Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Girl Scouts Rock!

There is a big different, beside the obvious, between the girls scouts and the boy scouts. The girl scouts are inclusive while the boy scouts are exclusive.
Girl Scouts return $100,000 donation that ‘can’t be used to support transgender girls’
Pink News
By Naith Payton
June 30, 2015

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington returned a huge donation after being told it could not be used to support transgender children.

The gift of $100,000 (£63,630) would have been quarter of their annual fundraising goal and, naturally, a cause for celebration in the offices of the organisation.

But then they received a note from the donor, who they have not named, which said: “Please guarantee that our gift will not be used to support transgender girls. If you can’t, please return the money.”

Girl Scouts groups across the United States have come under fire for welcoming and supporting young transgender girls, but most have defiantly continued to do so.
So Ms Ferland returned the money. She told Seattle Met: “Girl Scouts is for every girl, and every girl should have the opportunity to be a Girl Scout if she wants to.
The donation was a sizable portion of the scouts budget. RAW Story reports that,
In an interview with Seattle Met, Ferland explained that her organization was thrilled when it received the gift representing a quarter of its annual fundraising because it could cover the cost of sending 500 girls to camp.
So they have set up an an Indiegogo fund to try to recover the $100,000 that they gave back.

This Has Been All Over Facebook.

Did you see this?
John Oliver blasts some of the most harmful myths about transgender people
By German Lopez
June 29, 2015

Last Week Tonight's John Oliver on Sunday walked through some of the basic misconceptions about transgender issues — and explained why it's so important to get these right.

Oliver pointed out that people still get many basic facts wrong about trans people — who identify as a gender different than the one assigned to them at birth — from what they should be called to how gender identity is related to sexual orientation. But getting these issues right is crucial: If people don't have the basics down, it's going to be impossible to tackle the bigger problems, including the enormous economic disparities and staggering suicide rates among trans communities.
Here is the video from the show that everyone is talking about…

Monday, June 29, 2015

An End And A Beginning

Graduation in 2011 at UConn
with my MSW
To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
T. S. Eliot
Seven years ago I had an ending and I had a beginning, most people only have one life to live, I have two.

I lived 58 years in one life and I have so far lived 7 years in my new life and in those seven years I have lived more than I had in the 58 years.

# # # # #

The mayor of Hartford and I at
the CLARO banquet

Okay so what have I noticed over the years?

Well this spring I realized that I can no longer remember what it felt like being a “man” I have a hard time looking back, it seems so strange. I cannot remember what it was like not to have breasts. I cannot remember what it was like to have body hair or shave every day.
Kristin Beck and I at
a brunch last month.
She was a member of
SEAL Team 6

My old name sounds strange, a few years ago I had no problem with answering the question about my old name during an outreach, now I avoid it saying that it is behind me and I want to look forward. I did a radio interview last week and before we went on the air we talked about what we would talk about on-air and one of the questions he asked was what was my former name. I told him that I didn't want to go there, that was my past and I rather look forward.

My dreams have changed... I am female in all of my dreams

And at the same time I realized that this is the future, I cannot see ever wanting to go back… it is just too strange to think about going back.

# # # # #

1974 backpacking in the Rocky
Mountain National Park with a friend

Also just about everyone who knows me doesn't know me from before I transition, they only know Diana. Some of my grandnieces were not born before I transitioned.

All my classmates, everyone from UConn, everyone from my activism only know me as Diana. All but four Facebook friends only know Diana.

A friend's modified production Camaro
at the CT Dragway
I went out with a woman a couple of summers ago and she has only known me as Diana.

My past is back on a shelf somewhere in a dusty corner that I bring out once in awhile and dust off.

I have been converting files from my first digital camera that uses some legacy extension and boy did that bring back strange memories. I used to hang out with a lot of gearheads and did a lot of backpacking, I liked the backpacking, but I wasn’t ever in to cars.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
starring Neil Patrick Harris
There was a lot of stuff that I did back then that I didn’t really like, friends used to come over and we would watch the Red Sox or Patriot games. And there are stuff that I still don’t like, such as going into a bar where I don’t know anyone.

There is stuff that I do now that I liked but no one wanted to do back then, like go to a play or out to dinner with friends. I have never been to a play until I transitioned and now I go to two or three plays a year. A lot of times we go out to dinner before the play. I have even been to a Broadway play!

