Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Why is it _that I can never find my USB thumb drives, it is like they develop legs and run off_.
2. _How does Santa fit down the chimney_ that's what I want to know!
3. Hold on _what is that sound I hear? It sounds like a Ho ho ho_.
4. _Christmas is coming way too_ soon.
5. Do you _wait until the last minute to do your shopping_?
6. _You have to learn how to_ live, _you have to learn how to _ laugh, _ and you have to learn how to _ love.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watching a movie on Netflix_, tomorrow my plans include _reading_ and Sunday, I want to _to go to Mystic Seaport_!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wish Me Luck - Follow-up to the Follow-up

Today I taught my second class, this is a different section from Tuesday's class, all different students and this one went a lot better. Some even asked questions and a couple actually read the assignment and we had a discussion about it.

In another development, a couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a MSW for a class assignment that she had to do and I just got an email from her today. It seems I might have another "Guest Lecture" in the works, she said,
I have given your LGBT curriculum to my professor. He is very excited about it and is interested in having you speak at SC. I let him know that you would be interested in teaching your curriculum. It is all in a process stage now, but i wanted to let you know of the interest and excitement.
I gave her a link to one of my presentations and she showed it to her professor so maybe I might be giving another talk and there is a slim chance of being offered to teach a class at the college up in Springfield. I told her about my Independent Study class where I developed a 15 week class to teach Social Work students the ins and outs of working with gender variant clients. One of the core values of social work is to have a cultural understanding of your clients.

My Story Part 143 – The Education Of Diana

All through life I lived in the suburbs which were 99.999% middle class whites Christians. When I went to school in town all my classes had only kids just like me, when I went to college it was with all middle class white students. But at work it was a little different; there were one or two black employees there and a number of Latinos working in the shop. However, when I came out of the closets I started my real education. In the class that I just taught on Tuesday I told them that before I came out that I never knew anyone with AIDS, I never knew anyone who had attempted suicide and I never knew anyone who had committed suicide. I never knew anyone who was a cutter and now I lost track of the number of people that I know are cutters. I never knew anyone who made their living from the streets and I never knew anyone who was a hardcore addict.

One trans-woman that I met through my advocacy was thrown out of her parent’s house when she was a teenager because she came out as trans. Being homeless as a teenager, she made her living from the only way she knew, from the street. When she was arrested and the police found out she was trans, they beat the crap out of her. She made her way north and when I first meet her she was living in a shelter, she has the warmest personality that I ever met and the sweetest voice I ever heard. One Transgender Day of Remembrance she asked if she could sing during the memorial service and when she sat at the piano and sang you could just see the joy and hear the beauty that she felt inside despite everything that she went through in life.

My education continued when I started graduate school, unlike my undergraduate classes, graduate school was a multicultural experience. It was a rich blend of cultures that I was exposed to for the first time in my life and I made many new friends. I imagine one of those events that I enjoyed attending is going to be happening again there in a week or two. It is where all those who want to share their religious traditions and their foods for the holidays are invited to attend. It was there that I learned about Hanukah, Three Kings Day, Kwanza and about the Wiccan traditions for their winter holiday. I learned to play dreidel and the tradition behind it, I tasted and loved Flan and I tried many other ethnic foods (not all that I liked). I enjoyed seeing their pride as they explained what the holidays meant to them.

So when I heard people talk about people on welfare or non-documented aliens or minorities, I wonder how many other people from other cultures that have they met and got to know as a person. Or when I hear people complain about people who say “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas” I wonder how many other religious traditions have they learned about.

I wish you all “Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!”

My Story is a weekly series of blog posts about my transition and observation of life as a trans-person.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Name Change

I have been asked a couple of times about changing your name by common law and it has also been brought up at a meeting for anti-bullying. The topic came up at the meeting when we were discussing a revision to the “Guidelines for Schools on Gender Identity and Expression” one of the committee members said that they had an inquiry about changing a student’s name by common law and no one knew the answer, even the lawyers there. Many of the schools guidelines for gender identity and expression say that you must submit a copy of the Probate Court order.

So I did a little research and I found that Connecticut is a common law state, which means…
Common Law Rule -- Name Change
By Sheri & Bob Stritof

Definition: Believing that a person has the right to a person has the right to adopt, assume, or use any name they want as long as it isn't defrauding or hurting anyone else, many states allow a person, including a child, to change his or her name by using the common law rule.

Under the common law rule, all you have to do is use your new name "consistently, openly and non- fraudulently, without interfering with other people’s rights."
And I also found this on the CT Judicial Branch Law Library…
Names and Name Changes in Connecticut
A Guide to Resources in the Law Library

The court therefore concludes that the common-law right of a person to use a name, a right enunciated by our Supreme Court in Don v. Don, 142 Conn. 309, applies to the surname of a married women.”
Sounds easy enough and best of all it is free. But… there is always a “but.” So what is the “But” and it is a big one. Banks, Social Security, credit cards and utilities all ask for the Probate Court order, it is kind of like a “Catch 22,” yes you can change your name by common law but no one will recognize it with a court order. I’m not a lawyer but I would recommend that you go through the Probate Court if you are transitioning. There is a $150 fee but you can ask for a waiver. If you are crossdressing I think you can use any name that you want as long as it isn't defrauding or hurting anyone else (Again the caveat, I’m not a lawyer and this is only my personal opinion.). Before I transitioned and I was going out in public if anyone asked for my ID I would give them my legal ID.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wish Me Luck- Follow-up

The class went very well; the only thing was I ended about 20 minutes early. I have to learn to pace myself. The students didn’t ask many questions, some looked bored while others were interested in what I had to say. But overall I liked the experience and wouldn’t mind doing it more often; I have one more class teach and it’s on Thursday.

