Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Six #529

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #529

1. U is for UBERTY: What hour of the day do find yourself the most productive?
In the morning, that is when I write my blog. I am usually up by 5AM

2. U is for ULETIC: What’s the longest stretch of time you’ve gone without a trip to the dentist?
6 months… I’m dreading my next appointment on the ninth. I’m getting a crown.

3. U is for ULTRAISM: What topic do you feel you have the most “extreme” views about?
Um… do I have to pick just one? Probably civil rights, I have seen too many people discriminated against.

4. U is for URANISCUS: Which food most often burns the roof of your mouth?

5. U is for URBICULOUS: What would be the greatest appeal you would see in living in a major city?
Knowing that I can always escape to New Hampshire. When I was in college I lived in Rochester NY and I hated it; it was always noisy and there always was a siren somewhere in the distance.

6. U is for UTINAM: What’s something you genuinely wish for?
Just to be left alone and people to keep their comments to themselves.

Meet the Flintstones (The Flintstones Theme)

Crazy Sam's "Meet the Flintstones" (The Flintstones Theme)
(Recommended by Harriet)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) The song promises that, "When you're with the Flintstones, you'll have a yabba-dabba-doo time." So clearly Wilma was one accomplished hostess. What about you? Do you enjoy having company?
I enjoy giving dinner parties, but I hate cleaning before and after the party.

2) Since lyrics say, "Let's ride with the family down the street/courtesy of Fred's two feet," we're assuming the pedal-powered Flintstone car didn't require much gas. Are you loyal to a particular brand of gas? Or do you fill up with whatever is nearby, or least expensive?
I go with the least expensive, except for Mobile gas. I don’t like their company.

3) Clearly a sharp-dressed man in stone-age Bedrock wore a long tunic and no pants. What are you wearing right now, as you answer these questions?
A denim skirt and a print short sleeve blouse.

4) Pebbles Flintstone grew up with Dino the Dinosaur and Baby Puss the Saber-Tooth Cat. Did you have any pets as you were growing up?
Yes a dog, but when he was killed by a raccoon it hit me hard and I never had another pet.

5) Mr. Slate is Fred's blustery boss at quarry, and he frequently threatens to fire Fred. Have you ever had a bad-tempered boss?
Oh yes!

6) It's estimated that during The Flintstones original run (1960-1966), it was viewed by as many adults as kids. Now that you're a grown up, do you still watch cartoons?
Nope, but I would watch Rocky & Bullwinkle if it was on. (Hmm… I just see that it is on Amazon Prime)

7) In 1961, The Flintstones was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy Award as Outstanding Comedy Series. Do you watch awards shows?
Nope, boring…

8) There are at least two Flintstones-themed amusement parks currently in operation. Do you enjoy scary rides?
I don’t like rides period. Those sharp turns throw out my back.

9) Flintstones Vitamins are still on store shelves. Do you take a vitamin each morning?
Nope, was of money. They sell you 10 cents worth of chemicals to you for $10

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tonight The 27th Connecticut LGBT Film Festival Begins

The festival's opening movie is “Boy Meets Girl” a comedy about two school friends and how they adjust to one of them transitioning.
Eric Schaeffer’s new film is a poignant, sexy, romantic coming of age comedy about three twenty year-olds living in Kentucky: Robby (Michael Welch, Twilight) and his best friend since childhood, Ricky, a gorgeous transgender girl, have never dated. Lamenting the lack of eligible bachelors, Ricky even considers dating a girl. In walks Francesca, a beautiful young debutante waiting for her Marine fiancé to return from the war. Ricky and Francesca strike up a friendship, and maybe a little more, which forces everyone to face their true feelings. This is a sex/human positive modern fable that crosses all gender and sexual orientation lines.

Directed by Eric Schaeffer 2014, USA, 95 min
One film reviewer said,
But what makes Boy Meets Girl so heartwarming, humorous, and, yes, hot, is the authenticity of the not-always-so-delicate dance between Welch and Hendley as lifelong pals looking for love (in all the wrong places?). As Francesca and her fiancé David, Alexandra Turshen and Michael Galante supply heavy (and, occasionally, much-needed) doses of reality in the otherwise fairy tale world within which Robby and Ricky reside. How Schaeffer juggles the parallel relationships -- and murky, mysterious history -- of these four characters is what makes Boy Meets Girl so compelling, at once awkwardly uncomfortable, then supremely satisfying, yet never predictable.
Casting an actual transgendered actor in the pivotal role of Ricky was a risky and bold move, especially in an industry landscape filled with award-winning portrayals of similar characters where such a casting decision was not necessarly a priority (Felicity Huffman in Transamerica, Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club). There aren't many out there to begin with, and Schaeffer scored in finding the lovely and talented Michelle Handley after an extensive search.
What a novel idea… a trans-woman playing the part of a trans-woman! Another reviewer said,
It’s not often you get a transgender feature film, let alone a well made one.  Boy Meets Girl is a very familiar story told in a modern way, with genuine performances and people you grow to care about.  Eric Schaeffer does a good job fleshing out all the characters and making them all humane.
Here is a video clip from when they were trying to raise funding for the movie.

The festival begins at 7:30PM with a number of shorts (Wini + George, 12 minutes; Beyond the Mirror’s Gaze, 4 min.; Good Morning, 10 min & She Said, She Said, 7 min), followed by a short intermission and then the main feature begins "Boy Meets Girl." After the movie there is an opening night party. The runs from today until June 7th you can see the whole schedule here.

Breaking News!!!! Medicare ends trans-exclusion!

NCTE reports that...
    Today, an independent review panel in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ruled that Medicare cannot categorically exclude treatment for gender dysphoria, including transition-related care.

    This decision eliminates the nationwide rule that transition-related surgeries cannot be covered by Medicare. Now, decisions on coverage for transition-related care, like hormone therapy or surgeries, will be made on the basis of individual medical need and clinical standards, not outdated prejudices.

    Repealing this rule means Medicare will now treat transgender healthcare just as other healthcare procedures are treated under Medicare. It puts decisions about our healthcare back in the hands of doctors and patients rather than bureaucrats or insurance companies.

    We congratulate our friends at the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights for the smart advocacy that won this victory.

    The National Center for Transgender Equality will continue to advocate with our partners to make sure no insurance plan in the United States discriminates against the healthcare needs of transgender people.

    Harper Jean Tobin
    Director of Policy
    National Center for Transgender Equality


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Inside Outside...

While at a rally for Jane Doe, the transgender girl who is being held in an adult prison without charges, it brought to mind what I read in grad school about political activism. In the article the author writes about Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton,
To Bring Change, Political Insiders and Outsiders Need Each Other
Huffington Post
By Peter Dreier professor of Politics at Occidental College
January 17, 2008

…The insiders, elected officials and lobbyists, see their job as pushing through changes in law that can alter the living conditions, incomes, and access to opportunity and environment of our citizens. Legislating involves the "art of compromise" that requires the skills of brokering deals, negotiating, and forging consensus.

Outsiders -- community activists, street protestors and radicals -- need different skills. They often view compromise as "selling out" by politicians tied to corporate and elite interests. Activists believe that the influence of campaign contributions, and the trade-offs required by legislative give-and-take, make most elected officials undependable allies.

But an examination of American history reveals that progressive change comes about when both strategies are at work. To gain any significant reforms, activists and politicians need each other. Boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience, and mass marches - traditional outsider strategies - help put new issues on the agenda, dramatize long-ignored grievances, and generate media attention. This type of agitation gets people thinking about things they hadn't thought about before and can change public opinion.

