Monday, June 30, 2014

Words Of Wisdom...

It has been seven years since I transitioned! In some ways it seems like yesterday and at other times it seems like a hell of a long time ago… in another lifetime.

I suppose I am to have some words of wisdom to say but I don’t. My life seems dull and boring to me. I have been on hormones for ten years so the effects of them have long since stabilized; the roller coaster ride has long since leveled out.

I think the way I transitioned was the correct way, I took my time learned all there was to learn about hormones and the pitfalls of transitioning. I was Diana for all but eight hours a day during the week, the only time I was “male” was at work and I did that for a number of years before I went full time and legally changed my name.

It also helped that I retired the same day that I transitioned, they closed down the factory, and I took early retirement. In some ways it was harder to adjust to retirement than it was to transition. I had practice living as a woman but I went into retirement cold. If you look at the major stressors in life; in the top ten, I had four. I lost both of my parents within the previous five years (63x2= 126), I got laid off (47) and I retired (45), and they don’t even have one for transitioning; that probably would be worth 100 points. The chart says “Score of 300+: At risk of illness,” but I got through it with only one major illness.


There was an article in the Huffington Post by Annika Penelope about the pitfalls of transitioning that I want to share with you…

1. Brace yourself for beauty culture.
I didn’t find this to be true, she talks about make-up and how hard it is to enter that culture. I think that is only true with some women, while others don’t touch a drop of beauty cream. Most of the women that I know do not use any make-up at all and they like me think you’re made-up if you put on lipstick.

2. Say goodbye to male privilege.
Now this one I did find true, as the Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi says "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)"

3. People will surprise you.
Most definitely and usually for the better

4. Prepare for (micro)aggressions.
Another truism

5. Go to therapy.
I only went long enough to get my letter for hormones and I will probably go back just for surgery/

6. Pursue other interests.
I love photography and I go to the photography club at senior center in town when ever I can. I also do volunteer works to keep me busy.

7. Take a deep breath and be patient.
Always a good idea, change happens slowly

8. Save Money
Another good idea in gender, you never know if your next paycheck will be your last paycheck.

9. Don't expect transitioning to solve all your problems.
You are you, transition does not change that and it will bring you an entire new set of problems.

10. You do you.
So tonight to celebrate I think I’ll go out and have a lobster dinner.


Profound revelation number one... Most people do not care that you are trans, they just treat you as a person!

Profound revelation number two... Women smile more! It is like you are now a member of a secret club and the secret handshake is a smile.

Profound revelation number three... My god they talk in the bathroom!

Profound revelation number four... The stalls in the bathroom are much smaller than the men's bathrooms!

My Seven Year Anniversary…

Today is my seventh anniversary of my transition and if there is one thing that I learned is that coming out never ends. This is my “Coming Out Letter”

In September of 2006, they announced at work that they were closing down the factory in stages, beginning after the end of the first quarter of 2007. We saw the shutdown coming when they were not sending us any new orders and they were sending the work to other locations. In June of 2007, I was laid off. For me it worked out great, I was planning to retire in 2008 so with the severance package I was able to collect severance pay until just before I was eligible for early retirement in 2008. In addition, I received tuition reimbursement and I went back to college for my Masters

That is not the only changes that are taking place in my life. I was always the quite one, at parties or family gatherings. Well there was a reason for that, you see all through my life I was deeply troubled. I knew I was different and it wasn’t until I had my heart problems that I knew I had to act, that life was too short. Therefore, I sought counseling, with counseling and support groups, I have finally achieved self-acceptance. I now have a life, I have been going out to movies, plays, lectures, restaurants, getting involved in politics, went back to college, traveling and I made new friendships.

You see that I come to accept myself for who I am a transsexual. Some of my earliest memories were of feeling that I should have been born a girl. I remember when I was little saying my prayers at night, ending with pray that I would wake up as a girl and I use to cry myself to sleep. Now I have been on hormones since 2004 and when I was laid-off in June of 2007, I started living full time as “Diana.” Once I went full time, I had my name legally changed to Diana, changed all my paperwork and got a new driver’s license with an “F” on it.

Whatever is the cause of GID (Gender Identity Disorder is the medical term for transsexualism) I can tell you one thing and that is it is not a choice, I have been fighting this all my life and it is not something I would ever want. Life is hard and this doesn’t make it any easier, but I am happier and I am getting out enjoying life. Since coming out I has been very active; I have given lectures at colleges (including Yale, UConn School of Law and the School of Medicine), I have helped out on Ned Lamont’s campaign for U.S. senate, I have lobbied Congress in Washington and helped out at various non-profit organizations in the area. I am currently on the steering committee of a coalition that is trying to change the Anti-Discrimination laws in Connecticut and I have testified three times before the Judiciary Committee. I have been interviewed by the Hartford Courant and have been on the radio and television. In addition, I am graduate student UConn School of Social Work Master’s program and my concentration is in Community Organizing. As you can see I am no longer just sitting around the house, now it is a rare evening that I am home.

I know that this is hard for you to understand and it is hard for me to understand this, if you need to talk you can call me at ____________ or email me at ___________. 
This is one of the letters that I received from my cousins…

The last time we saw you was at your father's funeral. It was actually the first time in my memory that we had spent any real time together. I remarked to [her husband] as we were leaving what a warm and charming host you were and how sorry I was that I never knew you well. Now I understand better why. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I, in turn, shared your letter with my children who, as parents themselves, need to be reminded of the importance of accepting their children as they are. whatever their differences may be. To see from another person’s point of view is always enlightening. We admire your courage and rejoice in your new life.

[My cousin]
I have been so very lucky; many trans-people have lost their family and friends when they came out, but I had the love and support of my family and that went a long way to making me through my transition.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stonewall The Rewriting Of History

The “official” NYC Pride (I say official because they won the court battle over “NYC Pride”) has a webpage about the history of Stonewall…

Early in the morning of June 28, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police, a then common occurrence at the Greenwich Village bar that had become a staple of New York City's underground gay community. But this time its members, tired of the ongoing raids, fought back, striking what would become known as The Stonewall Riots.
Gee, I seem to remember something about lesbians and drag queens. But it seems that the “official” NYC Pride has selective amnesia… Oh wait! I know… they mean gay in the broader sense. Funny how that works when someone questions the exclusions all of a sudden they say it means the “whole” LGBT movement. It is also all about marriage equality, nothing about Human Rights like being able to be fired at work or thrown out of your apartment or denied credit or… thrown out of a bar.

LGBT Civil Rights are many more things than marriage.

Early on in the LGBT Civil Rights movement trans-people were at the forefront, many times bars like the Stonewall were raided not so much because of same-sex couples holding hands or dancing together but to check if the “drag queen” had three items of male clothing on them.

In Leslie Feinberg interview of Sylvia Rivera, she said,
We were led out of the bar and they cattled us all up against the police vans. The cops pushed us up against the grates and the fences. People started throwing pennies, nickels, and quarters at the cops.

And then the bottles started. And then we finally had the morals squad barricaded in the Stonewall building, because they were actually afraid of us at that time. They didn't know we were going to react that way.

We were not taking any more of this shit. We had done so much for other movements. It was time.