The professor is at a conference and asked me to fill in for him, I work with him on a committee for Safe Schools, so I was quite honored when he asked me to fill in for him.

Wish Me Luck.

I’m heading off to teach my first class as a guest lecturer at UConn main campus in Storrs and of course it is snowing just to make things interesting. The professor is at a conference and he asked me to fill in for him,  this is the first time I taught a class all by myself and I’m nervous as all hell.

The class is Multicultural Education and I’m lecturing on “Working with Gender Non-Conforming Students & Adults” so at least in know a little about the topic. The class is a mix of undergraduate and graduate students.

A Cruise To Nowhere!

All over the blogshere and the news is an article about a letter sent out to passengers on a “Ru Paul Drag Cruise” in seems we are not welcome on Carnival lines. I first came across the article on Facebook and I searched the web for confirmation. I found an article in the Miami Hearld… “Carnival letter to passengers on drag cruise: 'Refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct'” in Steve Rothaus' Gay South Florida. The letter stated,
    November 26, 2012

    Greetings Fun Seekers!

    We know you are looking forward to your cruise next month. We're certainly looking forward to welcoming you and your group aboard the beautiful Carnival Glory.

    There are lots of special activities planned for your group so we are confident you are going to have a great cruise. However, in order to ensure a fun and memorable time for everyone, we want to take a few moments to make you aware of certain policies and conduct expectations so as to avoid any potential disappointment during your cruise.

    Carnival attracts a number of families with children and for this reason; we strive to present a family friendly atmosphere. It is important to us that all guests are comfortable with every aspect of the cruise. Although we realize this group consists solely of adults, we nonetheless expect all guests to recognize that minors are onboard and, refrain from engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas.

    Arrangements have been made for drag performances in the main theater featuring stars from LOGO TV. These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.

    We're sorry to say that any guest who violates our policies and/or whose behavior affects the comfort and enjoyment of other guests, will be disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Now that we've taken care of business...let the FUN begin!

    See you soon!


    Vicky Rey, CTC
    Vice President - Guest Services
I love how the VP says “...let the FUN begin!” after he slaps us in the face.

I searched Carnival’s policy on LGBT passengers but I couldn’t find any, but I did find a number of web pages on their website welcoming “Gay” passengers. There were stuff like…

But Darlings, YOU'RE Gay! Is a Cruise Vacation in the cards for you or are they just for landlocked straight farmers from Omaha? Man Overboard can personally assure you that cruises are for gays and lesbians. Haven't you ever heard of Dames at SEA?

Again, The main choice is deciding between a full-ship charter or opting to join a smaller gay or lesbian group on an existing cruise. The primary advantage of a charter is the exclusively gay friendly environment, while a smaller gay group offers many more choices relative to itinerary and quality of the ship.

And they even have something called “Friends of Dorothy” where gays and lesbians can meet on board ship, but I guess as usual “there are Gays and there are gays.”

The group travel agency, Al & Chuck Travel, then tried to backpedaled and according to MetroWeekly the travel agency sent an email saying…
We are sympathetic to your sentiments that you have expressed via email and social media. As a gay man who has been partnered for 25 years, I have suffered many forms of discriminations because I am part of the GLBT community. But please take note, Carnival's regulation is NOT an example of discrimination.

Carnival is an ally of the GLBT community. Please understand that this cruise could not even be happening on the GLORY if Carnival was not an ally of our segment of society. When they say they are a "family friendly" cruise line they mean it in both the traditional and metaphorical sense of the phrase.

Carnival's "no costumes rule" is NOT meant to be an insult to the gay community. As a gay business, we would not have organized this cruise if they were prejudiced against gay people. This rule goes for both GAY and STRAIGHT passengers that travel on all Carnival cruises. It is in response to the post-911 world we live in. It is meant to protect passengers and guests - NOT to marginalize a few.

Additionally, we know that transgendered members of our community will be aboard with us during this event. Please do not worry, Carnivals rule is not meant towards you. Your right to live your identity is always supported.
And that even made it even worst when it was pointed out that Carnival has Halloween cruises. John Aravosis wrote in the AmericaBlog,
And there’s another problem.  How is Carnival supposedly okay with trans people going on the cruise, how will they “support” a transgender person’s “right to live your identity,” if men can’t dress as women and vice versa?  One man’s transgender is another man’s drag – what’s to stop Carnival’s straight cruise employes from kicking some trans person off the ship for “being in drag”?  So it’s okay to be trans, but don’t be too “fun” about it, you know wearing fun clothes or, god-forbid a wig (so trans people on chemo are out), lest some Carnival employee mistake you for a gay man in a dress and kick you off the ship?  Can’t get more welcoming than that.
He goes on to say…
But hey, what do you know – when some asked, just two months ago, if Carnival had any policy on wearing Halloween costumes on their ships, they got this not-very-September-11 response on Carnival’s own Web site:

    Do Carnival have any restrictions on Halloween costumes? Sailing October 29th on the Paradise out of Tampa

“Frightfully Fun”!