Once before I came out to my friends I was at a party at one of their homes and we were talking about our cars. I mentioned that I have been putting 24,000 miles a year on my car and everyone chuckled because they thought that I just stayed in town and didn’t travel. But they didn’t know that I was driving all around the state visiting friends, going to plays in Hartford and New Haven.

Yes I have been lucky to have two beginnings.

A National Shame

All the news headline are about the Supreme Court decisions last week, but hidden on the inside pages is a national disgrace.
Six predominately black southern churches burn within a week with arson suspected in at least three
Washington Post
By Lindsey Bever
June 29, 2015

In the week after nine people were shot dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, six churches with predominately black congregations in five southern states have burned. Three of them were being investigated as arson.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working with local authorities to find those who set them.

“They’re being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them,” FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson told BuzzFeed News. “I’m not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point.”
In the week after nine people were shot dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina, six churches with predominately black congregations in five southern states have burned. Three of them were being investigated as arson.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working with local authorities to find those who set them.

“They’re being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them,” FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson told BuzzFeed News. “I’m not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that,
The series of fires – some of them suspicious and possible hate crimes — came in the week following a murderous rampage by a white supremacist who shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

The fires also occurred at a time when there is increasing public pressure to remove the Confederate flag – one of the last hallmarks of white superiority — from government buildings and public places as well as banning assorted Confederate flag merchandise sold in retails stores and online.
Those who are old enough to remember the civil rights marches from the fifties and sixties will remember the church fire and murders from that era and now they are returning.

When the hate mongers feel that are being backed into a corner they strike back the only way they know how, with murder and arson.

Update 1:00 PM
Warning strong language.

Racism is not dead in America, it has always been here.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

There Are Many Stories…

Of the Stonewall Uprising, the one I think is the closest is the article by Leslie Feinberg when Leslie interviewed Sylvia Rivera in 1989.
In 1969, the night of the Stonewall riot, was a very hot, muggy night. We were in the Stonewall [bar] and the lights came on. We all stopped dancing. The police came in.

They had gotten their payoff earlier in the week. But Inspector Pine came in-him and his morals squad-to spend more of the government's money.

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.
But many news accounts gaywash us out of history, PBS documentary “Stonewall Uprising” says,
The Stonewall Inn was not a fancy establishment -- even its regular customers described it as a dive. Operated by the Mafia, the bar served watered-down drinks without a liquor license. Its two dark rooms had no running water -- just a tub where the drinking glasses were rinsed for reuse. The Stonewall Inn was, however, one of the only places gay people in New York City could socialize, providing a rare haven where they could drink, dance to the jukebox, and be themselves.

Previous raids of the Stonewall Inn had resolved peacefully. Typically, after police made some arrests, the bar shut down, reopening for business just a few hours later. But the raid on June 28th was different: patrons at the Stonewall resisted arrest and the police quickly lost control of the situation. A crowd gathered on the street outside the Stonewall, forcing police to barricade themselves in the bar. Riot officers wearing helmets and armed with nightsticks descended on the scene. The violent protests and demonstrations that erupted that night continued for almost a week.
Nothing about drag queens or even lesbian, only “one of the only places gay people.” Yahoo News has an AP article about Stomewall Inn becoming a historic landmark and the articles says,
NEW YORK (AP) — The Stonewall Inn, the Greenwich Village bar where resistance to a police raid sparked the modern gay rights movement, was made a city landmark Tuesday, the first time a site has been named primarily because of its significance to the LGBT history.
Patrons fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969, and the street protests that followed for several days are credited with galvanizing gay activism in New York and globally. The rebellion is commemorated with annual gay pride parades in hundreds of cities.
Many people tell me I’m nitpicking that they are using “gay” to mean the whole LGBT community, but the thing is that many of the younger generation do not know that. They wrongfully believe it was just a “gay bar.”

When Congressman Barney Franks took out the coverage for trans people from ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) he said that he did it because we hadn’t paid our dues. That gays and lesbians have been protesting for forty years and the trans community just started to demand our rights. But in reality we were protesting even before Stonewall in places like Cooper's Donuts, Dewey’s Lunch Counter, and Compton’s Cafeteria. It was the drag queens who were being harassed by the police, many times they were checked to see if they had at least 3 items of male clothing on then as required by law.

Marriage Equality Is For Everyone

Many trans people do not think that marriage equality affects us, but it does.

In Kansas and Texas for marriage we were considered to be our birth gender and in other states we could only marry the opposite gender so now with the Supreme Court decision we can marry anyone we love.

