized for refusing to advise gay couples. A court clerk in New York was told to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite religious reservations. A wedding photographer was sued for refusing to shoot a same-sex wedding. Staver says these people aren't trying to impose their religious views on others.
Question, would he also argue that it is OK to discriminate against non-Christian? Could a person refuse to serve a Jew or a Muslim? Could a white supremacism refuse to give a marriage license inter racial couple? I think almost all of us would say no to these questions, then why is it they say it is OK to discriminate against LGBT people?

I believe that if you serve the public, if you employ people, if you receive government funding, than you have to serve and employ all of the public.

Monday, January 09, 2012


I have written before about OB/GYNs and it seems that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists press release has increased interest in trans-patient care. An article in the Daily Mail touches on the College’s press release,
What to do when a transgender man needs his pap smear? More OB/GYNs become transgender friendly as awareness grows
Daily Mail
By Beth Stebner
January 6, 2012

The Sun-Sentinel has reported at the case of transgender couple S.F. Makalani-MaHee, who was born as a female but lives as a male, and his partner Rajee Narinesingh, a transgendered woman.

Mr Makalani-MaHee told the paper that he always felt a sense of dread when going to the gynaecologist, he still has a woman’s sexual organs, which brings a slew of uncomfortable emotions from many doctors.

‘The ignorance runs its course,’ he said. ‘A lot of us have avoided these types of experiences.’

Mr Makalani-MaHee has avoided them by not going to a gynaecologist in more than a decade.
She’s put it off in part because of the cost, but said she’s also afraid of being discriminated against.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, nearly 30 per cent of the transgender community delays treatment because they fear discrimination.
I have delayed going to the doctors because the stigma of being trans. I worried about what they would say and if I would be discriminated against.
‘We need to make our offices settings that treat all patients with respect,’ Dr Buyers said. ‘We want the transgender community to know that we, as OB/GYNs, care about their health.’

Some offices are making their waiting rooms more transgender friendly and adding inclusive questions to medical histories.
This is another important consideration, it is not just OK for the doctor to be accepting, but the staff must also provide a positive environment. I know of a trans-man who was looking for a surgeon to do his top surgery and he had to go out of state to get treatment. Even through the out of state doctor said that would do the surgery, his staff refused to make an appoint to see the doctor when he called. They said that the doctors was not taking new patients when he said that he wanted top surgery, even though they were willing to make an appointments seconds before he told them he was trans. He had to call the doctor to get by the staff.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

This Isn’t Right

I only know what’s in the news, but is David O. Russell getting away with sexual assault?
David O. Russell won't face charges for groping transgender niece
Chicago Tribune
By Zap2It
January 7, 2012
David O. Russell admits he groped his 19-year-old transgender niece in a Florida gym, but according to TMZ, "The Fighter" director won't face charges in the incident.

The case has been closed, a rep for the Broward County Sheriff's Office tells TMZ, without any charges being filed because the alleged assault wasn't witnessed by police. A rep for the department says the alleged victim, _________, could take her case directly to the State's Attorney, but characterized it as unlikely.
Since when do police only make arrests to crimes that they witness? Is it because she is trans that they didn’t arrest him? Yes, this is a case of he said/she said but this is a case for a jury to decide.

Why did Chicago Tribune put the article in the Art & Entertainment section and not the news section? Why did they publish the victim’s name and re-victimize her?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Saturday 9: Nobody Told Me

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Nobody Told Me

1. When you grew up were you ever told how to deal with problems?
I don’t know if anyone knows how to deal with all the problems that they face. It is live and learn and do the best that you can and pray for the best.

2. What was your first apartment like?
I never had an apartment. I shared one in college and it was just let all the other college student’s apartments, messy. I share it with six other students, 4 guys and two girls, and it the bottom floor of a two family house in Rochester, NY

3. What was the first car you owned?
A Toyota Celica

4. Tell us about a crush or relationship that you had at high school.
It was with a girl that lived on the street behind our house.

5. Have you ever had an “enemy” in your life?
Not that I know of.

6. What were you doing the first night that you got drunk?
I was with my brother and cousin at West Mt. ski area in New York. And my brother taught me a lesson about drinking… never drink just sitting down, always get up and walk around. Because you will not feel the drinks until you get up.

7. Ten years ago, what was you job and did you like it?
Ten years ago it was the same job that I had twenty years ago, as a supervision of technicians at a manufacturing plant. I liked my job until we were bought out by another corporation and I went from a hands on supervisors to a paper-pusher supervisor.

8. What movie had the biggest impact on you as a child and why?
I don’t know if any movie had a big impact on my life. I’m not a movie person.