Halloween is always a fun and memorable time aboard a Carnival ship. Guests can enjoy a variety of fun-filled activities, everything from costume contests and Halloween-themed giveaways to scary movies, and, of course, trick or treating with candies. Children and adults are encouraged to bring costumes so they can compete for a variety of prizes during the always-interesting costume contest and parade. Carnival crew members will be dressed in costume, as well, and guests can have their photos taken with Carnival’s own “Fun Ship” Freddy. Guests ages one to 14 are also invited to go trick or treating along the ships’ promenades and through various public rooms and areas, stocking up on candies.

Note:  Please note that we do not allow any toy or imitation weapons of any kind onboard any of our ships.

So no pirate swords, ninja knives, cowboy/girl toy guns, whips, chains etc.
So much for being LGBT friendly, they just want gays, lesbians and trans-people who don’t look like they’re gay, lesbian or trans. If you blend in you are welcome, but if you are too gay we don’t want you.

Here is the email that they sent out...

Carnival Letter

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgivings Weekend Part 2

Today we went down to Ogunquit and we walked along the Marginal Way, it was a cold and windy walk and the sky was overcast giving it a wintery feel.

This is the Marginal Way path that follows rocky shore for about a mile…

Looking back to Ogunquit beach at low tide…
In the summer the beach would be wall to wall with people, now only a hardy soul was out walking on the beach.

When you hear about the rugged Maine coast this is what they are talking about, the beaches are few and far apart.

After we finished our walk we went over to Cape Neddick in York to see the Christmas lights on Nubble Lighthouse. We arrived just at sunset.
There had to be over a dozen photographers there taking pictures of the lighthouse and there were also many others snapping a picture with their phones.

Here is a video that I took of the lighthouse…

Thanksgiving Weekend Part 1

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are enjoying the long weekend. I’m up at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s place in Kennebunk Maine. Friday we hike along the Eastern Trail in Arundel and yesterday we walked the Eastern Trial in Scarborough. The Eastern Trial is a rail to trail system and is part of the East Coast Greenway.

Here are some photos that I took along the Scarborough section to the trail.

Later today we are going to go walking along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit and then on to York at Cape Neddick to look at the Nubble lighthouse all lit up with Christmas lights

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday 9: Cold Turkey

Crazy Sam’s   Saturday 9: Cold Turkey

1) Are you still feasting on cold turkey, or any other leftovers, from your Thanksgiving meal?
Yes and we will probably have leftovers into next week.

2) AAA says Thanksgiving is a big travel weekend. Did you venture far from home for your holiday dinner?
I went up to my brother’s and sister-in-law’s in Maine for Thanksgiving weekend

3) Is this weekend the official start of the Christmas season for you?
Are you kidding? There are still 29 shopping day until Christmas. I usually shop the day before, shopping is a whole lot easier you just buy what is left on the shelves.

4) Which couple would you rather hang out with -- Fred and Wilma Flintstone or George and Jane Jetson?
I rather be in the future than the past.

5) Have you/would you ever get your teeth whitened?
Nope and nope.

6) Do you still have your high school class ring?
Yes, but it is way too small.

7) Here's $50. You must spend it all in one place. What are you going to do with it?

8) Could your vehicle use a trip to the car wash right about now?
Nope, it rained recently.

9) Did you hit the snooze button this morning?
I haven’t set the alarm clock since July 2007.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. Oh, I am so _full_.
2. _Being with family_ was my favorite part of the big meal yesterday.
3. Where does _the time fly, I can believe that it is Thanksgiving already_.
4. _The bird_ was filled with _stuffing_.
5. This weather _made it nice to go walking before dinner_.
6. _A safe and uneventful trip home _; these are some of the things I wish for my loved ones.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _hanging around my brother’s and sister-in-law’s condo_, tomorrow my plans include _cooking dinner for them_ and Sunday, I want to _photograph Nubble Lighthouse Christmas lights_!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

For many people Thanksgiving is an especially lonely time, they might not have seen their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them and for them Thanksgiving is a time when they feel their loss the greatest.

In addition, it is hard on those who have lost their jobs in this economic crisis. So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

On the lighter side... what would Thanksgiving be without "Alice's Restaurant"

One of my favorite sitcom skits was from WKRP in Cincinnati, "Turkey Drop"


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Times They Are A-Chanin’ (Part 2)

There were two news topics that caught my attention today and the both warrant their own posts. The first was about the White House recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance and the second is something I don’t normally write about is the Catholic Church. I was raised Catholic and I dropped out of the church not because I don’t believe in God but because I don’t believe in organized religion. Every church proclaims that they are the “True Religion” but I believe it is more important in how you live your life and treat others than it is to be a member of any congregation.

There were two articles that about the Catholic Church that caught my attention and there are…
Day of remembrance honors transgender persons killed for their spiritual journeys
The National Catholic Reporter
By James Whitehead & Evelyn Whitehead
Nov. 19, 2012

On Tuesday, a day of remembrance will be held for transgender persons throughout the world who have been killed in the last year. In Chicago, Denver, Tucson, Ariz., New Orleans and many other U.S. cities, candlelight vigils are planned, during which a litany of names of those who have died violent deaths will be sounded. (See the celebration's website for a further listing of cities and schedules of ceremonies.)

It is fitting that Catholics join in this celebration. November is the month in which we honor All Saints and All Souls, remembering those who have gone before us. Another claim on the Catholic community is the church's commitment to social justice. The violence against transgender persons -- including bullying of children, the adult experiences of discrimination at work, physical intimidation and even murder -- cries out for protest from a faith community that would witness to peace and justice. But there are obstacles as well. On many sexual and gender issues, official church statements do not always contribute to social healing.