Smart liberal and progressive elected officials understand that they really need "radical" protestors to change the political climate and make reform possible. When "disruption" is taking place in the streets, policymakers can appear statesmanlike and moderate when they forge compromises to win legislative victories.
This approach was at work last week; the activists were outside the state capitol demanding change; we had marched from the Department of Children and Families headquarters on Hudson St. up to the capitol a couple of blocks away. We were chanting all the way and carrying our free Jane Doe posters to bring attention to her plight.

Meanwhile behind the scenes, on the inside, agencies and organizations are working on to bring about a favorable resolution for Jane Doe.

Both have its place in getting Jane Doe out of York and into therapy. If wasn’t for the rallies the media would never had covered what was happening them to her. Behind the scenes, work to help her was stuck and making only a little headway, however, once the activism started what DCF was doing in the shadows all of sudden faced scrutiny and was questioned. DCF was only giving lip-service to trans-residents and had no way to deal with residents who are suffering from trauma, now they have to make changes that they were reluctant to make. With the activists outside those on the inside could show the way to help transgender youth that have been traumatized.

If you look Jane Doe’s life you will see what has happened to her is not unique to other children in DCF care. Her father is in jail, her mother is an addict (we do not know if she was addicted while pregnant with Jane Doe), passed among family members and they repeatedly raped, tortured, and prostituted her. When she was in a foster care facility, she was raped by a fellow resident and she was forced to have sex with a staff member. As I said she is not the exception, DCF have many children in their care like her that have suffered trauma, hopefully changes for the better will come about because of those activists on the outside and those on the inside.

But there was a third item that gets mentioned only briefly, we need more parents to step up and become foster parents. This is where you can help, Jane Doe needs foster parents who have had training in dealing with trauma victims. Make a change... become a forester parent.

Isn’t That Nice…

…But a little too late. The radio DJ in Rochester have apologized after they have been fired,
Kimberly And Beck, New York Radio Hosts, Apologize For Anti-Transgender Broadcast After Being Terminated
The Huffington Post
By Curtis M. Wong
Posted: 05/26/2014

The New York radio personalities who were fired last week after blasting the expansion of transgender health care benefits on the air have issued a formal apology.

Kimberly and Beck, formerly of of [sic] Rochester New York's 98.9 "Breakfast Buzz" show, released the following statement to All Access, among other media outlets:
    We are very sorry for the hurt and pain we have caused anyone, especially those in the Transgender community and their friends and families. What we said and the manner in which we handled ourselves was wrong; we take full responsibility and we deeply apologize to any and all that we offended.

    Our attempt was to discuss a controversial healthcare issue; however our lack of sensitivity and understanding of the Transgender people and their plight created 12 minutes of radio we that wish we could take back.
Of course they wish they can take it back, they lost their jobs, and I imagine a good salary to go with it. But the thing is that this all too common on the radio, DJ think they can pick on the transgender community with impunity. In 2012 a DJ from WPLR also said derogatory comments about a story out of Belgium about a man divorcing his wife because she's transgender and nothing was done.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Northeast Is Amazing!

The northeast and Washington DC has marriage equality from the tip of Maine down to the Maryland’s Delmar peninsula when Pennsylvania became the 19th state and last in the Northeast to have marriage equality.

New HampshireXX
New JerseyXXX
New YorkXX
Pennsylvania X
Rhode IslandXXX
*Massachusetts does not protect public accommodation for gender identity and expression.

Notice anything missing?

New Hampshire and New York do not have protection for gender identity and expression. In New York in 2002 the non-discrimination bill was tied up in the legislature and not going anywhere, so Gay Inc. made a back room deal and threw us under the bus, passing the bill without gender identity and expression. They promised to work to pass GENDA but that got side tracked for marriage. In 2009, a gender identity and expression non-discrimination bill (HB415) was introduced in New Hampshire and it passed in the House by one vote but in Senate not one senator voted for it, not even its sponsors.

And in Pennsylvania they do not even have protection for sexual orientation or gender identity/gender expression. So you can get married but just don’t tell your boss, landlord, and anyone else because you can be fired and thrown out of your apartment for being gay or lesbian or trans or Bi.

Another thing to remember while everyone is celebrating all of the court rulings… the Supreme Court has not heard the states appeal yet. There are six states that are challenging the courts’ rulings over turning their constitutions bans on marriage equality and the Roberts’ court is very conservative. The conservative justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas will be looking for a way to weasel out of overturning the states’ constitutions; they are strong believers in “States Rights.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

To dream ... the impossible dream ...

To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...
That is what some trans-people in Europe are trying to do, they want to eradicate their past; to have “the right to completely wipe out their past identity as the opposite sex.” I feel that they are tilting windmills.
Why transgender people have the right to their past identity being forgotten
As a trans woman fights to get her previous life as a man removed from official government records, Ava Vidal talks to trans people about the difference it would make
The Telegraph
By Ava Vidal
27 May 2014

A trans woman is currently in court fighting a case that if she wins, will have huge implications for the way that transgender people are treated in the UK. The European Court of Justice recently held that a Spanish man was entitled to have items in the search engine ‘Google’ linked to personal data removed at his request. The EU ruled that they must honour the ‘right to be forgotten’.

On the back of this decision the woman known only as C has launched her case requesting that the Government (namely the Department for Work and Pensions) no longer retain or use the information that she was once considered male. She claims that her gender reassignment surgery is a private matter and is totally irrelevant to her ability to find work. She is requesting that the details of her previous life including her old name be removed from the records and ‘forgotten'.
I do not see how any of this is possible. I would think that just by requesting to have your history erased you are creating more records with your old name. Just by filing a request for all the records of John Doe erased and replaced with Jane Doe created a record linking the names.
"The DWP case is about a right to privacy for trans people in terms of government bodies and bureaucracies holding potentially harmful data. If there is no need for the DWP to keep details of this woman's previous identity on file – which there should not be if her benefit history can be tracked with her National Insurance number – then it really just creates an opportunity for prejudice, particularly in the context of a local Jobcentre."
What about when you change your name, there is a court record of your name change and to seal those records could produce so many complications. The first is to exempt name changes from the Freedom of Information laws and create secret court records. What about creditors, there would be no way to link you debt to you, while many will see that as a blessing it would be fraud and may also limit our ability to get credit. What about your credit report? Will you lose your credit history? How are you going to erase all your files from the all the companies that you do business with, I still get thing in the mail with my old name on it even after seven years.

I know for me sometimes having my old name on file was a good thing. When my father died his insurance policies and power of attorney had my old name on them and I needed my probate court order to collect on the policies. Also I got into a heated debate with my credit card company once because they didn’t believe I was who I said I was (I still think they were stupid, what identity thief would report that they were hacked?) and I finally got them to believe me when I told them to look at my file to see my name change when I transitioned. If it wasn’t for my old records they would never believe me if it wasn’t for my old records.

Good luck on eradicating your past.
This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...
This was our high school class song,

I Guess I Know Which Side Won The Battle

Interesting article in Medical Daily about gender about the continuing battle inside us to keep us male or female…
Male and Female Gender Cells Require Lifelong Maintenance; Or Else You May Turn Into Someone Else
By Samantha Olson | May 25, 2014

According to a recent study published in the journal Developmental Cell, the cells that determine sex continue to perform throughout a person’s life, working to maintain sexual determination and protection against one of the sex cells overpowering and reprogramming a person’s gender.