It was street gay people from the Village out front-homeless people who lived in the park in Sheridan Square outside the bar-and then drag queens behind them and everybody behind us. The Stonewall Inn telephone lines were cut and they were left in the dark.
We keep getting left out as the Gay rewrite history. When we complain about their selective amnesia we are called whiners. We were told not to attend the Pride marches in New York and in 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, they want only straight looking gays and lesbian.

In 1994 on the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising we were told again that we were not welcome at Pride, and it took the threat of protesting the march that the finally lifted on the ban.

When I went the 2009 Norwalk Pride they had posters commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising but nowhere on those posters did they have anything on trans-people, I wrote...
Yesterday, I went to the Fairfield county Pride. I was a little upset to put it mildly, the Pride itself was OK but they had signs that they put up around the area. The signs were of notable people and events in the LGBT history, the sign in front of our table was about the Stonewall Uprising.

The title of the sign was “Gays and Lesbian Riot at the Stonewall Inn,” a red flag went off when I read that. As I continued reading, the sign went on to say “the gays and lesbians” rioted against the police. By this time, my blood was boiling and I grabbed one of the Pride officials over to read the sign. I asked him to read the sign and as he read the sign, he immediately realized the omission and he sheepishly said that there was no mention of the trans-community’s involvement. He brought over the person who made the signs (his partner), who apologized for the omission and said he would correct it before the signs were hung in the community center.
Unfortunately that is all together common, we get lumped together with the gays and lesbians or the writers are lazy and do not do their homework. And as a friend wrote in the comments Stonewall has also been whitewashed. Latinos and people of color have also been written out of history, people like Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major and Sylvia Rivera.

What Is Pride

The BIG Pride event of the year is the New York Pride Parade today down 5th.

But what is Pride?

The last Pride I went to in Hartford was nothing more than a big beer bash on Main St. There are two bars fighting over who is going to be the sponsor of Hartford Pride and as a result there is no Pride in Hartford.

In New York one pride group sued another pride group for the rights to use the “official” NYC Pride, there are BIG corporate bucks involved.

I like the Northampton Pride; it is small, more family orientated and less booze than some of the other Prides. I haven’t been to Boston Pride so I can’t say anything about that, but Providence Pride was a lot like Northampton’s Pride and this August New London is having Pride at the Beach on August 23 which I might attend.

As more states get marriage equality, there are more families and the nature of the LGBT community is changing. Will Pride change to reflect a more family atmosphere? When Pride was held in Bushnell Park they had a children’s play area, is that the future of Pride… Pride in Families?

So what is “Pride” and how do you show your pride? Is it a beer bash and one long party? Is it a march? Is it a family event? Is it all of them?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Memes

I’m away at a picnic so I am combining the two Saturday memes that I usually do today.

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #533

1. Y is for YARDWORK: What’s your favorite kind of yardwork?
The kind that I write a check for.

2. Y is for YEARBOOK: How many of the yearbooks you had in school do you still own?
I have them all, high school, community college and undergraduate.

3. Y is for YEAST: What is your favorite kind of bread?
Seeded rye bread.

4. Y is for YIELD: Do you think the average motorist is bright enough to understand what a Yield sign means, or should Yield signs be replaced with Stop signs?
Nope, I think most people think the other guy has to yield. No, I would hate to have to come to a stop to get on an interstate highway.

5. Y is for YOUNG: What age do you think is the “last” age someone should be considered “young?”
The day they die. As a 65 year old, I still feel young and my cousin who is in his mid-seventies is doing a bike trip around Europe this year.

6. Y is for YUCK: Which single food item do you dislike the taste of the most?
Chinese food in general, I don’t like the spices that they use. I just had some Peruvian food the other day and it was very good.

#  #  #  #  #

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Feel the Earth Move
(recommended by Blue County Magic)

If you're not familiar with today's song, you can hear it here.

1) This song is from the album Tapestry, one of the all-time best-sellers (more than 25,000,000 copies sold worldwide). Is it in your collection?

2) It's about that glorious passion you feel when you first fall for someone. How many times have you been in love?
Twice and I’m not naming names

3) San Francisco radio stations briefly removed "I Feel the Earth Move" from their playlists after the 1989 earthquake. Have you ever been in an earthquake and literally felt "the earth move under your feet?"
No I haven’t but I would like to feel a mild one… no damage.

4) Carole King is the first and only woman to win the Gershwin Prize for songwriting from the Library of Congress. Here's your chance to brag a little -- tell us about an accolade you have received.
In 2011, I received the Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities (CABO) Community Champion Award

5) Carole wrote "You've Got a Friend," which was a mega hit for her good pal, James Taylor. King and Taylor have known one another for more than 40 years, but have never been romantically involved. Do you have any platonic friends of the opposite sex?
Hmm, that is a hard question for me to answer… before yes and now yes again.

6) Like more than 80% of the population, Carole is right handed. Are you right handed, left handed (10%) or that most rare of all, ambidextrous (less than 10%)?
I’m sinister, but I think there are more lefties than 10%, I think it is  more like 20%. Did you know more LGBT people are left handed than the general population?

7) One of Carole King's earliest hits was Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion." Little Eva was the teenager King hired to care for her young children. Tell us about a sitter who cared for you when you were little.
HA! You expect me to remember sixty years ago? I do remember that my grandmother used to sit for us, other than her I have no idea who else/

8) Beautiful is the title of the Broadway play about Carole King's life. If we were producing your lifestory, what would you want us to call it?
The Rollercaoster.

9) Carole wrote "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the Monkees' song about conspicuous consumption. When Crazy Sam looks at her crowded shelf of hair products (paraben-free conditioner, keratin-restoring conditioner, hair masque, hot oil conditioner …), she realizes she's guilty of it herself. Have you bought anything recently that you later decided was a waste of money?
Yes, a camera bag… it is way too big! I wanted a bag that would hold all my camera equipment, but this one is so big I could probably use it for a week of backpacking.
Now let’s see, maybe if I buy extension tubes and a flash… that will use two more compartments.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Who’s Missing?

This should come as no surprise… we are.
In historic first, New York-area Boy Scouts to lead iconic NYC Pride March
Three generations of Scouts to unite at nation's oldest and largest LGBT pride event
GLAAD Press Release
June 23, 2014

Active and former Boy Scouts and leaders will present the American flag during the national anthem at the NYC Pride March opening ceremony and subsequently serve as Color Guard during the march, leading more than 14,000 participants down Fifth Avenue in a celebration of recent advancements made for LGBT equality.

Despite the BSA's national policy that bans gay and lesbian adults from participating in Scouting, the Greater New York Councils, which serves nearly 150,000 Scouts in New York City, has previously stated its commitment to full inclusion of gay Scouts regardless of age.
OK, let’s look at this “full inclusion,” the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America said,
    Nonetheless, we are disappointed that the resolution does not remove the prohibition against gay adult volunteers as well. In its 103 year history the Greater New York Councils’ administration has never denied membership to a youth or adult due to sexual orientation. We affirm our inclusive policy and will continue to actively work to advocate for the same national policy.  After receiving input from our registered leaders and other supporters—who overwhelmingly support a change in membership policy—our board approved the following statement:
We believe that the right, moral, forward-looking policy for the BSA nationwide is to have an inclusive policy that welcomes all to our program, without regard to sexual orientation.
Wait… Stop the presses!