The words of Genesis, "male and female God made them," have often been interpreted as the foundation of theories of sexual dimorphism: Human nature was constructed in two and only two genders. Religious authorities reinforce this gender dichotomy as both theological doctrine and moral mandate.

Yet human experience records a dazzling diversity in God's creation, registered in humanity as well. When we find ourselves confused or even bewildered by the questions surrounding gender diversity, it is useful to recall that bewilderment sometimes serves virtuous purposes. As one historian of religion writes, bewilderment may "correct the inclination to unwarranted certainty." Our bewilderment, at first so unsettling, may serve as a portal to humility and open us to God's extravagance so generously on display throughout the world. St. Paul spoke of this diversity in bodily terms: "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Corinthians 12:27). He counsels us that those most vulnerable members are to be cared for with the greatest respect; he reminds us that if one member suffers, all members suffer. And, in a conviction that has special relevance for transgender Christians, "No members can say to another, we do not need you."

We are more aware today that gender and anatomy are not the same. The first formation of gender takes place before we are born, under the influence of prenatal hormones that influence the fetal brain. While we are afloat in our mother's womb, our tiny bodies and brains are awash in these hormones. Powerful chemicals prompt the gradual development of male or female genitalia, as well as inscribing a sense of gender identity in the brain. Most often, the baby's anatomy will match the brain's sense of gender identity. But not always. Most transsexuals as early as childhood experience a powerful and enduring dissonance between the gender their bodies display and their interior sense of themselves as woman or man. For many, the search for gender integrity will entail a long and painful struggle. Spiritual health depends on a sorting out of this disconnect and moving toward a harmony in their experience of gender identity.
I find this amazing that there is the beginning of an open discussion on transgenderism.

The next article is about the soldiers of the Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus…
Catholics To K of C: Stay Out Of Politics
New Haven Independent
by Thomas MacMillan
Nov 20, 2012

Two weeks ago after voters in three states sent out a clear message of support for gay marriage, more than 5,000 Catholics sent a message to the Knights of Columbus: Stop hurting the church by trying to stop same-sex unions.

That message was delivered in the form of a petition organized by Catholics United Education Fund, a not-for-profit Catholic group working for social justice. Traugott Lawlor (at right in photo), one of the more than 5,000 people who signed the petition, hand delivered it to a Knights of Columbus staffer at 3:20 p.m. outside of Knights of Columbus world headquarters in downtown New Haven at the corner of Church Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“As Catholics, we ask that you stop using charitable donations to oppose civil same-sex marriage,” the petition reads. “This money would be better spent serving the needs of the poor.

“More and more Americans, especially younger generations of Catholics, are turning away from religion because of its mistreatment of the LGBT community. We believe your actions are outside the tradition of the Knights of Columbus and are hurting the Church.”

The petition is addressed to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.
Now if only the Pope reads the winds of change and not wait 359 years to change like they did with acknowledging that fact the Earth revolves around the sun.

The Times They Are A-Changin' (Part 1)

I find it amazing that a president invited trans-people in to talk about violence against trans-people...
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Posted by Gautam Raghavan on November 20, 2012 at 03:52 PM EST

Earlier today, a group of transgender community advocates met with White House staff to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance and discuss ways in which we can work together to ensure dignity, equality, and justice for all people.

Throughout America and around the world, many transgender people face bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence.  Far too often, we hear shocking and tragic stories about transgender people who have been assaulted and even killed because of their gender identity or expression.  The Obama Administration is committed to preventing violence against all people, including all members of the LGBT community, and this meeting was an important opportunity to explore ways to make our communities and neighborhoods safer.

At the meeting, community leaders highlighted a range of issues and concerns of importance to transgender people.  In the months and years ahead, we look forward to working to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all transgender people.

As we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance and reflect upon the lives that have been lost to violence and injustice, let us all recommit ourselves to ensuring dignity, equality, and justice for all people.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20th, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to remember Rita Hester, who was murder on November 28th, 1998, her murder still remains unsolved.

This is a day that brings strong emotions in the trans-community, some think it is important to remember those people who were murdered because of who they were while others feel that instead of memorializing our dead that we should celebrate the living. I think they are both right, we need to never forget that we face danger every time we go out the door but at the same time we need reflect on all the good things that are in our lives.

This year there will be memorials in…
TDOR Hartford
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
5:15pm: Gather at the Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave 5:30pm: Vigil Walk to the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street
6:00pm: Reading of the names at the library
7:00pm: Service at MCC Hartford, 155 Wyllys Street in Hartford

TDOR Meriden
Tuesday, November 20th, 7:00 PM Service
Unitarian Universalist Church of Meriden
328 Paddock Ave
Meriden, CT 

TDOR Westport
Tuesday, November 20th, 7:00 PM Service
The Unitarian Church in Westport
10 Lyons Plains Road
Westport, CT

All are welcome; you do not have to be trans to attend a memorial.

This year’s roll call of those who were murdered by senseless violence are…

Sonia Masi
Location: Gujarat, India
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: November 24, 2011
(*aka Imran Ajmeri)

Location: Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Stoned to death
Date of Death: November 25, 2011
(*aka Claudio Lucio Miranda de Almeida)

Brenting Dolliole
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Cause of Death: severe head trauma
Date of Death: November 26, 2011
Brenting was 22 years old.