One of the concerns we should have is that now marriage equality is a reality will the “Gay Inc.” stop financing LGBT civil rights? There still are states where gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or trans people can be fired if they announce their marriage to their boss, or thrown out of their apartment if the landlord finds out that they are married or refused service in a restaurant.

I worry that there will be no organizations to monitor the state legislatures to make sure there are no anti-LGBT legislation or amendments proposed.

They have tried it here in Connecticut with the introduction of a bill to strip us of our insurance coverage, it was only because we had a coalition already in place that we could muster support against the bill. What would have happened if there was no opposition to the bill. The co-chairs of the committee didn't have the slightest idea that this was a bad bill, they backed off once they realized what the bill would do to the trans community.

All it would take here in Connecticut is an amendment to expand religious exemptions to individuals and businesses to strip our protection and marriage rights.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Some Thoughts And Images

Now that the celebration has died down I some thoughts on the Supreme Court ruling yesterday.

We won a major victory but the battle is not over, right now the conservatives are looking for ways around the ruling, new laws to nullify the court decision, anyway to get out of recognizing same-sex marriage. Louisiana is rumored to stop writing marriage licenses while other states are trying to pass “Religious Freedom” laws. While in Congress there is talk of passing new laws banning marriage equality. So called “Family” associations are calling for new laws to renew the “Sanctity of Marriage.”

The Chief Justice Roberts saw it this way,
Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote.
The Constitution says nothing about a right to same-sex marriage, but the Court holds that the term “liberty” in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment encompasses this right. Our Nation was founded upon the principle that every person has the unalienable right to liberty, but liberty is a term of many meanings. For classical liberals, it may include economic rights now limited by government regulation. For social democrats, it may include the right to a variety of government benefits. For today’s majority, it has a distinctively postmodern meaning. To prevent five unelected Justices from imposing their personal vision of liberty upon the American people, the Court has held that “liberty” under the Due Process Clause should be understood to protect only those rights that are “‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’” … And it is beyond dispute that the right to same-sex marriage is not among those rights.
But the majority of justices didn’t see it that way. Justice Kennedy said…
The right of same-sex couples to marry that is part of the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment is derived, too, from that Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. The Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause are connected in a profound way, though they set forth independent principles. Rights implicit in liberty and rights secured by equal protection may rest on different precepts and are not always coextensive, yet in some instances each may be instructive as to the meaning and reach of the other. In any particular case one Clause may be thought to capture the essence of the right in a more accurate and comprehensive way, even as the two Clauses may converge in the identification and definition of the right.
Kennedy rightfully saw that by denying everyone the right to marriage violated the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment.

The courts do not make law, they interpret the law. We might not like the way they interpret it like the “Citizens United” ruling but they don’t make the law.

# # # # #

Yesterday I went to Hartford to the rally at Old State House, it was originally schedule as a Pride Rally but it turned into a celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage…
Hartford's Mayor Pedro E. Segarra at Connecticut's Old State House.

Crowd at the rally at the Old State House

Shawn Lang Director of Public Policy with AIDS Connecticut

Rev. Aaron Miller pastor of MCC Hartford

Anne Stanback Equality Federation and former Executive Director of Love Makes A Family

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo

State Senator Beth Bye

Mike Lawlor Office of Policy and Management, passed co-chair of the Judaical Committee

Saturday 9: I Miss You

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Miss You (1997)
... because Smellyann suggested it

Every Saturday I take time off from written on serious topics to have some fun…

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

1) In this song, Bjork knows what she's looking for in a mate, she just hasn't met him yet. If you are/were still looking for The One, what two qualities would you hope he/she possessed?
The number one quality is love and the number two quality is love.

2) The lyrics ask if you believe "that a dream can come true." Do you believe that dreams come true if you wish hard enough? 
No, dreams may come true but wishing has nothing to do with it.

3) Bjork turns 50 this year. Do you treat "milestone" birthdays differently? Or to you, is your age just a number?
It is just a number but the numbers are thank goodness keeping getting larger.

4) Bjork was always highly musical. At the tender age of 6 she began studying classical piano and flute. Sam is impressed because at the age of 6, she was still trying to master tying her shoes. Do you consider yourself musical?
I’m tone deaf. One of my tape records was running slow and everyone but me realized it.