“…to have an inclusive policy that welcomes all to our program, without regard to sexual orientation.” Where are transgender scouts? How can you have an inclusive policy if you left someone out?

Well what does the world’s largest LGBT organization have to say about this…
Boy Scouts of America Takes Historic Step Forward For Gay Scouts, Leaves Gay Scout Leaders Behind
May 23, 2013
By Paul Guequierre

In a historic move, 1,400 leaders from the nation’s local Boy Scouts of America Councils gave the green light to equality for gay Scouts, voting to end the organization’s long standing ban on gay youth.  Unfortunately the new policy does not go far enough…
Ah, now they must be going to say something about not including trans-scouts.
… leaving adult Eagle Scouts, scout leaders, and parents behind.  The resolution passed today reads in part, “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
Um… what about trans-scouts?

Who is going to speak up about trans-scouts being left out if two of the largest LGBT organizations don’t… there must be someone?

Actually there is, MassEquality said…
Boy Scouts Lift Gay Youth Ban, Scout Leaders and Trans Youth Left Behind
Published May 24, 2013

GRAPEVINE, Texas and BOSTON – The Boy Scouts of America voted yesterday to lift their ban on gay youth as members of the organization effective Jan., 1, 2014. The vote by their National Council only considered gay youth, not gay adult leaders or transgender members.
“This decision only addresses gay Scouts, and leaves transgender youth and Scout Leaders behind at the starting line. The Boy Scouts of America can do better. The path towards equality in the Boy Scouts of America will not be complete until all people involved with the organization are free to be themselves. MassEquality encourages the Boy Scouts' National Executive Committee to continue this forward momentum and take the next step down the road towards equality for all, extending their recent decision to all youth and to the entire organization. We look forward to a world where all people can be equal, safe and free, from cradle to grave - that includes in the Boy Scouts of America.”
Also the Examiner got it,
Transsexual men and youth who have undergone sex reassignment surgery (SRS), including (but not limited to) hormone replacement therapy, hysterectomy and genital reconstruction (phalloplasty) could still be discriminated against at the national and local level if their surgical status is disclosed or discovered. Transgender men and youth who have not undergone SRS may also be rejected by the Boy Scouts due to the fact that their gender presentation does not conform to their anatomical sex. In order for the Boy Scouts of America's national body to be truly inclusive and for local chapters to begin to follow suit, it is vital that non-discrimination on the basis of transgender and transsexual identity be expressly stated.
So when you see this Sunday the Pride Parade being led by the Boy Scouts ask where are the trans-scouts?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Forced Surgery

Can you imagine what it must be like to have Sex Reassignment Surgery forced on you? It must be like having Gender Dysphoria in reverse, but that is what is being done to gays and lesbians in Iran.
Iran pressures lesbians, gays to have sex change operations – report
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
26 Jun 2014
Author: Emma Batha

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When Arshkan, a young Iranian man, told a psychiatrist he was homosexual he was astonished to get a letter telling him to start hormone therapy in preparation for a sex change.

Sara, a student in Tehran, was similarly advised to change sex after confiding to a psychologist that she preferred girls to boys.

Rights campaigners say Iranian doctors routinely pressure lesbians and gays to undergo sex change operations including sterilisation.
You are given a choice, losing your head or have the surgery, what would you choose?
Today, Iran carries out among the highest number of sex changes in the world and is the only country which imposes the death penalty for homosexual behaviour while permitting sex changes, Amin said. 
In addition, many of the doctors performing the operation have no training in the surgical procedures and they botch many of the operations.

In a BBC News 2008 article, they wrote,
"Islam has a cure for people suffering from this problem. If they want to change their gender, the path is open," says Hojatol Islam Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia, the religious cleric responsible for gender reassignment.

He says an operation is no more a sin than "changing wheat to flour to bread".

Yet homosexuality is still punishable by death.

"The discussion is fundamentally separate from a discussion regarding homosexuals. Absolutely not related. Homosexuals are doing something unnatural and against religion," says Kariminia. "It is clearly stated in our Islamic law that such behaviour is not allowed because it disrupts the social order."

A Bad Day For Them, A Good Day For Us

It seems that Family Research Council has been eating its foot a lot. With all the court decisions going against them they are grasping for straws…
US: Family Research Council accidentally cites poll proving people are in favour of gay rights
Pink News
By Nick Duffy
23rd June 2014

The Family Research Council has accidentally cited a poll which found people were overwhelmingly in favour of workplace discrimination laws, while trying to argue against them.

In a blog post, the anti-gay group claimed: “No wonder the President had to resort to an executive order on special treatment for homosexuals. Turns out, the American people aren’t nearly supportive of his agenda as the media led us to believe.

“In a Huffington Post poll, only 50% of Americans support an ENDA-type (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) law, which gives preference to homosexuals and transgenders in the workplace.
But what they didn’t say about the poll was that only 38% opposed a law, and when asked the question “Do you think it should be legal or illegal for an employer to fire someone for being gay or lesbian?” 76% percent said that it should be illegal to discrimination. And to add salt to the wounds 62% thought it was already illegal to discriminate.

On a side note, notice how we were left out of the poll.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council already had his other foot in his moth when he said,
Jewish Anti-Defamation League: FRC comparing gay rights to the Holocaust is ‘deeply offensive’
By Nick Duffy
11th June 2014

During a radio show slot, Perkins compared the case of a Colorado baker who has stopped making wedding cakes to the Holocaust.

He said: “I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next? When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?”
The ADL’s National Director, Abraham Foxman, said in a statement: “There is no comparison between contemporary American political issues and the actions of Hitler’s regime during the Holocaust.

“Such inappropriate analogies only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.”
Open mouth, insert foot.

Another anti-LGBT group also had a bad month, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM),
Gay marriage: Supreme Court declines to halt same-sex marriages in Oregon
By Jeff Mapes
June 04, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to block gay marriages in Oregon.

In a terse, one-sentence order, the court rejected a request by the National Organization for Marriage to stay the May 19 federal court ruling allowing gays and lesbians to marry in Oregon.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who rules on emergency cases in the western region of Oregon, referred the issue to the full court, which then declined to get involved in the Oregon case.
And according to Politico, in a federal court case against the IRS for disclosing the organizations tax statement the courts found that,
The lawsuit stemmed from information an IRS worker sent to an individual who identified himself as a member of the media who requested it in the midst of the 2012 presidential campaign, which he then sent to the pro-gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. The Huffington Post then ran a story noting a political action committee linked to Mitt Romney had been a donor to NOM.

A federal district court judge, however, recently ruled that there was not enough evidence to demonstrate the disclosure was willful and that the record showed it was released “inadvertently as part of a single employee’s mistake.”
They were awarded $50,000 in actual damages from the unauthorized release.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Did You Know Ronald Regan Was In A Drag Show?

I was watching the movie "Before Stonewall" and they had a section on drag queens during World War II, how the soldiers use to dress up as women and give shows to the troops. One of the most famous show actually went around the country to sell War Bonds and it was made into a movie, “This Is The Army” and there are a number of scenes that feature drag [also “blackface”]. Former President of the United States played Johnny Jones (as Lt. Ronald Reagan) in the movie [President Regan was in the military during WW II and made movies with the 1st Motion Picture Unit producing training films].