Suely Scalla
Location: Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: beaten to death
Date of Death: December 3, 2011

(*aka Ademir Melo Oliveira)


Pascual Ake Beh
Location: Almoloya, Mexico
Cause of Death: Gunshot to the head
Date of Death: December 4, 2011

Charlie (Erica) Hernandez
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: Stabbed to death
Date of Death: December 17, 2011
Erica was 26 years old.
Location: R. Bandeirantes Apucarana, PR, Brazil
Cause of Death: Multiple machete blows to chest and neck
Date of Death: December 24, 2011
Bruninha was 19 years old.
(*aka Reis Lima dos Santos)


Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshots to the foot and back
Date of Death: December 27, 2011
(*aka Reis Lima dos Santos)

Githe Goines
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Cause of Death: strangulation
Date of Death: December 30, 2011
Githe was 23 years old.
(*aka Orlando O. Goins)

Location: Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshots to the back (2)
Date of Death: January 1, 2012
(*aka Charlemagne Rosa)
Popinha was 25 years old.

Unidentified person
Location: Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Date of Death: January 17, 2012


Crain Conaway
Location: Oceanside, California
Cause of Death: trauma to body
Date of Death: January 17, 2012

Crain was 28 years old

Guilherme Augusto de Souza
Location: Sumaré, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshots (13)
Date of Death: January 23, 2012
Guilherme was 16 years old.


Paola Cristiano
Location: Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil
Cause of Death: 7 gunshots to the head, neck, and back.
Date of Death: January 30, 2012
Paola was 28 years old.

Deoni Jones
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: February 02, 2012
Deoni was 23 years old.


Location: Campo Mourão, Paraná, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: March 2, 2012

(*aka Natalício José Carlos da Silva)

Carla was 51 years old.

Junior Ricardo de Jesus
Location: Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cause of Death: Skeleton found with bullet fragments near body
Date of Death: March 2012


Agnes Torres Sulca
Location: Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico
Cause of Death: Neck wounds, burned, thrown in a ditch.
Date of Death: March 10, 2012

Location: Bandeirantes, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Stoned and beaten to death.
Date of Death: March 13, 2012
(*aka Neco Francissco de Oliveira)
Chiquinha was 35 years old.

Location:  Olivenza, Alagoas, Brazil
Cause of Death:  Gagged, had pieces of wood inserted into the anus. Penis burned with alcohol.
Date of Death: March 13, 2012
(*aka Valmir da Silva)
Soraya was 39 years old.

Rene “Rosita” Hidalgo
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Cause of Death: gagged, multiple stab wounds, neck slit.
Date of Death: March 15, 2012

David William de Oliveira Cândido
Location: Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
Cause of Death: Severe head and neck trauma
Date of Death: March 22, 2012
David was 16 years old.

Coko Williams
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: April 4, 2012
Coko was 35 years old.

Tyrell Jackson
Location: Riviera Beach, Florida
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: April 4, 2012
Tyrell was 23 years old


Location: Krishnagiri, India
Cause of Death: Burned and throat slit.
Date of Death: April 12, 2012


Paige Clay
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Cause of Death: Gunshot to the face.
Date of Death: April 16, 2012
Paige was 23 years old.

Location: Maceió, Alagoas, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshot to the back and head.
Date of Death: April 22, 2012
(*aka Cosmo da Silva)

Leandro Eduardo Campos Ferreira
Location: Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds (11)
Date of Death: April 26, 2012

Brandy Martell
Location: Oakland, California
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: April 29th, 2012
Brandy was 37 years old.

Unidentified person
Location: Hope, Paraiba, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: May 10, 2012

Anil Aayiramthengu
Location: Thankassery, India
Cause of Death: throat slit, abdominal injuries.
Date of Death: May 10, 2012


Lorena Escalera
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Cause of Death: Fire
Date of Death: May 11, 2012

Chrissie Azzopardi
Location: Finsbury Park, London, UK
Cause of Death:  Unknown
Date of Death: June 4, 2012

Chrissie was 22 years old


Thapelo Makutle
Location: Kuruman, South Africa
Cause of Death: throat cut, partial decapitation, genitals stuffed in mouth.
Date of Death: June 09, 2012


William Geovanni Aguilar Pérez
Location: Villanueva, Guatemala
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: June 17, 2012


Location: Villanueva, Guatemala
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: June 17, 2012


Unidentified person
Location: Pinhais, Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
Cause of Death: Burned to death
Date of Death: June 26, 2012


Jeimy Tamara Perez
Location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: June 28, 2012


Unidentified person
Location: Pinhais, Paraná, Brazil
Cause of Death: Burned to death.
Date of Death: June 27, 2012

Camila de Mink
Location: Baurú, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Stabbing
Date of Death: June 30, 2012

(*aka Carlúcio de Oliveira)

Camila is 40 years old
Tracey Johnson
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds.
Date of Death: July 5, 2012

Secil Anne
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Cause of Death: throat cut, face slashed.
Date of Death:  July 10, 2012

Location: San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Cause of Death: Gunshots to the face and head
Date of Death: August 3, 2012

(*aka Marlon Javier Jiménez Alemán)

Location: Sincelejo, Sucre, Colombia
Cause of Death: Gunshot to the head
Date of Death: August 4, 2012

Vanderson Viegas Silva
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Dragged for two blocks by car.
Date of Death: August 5, 2012

(* aka Amos Chagas Lima)

Tiffany Gooden
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Cause of Death: multiple stab wounds.
Date of Death: August 14, 2012
Donta was 19 years old.
(*aka Donta Gooden)

Sirena Paola
Location: La Guajira, Maicao, Columbia
Cause of Death: head trauma
Date of Death: August 11, 2012
Sirena was 44 years old.