"DMRT1 in the testis and FOXL2 in the ovary have been identified as key transcription factors responsible for maintaining sexual differentiation. What we asked in this study was how the cells maintain sexual differentiation and why their sex determination requires continuous protection," said Dr. David Zarkower, the study’s lead author and director of the Developmental Biology Center at the University of Minnesota, in a press release.
Retinoic acid (RA) is supposed to silence genes that are involved in the female sex determination process, ultimately preventing female organs from developing. At the same time, DMRT1 partners with the male sex gene Sox9 to maintain male gender after birth inside the mouse model. For a male, it is the role of three activating genes that are constantly keeping male sex hormones from turning into female sex hormones.
Hmm… I wonder what happens in trans-women when testosterone is suppressed and estrogen is introduced.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Some People Get It, Some People Don’t

The same goes for the media, or maybe it is some media don’t want to “get it” because they think it sells more papers when they don’t. The Guardian in England gets it…
Transgender children know their identity. Bigots in the media don't
'NHS to give sex change drugs to children' screamed the newspaper headlines last week. The reality is so different for families dealing with the condition known as gender dysphoria. Here, a mother writes of the pain such coverage causes

And yet, many people insist that any divergence away from a gender identity that does not match biological sex according to a strict binary of male and female is pathological or a deviation. This is a disturbing and dangerous prejudice that is unfortunately perpetuated by some of our national press.

"NHS to give sex change drugs to nine-year-olds: Clinic accused of 'playing God' with treatment that stops puberty" declared the ugly front page headline. When the Mail on Sunday sought to make a mockery of the NHS, "sex swap drugs for nine-year-olds" was what they decided to run with. Vulnerable families attempting desperately to support children with gender dysphoria were targeted. Why? Because the world doesn't seem to accept that our gender and our core sense of self is rooted in our minds and not between our legs.
Many who would benefit from this treatment actually do not receive it. It is true that some health professionals have had their careers threatened if they respond to the needs of transgender children and families, often by superiors who are entirely unsympathetic and openly prejudiced. Families and children are still at the mercy of this culture, in direct contrast to the scenario suggested by the Mail on Sunday. Families commonly find themselves with nowhere to turn in the UK after the very services and support they turn to either rejects them or turns on them. Paediatric endocrinologists with the courage to prescribe puberty suppressants to transgender children in the UK are few and far between despite the fact that the research from controlled clinical trials exists.
It is nice to see a newspaper stand up for us and not tear us down.

Thank You

To all of you that have served I say thank you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cue The Theme Song From Jaws…

There is a predator lurking ready to pounce on our unsuspecting children, at least that is what a former military doctor believes,
“LGBT” Teachers Conference in Boston – Part II: Pushing ‘Gay’ clubs in Middle Schools
Dr. Richard Swier
By MassResistance
May 24, 2014

The homosexual-transgender movement is working hard to indoctrinate schoolchildren as young as possible. By far, the most effective way is to get them into school-based “gay” clubs that are run by activist, often radical, adults, but though otherwise unsupervised. They have been working at this for several years (see our 2008 report) but are now ramping up their efforts considerably.
Middle school are such an important target that GLSEN recruited an activist “LGBT” middle school student to address the conference’s opening session. She said she’s bisexual (in middle school!) and that her sister is lesbian.

The girl spoke about how she helped organize the “Day of Silence” in her middle school. She said that one teacher was reluctant to put up the posters because of parent conferences that evening, saying that parents might not be comfortable seeing it. The girl labeled the teacher “ignorant” and said the teacher is “no longer working at the school” (which brought a cheer).
The evil “Day of Silence” strikes fear in the hearts of conservatives!

Then the kids use the ol’ bait and switch, luring the unsuspecting child into their jaws…
In our experience going back nearly twenty years working with parents and kids, the GSAs in the schools are emotionally poisonous and physically dangerous to vulnerable kids, many of whom have serious psychological issues to deal with. And GSAs are often run by radical “gay” adults who themselves are psychologically dysfunctional.
This is right out of the old “Reefer Madness” movie, wasn’t there something in “Reefer Madness” about luring our unsuspecting youth up to her room to hook them on pot?

This would be comical if it wasn’t for the fact that these people are dead serious about it. They actually believe what they write. They twist the idea of providing a safe space from harassment and discrimination into something sinister and evil.

Freedom of Speech

Two radio DJs were fired last week for their derogatory comments they made on the air about trans-people. A tweet attributed to Kimberly,
Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others. You aren't granted a right to not be offended in this life #getoverit #ROC
Is true to but it is not applicable to Kimberly & Beck, it is not applicable Phil Robertson, nor is it applicable to Donald Sterling.

The First Amendment does not cover these comments because they are employees and thereby limited of what they can say in their employment. The radio station has the right to control what is said on their station, A&E has the right to choose who they want on their network, and the NBA has the right to enforce their owners association. As a board member of a non-profit, I am prohibited from saying disparaging comments about the organization. I knew that I gave up my right to criticize my employer or the non-profit that I'm on the Board, some will say that it is not right. The employer might not have anything in writing but think about it, what are your chances of a raise or a promotion? While Board members have a fiduciary duty to duty of loyalty.

You have the right to make any comment you want, but remember that you also have to pay the price for those comments.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday Six #528

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #528

1. T is for TACHOMETER: Which instrument do you use the least in your car’s instrument panel?
The gas gauge… I am getting 68 mpg right now.

2. T is for TAUOMACHY: Do you feel that bullfighting should be banned because of cruelty or that it’s a reasonable sport in other cultures?
Yes. But I don’t think you have a snowball chance in hell in getting banded.

3. T is for TECHNOPHILE: What is your favorite gadget?My camera.

4. T is for TETANIGENOUS: Are you up to date on your tetanus shot? (Does this question make you want to schedule an appointment?)

Unfortunately no, I keep on meaning to get one but I keep forgetting.

5. T is for TONETICS: Which mispronunciation annoys you the most these days?
It is more like which words that I don’t mispronounce.

6. T is for TUROPHILE: What’s your favorite variety of cheese?
Blue cheese, runner up is Munster.

The Star Spangled Banner

Crazy Sam’s The Star Spangled Banner

1) Are you a veteran? Are there veterans in your family? (We are grateful and want to hear about it.)
Just my father… WWII

2) Memorial Day also kicks off the summer season. What's your favorite picnic food?
Hamburgers, NE baked beans, potato salad and salad.

3) Let's celebrate the Memorial Day holiday with ice cream. What's your favorite flavor?
Husky Tracks

4) This marks the weekend when Americans step up their outdoor activity and do things they may not have been able to do during the winter months. For example, when is the last time you rode a bike?
Wow! I can’t remember that fair back… maybe the early 80s

5) Or went hiking?

6) Or rode a horse?
That is an easy one… never.

7) Or toasted a marshmallow?
Probably 5 or 6 years ago when I had a s’more

8) As you answer these questions, is there an air conditioner or window fan on?
Nope, it is only in the fifties

9) Crazy Sam needs your help: What song or a performer would you like to see featured in a Saturday 9 this summer?
The Eagles

Friday, May 23, 2014

Jane Doe

Tomorrow there will be a rally and march at 11AM, the march will begin at the DCF offices at 505 Hudson St. and march up to the capitol three blocks away.

Over a month ago a 16 year old girl was placed in isolation at the women’s prison in Niantic without being charged or convicted of any crimes; she is a troubled young girl who doesn’t belong in an adult jail. From what I heard, she was being harassed from the other residents; in addition she was also sexually assaulted by other residents and by the staff members. As one person said, "what do you expect from her?"

DCF has not provided a safe environment for her and they are trying to pass the buck. Unfortunately she is not alone; there are many other LGBT children in DCF custody that face the environment that Jane Doe faced.