Here is a newsreel clip of a "Universal Newsreel showing WW2 soldiers of Fort Slocum in a “Girlie Show” – an all singing, dancing, and cross-dressing version of 'Swing Fever.'”

On the website “Kilroy Was Here” the author George Osepchuk writes about a WW II occupation force in Korea at the end of WW II, he writes,
The "Bits Of Burlesque" show consisted of us GIs dressed in short skirts with coconut-stuffed bra tops doing chorus dances in our combat boots making for a hilarious act. We also had vocalists singing popular songs, accordion and harmonica players and comedy skits. Tony was the star as he did the strip tease as per burlesque shows. He had an authentic costume he wore during his dance. The GIs in the audience actually thought he was female. The "Bits Of Burlesque" show traveled all over South Korea performing at the many military outfits. We traveled with the show and performed for 5 to 6 months until USO shows started to arrive in Korea.
And those of you who watched the movie “South Pacific” know of the drag skit in the USO show. The website Bookworm had this to say about the two shows…
Most people remember South Pacific for two reasons:  it’s principled stand against racism and the gooey hit song “Some Enchanted Evening.”  I doubt many think of the scene in which Ray Walston dresses himself up in a coconut shell bra for the amusement of his fellow sailors and Marines (starting at 3:02):

Irving Berlin made even greater use of drag performances in “This Is The Army,” the Broadway-style review he created for the Army. It’s all-male, all-Army cast toured throughout the European theater in the thick of the war, bring a great deal of pleasure to the troops.

Because it was a Broadway-style review, Berlin of course had to write parts for women. And because there were no women to be had, every female part was a drag part. I can’t find any discrete clips but the entire movie is below, with the drag scenes at 58:00, 1:08, 1:12, and 1:28.

The tradition of soldiers doing drag has gone by the wayside in today’s modern military.


As many trans-people know finding love is hard. Most straight women are not attracted to trans-women and most lesbian are not attracted to trans-women. Most marriages fall apart when one spouse transitions. So it is a lonely world out there.

The Huffington Post had a article about this…
Transgender People: Strangers in Gay Land
Posted: 06/24/2014
By Renato Barucco: Transgender Family Program Manager, Community Healthcare Network

What many of us fail to fully comprehend is that transgender people are not some sort of über-gay creatures. Though the intellectual and factual lines between gender identity and sexual orientation are thin (sometimes they are not even there, as some transgender people are indeed gay), they are separate things. Trans people who are LGB are not so because they are T but in addition to being T. They belong to the LGBT community twice, and for different reasons. This "Transgender 101" introduction may seem pretty obvious, yet intimate understanding is not, both for the general population and within LGBT communities.

For the sake of conserving brain power, let's focus on only two identity categories: gay cisgender men and gay transgender men. The first group is made of men who were considered males at birth, were raised as boys, identify as men and are attracted to other men. The second group is made of men who were considered females at birth, were probably raised as girls, identify as men and are attracted to other men. Assuming the transgender men in this example already transitioned either by presenting as men, undergoing medical treatments or a combination of both, if these two groups stood in front of us today, they would be generally indistinguishable.
Many gay men I talked to would not date transgender men, primarily because they feel like something would be missing. Making assumptions, they seem to be awfully concerned with the presence, shape and appearance of genitals. Those who enthusiastically entertained the idea of hooking up with transgender men always described it in the context of sexual adventures, like, say, having sex in public, participating in group role-play scenes or trying bondage. Other men, including otherwise brilliant men, couldn't even grasp the question.
I am leery about online dating because of not wanting to be seen as a “sexual adventure” I rather find someone who loves me for me and not who I am. That doesn’t mean giving up; it means going out and being involved in life. It means getting to know people who get to know you as a person. It means volunteering, it means joining clubs or groups where you can meet new people. It doesn’t mean giving up, you never know when someone new will walk into your life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Is Your Support Network

That was the question that was asked of me when I started my first internship in grad school. I didn’t really know what she meant, she had to rephrase the question a couple of times to realize that what she meant was who do I turn to in times of emotional stress and I told her that it was my brother.

I didn’t think that I would need to tap into my “lifeline” but I was wrong. During my second year internship I needed to call my brother because I needed someone to talk to, that day I was at a meeting at Court Support Services Division (CSSD) where they were looking for a place to shelter a trans-girl; what I heard I never thought happened here in Connecticut, it was only something you see on Law and Order or CSI.

A teenage trans-girl was thrown out by her parents and was at a bus station here in Connecticut when she was picked up by a pimp, forced on heroin and in to prostitution. She was picked up by the police and arrested. When her pimp was arrested and she testified in court, he shot her on the steps of the court house. CSSD was looking for foster parents or a shelter to take her in, but there wasn’t a place that could take a heroin addicted trans-girl with a contact out on her. She wasn’t a big enough for the feds to give here witness protection.

That was when I had to call my brother, her story hit me so hard, and it went right to my soul.

When I read this story it brought back my emotions from that meeting four years ago.
FBI: 168 kids rescued, 281 pimps nabbed in sex-trafficking crackdown
June 23, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Nearly 170 victims of child sex trafficking, many of whom had never been reported missing, were rescued in the last week as part of an annual nationwide crackdown, the FBI said Monday.

Besides the 168 children rescued from the sex trade, 281 pimps were arrested during the same period on state and federal charges.

"These are not faraway kids in faraway lands," FBI Director James Comey said in announcing the annual enforcement push known as Operation Cross Country. Instead, he added, "These are America's children."

This is the eighth such week long-operation, which this year unfolded in 106 cities. The FBI says nearly 3,600 children have so far been recovered from the streets.
And I can’t help to also think of Jane Doe, the 16 year old trans-girl who was kept in an adult women’s prison. She was prostituted by family members. She has been in DCF custody since she was seven and while in their care she was raped by a fellow resident and forced to have sex with a staff member.

This is something that can happen to trans-children but can happen to any child.


Have you ever run into this?
Questions Trans People Face _ and Their Answers
ABC News
By LEANNE ITALIE Associated Press
Jun 24, 2014

At a party, in a checkout line or out to dinner, transgender model Arisce Wanzer has this to say about routine, uncomfortable questions from strangers and acquaintances:

"Why are you jumpin' into my underwear from the get-go?"

We asked Wanzer, 27, in Los Angeles and two other trans people — Janet Mock, 31, and Joy Ladin, 53, to share how they handle chance, intrusive encounters.

"As an educator, I believe it's really important for people to ask questions, but at the same time I'm a person and not a public billboard," said Ladin, an English professor at Yeshiva University in New York and author of "Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders.”
I have had people ask questions that they would never ask anyone else. Like Joy Landin I answer many questions in a classroom that should never be asked in public or by a stranger. I usually don’t have a fancy comeback back but stare at them instead, that is usually enough to embarrass them.

The article goes on to list questions that should never be asked and comebacks when they are asked.