Unidentified person
Location: São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: August 15, 2012
Victim was 30 years old

Unidentified person
Location: São José do Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: shot
Date of Death: August 15, 2012
Victim was 24 years old

Laryssa Silveira
Location: Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and face, dumped by the side of the road.
Date of Death: August 17, 2012

Tiago da Silva Oliveira
Location: Pernambucho, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: August 19, 2012


Robson Franco Pereira
Location: Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Gunshots to arm and face
Date of Death: August 24, 2012


Dewayne “Deja” Jones
Location: Miami, Florida
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Date of Death: August 26, 2012

Unidentified person
Location: Clementina, Brazil
Cause of Death: repeated blows to the head with a spade.
Date of Death: August 29, 2012

Kendall Hampton
Location: Cincinnati,Ohio
Cause of Death: Shot
Date of Death: August 29, 2012
Kendall was 26 years old.


Kyra Cordova
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to the head.
Date of Death: September 3, 2012

Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death: Murdered and mutilated, her genitals and an ear removed. Thrown in a dumpster.
Date of Death: September 16, 2012
(*aka Mark Gustavo da Silva Costa)

Unidentified person
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Cause of Death:  neck injury, hands and feet tied, wrapped in a sheet, and burned.
Date of Death: September 21, 2012

January Marie Lapuz
Location: New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of Death: Stabbing.
Date of Death: September 29, 2012
January was 26 years old.

Location: Aracaju, Brazil
Cause of Death: Stoned to death
Date of Death: October 19, 2012
January was 26 years old.

(* aka Amos Chagas Lima)

Location: Rouen, France
Cause of Death:  asphyxiation, body partially burned after death.
Date of Death: November 4, 2012


(*aka Walter Frantz Flores Zapata)

From International Transgender Day of Remembrance website

This And That In The News – Trans Issues

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to share or comment about. These are the articles that caught my attention last week.

This week one of the articles that caught my attention was about a new class at Rutgers…
First Transgender class at Rutgers explores misunderstandings
Written by Carrie Stetler
Rutgers Today
Nov 15, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK — In Aren Aizura’s class “Introduction to Transgender Studies” — the first class of its kind at Rutgers — students analyze footage of Christine Jorgensen upon her return to the United States after a sex change operation in Denmark.

With her throaty voice and resemblance to Joan Crawford, Jorgensen fascinated the world as one of the first men to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 1952. (“Ex-GI turned Blonde Beauty’’ blared one headline.)

The Rutgers class explores the history and politics of what it means to be transgender, including the criteria physicians once used to determine whether someone would be a good candidate for surgery.
For an Independent Study class I developed a curriculum for “Working with Gender Variant Clients” for social workers. A part of the Social Workers Code of Ethics says that social workers should have an understanding of the culture of their clients. For many trans-people they end up educating their therapists on trans-issues.

Switching over to the world of politics, in Syracuse NY, the Common Council is voting on a gender identity non-discrimination ordinance today…
Be Yourself: Support nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people
Editorial Board
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012

Striking a blow for human dignity and basic civil rights, Syracuse is about to become the 10th jurisdiction in New York state to protect transgender people from discrimination.

New York state should be next.

The Syracuse Common Council is due to vote Monday on an amendment to the city’s Fair Practices Law that would prohibit discrimination based on a person’s “actual or perceived sex, or their gender identity or expression.” The legislation is sponsored by seven of the council’s nine voting members and therefore appears likely to pass.
As the article says, New York should pass a state wide non-discrimination law.

The next article is about a trans-woman being elected to public office in Cuba.
Adela Hernandez, Transgender Woman, Wins Office In Cuba
Huffington Gay Post

HAVANA -- Adela Hernandez, a biologically male Cuban who has lived as a female since childhood, served two years in prison in the 1980s for "dangerousness" after her own family denounced her sexuality.

This month she made history by becoming the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba, winning election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province of Villa Clara.

In a country where gays were persecuted for decades and sent to grueling work camps in the countryside, Hernandez, 48, hailed her election as yet another milestone in a gradual shift away from macho attitudes in the years since Fidel Castro himself expressed regret over the treatment of people perceived to be different.
We are making headway around the world in the understanding of the electorate that it is not who the person is but rather it is their political views that are important in an election. There was a trans-woman elected to office in New Hampshire and a few years back if I remember correctly a crossdresser was elected to first selectperson in Washington state.

Sometimes we paint religion with a broad brush, when in fact each religion is different and even different sects within a religion are different.
Transgender Jews find a place at the table
By The Forward
Nov.18, 2012

    BERKELEY, CALIF. – Shortly before Emily Aviva Kapor began the transition from male to female, she sat down to discuss the process with her mother. “I told her I was going on hormones, and she said the most Jewish thing to me,” 27-year-old Kapor recalled. “She said, ‘Well, at least you’re not getting a tattoo.’”

It’s a funny line that anyone with a Jewish mother can appreciate. But as it turns out, the most Jewish thing to say on the subject of gender identity probably would have been nothing at all.

For many years, those knowledgeable on the subject say, Jews and Jewish organizations largely met their transgender co-religionists with silence. Slowly, that is beginning to change. From November 2 to November 4, Kapor and nearly 30 other transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex and gender-nonconforming Jews from across North America sought to expand this opening-up process at a gathering here, billed as the first-ever retreat for such Jews.
I know that different denominations accept trans-people. When we hold our Transgender Day of Remembrance one of our biggest supporters is a rabbi from the Reform movement. Just like the Christian religion there are sects that support us and sects that do not.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Great Night Yesterday, Bad Day Today.