Harvey Fierstein wrote in the New York Times that,
LAST month a 16-year-old child was placed in solitary confinement at the York Correctional Institution for Women in Niantic, Conn. She has never been charged, tried or convicted. What is her crime? That she has survived.

With her father incarcerated and her mother addicted to heroin, crack cocaine and alcohol, the girl — who is referred to simply as Jane Doe, to protect her identity as a minor — had been passed among family members since she was 5 years old. They repeatedly raped, tortured and even prostituted her.

At last rescued by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, she was placed in a foster care facility, where she was raped by a fellow resident and forced to have sex with a staff member. When she fought back, she was punished. When caught involuntarily performing sex acts, she was punished. Jane was then placed at a residential facility in Massachusetts, but the sexual assaults continued at the hand of a worker entrusted with her care.
If you read the Memorandum of Decision from the court you would think that she is a monster because nowhere in the decision does it mention what happened to her while in DCF custody. Nowhere was there any mention about being harassed and assaulted by the other residents. Nowhere was there any mention of being raped by the staff.

Tell me, what would you do after being raped, beaten up, and punished for defending yourself? Would you fight back?

Come join us tomorrow at the rally and march.

Update 3:20PM

Mother Jone just had a article about Jane Doe, in it they about her attack on the Massachusetts staff,
Here is how Jane Doe ended up in prison. On January 28, while living at a juvenile facility in Massachusetts—where she was serving a sentence for assault—she allegedly attacked a staff member, biting her, pulling her hair, and kicking her in the head. This kind of behavior wasn't new for Doe. The director of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, a correctional facility for boys, later testified in court that, since Doe was nine, police have been called 11 times while she was in state facilities. He said she sometimes smeared feces on herself. Another supervisor claimed Doe regularly "exhibited assaultive behaviors," targeting female staff and other juveniles.

According to Doe's lawyer, Aaron Romano, the most recent incident was sparked when a male staffer at the Massachusetts facility put Doe in a bear hug restraint from behind. "This is a girl who has been sexually abused," Romano says. "She is inclined to interpret actions with that view." DCF declined to comment on the incident, but the female staff member Doe allegedly attacked did not press charges. The male staffer has since been dismissed.
Abby Anderson, executive director of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, says Doe's incarceration is the result of a broken system of juvenile care. "We don't have a good sense of where our system has its strengths and weaknesses," she says. One problem, she says, is a lack of adequate mental-health care: Government data shows that 52 percent of girls in DCF custody or on parole have trauma disorders, and 89 percent had more than one diagnosed psychological disorder. Anderson says the state also doesn't have enough mechanisms for detecting and preventing sexual abuse. "We need to make sure this system is shored up so this never happens again…If you have a 16-year-old, you need to make her feel safe and put her in a place where she can trust people."

Do We Exist?

While surfing the web this morning for news stories I came across this in the Guardian about the song “We Exist” by Arcade Fire. The song is about a trans-person who faces prejudice, it is a dark song. Its lyrics paint a very hard picture,
     Maybe it's true
     They're staring at you
     When you walk in a room

     Turn on us fine
     Stare if you like
     Or just let us through
     Just let us through

     Let them stare
     Let them stare
     That's all right with you

In the Guardian article Sean Michaels wrote,
Grace [Laura Jane Grace] is certainly not alone in criticising the casting of Garfield. "There seems to be a prevalent idea in Hollywood that viable transgender actors and actresses simply do not exist," wrote Bustle's Kat Haché. "This becomes particularly problematic when you’re casting a video for a song entitled We Exist. If so, where?"

Others have taken issue with the shape of We Exist's narrative. "I can’t help but feel the whole thing plays into the pervasive idea of trans characters as victims and freaks, destined to be oppressed by a world that doesn’t understand them," Tom Hawking wrote on Flavorwire. "Almost every time you see trans characters in popular culture, they’re either a) tragic, sensitive figures brutalised by the horrible world or b) flamboyant, hedonistic female impersonators who still end up as a) eventually." On Metafilter, a user called emmtee claimed Arcade Fire's clip reinforces the idea that trans people can only find "beauty, happiness [and] acceptance ... in death".
I like the music, but not the message and I also do not like it when non-trans people play trans-characters. As the article said the song claims we exist but they don’t use a trans-person in the video which is kind of two-faced of them.

Next Friday the Out Film Festival begins and their movie that day is “Boy meets Girl” a comedy about a trans-girl's transition and her best friend since childhood. The lead is played by a trans-girl who is playing the part of the trans-girl… what a novel idea!

So what do you think? Should the video the part been played by a trans-person? Does the song paint a dark picture of us?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are You A “Silver Fox” Or A “Geezer?”

As we are getting older what we call our senior citizens is becoming hotly debated…
'Silver Tsunami' And Other Terms That Can Irk The Over-65 Set
By NPR Staff
May 19, 2014

About one-fifth of the U.S. population will be 65 or older by the year 2030. NPR's Ina Jaffe covers this population — and says it's often difficult to find the right words to describe it.

"I realized what a minefield this was after I'd been on the beat just a few months," she says. "I did . She's still up all night delivering babies, and the headline on our website — and reporters ... do not write the headlines ... described her as 'elderly.'

"Listeners were furious," Jaffe continues. "Maybe once upon a time, 'elderly' referred to a particular stage in life, but now people think ... it means you're ailing and you're frail."

Jaffe sometimes uses "older adults" or "older Americans," she says, if it's relevant to the story. "Sometimes I use the term 'senior' — though I've met some older people who don't like that, either. And 'senior citizen' really seems to annoy just about everyone now. ... There really aren't a lot of widely acceptable terms anymore."
I didn’t really thing about it and I think it would depend the context of the word. A bunch of seniors calling each other old geezers is one thing and a teenager calling someone a geezer is another thing.

But if you would like to take the survey they have on their website about the words you like and hate to describe senior citizens go to the link above and at the bottom of the page they have the survey.

Oh When Will They Ever Learn?

In this day of age you would think that the morning DJs will know that offensive remarks about minorities will get them fired…
Local Radio Hosts, Kimberly and Beck, Disgrace Station, 98.9 The Buzz With Transphobic Rant
Democrat & Chronicle 
By Andrea Raethka
May 21, 2014

When the ever-infamously terrible Rochester Resident trash-talking radio hosts, Kimberly and Beck caught wind of this news, they decided to berate, mock and laugh offensively in a 12 minute rant insulting transgendered people and about how terrible this was for the city while making countless jokes about transgendered people and their bodies. Several times Kimberly called transgendered people "Nut jobs." Then they laughed at and mocked a woman that called into the station to say how offensive they were being, "sir." The radio hosts both equated reconstructive surgery for transgendered people to cosmetic breast enhancement and taking care of facial wrinkles and jokingly suggested that the reason the city would do this could be that Lovely Warren could be related to someone that wants to have a surgery due to being transgendered. The hosts even went as low as criticizing and mocking a local transgendered high school student for being able to play on the girl's softball team. The hosts then ended the segment with Aerosmith's song, "Dude looks like a lady."
Their rant was the result of the city of Rochester adding healthcare for trans-people including Gender Confirming Surgery and the Democrat & Chronicle also reported that,
Kevin Geary, director of strategic communications for Entercom Communications Corp. and spokesman for 98.9 FM "The Buzz," has confirmed this statement issued via their Twitter/Facebook accounts Wednesday night: "As a result of Kimberly and Beck's hateful comments against the transgender community we have suspended them indefinitely."
One of my questions is with or without pay? If you are paying them then all you are doing is giving them a paid vacation. The other question that I have is the station waiting until the furor dies down before they sneak them back on the air?