Mock: I usually challenge people by asking questions back. Just saying something like, 'I don't know why that's relevant to our interaction with one another? Why is that important for you to know?' They usually don't have an answer and realize how insensitive it was.
I’m at a point that I don’t answer that question when I do outreach; one, it makes me uncomfortable and two, it does not have any bearing to the outreach. I usually redirect the questions saying something like “that makes me uncomfortable and it is not who I am anymore.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Promises, Promises, Promises…

For the past eleven years New York legislature failed to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act…
GOP-led N.Y. Senate blocks reparative therapy ban, transgender protections
Staff Reports
Sunday, June 22, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York state Senate adjourned Friday without calling a vote on two LGBT-related bills passed by the Assembly — one that would ban reparative therapy for minors, and another that would have added gender identity to the state’s non-discrimination laws.

GOP Senate leaders blocked the two bills from going to the Senate floor for a full vote, where advocates said both measures had the votes needed to pass, according to the Empire State Pride Agenda.
The bill passed the Assembly but for the seventh time died in the Senate.

In 2002 Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA) was passed, gender identity and expression was part of the bill but backroom deals dropped gender identity from the bill with the promise to pass GENDA the next year. Which turned into next year, next year, and next year and now it is another “next year.”

In 2011 in Massachusetts backroom deals dropped “public accommodation” from their gender identity/expression non-discrimination bill… we’ll come back next year… and next year… and next year.

It has to be all or nothing!

In Congress the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has passed the Senate but in a backroom deal they added a broad religious exemption that many feel unacceptable. In all the other non-discrimination laws you have to work in a religious job to be exemption such as a church’s bookkeeper, but the exemption in ENDA you could be fired if you were a gay janitor working in an apartment building owned by a church.

ENDA would weaken Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC has ruled that trans-people are protected under Title VII and the religious exemption is limited religious jobs. A transgender nurse would be protected if she was working in a religious owned hospital, but ENDA with strip that protection.

There is a court case where a gay man is suing his former employer for firing him because he is gay. He claims that Title VII also protects him because “sexual stereotypes” which the Supreme Court said was prohibited in the Price Waterhouse case. If he wins his case it make passing ENDA irrelevant, but if ENDA passes it will weaken Title VII protection.

When it comes to human rights we cannot allow any more Three-Fifths Compromises. We cannot compromise our human rights away.

Three More Dead

There have been two more murders of trans-women and one suspicious death of another trans-woman in the last month.
LGBT Community On Alert After Transgender Woman Found Dead
CBS News Baltimore
By Meghan McCorkell
June 6, 2014

Police say they don’t know who killed Kandy Hall or why they did it.

Steps away from where children play basketball, Kandy Hall’s lifeless body was found early Tuesday morning. The transgender woman was found dead along Fillmore Street in a field near a post office and a school.

The murder has rocked the local transgender community.

“Because we do not know the motive behind Kandy’s death, the LGBT communities of Baltimore remain apprehensive and on guard,” said Carrie Evans, Equality Maryland.
The second murder was down in Florida,
Fort Myers burn victim identified as transgender woman
By Naples Daily News staff
Posted June 20, 2014
FORT MYERS — Fort Myers police are trying to find the killer of a transgender woman whose body was found burned behind a garbage bin Thursday.

Police on Friday identified the victim as Eddie James Owen, 31, but family members said Owen identified as a woman and went by the name Yazmin or Yaz’min Shancez. Fort Myers Police Lt. Jay Rodriguez said they have not determined a cause of death, and are not investigating the homicide as a hate crime.
And in California another trans-woman died under mysterious circumstances,
Autopsy reveals no clues into suspicious death of transgender woman
Staff Reports
Sunday, June 22, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Police are no closer to determining the cause of death of a transgender woman whose body was found June 12 behind a Dairy Queen restaurant in Anaheim, Calif.

An autopsy did not reveal any obvious fatal injuries that would have led to the death of Zoraida Reyes, a 28-year-old transgender immigrant rights activist, and toxicology and other testing could take several months to complete.

Police said there was no indication from the autopsy that Reyes died from trauma, but that evidence suggests Reyes did not die where she was found.
We do not know who or why these two trans-women were killed and Ms. Reyes died in their prime of their lives.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Love Of A Parent (Part 4 of 4)

I transitioned after my parents passed away. I don’t think that my father knew, however, I know that my mother knew, it was the elephant in the room.

I had stashes of clothes that I painstakingly acquired which would disappear; she must have found them and thrown them out. I would move the location but she would she would stumble across them and they would disappear again.

One time I was smoking pot, a seed popped and burnt a hole in her blouse. When they got back from wintering in Florida she confronted me with the hole and asked if I knew how that got there. I said no and sheepishly replied that it looked like it got caught in a zipper. But nothing more was said.

When she was dying she said to me that she was worried about what would become of me and I think she was thinking of my crossdressing. Everyone tells me that they probably would have still loved me if I came out to them and I would also like to think they would. Especially now seeing the parents that I know and how they love their children I believe mine would have loved me.

The night my mother passed away I wrote this poem…

*  *  *  *  *
The Question

You never asked.
I always wondered.
But, I never asked.
It was our little secret.
The question unasked.
Little things that let me know that you knew.
But never asked.
The little hints here and there.
But the question remained unasked.
Hints just loud enough for my ears.
Oh, I always wondered about the question unasked.
Would our love survived.
If asked.
What would it have been like with the question asked?
What might have been if you asked?
What might have been if I asked?
But now is too late for you or me to ask.

The Love Of Parents (Part 3 of 4)

When I was growing I used to dream what I thought was the “Impossible Dream” but there are now children who no longer have to dream. Science is finally catching up and realizing what we realized all along, that we know our gender long before we know our orientation. Doctors are realizing that it is much better to let the child explore their gender identity than to hold them to a ridged binary. They have developed protocols to allow the child to discover themselves.

The children are all so full with life and I have had the honor to know a number of children who have transitioned, they and their parents are truly remarkable. One parent is Priscilla who gave me permission to publish this letter that she wrote…
Dear Son,

More than a decade ago my body started changing to accommodate for your life. As you developed in my womb, I could sense that you were someone special. That Feeling grew stronger and stronger everyday. When I held your tiny body the first time I knew you were going to change the world.

Son, I dressed you in pigtails and polka dots and paraded you around like a princess and you never complained. I was so proud of my beautiful baby who always wore a smile and gave such special hugs. Your arms held such a beautiful energy that their embrace was a gift. A gift of love and happiness. Yet, I truly had no clue what a gift your life would turn out to be.

I remember the day when, with one of your hugs, you shared a secret. A Secret you had held for your first seven years of life. This secret I unknowingly forced you to keep with every stroke of the hairbrush I used to create those beautiful pigtails. A secret forced to be kept with every polka-dot dress. I just assumed that because of the appearance of your body at birth that these cute and frilly things were something you liked and wanted. You were always so happy.

I am forever grateful that you shared your secret with me at such a young age. The heaviness of a secret of this magnitude would have worn you down. It had the potential to break your spirit and change your incredibly positive energy into something equally dark.

Now, with your secret shared, I am able to watch you grow into a fine young gentleman, I am in awe. You are a power house of love, compassion, patience and understanding. You are not carrying the heavy burden of society's expectations. Sharing your secret has opened up the world to you. You are free to be the man you long to be.