9. What are your plans for this weekend?
Not much, see Friday Fill-ins.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Discussions _can be civilized_.
2. _I say to 2011_ goodbye.
3. I think it's time _to get off my butt and clean house_.
4. _Babies_ puts a smile on my face.
5. Maybe sometime _I’ll get around and doing that_.
6. _Your love_ gives me strength.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2_, tomorrow my plans include _reading_ and Sunday, I want to _go for a walk_!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Back before I came out of the closet, my cousin married his wife who is an airline stewardess. At her shower there was a transgender steward, I do not know if she was transsexual or a crossdresser, she was at work a steward, but she was at the shower as a stewardess. And I was jealous that she could be so out and accepted.

I came across this article about a trans-stewardess…
Transgender airline staff make inaugural flight in Thailand
Pink News
by Stephen Gray
4 January 2012

Thailand’s first transgender air stewardesses have taken part in PC Air’s inaugural flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani.

The new airline took on four transgender crew last year when hiring thirty in-flight staff.
“I [PC Air boss Peter Chan] just made their dream come true. Our society has changed. It’s evolution. I’m a pioneer and I’m sure there will be other organisations following my idea.”
The Telegraph reports that despite differently-coloured name tags, few passengers could tell the transgender stewardesses apart from the other female crew.
It is great that they gave them jobs… However, why do they have different color name tags? Also, even though they “made their dreams come true”, it still sounds like they think they are doing them a favor by hiring them.

2011 Stats…
                     Page Loads     Unique Visits     First Time Visits     Returning Visits
Total           30,201             24,421                18,548                       5,873
Average     83                      67                          51                               16

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

They Say It Is Not Class Warfare…

The Republicans claim that it is class warfare to raise the taxes of millionaires and billionaires. Listening to all the Republicans debates and candidates talk about how the super-rich support our economy, that axing them would be class warfare. But consider this,
Report: Rich-poor gap growing

The SSA [Social Security Administration] said 50 percent of workers made less than $26,364 last year — and most Americans have fewer job opportunities available to them. But the wealthiest Americans are relatively unscathed, with those earning $1 million or more jumping 18 percent from 2009.

Total employment fell again last year, dropping from 150.9 million in 2009 to 150.4 million in 2010. And in 2007, at the height of the recession, there were still 5.2 million more jobs than in 2010, the AP wrote.

The average income for Americans was $39,959 last year, but the median wage was just $26,364. The SSA wrote that this shows “the distribution of workers by wage level is highly skewed,” the AP reported.
There is already class warfare. Heating oil assistance has been cut while those who need assistance increases along with the cost oil and natural gas. The middle class is sitting around the stove to keep warm as the rich heat their mansion. Food assistance has been cut while the number of people needing assistance keeps climbing. While the Republicans have dug their heels in to block any increase in taxes for the rich

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Great Year For The Trans-Community

I came across this article in the Advocate by Mara Keisling, 14 Reasons That Made 2011 Great for Trans People and I have to agree that it was a good year for us. While the Gay community was focused on marriage and the repeal of DADT, we were focused on Human Rights.
1. More and More State and Local Laws Pass
Four states (Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada) passed transgender antidiscrimination laws--the most new laws ever in one year. Vermont and California passed new birth certificate laws making it easier for transgender people to update their name and gender. By a vote of 61-81, the Maine legislature killed an anti-trans bill. And 13 local jurisdictions passed laws protecting trans people in the workplace.
Before Connecticut passed the gender inclusive anti-discrimination law, the city of Hartford passed their own gender inclusive anti-discrimination ordinance, leading the state to the punch.

Some other milestones according to the article…
2. The White House Makes Trans People and Issues a Priority
3. Harmony Santana Becomes the First Openly Trans Actor to Get a Major Award Nomination
4. Trans Health Policy Improves
5. First Sitting Cabinet Secretary Addresses a Trans Event
6. Using Sex Discrimination Laws to Protect Trans People
7. The U.S. and the U.N. Speak Up for LGBT Rights
The Bush administration was totally against giving any protection both on a global level and a national level, and he refused to sign the Human Right declaration for LGBT people. President Obama signed it as one of the first things that he did in office.
8. Release of the Most Comprehensive Study on Trans Discrimination
9. Improved Standards of Care for Trans People [WPATH released SOC version 7]
10. Government Backs Trans Federal Workers
11. Veterans Administration Raises the Bar on Trans Health
12. Chaz Bono Teaching Trans to the Masses
13. Making Schools Safe for Trans Youth
14. All Federal Legislation Introduced this Congress is Trans-Inclusive
Here in Connecticut a new and stronger anti-bullying law went into effect in September and the law included gender identity and expression.

This was a good year for trans-folks and I hope the trend continues.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!!!!

I hope everyone had a good New Year. I was up at our cottage in New Hampshire with my brother’s family and we celebrated the arrival of the New Year there. We started out strong but only five made it to midnight and I was one of them.

I was planning on driving up and back on the same day, but toward night I started worrying about the roads because in spots on the up that morning there were icy spots and also I was tired, so I stayed overnight. I was glad that I did because I had fun. I got to see the newest member of the family who was born on the 4th of July.

Happy New Year and may the new year bring joy and happiness.