5) She was born and raised in Reykjavik, Iceland. While the city is known for its bar scene, beer was banned there until 1995. How often do drink beer?
Once in a great while.

6) 66ºNORTH is one of Iceland's biggest employers. This clothier makes quality outdoor wear and this time of year they sell a lot of durable rainwear. Do you have a raincoat?
Yes, but it is too small. My stomach has expanded too much.

7) In 1997, when this song was popular in clubs, Titanic was popular in theaters. Sam saw it and yes, she cried. How about you? Have you seen the saga of Jack and Rose? Did you enjoy it?
I saw it in the movies when it first came out and I wasn’t impressed.

8) Also in 1997, singer John Denver died. Name a John Denver song.
Rocky Mountain High

9) Random question: If you had the opportunity to sky dive, would you take it?
No way! I get vertigo walking over a bridge.

I was up at the cottage last Saturday and missed Saturday 9, we had a number of electrical problems that had to be taken care of right away (Like no hot water).

Friday, June 26, 2015

I Hate To Say “I Told You So”

Back in December I said that I doubted New York State would pass GENDA and they didn’t.
TLDEF Denounces New York State Senate's Failure to PassGender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)

June 25, 2015 - TLDEF denounces the New York State Senate’s failure to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act. The bill would have added transgender people to New York’s hate crimes law and protected them from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. The bill was not brought up for a vote before the legislative session came to a close today, ending its chances for passage this session. The legislation has passed the New York State Assembly 8 times since it was first introduced 12 years ago, but the Senate has never voted on it. Governor Andrew Cuomo has voiced support for GENDA and promised to sign it into law if it ultimately passes.

The Democrats just don’t want to spend the political capital to get the bill passed.

# # # # #

I am heading to Hartford for the Pride Rally at the Old State House...
The first successive Lesbian and Gay Pride festival in Connecticut took place on the lawn of Hartford's Old State House on the afternoon of June 26, 1982.
Thirty-three years later, we will live out and proud by marking that day and recognizing June as Pride Month with a grassroots rally on Friday, June 26th at the Old State House.
Join us as we honor our history and look forward to the future. Make sure to stop by NIXS Hartford after for a wrap party where 100% of the door and all sales from their tasty Basil Margarita will go to support Hartford Capital City Pride.

HOLY S**T! Breaking News! Supreme Court Legalizes Marriage Equality!

The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of Marriage Equality!

Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage Nationwide

Huffington Post
Posted: 06/26/2015

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that it is legal for all Americans, no matter their gender or sexual orientation, to marry the people they love.

The decision is a historic victory for gay rights activists who have fought for years in the lower courts. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia already recognize marriage equality. The remaining 13 states ban these unions, even as public support has reached record levels nationwide.

The justices found that under the 14th Amendment, states must issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that were legally performed in other states.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the U.S. Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages, making marriage equality officially the law of the land.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

Kennedy was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – each of whom wrote their own dissents.
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the Court's "threat to American democracy."

Buries Along Side Of Yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling On Healthcare,

Was another court decision about housing discrimination…
Supreme Court upholds housing discrimination law
USA Today
By Richard Wolf and Brad Heath
June 25, 2015

WASHINGTON -- A deeply divided Supreme Court delivered an unexpected reprieve to civil rights groups on Thursday, ruling that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal.

The justices said people objecting to lending, zoning, sales and rental practices only need to show that they had a disparate impact on blacks or other minorities under a federal fair-housing law.

The court's 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, was an unlikely conclusion to a years-long effort by opponents of the civil rights-era law to reduce its effectiveness against housing policies and practices used by many builders, lenders and insurers. Twice before, the justices had agreed to hear a challenge to the law, only to see the cases withdrawn or settled before reaching court.

"The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act's continuing role in moving the nation toward a more integrated society," Kennedy wrote. 
Why is this important to us?

Because HUD has ruled that we are covered under the Fair Housing Act and the article goes on to say,
The difference between intent and impact is at the root of many civil rights laws, from education and employment to disability and voting rights. In most cases, showing that minorities are disproportionately affected is enough.

But while the court has ruled that some employment and age discrimination laws protect against disparate impact, those words were not included in the Fair Housing Act, passed in the wake of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. That left opponents hopeful the justices would limit violations to those shown to be intentionally discriminatory.
So this means that the discrimination doesn’t have to be overt. Supposed you rented an apartment before you changed your name and now you are paying your rent in your new name, this ruling might prevent your landlord from claiming you are violating your lease because their policy is that the rent must be paid by the lease holder.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

That Drip, Drip, Drip…

It is all the repeated little harassments that does it, tip a person over the edge.