I have learned more from watching you grow than any book or school could teach me...and it has been only ten years!
I am excited when I think of your future, not only for you but also for those with whom you share yourself with. You are going to make an incredible change in this world. ... I know. You have with me.

Son, I respect the power of who you are.
I am proud to be your mom and love you deeply, completely without condition and I thank you for this ability. It is a gift you have given me.

Love, Mom

The Love Of Parents (Part 2 of 4)

“Love will conquer all, for most parents they do not find the limits of their love for their child. But for some they find that their bonds grow stronger as they realize the depth their love,

Out in California parents posted a video of their sons transition, Cosmopolitan had this to say about them,
Transgender Child's Amazing Story Will Make You Weep
May 31, 2014
By Mark Shrayber

Ryland was born in 2007, and as their child grew, the Whittingtons noticed that Ryland wasn’t just a tomboy and that he wasn’t just going through a phase. This became even more clear when Ryland, who was born biologically female, told his parents that when the family died he would cut his hair and become a boy. He also asked his parents why God had made him the way he was. Faced with the discovery of Ryland’s gender identity, and recognizing that Ryland was feeling such shame and pain so early in his young life, the Whittingtons knew they wanted Ryland to express his true self. Awesome parenting, you guys. I’m pretty sure all of us want parents who are as open and accepting as you are.

The Whittingtons shared their story with the following video at The Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast last week. I wasn’t there, but I can’t imagine there was a dry eye in the house after watching this video of the Whittingtons’ journey. Check it out and make sure you have a couple of tissues handy.

The Love Of Parents (Part 1 of 4)

When I was a child I could only dream, I learned at an early age that it was something never mentioned. My parents would never have understood back then, nor would have the doctors. If I was found out, I have no idea what would have been done to me, electroconvulsive therapy? A mental hospital? Who knows?

Only adults were allowed to transition and you had to give up everything, family, friends, your job, and move away to start a new life. The gatekeepers (the doctors) had ridged ideas for those that they accepted, you had to be able to integrate in to society, you had to be attracted to men, and only then would they give you the magic elixir, hormones. No way would they let a child transition, you would probably be arrested if you let your child explore their gender identity.

When I was exploring coming out in the late 90s and the early 2000s some doctors where just starting treat children. I remember going to workshops at the “Children from the Shadows” conference where therapist told parents to keep a book of all your doctor visits and medical files just in case someone reported you to the police and DCF came to your home.

A lot has changed in those years.

Unconditional Love: Journey with Our Transgender Child : Christy Hegarty at TEDxBloomington

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Six #532

Patrick’s Place Saturday Six #532

1. X is for XANTHOCYANOPSY: Do you or anyone in your family have color-blindness? If so, what color is the most difficult to see?
My cousin is colorblind and I have no idea what colors he has a hard time seeing. But I do know that it kept him out of Vietnam.

2. X is for XANTHODONT: How quickly do you notice someone’s teeth? Is there such a thing as “too white?”
I don’t pay any attentions to a persons teeth.

3. X is for XENAGOGUE: If had to serve as a “tour guide” for your hometown, how well do you think you’d do on a scale of 1 to 10?
Probably an 8.5, it is a small town and I lived here all my life so I know it pretty good.

4. X is for XENODOCHEIONOLOGY: What do you love most about staying in a hotel?
Nothing, I don’t like staying in hotels. I much prefer Bed and Breakfasts over hotels.

5. X is for XENOPHOBIA: Have you ever felt uncomfortable around a group of foreigners if you were outnumbered by them?
Nope, where I used to work most of our customers were Asian.

6. X is for XU: How many foreign coins or paper bills do you own?
Oh, I have a box of foreign coins. My parents traveled a lot and they brought home their left over foreign currency.

Saturday 9: Little Red Corvette

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Little Red Corvette

(recommended by Smellyann)

No link this week. Prince apparently is very strict about copyright infringement.

1) The subject of this song is frankly sexual. Do you blush easily?
Oh yes.

2) Prince is his real name (Prince Rogers, to be exact). Growing up, his relatives called him "Skipper." Do you have any nicknames within your family?
It is not very original, “D” or some call me "Di"

3) Prince says he's "obsessed" with Mozart and reads whatever he can find about the composer. What's the last book you read?
Amazing Stories from November 1930, I’m now reading City of Light (The Traveler's Gate Trilogy: Book #3) by Will Wight

4) Between Prince and The Beach Boys, the Corvette is a much sung-about car. Tell us about your vehicle.It is a Plug-In Prius and right now I’m getting 65 mpg, on my last tankful I had 70 mpg.

5) In the 1980s, when Prince was popular, MTV could turn a song into a hit. In 2014, how do you hear new music?

6) In 1982, when "Little Red Corvette" ruled the airwaves, Braniff Airways shocked the travel industry and threw passengers into chaos by declaring bankruptcy. When did you last fly? Did your trip go smoothly?
That was back in 1999 and yes, the trip did go smoothly.

7) 1982 is also the year Disney opened Epcot. Have you ever been to a Disney park?
Nope. And I never care to go to an amusement park, we have two parks nearby. One is a Six Flags park and the other one is Lake Compounce that is owned by Kennywood Entertainment, it is the oldest, continuously-operating amusement park in North America, having its genesis more than 165 years ago in 1846!

8) 1982 is the year Cheers premiered. The sitcom was set in a bar where "everybody knows your name." Tell us about your favorite local bar or restaurant.
The Blue Lobster, it is nothing fancy just a lot of fried seafood and lobster rolls, but it is fresh and large helpings.

9) The 1980s were considered a highpoint in professional tennis, with Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe dominating the sport. Do you play tennis?
Nope! I can’t see chasing any ball around. This weekend is the Traveler’s PGA Tournament and everyone goes nuts.

Friday, June 20, 2014

I Have Said It Before…

…Don’t judge all the religions as the same.

The Presbyterians have just sanctioned same-sex marriage, according to the Detroit News,
Presbyterian Church votes to allow same-sex marriage
By Charles E. Ramirez
June 19, 2014

Detroit— The U.S. Presbyterian Church’s highest council Thursday voted to sanction same-sex marriage.
The assembly approved an amendment to the church constitution that would redefine marriage as between “two people” instead of “a man and a woman.” It also approved allowing its ministers to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in states where same-sex marriages are legal.

More than 650 of the church’s ruling and teaching elders voted on the issues. The elders were elected by presbyteries. There were also more than 200 advisory delegates who could speak and vote during committee meetings, but could only speak during the assembly’s plenary sessions.
They have already ordained transgender priests along with a number of other churches, last year the Huffington Post reported that,
There are several religious groups that have made broad efforts to welcome transgender people. Last year, the Episcopal Church voted to ordain transgender members, like the United Church of Christ, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Presbyterian Church (USA). Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the main rabbinical school in the Reform tradition, ordained its second transgender rabbi three years ago. In some denominations that don't have formal rules on transgender members, there are still individual churches with more liberal congregations that will ordain transgender people and initiate programs to welcome LGBT people.
So don’t use a broad brush to paint all religions.