Update 3:30PM
Reports have said that they have been fired.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Am Just Amazed…

…At the ignorance of some Republicans. The latest is from a Florida Republican, on the LGBTQ Nation website they said...
A Florida Republican state lawmaker says new “common core” educational standards are designed to turn all school children gay.

Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights, Fla.) says creating the standards, which have been adopted in 44 states, will attract “every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”
And it is not just Florida; Right Wing Watch reported another Tea Party member went off the deep end in Alabama,
At a public hearing today on a bill that would allow school districts to opt out of Common Core standards, a local Tea Party leader told Alabama state senators that Common Core promotes “acceptance of homosexuality, alternate lifestyles, radical feminism, abortion, illegal immigration and the redistribution of wealth” and that voting in favor of the curricula could potentially affect their fate in the Last Days.
Here is his rant…

It is not just legislators that blame gay and lesbianism on Common Core, Right Wing Watch reported that,
Last week, American Family Association’s Sandy Rios spoke to William Estrada of the Home School Legal Defense Association about the supposed dangers of Common Core, which Rios fears will “promote homosexuality” to children.
“I just can’t see how our kids can survive,” Rios lamented, arguing that conservatives will then need to create a new society for those who oppose Common Core: “The only way I can see us even surviving is to develop a parallel society. I’m projecting but honestly that is the truth. A parallel economy, parallel job opportunities.”
In another article they said,
On Monday, the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios hosted Linda Harvey of Mission America to criticize the Day of Silence, the anti-bullying event which Harvey has previously described as dangerous and blasphemous.

Rios, who once said that test scores are dropping as a result of schools “teaching” homosexuality, kicked off the program by arguing that public schools no longer instruct students in subjects like “reading, writing, cursive, spelling, grammar [and] punctuation,” but are instead completely dedicated to “cramming, twisting, perverting all academic subjects to the way of supporting homosexuality.”
So now we know what these liberals are really trying to do with Common Core… turn everyone gay.

But should we tell the Republicans that the roots of Common Core can be traced back to Bush W., according to US News & World Report,
Rick Hess, a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, says the Common Core standards also have roots in No Child Left Behind. Under the President George W. Bush-era education law, the federal government required states to test, disaggregate and report data on student performance, but allowed states to continue deciding on their own which standards and tests to use.

"The problem with that is if you had hard tests or hard standards you made your schools look bad. So there was a real, kind of perverse incentive baked into NCLB," Hess says. The desire to correct that mistake, Hess says, led to the creation of what became the Common Core.
The thing is most people do not know what Common Core really is, according to The National Review,
Here’s what the Common Core State Standards do: They simply delineate what children should know at each grade level and describe the skills that they must acquire to stay on course toward college or career readiness. They are not a curriculum; it’s up to school districts to choose curricula that comply with the standards. The Fordham Institute has carefully examined Common Core and compared it with existing state standards: It found that for most states, Common Core is a great improvement with regard to rigor and cohesiveness.
So you know those crazy math problems you see on Facebook they are not Common Core, all Common Core does is to say that by eighth grade you will be able to do this math.

Those Florida and Alabama legislators don’t know what they are ranting about. They are just spewing hogwash.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Are We To Be Feared?

 There is an article in Bilerico asking the question “why are we hated?” She points out some interesting observations…
1.) Hate is easy.
2.) Sympathizing with transgender people is hard.
3.) Most people don't know a transgender person.
I think these three points are all interrelated, it is easy to hate something that you don’t know about and because it is easier to tap into a person’s fear than any other emotion it makes it easy for them to hate us. Number 3 is the key to break the cycle, by being “out and about,” showing people that we are just like them makes it very hard to hate us.

Another observation that the author Brynn Tannehill makes is, “It's assumed to be a choice” and “Transgender people challenge deeply-held paradigms, and that makes people very uncomfortable,” I think that is a result of people bury their head in the sand and not want to learn anything that challenges their beliefs. You can present them with all the medical facts in the world but they will ignore it.

Another point that she makes is the lack of positive media coverage and that is slowly changing. We are starting to see changes in the way movies portrays us, movies like “Boy meets Girl” and “Orange is the New Black.”

I think the last observation that she makes is changing very rapidly, “It's socially acceptable.” I think we are starting to see society view of us beginning to turn around, we are about 10 years behind gays and lesbians but we are making faster headway than they did.


That is what the HRC is, they haven’t had a clue about the trans-girl that has been held in isolation in a women’s prison for over a month. The HRC just posted this
WASHINGTON – A case of horrible neglect, abuse, and sexual violence, followed by the incarceration of the transgender minor in an adult prison has renewed calls by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for stronger laws to protect LGBT youth in foster care and more training for child welfare professionals.  The details surfaced in an op-ed in the New York Times by Harvey Fierstein this weekend. [My emphasis] Fierstein recounts the deeply disturbing set of circumstances of “Jane Doe,” whose father was in prison and mother addicted to drugs.  From the age of five, according to the op-ed, Jane Doe was shuffled between family members where she endured years of severe abuse and violence, followed by foster care with included ongoing mistreatment.  Jane Doe has become violent herself, according to another op-ed by Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz and the State of Connecticut has said that it has no choice but to place her in solitary confinement in the mental ward of an adult prison.
Sorry HRC but she has been held there for over a month. Why did it take a gay man to bring it to your attention? The trans and queer communities has spread the call for justice on the blogosphere for over a month. And now you are using her to promote your initiative!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Flashback Floor of CT House of Representatives

It was on this day in 2011 that the CT House of Representatives took up the debate on the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill HB6599.

From my blog...
After over 5 1/2 hours of debate the House passes the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill with a vote of 77 – 62.

The bill was not on the House “Go List” this morning but it was called at a little after 5 this afternoon, a series of uncalled amendments were offered and all were defeated. A called amendment was passed; the amendment enhanced the definition of gender identity and expression. The amendment was,
    "Gender identity or expression" means a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person's core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose. "
It was very emotional at the end, we were all standing watching the tally board as the votes were cast. I was brought to tears as we realized that we won. The vote on the bathroom amendment was earlier in the evening was close 62 - 67 and we feared that the vote on the bill would go the same way.

But in the end it passed! 

Making Headway, But Is it Fast Enough?

Over the last couple of weeks the topic of transgender military personnel has been in the news. The President has been mum on the topic but the Secretary of Defense made a statement last week and the New York Times wrote,
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that the military should “continually” review its prohibition on transgender people in the armed forces, calling into question whether the Pentagon’s ban may eventually be lifted, as was the ban on gay men and lesbians in the military.

While any such a reversal appears to be far in the future — the Pentagon’s stock talking points on the issue have been that it is under continuous review — Mr. Hagel, on ABC’s “This Week,” pronounced himself “open” to a review of the policy and added, “Every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.”

But he allowed that the transgender issue was “a bit more complicated because it has a medical component to it.”
The ban goes at least back to the 1960s, I know of some people who avoid the draft by declaring that they were trans or by wearing women’s underwear. They used the ban to their advantage, but now it is an all-volunteer military so I think all that want to serve should be able to serve.

Also in the news last week was a report on transgender military service personnel that was released by the Palm Center which part of the Political Science Department of San Francisco State University, and some of their findings are,
2) Medical regulations requiring the discharge of all transgender personnel are inconsistent with how the military regulates medical and psychological conditions, and arbitrary in that medical conditions related to transgender identity appear to be the only gender-related conditions requiring discharge irrespective of fitness for duty.