The conservatives like to use the high suicide rate in the trans community against us saying, see look at them they are mentally unstable, an article in ThinkProgress looks at this,
No, High Suicide Rates Do Not Demonstrate That Transgender People Are Mentally Ill
By Zack Ford
June 22, 2015

Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the only medical professionals conservatives can ever find to support their anti-trans views, makes this point regularly. Walt Heyer, opponents’ “ex-transgender” poster child, makes this point regularly, as do his compatriots at The Federalist. A recent story in the New York Times about a transgender teen prompted the National Review and the Family Research Council to also reinforce the suicide rate meme. If transgender people are so susceptible to suicide, they all argue, then the best response is to reject transgender identities.

But none of the studies that demonstrate the high suicide rates among transgender people actually prove the point conservatives are trying to make. They actually all indicate that people who are transgender feel ostracized for their identity; their high suicide rates reflect rejection, discrimination, violence, harassment, and the negative life circumstances that result from such treatment.

For example, one study that has been cited frequently is a Swedish study from 2011. It found that people who had actually undergone sex reassignment surgery were 19 times more times likely to die by suicide. Opponents of trans equality have used this stat to suggest that no trans person should undergo such surgeries, fueling the myths about “transition regret.” But the study did not compare trans people who had gotten surgery to trans people who had not gotten surgery — it compared them to the general population of Sweden, people who are not transgender. Thus, none of its conclusions actually support the claim that there are consequences to transitioning. Furthermore, the mortality rate was only statistically significant for people who had surgery before 1989; for those who had their surgery between 1989 and 2003, the increased mortality for transgender people was not statistically significant.

A brand new study from Canada confirms this effect. There, the suicide attempt rate for transgender people was similar to what other studies have found: about 18 times higher than the general population. But the study found that some factors greatly reduced the attempt rate. For example, when transgender people had affirming parents, the rate dropped by 57 percent. Access to legal documentation consistent with their gender identity dropped rates by 44 percent. Trans people who experienced low levels of anti-trans hate were 66 percent less likely to attempt suicide. And perhaps most importantly, the further along individuals were in their transitions — i.e. the closer they were to having a body and outward identity that matched their internal gender identity — the less likely they were to attempt suicide.
I think the studies show that it is societal acceptance has a major part in suicidal ideology, when those in society are constantly telling you are no good, that you do not have a right to life, that you are worthless it is going to take its toll on us.

There were two high profiles of two trans people who committed suicide. One was a teacher who,
Her mom says Ross was a transgender woman, who was bullied by her co-workers for ten years.
And the other was a transgender military advocate,
A copy of the message posted on Shipps's Facebook wall provided to The Advocate indicates that she had felt particularly despondent recently after extended unemployment. She described being unable to afford basic necessities or transition-related medical care, as well as being hurt by social rejection, yet also recalled better times when one of her greatest joys was to make others smile and laugh.
It is society that is causing the high suicide rate, it is the little digs, the constant misgendering, the constant snickering behind our backs that takes it taxes our mental health.

Time And Place

Many might feel that this was not the time or place for protest, but it was effective. It brought national attention to the plight of trans immigrates being deported back to their home country where they face possible death and the conditions they face in detention.
Obama's Trans Heckler: 'I Just Had to Send a Message'A White House reception for Pride was interrupted by an undocumented transgender woman, claiming there can be no pride with trans immigrants facing daily abuse in detention centers.The Advocate
By Dawn Ennis
June 24, 2015

The protester, Jennicet Gutiérrez, is a transgender woman and undocumented immigrant, affiliated with the Not1MoreCampaign, which opposes the Obama adminstration’s deportation policies. She recently participated in a demonstration in Santa Ana, Calif., calling for the release of several trans women currently being held at the Immigrations and Custom Enforcement facility.

At the White House today, she called for an end to the deportation of LGBT immigrants, interrupting the president just moments after he began his 15-minute address.

Speaking to The Advocate by phone from Washington, D.C., Gutiérrez, a 29-year-old trans woman who lives in Los Angeles, said her outburst was unplanned when she initially attended the White House Pride reception with a spare ticket offered to her by a friend.