We are starting to make inroads in to the arts, Laverne Cox, Candis Cayne, Harmony Santana, up and coming actress Michelle Hendley, and director Lana Wachowski. Amy Fox, can be added to the list, she is a transgender television producer in Vancouver Canada who is producing a comedy series with trans-actors.
Amy Fox's 'The Switch' May Start the Transgender TV Revolution
By Kat Haché
June 19, 2014

One person, Amy Fox, a transgender television producer in Vancouver, Canada, has been listening. She too sees issues of transgender representation in media as important, and she began to produce a comedy series in which all of the transgender characters will be portrayed by transgender actors, in the first show of its kind. In addition to portraying transgender characters as human, The Switch will cover topics relevant to the experiences of transgender individuals’ lives without making their existence the butt of the joke.
They are trying to raise funding for the show and hopefully they will be on the air next year.

A show about trans-people, directed and acted by trans-people, this proves that the talent is there and there should be no need to cast non-trans-people for trans roles.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mollies and Tommies

Another post on IFGE’s Facebook page caught my eye, this time about “Mollies.” Do you know about “Mollies and Tommies?”

They were in the 19th century and they were either trans-women/trans-men or gays/lesbians who dressed up as women or men the exact meaning is subject to debate.
Fanny and Stella: The two Victorian gentlemen who shocked England
Dangerous Minds
Posted by Paul Gallagher

Victorian England is sometimes thought a stuffy, sexually oppressive, puritanical world, where one did one’s duty, where children were seen and not heard, and table legs were covered to prevent lustful thoughts. But in truth, Victorian England was a world full of hypocrisy, where sex, poverty and crime were rampant.
Queen Victoria could just about believe that homosexual men existed, but didn’t believe there could ever be lesbians, as “Women do not do such things.” Of course, there was considerable sapphic sex in the olde queen’s day and long before, with women living together as couples. The most famous was John Ferren and Deborah Nolan, two women who married in 1747 and lived disguised as man and wife until Nolan died, and husband Ferren was revealed to be a woman. Many other women disguised themselves as boys and successfully served in the British army and navy, for example Hannah Snell (1723-92), Phoebe Hessel (1713-1821) and Mary Anne Talbot (1778-1808), who went from drummer boy to powder monkey.

But in Victorian times, one of the most infamous cases was that of “Miss Fanny Park” and “Miss Stella Boulton,” whose arrest and trial became one of the era’s most shocking episodes.

Misses Park and Boulton had been seen attending the Strand Theater in London, where they flirted with the men in the balcony. This pair of seemingly attractive Victorian women were in fact two men, Thomas Ernest Boulton (Fanny) and Frederick William Park (Stella).

From an early age, Boulton had identified as female and was encouraged to wear dresses. He formed a friendship with Park and the two became a theatrical double act, touring as Stella Clinton (or Mrs Graham) and Fanny Winifred Park to mainly favorable reviews. They also began frequenting houses and theaters while dressed in women’s clothing. A third man, Lord Arthur Clinton, a respected Liberal politician and godson to PM William Gladstone, became a lover/husband to Stella.
I think now we would call them trans-women, but back then they were called mollies.

In the paper “Bitches, Mollies, and Tommies: Bryon, Masculinity and the History of Sexualities” in the Journal of the History of Sexuality, D. S. Neff writes,
As the eighteenth century progressed, men who were formally known as "sodomites" became categorized as effeminate "Mollie," a term that had first been applied to female prostitutes. Edward Ward, writing in 1709 about "The Mollies Club" in London, observes that "there is a curious band of fellows in the town who call themselves "Mollies" (effeminates, weaklings), who are so totally destitute of all masculine attributes that they prefer to behave as women. They adopt all the small vanities natural to the feminine sex to such an extent that they try to speak, walk, chatter, shriek and scold as women do, aping them as well in other respects.
The women who lived as men were called Tommies, I think today we would call them trans-men and the mollies trans-women, although back then they were considered to be homosexuals.

Neil McKenna introduces Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England from Faber and Faber on Vimeo.

There was a writer, Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin who wrote as George Sands and lived occasionally as man. Whether she was trans or not is subject to debate, she was seen around Paris dressed as a man and smoking cigars which she claimed allowed her to enter men’s space for her books and the men’s clothes were cheaper than women’s clothes.

The movie “Impromptu” (is available on Amazon Prime) is about the life of George Sands,


I found this on the IFGE Facebook page…
Two rival TV helicopter pilots who covered OJ Simpson chase 20 years ago are now transgender women
Zoey Tur and Dana Vahle were competitors who have since become friends
18 June 2014
By Greg Hernandez

Capturing the action from the sky on the June day in 1994 were two male TV helicopter pilots and bitter rivals by the names of Bob Tur of CBS and Dirk Vahle of NBC.
They were two rivals who hated each other until about a year ago when after years of not seeing each other, they discovered that each was transgender and were now living life as women, according to the radio program Off-Ramp.
Wow, what are the odds?

But from what I have observed in the community is it seems like many of us go into “masculine” jobs either to hide or hope it will cure us. So I can see where this could happen; I know of two trans-people who are radio amateurs, they knew each other on the air, and they met accidentally at a support group meeting. Another trans-woman that I know who is into trains met someone that “he” knew though their mutual love of trains at a trans-conference.

But I do think the odds are small that both pilots that covered the “chase” are both trans.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yo-Yo Transition

Transition, detransition, retransition that is what Dawn Ennis did last week and according to some reports, ABC News fired her for 'performance-related issues' while other reports says she requested medical leave but was fired instead.

There are many trans-people who say that she is not trans or that she gives us a bad name, I say that this proves more than anything else that she has “gender dysphoria” which is a conflict between a person's physical gender and the gender he or she identifies as. She is struggling to find her gender identity, and there is no easy or right way to do it.

In the New Yorker she is quoted as saying,
"I am transgender," says an unequivocal Ennis now. "Yes, there was a time beginning in August 2013 that despite being female I opted to present publicly as male ... The reasons for this are complex and a source of great distress for both myself and for my family. Unfortunately, my change in presentation, and my later decision to publicly acknowledge that I had resumed my transition and to once again present as myself in the workplace, were almost immediately followed by meetings with corporate managers about the future of my employment with Disney/ABC." 
Part of the Standard of Care is that you have to live for a full year in your true gender before you can have surgery, there is a reason for that, and it is not just to make sure you are transsexual. It is also to see if you can handle the stresses of the transition and there is also no rule that you only get one shot at it.

For some people there is tremendous stress of not living in their true gender but at the same time there incredible societal pressure not to transition and this conflict creates even more stress. That is one reason why over 40 percent of trans-people attempted suicide sometime in their lives.

She goes on to say,
"The issues of gender identity and transgender rights are very much in the news right now, and I can understand that to most people, who have never questioned their gender, this must be confusing and even strange. Imagine then how hard it is then to be living it, and having to do so publicly," says Ennis. "I have urged friends who are activists in the transgender community to not make matters worse and to await the outcome of our negotiations."
So when I hear someone saying that Dawn Ennis is not transgender I hear that as a form of “lateral hostility” they are trying to separate her from “us” …I’m/we’re not like that, we are transgender she is not.

I Suppose Most Of You Have Heard…

That President Obama is going to sign an executive order barring discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity, the order is said to cover over 15 million federal contractors.
Obama stirs LGBT attendees at NYC gala
Washington Blade
June 17, 2014
By Chris Johnson

NEW YORK — President Obama stirred high-dollar LGBT donors at a Democratic National Committee gala in New York City on Tuesday by reminding them of the accomplishments over the course of his administration and saying more needs to be done.