3) The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th ed. (DSM–5) no longer classifies gender non-conformity as a mental illness. While military regulations are updated to reflect revisions of DSM for non-transgender-related conditions, regulations have not been amended to reflect scientific consensus about gender non-conformity.
The report also found no clear document underline the reasons for the ban,
Four themes characterize regulations banning transgender service members. In particular, the rules are (1) binding, in that there is no option or procedure for commanders or doctors to waive rules that disqualify transgender individuals for military service, either for accession or retention; (2) decentralized, in that they are articulated in different provisions of various Department of Defense Instructions; (3) unclear, in that regulatory terminology that references transgender identity is inconsistent; and (4) regulatory, not statutory…
US military policies that ban transgender service members do not include rationales that explain why the armed forces prohibit them from serving, although the policies are embedded in comprehensive medical and other regulations that are designed, broadly speaking, to preserve health and good order.
As the report points out all it will take to overturn the ban is the stroke of the President’s pen.

Meanwhile, it looks like Pvt. Manning will be transferred to a federal prison from Ft. Leavenworth. This is not unprecedented; there are other military prisoners who are housed in federal prisons. The Christian Science Monitor reported that,
The Pentagon is trying to transfer convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison where she can get treatment for a gender-identity condition. But her lawyer said Wednesday that a move from a military prison would make Manning choose between the treatment and her safety.
Coombs [her lawyer] said "any military facility would be acceptable." In a statement, he said "it is common knowledge that the federal prison system cannot guarantee the safety and security of Chelsea in the way that the military prison system can."
"The military's refusal to provide necessary medical treatment to Chelsea is flat-out transphobia," Coombs said. "Rather than deal with the reality that transgender persons are currently serving in the military, the military would seek to pawn off any responsibility for these."
She is a military prisoner; I don’t understand why they cannot medically treat her, since it is not all that complicated to prescribe cross-gender hormones to her.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Another High School Sees The Light

This morning while I was surfing the web for news articles to comment upon I came across a couple of articles on about Atherton High School in Oklahoma new policy to integrate trans-students in their gender identity.

The student identifies as a girl and has a girlfriend and the opposition is milking the bathroom to the hilt. The school principal said that the high school will not discriminate against gender identity or expression, the school will follow the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights extended federal civil-rights protections for trans-student under Title IX.

On Thursday the school based council held a hearing on the issue and the article in the Courier-Journal said that it is mainly the parents, who have a problem,
Most of the students who spoke supported the controversial procedure, drawing loud applause in a largely cordial meeting that Aberli said was the only school council meeting that had attracted any public speakers in nearly five years -not to mention a bank of TV news cameras.
Those opposed to the policy were mainly organization affiliated with conservative religious organizations. One of the speakers was Clint Elliott, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is a Christian-based legal group, besides the usual “boy in the girl’s bathroom” argument, he also complained (to paraphrase him), that this boy is attracted to girls and is going to be going in the girls’ bathroom.

Um… Mister attorney, did you ever hear of lesbians? What are you going to do about them?

WHAS has a program on their station called Moral Side of the News; they have a panel of religious leaders discussing the morality of allowing the trans-student to use the girls’ bathroom. On the panel were four men and one woman who was a rabbi while the other men were all Christians, one person got it and the others didn’t. Do you want to guess who got it? The men were all arguing that it is what’s between your legs that count and she was arguing that it is about your identity.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Six #527

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #527

1. Do you do a newsletter or email subscription for your blog, and why or why not?
Nope, I am not sure what you mean.

2. Of the people you recall who have commented on your blog some time in the past six months, how many have you met in person?
I may have met one or two in person.

3. Of that same group of people, how many have you ever spoken to by phone?
None. One time a reporter tracked me down about my blog.

4. Do you feel that your blog has helped build your social media network, or that your social media network has helped build your blog?
My social media has helped my blog. I see a number of people coming from Facebook visiting my blog.

5. How many people in your social media network do you know from a face-to-face conversation?
Probably close to 50% of my friends on Facebook I have met one time or another.

6. If you had to guess, what percentage of people in your social media network would you say have ever set “virtual foot” on your blog?
If you mean at least once, I would guess most of them but I you mean regularly then maybe 5 – 10%

Saturday 9: Vacation (1982)

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Vacation (1982)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) Do you know how to water ski?
I water skied a couple of times, it felt more like being keel hauled than sking.

2) Do you have 2014 vacation plans?
Yes, going up to the cottage and also maybe going to Washington DC in July to lobby for a bill.

3) Do you have a passport?
Yes. On my old passport I had a visa to South Korea because of work.

4) If you took a 7-night cruise, could you completely unplug -- no phone calls, no texts, no internet?
I don’t think that I want to go on a cruise, not only are you unplugged but also if you don’t like it you can’t leave.

5) Do you own a travel alarm clock?
Yes, my cell phone.

6) Though the Go-Gos broke up in 1985, they frequently reunite for live performances. What's the last concert you attended?
It was a private concert at a friend’s house.

7) Their first hit was "Our Lips Are Sealed."  Can you be trusted with a secret?
Yes. Nothing can pry it out of me.

8) In 1982, when this song was popular, the comedy Tootsie was in theaters. What movie makes you laugh?
I don’t usually watch comedies.

9) Sam is chewing on a Tums as she composes these questions. What's the last over-the-counter medication that you took?
It probably the same as Sam, an anti-acid.

Friday, May 16, 2014

This Afternoon I’m At A Meeting On LGBT Elders

So I thought I’ll write about a movie about LGBT Elder Care called Gen Silent. According to IMDB the movie is about,
Gen Silent asks six LGBT seniors if they will hide their lives to survive. They put a face on what experts in the film call an epidemic: gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender seniors so afraid of discrimination, or worse, in long-term/health care that many go back into the closet. And, their decisions are captured through intimate access to their day-to-day lives over the course of a year in Boston, Massachusetts…
The movie is being shown locally at the Avon Senior Center on June 16 at 5:30 and is sponsored by AARP.

I will be on the panel to discuss the movie afterward.

I know I worry about someday ending up in a nursing home and I wonder if they will take care of my needs like my cross gender hormones. Will I be shunned by the other residents? Will I be mistreated by the staff? These are all real concerns that we have and no one really knows the answers to them.

I am now going to the town senior center to the photo club (I will be showing my photos from the butterfly conservatory at my next visit). I figured they must know that I’m transgender by now, especially with my face being all over the news last month and I have been treated as just another member.


I went up to South Deerfield Massachusetts with a friend yesterday to the Butterfly Conservatory, it was amazing. They have, as you can expect, hundreds of butterflies flying around inside the conservatory and what I got a chuckle over was the last rule, about not having any hitchhikers on you when you leave the conservatory. That have a set of doors you have to pass through with fans blowing on you to knock off any butterflies, you then have to enter another room before you exit the exhibit.

So here are some of the photographs I took…

The blue butterflies were the hardest to photograph, I was chasing them all over the conservatory. They just didn’t want to land on any of the plants and when they did they had their wings closed (they are the brown butterflies with what look like eyes on their wings). Finally a woman who was also taking pictures spotted one with its wings open and called me over there.

They also have birds inside the conservatory...

They had a number of other birds but they were harder to photograph because of plants being in the way and they also had a number of small quail running around underfoot. One of the employees said that they have no fear of humans and tend to get stepped on so they try to frighten them to stay away but it is not working. I stomped my foot next to one and it didn't flinch.

The only thing was that it was very warm and humid inside the conservatory, but understandingly so. After all many of the butterflies there were tropical butterflies.