"[Obama] came out, started speaking and started to get into his speech on how wonderful everything is," Gutiérrez says. "And I couldn’t help but think about the conditions that my LGBTQ Latino/Latina, especially trans women of color, are facing in detention. So, to me, that was the moment I had to speak up. I had to raise awareness to the President and to everyone else watching that I’m not just going to celebrate, when my trans sisters are facing a lot of violence in the detention centers. [Trans women are facing] sexual and physical abuse, and I just had to send a message."
That is the problem; they are housed in the detention centers of their birth gender they are being raped and assaulted by the other detainees. They are unlike many of the other undocumented allies because seeking political asylum, there is a good chance that in their home country they will be attacked or killed because they are trans, or gay, or lesbian.

Just look at the list of those who are murdered on the TDOR website and see how many are from Central and South America.
“As a general rule, I am just fine with a few hecklers. But not when I am up in the house," said Obama as Gutiérrez was escorted out, earning chuckles from the audience. "My attitude is if you’re eating the hors d’oeuvres, you know what I’m saying? And drinking the booze? I know that’s right.” 
Was this the time or place to protest? It did bring her cause national attention and she isn’t the first to protest within the White House.

Update 2:30 PM
There is an Opinion article in the Advocate by Isa Noyola who is the Program Manager at Transgender Law Center,
Jennicet Gutiérrez is the first transgender person to publicly call out the president around immigration and the torture and rape transgender immigrants often experience inside detention centers. Gutiérrez was in a room full of national LGBT leaders who gathered to celebrate the many accomplishments of the movement. You would imagine this would be a place to feel seen, safe, and validated. That was not the case.
Her voice and visibility in that moment was shunned and shamed as inappropriate by a roomful of leaders who then applauded as the President lamented violence against transgender women of color, violence that his actions have contributed to by not taking action against the detention centers. Her voice is one of few transgender women of color immigrants who are bringing national visibility to this issue of the detention centers. Her voice carried the weight of the communities who are screaming inside detention centers demanding to be freed. Her voice was heard and ridiculed by many who claim to fight for transgender communities and also are involved in LGBT immigrant rights issues.

There is a line in the sand being drawn. Transgender communities have been thrust into the media spotlight, and been asked about our bodies, lovers, histories, and how we see ourselves. The moment we start to engage and raise questions around the state’s transphobic violence, our LGBT community leaders turn their backs and proceed to silence us. Transgender leaders are receiving the message that we are only mere tokens, bodies for entertainment, and accessories to make the spaces of organizing diverse and give the illusion of unity.
She wasn’t the first to protest in the White House and she will not be the last to speak out there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I was just driving down the Ave, windows down on this beautiful summer night radio set to SiriusXM channel 26, Classic Rock of the 60s and 70s when the Animals “House of the Rising Sun” came on the radio. I was transported back to the late sixties, it was the weirdest feeling. Nothing has changed in sixty years, the underpass, Dairy Queen, the fire station, the Depot Bar and Grill, the feed and grain store, it’s all there. We used to hang out at McDonalds up on the pike and I used to drive the same route back home. We had a name for it, “Cruising the Ave,” checking out to see who was at one of the bars along the way. The more things change, the more they stay the same

This Article Reminded Me…

… of a book that I read when I was first sticking my toe out the door to see which way the wind was blowing.
Transgender beauty queen set to marry multi-millionaire Arab boyfriend who spent £50,000 on her surgery 
  • Tiffany-Rose Davies lives as a woman after being born a male called Niall
  • She is in a relationship with a wealthy Arab property developer from Dubai
  • Says he is willing to pay the £50,000 needed for her sex change surgery
  • Adds that the pair will get married and move to Duabi once she becomes a woman 
Daily Mail
By Jennifer Newton
PUBLISHED: 21 June 2015

A transgender beauty queen is set to marry her wealthy Arab property developer boyfriend who is splashing out £50,000 on her sex-change surgery.

Tiffany-Rose Davies, 23, was born a male called Niall, and considers herself female although she is yet to undergo gender reassignment surgery.

Her partner, who she only calls Yaser, is now forking out the cash needed for her to have the operation, along with cosmetic surgery so he can marry her as a female.

They plan to tie the knot next year and set up a home together in Dubai after the surgery.

This reminded me of the actress Caroline 'Tula' Cossey who went to an Arab country and was virtually held a prisoner there. I had read the Playboy article about her and bought her book “My Story” and then low and behold what pops up on the news feeds…
Caroline 'Tula' Cossey, Who Became Playboy's First Transgender Model, Looks Back
The Huffington Post
By Curtis M. Wong
Posted: 06/23/2015

Caroline “Tula” Cossey, who became the world's first transgender model to pose for Playboy magazine in 1991, opens up in her first media interview in two decades for the publication.