The One Big Event fundraiser for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Heath Collective was very nice, the new venue was great and the food was a lot better than where they had it last year. I heard the final count was around 500 attendees and last year they only had a little over 300 because of the size of the banquet room. This year the room was humongous and they had about sixty tables, stage  and a dance floor. The only drawback was the sound system by the time the sound reached us it was mumbled, they need better acoustics. 

I meet a lot of people there that I knew, some of which were my former classmates, and the Health Collective staff. Plus a number of people that I know from my work with CT TransAdvocacy Coalition.

The band was called “Shaded Soul Band” and they were very good, but once they started it was time for me to leave the banquet. One, I don’t like loud music (I much prefer acoustical music)  and two, I was up at 4AM so I wanted to get home by 11.

Now the bad news, I was up in the Springfield area this afternoon and on the way home I got a flat tire. That was my first flat tire in probably 40 years and I’m much older now then I was back then. I had the car jacked up and the lug nuts removed but I couldn’t get the wheel off of the drum. I was pulling and pulling and it just wouldn’t come off when a nice young man pulled up and asked if I needed help… yes! He took off the wheel (He just lifted it right off and I joked that I loosen it for him.), put the spare and the lug nuts back on, put the flat in the trunk and lowered the car jack. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Six #449

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #449

1. K is for KAKISTOCRACY: Which president would you rate as the worst in history?
William McKinley was the stooge of the “Robber Barons” (Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Mellon, J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller)

2. K is for KARAOKE: If you had to sing a song in a Karaoke tournament, which song would you choose?
None! You do not want me to sing, the place will clear out.

3. K is for KETCHUP: Which condiment do you use the most?

4. K is for KEY: What does the oldest key you own open?
Probably my house key, since I owned it the longest.

5. K is for KITCHEN: What would you most like to change about your kitchen?
Making it bigger and adding an island.

6. K is for KNOWLEDGE: Which single school subject has served you the best in your adult life?
Math, being in engineering most of my life, I used math almost every day.

Saturday 9: Live and Let Die

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Live and Let Die

1) "Live and Let Die" was nominated for an Oscar as best song. Do you have a favorite movie song?
I don’t know, I don’t really have a favorite song… how about “The Call the Wind Maria” from Paint Your Wagon, that is the first song to pop into my head.

2) The latest Bond movie, Skyfall, is crazy successful. Have you seen it/do you want to see it?
Not yet, but I think I’ll see it, after all I saw every other Bond movie.

3) What do you think makes Bond movies so enduringly popular?
The women and the gadgets.

4) Do you have a favorite among the actors who have played "Bond, James Bond?"
Sean Connery, the original.

5) Bond orders martinis -- "shaken, not stirred." What's your regular drink order?
It used to be a Cape Codder (Vodka and cranberry juice with a twist of lime), but now it club soda with a twist of lime.

6) Moving from the bar to breakfast -- do you have a favorite cereal?
Oat meal, but I‘m not a big fan of cereal any more, too many carbs.

7) Let's daydream about warm weather. Would you rather swim in a lake, the ocean, or an outdoor pool?
If its water, I jump in it on a hot day. Let’s see I have a cottage on a lake and my brother and sister-in-law live by the ocean and I like them both.

8) Did you get 8 hours' sleep last night?
Four hours, I wish it was more but for some reason I always wake up at around 3 AM.

9) What are you wearing on your feet right now?
Ankle boots.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Fill-ins

Janet’s Friday Fill-ins

1. If you _take time to smell the roses, you’ll be surprise at how fast the stress in your life disappears_.
2. _When I’m happy I sometimes start_ singing la la la
3. I have to ask you _did you vote_.
4. _I don’t have any_ vices; _but I have a number of bad_ habits.
5. I didn't have time _to call you_.
6. _Lobster_ is something I love beyond all reason.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _watching a movie on Netflix_, tomorrow my plans include _going to an intimate dinner with 600 people_ and Sunday, I want to _recover from Saturday night_!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Story Part 142 – Outreach

It is Thursday so it must be time for “My Story” a weekly series of blog posts about my transition and observation of life as a trans-person.

I did an outreach at a community college yesterday, the second one this week. I do them not for myself but for the next generation maybe they will have it a little easier than I had it. I know outreach is not for everyone, but I enjoy doing them and I use to joke that it is cheaper than a therapist. I did the outreach with two gay men; however, the class didn’t ask any questions so we made up our own questions. The guys were two former teachers and they were very good and I got some good pointers from listening to them. One of them brought in a prop, a spoon and I wondered what he was going to do with it.

Well he started out his introduction talking about when he was a baby and he always grabbed the spoon with his left hand. His mother always took it out of his left hand and put it in his right hand. He then went on talking about how people use to think of left-handed people as sinister (sinister actually means left side) and he then asked the student when did you choose to be right handed.

I’m sinister, I never chose to be left-handed but I was born that way and I faced the same discrimination that all left-handed people face. What you say, left-handed people don’t face discrimination! Well you never had tried to use a pair of scissors left-handed, you never tried cutting cheese with a right-handed knife with you left hand (the serrated edge is left and if you use your left hand it forces the knife out of the slice) or just try writing with an ink pen. I use to get my hand slapped all the time by the nuns for smudging the ink (thank goodness for ballpoint pens).