We decided that we didn't want to eat at the restaurant attached to the conservatory because of all the kids running around, so instead we went down the road to the Chandler's Restaurant at Yankee Candle shops. It was a good choice. We just about had the whole place to ourselves, and while we were there lady’s from the Red Hat Society came in and went to one of the private rooms.

I was a good getaway day, a good “me” day to relax.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

14th Anniversary Of My Blog

I started blogging on May 15th , 2000!

Fourteen years ago on Geocites and then on April 1st 2006 switched over to Blogger. Back when I first started coming out of the closet I was reading other people’s blogs on Geocities and other site and they gave me courage to come out of the closet.

When I read other trans-people blogs I saw that the end of the world didn’t happen when they came out of the closet and I started my blog originally to help other trans-people realize that they could also come out of the closet and have a life on the other side.

My first blog post was about Connecticut Outreach Society ( COS ) annual banquet, I wrote
Over the weekend ( May 13th ) the Connecticut Outreach Society ( COS ) had their annual banquet. This is the first time that I went, since I'm a new member and it was also the first time that "Diana" stayed over night. I had a really great time. The food was great, they had some great speakers, Nancy Nangeroni and Gordene MacKenzie of "Gender Talk" radio, they also had a talent show which was also really great. As you can tell I really enjoyed it. They had slightly over fifty guests and the banquet was held at the Sheraton Four Points hotel in Waterbury Ct. I got a charge out of the mundanes *as they walked by the entrance to the conference room, their eyes kind of popped out and their jaws dropped when they saw us. I was a little worried about going out, but it was Ok. I signed in at the front desk in boy mode and helped in setting up the stage for the talent show, I had to walk by the banquet room a couple of times before I recognized any of the people because, they were also in boy mode. Went up to my room and changed. I wore a black velvet dress and mid-heel pumps and went marching off the to banquet. It got over at eleven and I helped them take down the stage. Unfortunately, I still was wearing my pumps and my feet were killing me. All in all I had a good time and would do it again, maybe even go to Tiffany's First Night with other COS members, it sounds like it will be fun.
I had come out of the closet back in October when I went to the COS meeting for the first time, so that when I wrote about my exploits there was still awe in my writings (along with bad grammar) and it was way less political than my blog is now. It was more about me and discovering a new world.

From time to time I post some of my old blog entries on Flash Back Thursday.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


The conservative’s obsession over trans-people using the bathroom and has resulted in adding a huge burden to business owners. In Houston they proposed a non-discrimination ordinance, the Houston Chronicle reported that,
The proposed amendment would remove that paragraph of the expansive ordinance. Transgender people barred access to a restroom still would be able to file a discrimination complaint to the city's Office of Inspector General under the process outlined for all protected characteristics, such as race and veteran status.

"The base ordinance is still the same," Parker said. "It says you can't discriminate."
The wording that they removed from the proposed ordinance was, “that no business open to the public could deny a transgender person entry to the restroom consistent with his or her gender identity had outraged conservatives” now will create a nightmare for business owner in that it creates an impression that they can stop a trans-person from using the bathroom but at the same time saying that if you prevent a trans-person from using the bathroom you can get sued.

When the Hartford ordinance was passed in 2011 there was no opposition to the ordinance, but down in Houston the conservative churches and Republicans mounted a full court press against the bill and they bused in over 300 people to protest the ordinance. From their pulpits they warned of sexual predators in the bathrooms and the rape of our young girls, firing up fear and hatred against trans-people. They know that it is a lie, but that doesn’t stop them.

We see that behavior when and wherever non-discrimination are proposed; in Maryland the fear mongers are out in force trying to block the new gender inclusive non-discrimination law from going into effect. The media is becoming aware of the conservative tactics and are call them out on it, Media Matters reported that,
The fact that a major cable news outlet took the time to cover the fight over a state's transgender protections is remarkable. Aside from the transphobic panic attacks that occasionally flare up on Fox News, stories about the transgender community's fight for equal treatment don't typically get much national media coverage.
The simple truth is that a predator is not going to go to the effort to go out and buy women’s clothes so he can rape a woman in the bathroom, he will just walk right in. And the fact is that we are more likely be the ones attacked because of the hate these conservatives create.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Open And Affirming… Not

Many colleges and universities say they are open and affirming but many universities and colleges are open and affirming for the students but not for their faculty and Notre Dame is one such school, reports that,
The university promotes a message of not just tolerance, but acceptance, for openly gay students in the two-minute video released last week and narrated by school Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick.

It features athletes from various sports repeating this message: If you can play, you can play. You're welcome at Notre Dame.
But when it comes to their staff and faculty it is an entirely different story,
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is not a Fortune 500 company, but it has to attract talent and take care of its staff like any other organization. The archdiocese's new contract for its teachers – which forbids public support of gays in any manner – puts many of its employees who have gay friends or relatives in a horrible position.

One archdiocesan teacher, Molly Shumate, told The Enquirer she's ending her Roman Catholic teaching career because signing the contract would betray her gay son. Other employees will leave as well.
Remember, Notre Dame is not a church, it is run by a Catholic organization that accepts state and federal funding, and therefore, they cannot discriminate against sexual orientation and gender identity.

But if you are a professor keep your mouth shut.

Thou Shall Not

Thou Shall Not...
  • Out a trans-person
  • Ask if you are: a crossdresser, a transsexual, or ask about surgical status
  • Ask if a person is trans*
  • Assume kinship/friendship with another trans-person
Yesterday I went walking with a friend on a local rail-to-trail path out in the middle of nowhere when a bicyclist passed us going the other way and we said hi. After walking another mile he passed us going the same way, slowed and circled back and asked if we were transgender. Then asked if we were transsexuals and he said that he was a crossdresser. We then learned his life history. As he rode off twenty minutes later we rolled our eyes and continued walking.

Do you have any other “Thou Shall Nots?

Monday, May 12, 2014

It Is Not About One Person

The imprisonment of Jane Doe in an adult prison is just the tip of the iceberg there are many other children in DCF custody who are being abused and neglected and some of them are also trans-children. Another trans-girl family threw her away when she came out as trans* - her first foster family refused to affirm her identity as a girl and now she is the DCF looking for a foster home. Jane Doe's lawyer said in an article in Democracy Now,
AARON ROMANO: Well, you covered that a little bit here. She was in DCF supervision from the age of five and sexually abused from the age of eight through 15. So that was about seven years of sexual abuse that she suffered. While she was in a residential treatment facility, through DCF supervision, a staff member aggressively approached her, placed her in an illegal restraint. That staff member was later discharged for that illegal restraint. And she defended herself. After experiencing sexual abuse for close to seven years, a child will have a certain sensitivity to touch or approach and may interpret certain situations from a very defensive perspective. And the staff should have been well aware of that. So in response to that, DCF just wanted to pass the buck on, so to speak, to the Department of Corrections, and they wanted to just dump her on the Department of Corrections and say, "Listen, we don’t want to take care of her anymore. You take care of her.
Tell me why hasn’t any of the DCF been arrested for sexual assault? Why hasn’t anyone been arrested for the illegal restraint? To me that is indicative of deeper problems in DCF, if one girl in their custody is abused I doubt that she is the only one who has been abused in DCF in their care.

The article goes on to say,
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what about the issue of DCF or the Department of Children and Families’ responsibilities in this case, given the fact that she claims she was abused while she was under their custody?