Speaking onstage at Gotham Hall before an American flag, Obama received a prolonged standing ovation when he said he told his staff to prepare an executive order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT workers.
“Every day, millions of Americans go to work knowing that they could lose their job, not because of anything they did, but because of who they are,” Obama said. “That is not right; it is wrong.”
I think the key to the question “Why now?” is in the first sentence, “high-dollar LGBT donors” not that I’m cynical but as the fall mid-term elections draw closer I think it is a way to free up the big donors from Gay Inc. but I’ll take it no matter what the reason he did it.

Meanwhile the conservative press is screaming…
Obama order to grant special rights to gay, transgender employees of federal contractors
Life Site News
By Ben Johnson
June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 17, 2014 ( – President Obama will sign an executive order adding homosexuality and transgender status as a protected class for the employees of federal contractors, the White House has announced.
The Heritage Foundation warned that ENDA “tramples fundamental civil liberties,” “creates special privileges” for homosexuals and transgender people, and treats “moral convictions as if they were bigotry.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops has said, “ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct.”
Surprise, surprise!

I like the part “creates special privileges” it seem like that if you tell people that they have to treat everyone equally you are giving them special rights. Welcome to “1984” newspeak.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Now That Medicare And States…

… like Connecticut require coverage for our healthcare needs and private companies are including coverage for us we need to get the doctors onboard. The New York Times had an article about insurance coverage for us,
Under the Skin
The Next Fight for Transgender Insurance Equality
By Parker Marie Molloy
JUNE 12, 2014

But the decision is hardly a final triumph. Though thousands of people will now receive insurance coverage, many, many more will continue to be denied because of state-level restrictions on coverage. Indeed, only five states and the District of Columbia require that private insurance companies cover transition-specific care. Pushing the other 45 states to extend coverage is the next front in the struggle for insurance equality for transgender individuals.
The remaining states, however, largely argued that such procedures — including genital reconstructive surgeries, mastectomies and facial contouring procedures — are cosmetic in nature and therefore not eligible for coverage. In those states, transgender individuals have to pay out of their own pockets for these procedures, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
She goes on to say this about the cost of the healthcare,
In order to properly care for transgender individuals, surgical options must be made affordable and available. We need to stop fearing what we don’t understand, and push to end the anti-transgender stigma that empowers politicians and insurance companies to deny relatively inexpensive, lifesaving medical treatment. Medical science must trump public opinion, and we have both the knowledge and the power to help transgender people live happy and healthy lives.
I think the keyword is “affordable” because even though we have insurance many of the doctors do not accept insurance and are out of network and/or the insurance company only reimburses a fraction of the cost, the result is a large out-of-pocket costs for us that many of us cannot afford.

Last Night

I went to see the movie Gen Silent, the movie is a documentary about elder LGBT people in the Boston area and the fear of discrimination and their loneliness that they have. Many LGBT people faced discrimination all their lives and they worry that they will also face it in nursing homes by the staff and the residents. One story they tell is when a healthcare worker comes their house and instead of caring for the dying partner the healthcare worker came with a Bible to preach to them to overcome their sinful ways.

The movie also had a trans-woman who was dying of lung cancer and how the staff went above and beyond to help her fell not alone. The movie pointed out that many LGBT have no family support, that the family had estranged them when they came out in the 50s, 60s, and 70s when being LGBT was still illegal and there were witch-hunts to weed out the gays.

After the movie I was on a panel to talk about our thoughts on the movie. One of the points that I made was only had a trans-woman was pretty much integrated into society. That many trans-people cannot afford hormones or electrolysis but they still are women.

After the panel a woman came up to me tell how wonderful the panel was and the she learned a lot, that she would never have known that I was a man. I felt like bopping her on the head like they do on NCIS and asking were you listening for the last two hours? But a friend who is a nurse politely said that trans-women are women and you should use female pronouns.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Homophobia /Microaggression

The anatomy of a homophobic microaggression.

I was at a meeting of the local senior center photo club and I was showing sunset pictures. I was showing among others these two pictures and one of the members asked where they were and I said Fire Island, another member commented… “Oh, I would never go there!”

My response was to become defensive, a little puff of adrenalin we pumped into my blood stream. I knew what he was hinting at, Fire Island = GAY and my response was this is Fair Harbor by the National Seashore.

The day before I was giving culture competency training, one of the things that I have in my presentation is microagression and this is a perfect example of microagression.

First off he had no idea what he just did and the effect it had on me. He did it as a reaction to homophobia, he did it because he wanted it to be known that he would never go to “a place like that” meaning a place that is known as a gay beach. He did it to indicate that he disproved of anyone who went there (or at least that is how I read it).

The message that I got was that this was no longer a safe place, that at least one member is homophobic to some degree. I don’t think the other people in the room even picked up on his comment; they were focused on the photo.

I found this about microagression on a sociology websites,
Microagression: A New Way of Thinking About Racism

The concept of microaggressions redefines racism and makes room for racism, prejudice, and discrimination that is unintentional and/or subtle. “Microaggressions are subtle verbal and non-verbal insults directed at non-whites, often done automatically or unconsciously” (Solórzano et al. 2002, p. 17). We might think of microaggressions as everyday-racism. When someone locks their car door as a black man walks by the crosswalk in front of their car, that’s a microagression. When someone tells a Hispanic person, “You are so well spoken for a Mexican”, that’s a microagression.

Microaggressions are a new way of thinking about race and racism. Instead of seeing racism as something overt and intentional people do to harm other racial groups, microaggressions allow space for good, well intentioned people to say or do something hurtful that’s out of character.
Microagressions is like a window into our souls, we might never do anything that is overtly homophobic and we might not even thing we are homophobic but it is like locking our doors; he subconsciously locked his doors against gays.

I Guess They Got Me Pegged.

There is an article "Busting the Myths About Work in Retirement" on PBS Next Avenue, Where Grown-Ups Keep Growing about why retirees keep working; they list four types of retirees…

The importance of money, however, depended on which of the four camps the working retirees fell into:

Caring Contributors (33 percent) — Primarily women, they work to give back to their communities or to worthwhile causes, often at nonprofits and sometimes as unpaid volunteers. Many are in encore careers.

Earnest Earners (28 percent) — They need the income to pay the bills and are mostly unsatisfied with the work they’re doing.

Life Balancers (24 percent) — They care mostly about workplace friendships and social connections, but also need the money.

Driven Achievers (15 percent) — Mostly men, they’re Type A’s who feel at the top of their game; many are entrepreneurs.

Three in five of the working retirees said retirement gave them an opportunity to “transition to something new,” said Tyrie. Many are working for themselves and only 14 percent of them said it was because they couldn’t find any other work.

Yup, I’m the “Caring Contributors,” I volunteer at the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective two days a week and the work I do for CT TransAdvocacy Coalition. Also I’m one of the 60% who transitioned to a new career… from engineer to social work.

The article goes on to say that,

Hannon is a big believer that working in retirement (if you can) keeps you alive intellectually, financially and spiritually. Another plus: 83 percent of the working retirees said it makes them feel “more youthful.”