Anyhow, he made his point, we don’t choose which hand we use and we don’t choose our sexual orientation or gender identity. We don’t know why a person is left handed just like we don’t know how our sexual orientation or gender identity is formed. We have some ideas of why*, but we have nothing that we can point a finger at and definitively that is the cause.

He then talked about the Kinsey Scale and explained that there are no true heterosexuals and no true homosexuals, that it was continuum on a scale of zero to six. How in nature there is no black and white. I took that for my clue and told them how we put all the scales together to form this…

If you chart a straight man it might look like this (The slides are from my Power Point presentation at the NASW conference here in CT)…
A gay man…
A crossdresser…
And this is how I would be mapped…
As you can see there can be an infinite number of combinations, there are no black and whites in nature, but a blend of grey.

*There are a number of interesting studies about the relationship between sexual orientation, gender identity and left-handedness. I first became interested in that relationship when I was gathering signatures for the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill at the True Colors LGBT Youth conference, noticed that it seemed like the majority of the people inline were left handed. It was very noticeable and I know that shouldn’t be, that it should be somewhere around 20% to 25% of the people. However, it seemed like it was over 50%.

I found this study online,
Canadian Scientists Find More Homosexuals Left-Handed

ScienceDaily (July 10, 2000) — Three Canadian researchers have shown that left-handedness is more common in gay men and in lesbian women than in comparable heterosexual persons. Drs. Martin L. Lalumière, Ray Blanchard, and Kenneth J. Zucker, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the University of Toronto, reached this conclusion by means of a meta-analysis -- a statistical technique for combining the results of many previous studies in order to reach a reliable conclusion.

The study, published in the July issue of Psychological Bulletin, combined the results from 23,410 heterosexual and homosexual men and women. The results for both sexes were statistically significant; however, the tendency toward increased levels of left-handedness was markedly greater for lesbian women than for gay men.
So research seems to bear out my non-scientific observation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Best Reason Yet To Support Gay Marriage

CollegeHumor's Favorite Funny Videos

Comment 11/15/12:
I have heard that this video has a down side for women. As one wife of a trans-woman that I know wrote on another blog...
I saw this get posted a lot lately, & it just made me sad.

The reality for women who are married to gay men is pretty fucking awful & likewise for men married to lesbians (Straight Spouse Network) .

For the SO [partner], this is no joke, but instead, a dream of a marriage shattered.
Comment 11/17/12: 
A few more comments about this that I read, it reenforces the gay stereotype and "it occurred to me that these men in the video were essentially manipulating women just as objects in their scheme to get what they want,"

For many LGBT people they think, all it will take is finding the right woman/man to make me straight or others are in denial and do not think they are LGBT. Some even marry as a camouflage to hide the LGBTness. Which leave the spouse rightly feeling bitter for being used.

The Corporate Equality Index (CEI)

I’m not a big fan of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), but one thing that they seem to be getting right is their Corporate Equality Index. I say “seems” because in their 2013 criteria they require surgery for trans-employees in order to get a 100%.
Corporate Equality Index Rating Criteria
1a Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation (15 points)

1b Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Expression (15 points)

2a Offers Partner Health/Medical Insurance (15 points)

2b Has Parity Across Other “Soft” Benefits for Partners (10 points)
(half credit for parity across some, but not all benefits)

2c Offers Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance Coverage (10 points)

3a Firm-wide Organizational Competency Programs (10 points)

3b Has Employer-Supported Employee Resource Group
OR Firm-Wide Diversity Council (10 points)
Would Support ERG if Employees Express Interest (half credit)

4 Positively Engages the External LGBT Community (15 points)
(partial credit of 5 points given for less than 3 efforts)

5 Responsible Citizenship Employers will have 25 points deducted
from their score for a large-scale official or public anti-LGBT blemish
on their recent records (-25 points)
If you notice they include Transgender-Inclusive Health Insurance Coverage, so what does that cover?
c. Transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage 1O points
Equal health coverage for transgender individuals without exclusion for
medically necessary care
  • Insurance contract explicitly affirms coverage and contains no blanket exclusions for coverage
  • Insurance contract and/or policy documentation is based on the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care
  • Plan documentation must be readily available to employees and must clearly communicate inclusive insurance options to employees and their eligible dependents.
  • Benefits available to other employees must extend to transgender individuals. The following benefits should extend to transgender individuals, including for services related to gender transition (e.g., medically necessary services related to sex affirmation/ reassignment):
  • Short-term medical leave
  • Mental health benefits
  • Pharmaceutical coverage (e.g., for hormone replacement therapies)
  • Coverage for medical visits or laboratory services
  • Coverage for reconstructive surgical procedures related to sex reassignment
  • Coverage of routine, chronic or urgent non-transition services
  • Plan language ensuring “adequacy of network” or access to specialists should extend to transition-related care (including provisions for travel or other expense reimbursements)
So how many received a 100%?
Last year, 189 major businesses accomplished a 100 percent rating on the most stringent
scorecard the HRC Foundation has ever administered, including comprehensive benefits
parity and more robust requirements of corporate responsibility to our community. It is with
great pride and privilege that I announce an incredible 252 businesses that are receiving a
perfect score this year.
And that “42% of this year’s rated businesses afford transgender-inclusive health care coverage options through at least one firm-wide plan.” So it seems that the changes that the HRC made is bring about change.

But something interesting is happening now that there is insurance coverage from GRS. Many of the doctors who perform GRS are out-of-network providers and are not providing the insurance companies the necessary information for billing. Or if they are providing the information to the insurance companies that are charging for that information.