AARON ROMANO: Well, that’s curious, because what it does is it brings to light some of the issues that affect DCF agencies across the nation. DCF agencies historically have had some difficulty in dealing with children who suffer from sexual abuse or just abuse generally. There needs to be more funding for DCF agencies, so they can create safe environments for these children if they have to be removed from their families. As we can see here, there’s a lack of facilities that are available for children like Jane.
The head of DCF is the former state Supreme Court justice, Joette Katz maybe what the DCF needs is not a judge but someone who has worked to help children not someone who locks up people. The agency needs someone who has those skills of creating a safe space for children.

In an opinion in the Middletown Press the author Andy Thibault brought up that very point,
“Why open a second maximum security facility?” Martha Stone, a seasoned litigator who prevailed against the state of Connecticut in a 1993 civil rights suit over brutal and unconstitutional confinement of juveniles, Emily J. v. Weicker, put the question to the committee. The question remains unanswered. DCF could not even provide recidivism rates to the committee.

“Many of the girls who would be sent to the new facility have been physically and sexually abused,” Stone told the committee in February. “Some are in foster care. Most suffer from trauma. Many are victims of sex trafficking; others are runaways … putting these girls in a maximum security facility is not the answer.”
And the CT Juvenile Justice Alliance said in an article in the CT Mirror that,
"The whole system needs to be examined," said Abby Anderson, executive director of the CT Juvenile Justice Alliance, a statewide coalition of advocates and lawyers that represents children in the state's juvenile justice system.

The call for a review of the state's juvenile justice system comes on the heels of the state's child welfare agency's sending a transgender, self-identifying, 16-year-old girl to an adult prison for women, and a 10-year high in the number of juvenile boys housed in prison. It also follows the agency's opening a new locked facility for troubled girls earlier this month.

"A pattern has emerged of DCF locking up a higher percentage of children committed as delinquents because it lacks a robust system of less restrictive options, which are widely acknowledged as better for kids and more likely to promote rehabilitation. This case [of a transgendered youth being sent to an adult prison] is particularly startling but sadly in line with what is happening in Connecticut with increasing frequency," reads the juvenile justice alliance's call for more oversight of the agency.
As one comment that I read said, what do you expect a child who has been sexually abused, attacked, and harassed to do when faced with that environment?

It is time for reforming the DCF from a punitive model to therapeutic model. There are many good DCF employees but only a few rotting apple can tarnish the agency.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On This Mother’s Day

Being a transgender son or daughter or a transgender parent creates a lot of stress on a family. When we transition our whole family transitions with us.
This mom says what every transgender child needs to hear.

Zoe is a transgender girl, a girl who was born a boy but who has long identified and genuinely felt like a girl. She is happy that California passed a law, AB 1266, to ensure she is able to participate fully as her authentic self at school. Her mom is super supportive and inspiring too!
Children who transition dashed their parents’ dreams for them. All of a sudden their father’s dreams of playing sports with their son is ripped away, a mother’s dream of their daughter’s wedding now is no more.

For some parents they cannot make the change, they cannot accept their child’s true gender and they cast their child out on to the street, while others force their child in to a gender that is not their true gender, forces them to live a lie. Many other parents see their child is happier, less stressed and know that this is right for their child.

When a parent transitions now their children have to face having two dads or two moms and for some children they cannot handle the change. For many reason their children cannot accept the transgender parents, it may be because of religious beliefs, it may be because of peer pressure in school or it may be because of the other parent.

For many trans-men this day has special meaning, the recognition of their motherhood. For some it is an unwelcome reminder while others embrace to day.

Our transition is tremendously stressful on families, but many families overcome all these barriers and if not function as a family they still share the family bond.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday Six #526

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #526

1. S is for SACCHARIFEROUS: You’re presented with a tray of sweeteners for your coffee: if you had to choose, are you more likely to select real sugar, Equal, Sweet-N-Low, Splenda or Truvia?
None, I take my coffee black

2. S is for SALSA: Which type of salsa do you prefer: watery with some vegetable and spice pieces, paste with everything ground in evenly, or little liquid with big vegetable/spice chunks?
I like the salsa from the deli counter at my local supermarket, it is fresh made.

3. S is for SAVINGS: Do you feel like you’re putting enough money in your savings month to month for the future?
No, I don’t save because I saved enough to retire when I was 59 ½.

4. S is for SLANG: What’s a slang word that particularly annoys you?
Rad… that’s rad.

5. S is for SNARK: Do you find the majority of snarky comments you see online to be funny or rude?
Rude. I don’t see the humor in putting other people down.

6. S is for SOUND: What’s the worst sound you’ve ever woken up to?
The cry of a fox

Or a fisher cat

However, the best sound is the loons on the lake.

Your Mama Don't Dance

Crazy Sam’s Your Mama Don't Dance (1972)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song is about how the older generation often doesn't understand what the younger generation is up to. Do you keep up with trends?
Somewhat, but it is hard to cross the age gap.

2) This song was in the top 10 in 1972, which is also the year HBO was introduced. Do you have any premium cable channels?
Nope, not a one. However, I do have Netflix and Amazon Prime.

3) Mother Winters taught Sam how to kill the lingering food smells in her microwave (take a bowl of water, add a few drops of vanilla extract, and heat it in the microwave). Do you have any useful household hints to pass along?
Put off the housework for another day.

4) The French word for "mother" is "mère." What other French words do you know?
Bon Jour

5) Flowers and plants are popular on Mother's Day. How is your yard or garden? Is it green and/or blooming?
It is, my nose and eyes can confirm it.

6) Mother's Day is a big holiday for card shops. So are birthdays, weddings, and St. Patrick's Day. Hallmark sells greetings for everything from "Congratulations on Your New Job" to "Happy Retirement." Who received the most recent card you bought?
They were Christmas cards

7) Have you put away your winter clothes yet?

8) Mother Winters used to scold Sam for leaving her dirty dishes in the sink. Sam admits it: as a grown up, she's still a bit of a slob. Do lean toward "neat" or "messy?"

9) To celebrate Mother's Day, Sam is giving away candy bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate with almonds?
Almonds, but alas I can’t have any candy bars

Friday, May 09, 2014

CT Non-Discrimination Bill Dies In The Senate

There was a bill in the state legislature this year to modify the gender inclusive non-discrimination law of 2011 (PA11-55). The bill was H.B. 5367 An Act Concerning the Implementation of Enhanced Protections Against Discrimination and the bill was going to add,
d) Any person who places a noose or a simulation thereof on any public property, or on any private property without the written consent of the owner, and with intent to intimidate or harass any other person on account of religion, national origin, alienage, color, race, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, blindness, [or] physical disability or mental disability, shall be in violation of subsection (a) of this section.
It was a minor addition to the law but an important one, the bill would make it a felony to intimidate us with a noose. The analysis for the bill said,
The bill also makes it a discriminatory practice to place a noose or simulation of one (1) on public property or on private property without the owner's written consent and (2) with the intent to intimidate or harass someone based on gender identity or expression or mental disability. By law, “gender identity or expression” means a person's gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior differs from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth.

Committing a discriminatory practice is a class A misdemeanor, but it is a class D felony if property damage over $1,000 results. A class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to one year, or both. A class D felony is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.
The bill passed unanimously in the Judicial Committee with a vote 40-0 and passed in the House with a vote of 136-6 and 4 absent but it never made it to a vote in the Senate before the session ended. It would have been nice to see it passed but giving the fact that this year session was a short session, it was interesting that the bill made it through the House. Notice that the bill had strong bipartisan support in the Judicial Committee and the House something that the original in 2011 didn’t, that bill was split right down party lines.

The bill also was going to add “mental disability” to the section.