In the 1970s, the British-born Cossey appeared in issues of Australian Vogue and Harper's Bazaar before landing a role in the 1981 James Bond film, “For Your Eyes Only.” Shortly after the movie's release, however, she was outed as transgender by the tabloid News of the World.

Although she opened up about her transition in interviews with Howard Stern and Arsenio Hall, Cossey, now 60, eventually walked away from the spotlight and now lives a relatively quiet life in Atlanta. "There’s a difference between being known as Tula the transsexual international model versus just a successful model," she tells Playboy's Shane Michael Singh in the July and August issue of the magazine. "It wasn’t the same. I felt like a circus act."

Playboy officials say Cossey remains the only transgender model to receive a full spread in the magazine's pages. Another trans model, Ines Rau, appeared in the magazine's May 2014 issue, but hers was not a complete pictorial.
The Huffington Post article had a link to the Playboy article,
By Shane Michael Singh
JUNE 22, 2015

Before Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer, before Laverne Cox earned an Emmy nod for Orange Is the New Black and before President Barack Obama appointed the first transgender woman to a senior government position, there was Tula. A striking six-foot-tall British model whose face graced magazine covers and popped up in national ad campaigns for vodka and lingerie in the 1970s, Caroline “Tula” Cossey never yearned to be more than a working model and, someday, a wife. But when her enormous success as a model backfired into public hysteria, she had decisions to make. She could stand and fight, or she could run away. She chose to fight. In the wake of it all, Tula would become the first of many things, much to her surprise.

In June 1981, Tula debuted as a Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only. To promote the film, she, along with the film’s other Bond girls, appeared in a Playboy pictorial, images from which appear in these pages. Tula’s career was soaring. Life was good. But everything changed the following year. The British tabloid News of the World revealed Tula’s secret in a single headline: JAMES BOND GIRL WAS A BOY.
I remember going to buy the Playboy issue and I was so scared that everyone would know why I was buying that issue. I felt like there were big neon signs pointing to me… “Transsexual!”

And it was even worst for me when I went to buy her book, a book about a “transsexual” I was trying to be inconspicuous as possible looking for the book in book stores. If a clerk as to help I turned them the help down, I couldn’t tell them the book I was looking for. I finally found a copy in a chain book store so I went to another store a couple of towns away to buy their last copy, the clerk smiled at me! She knows! She knows! OMG she knows why I want to buy the book!

Ah, the good ol’ days,

This Is What I Have Been Saying…

As we start having trans actresses and actors playing trans parts we need to have them playing non-trans parts.
When will we start seeing transgender actors in non-trans roles?
New York post
By Eric Hegedus
June 22, 2015

Transgender actress Nicole Maines makes her acting debut Tuesday night as a transgender character on USA’s “Royal Pains.”

The 17-year-old joins a growing list of trans actors who are finally landing TV roles that previously might have gone to non-trans performers.

While opportunities are exploding for transgender performers like Laverne Cox (“Orange Is the New Black”), Alexandra Billings (“Transparent”), Jamie Clayton (“Sense8”), Tom Phelan (“The Fosters”) and Candis Cayne (“Elementary”), it’s fair to ask if trans-identifying actors and actresses are being typecast.

“Based on the evidence, and the fact that I can’t think of more than two times that I have seen out transgender actors playing non-transgender roles, then I would say yes,” says Nick Adams, the director of transgender media for the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD.
I don’t think there can even be a debate, when trans actors do get a part it more than likely be a part of a transgender person.
But Billings — who plays Davina, a friend of Jeffrey Tambor’s transitioning character Maura on Amazon’s “Transparent” — says that seeking out cisgender roles is not a priority for her.

“I could play a housewife with three kids, but it will not remove the fact that I am transgender from my performance. I have always embraced and loved it,” says Billings, who has appeared on shows including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Eli Stone” and “ER.”
I think she is looking at it the wrong way, it is not that “it will not remove the fact that I am transgender from my performance” but rather that being trans is not the focal point of the character. It is that we are more than just “transgender” we are multidimensional, our lives do not revolve being transgender.
When Billings auditioned for a play 30 years ago, she says she didn’t get the part because the casting director said the audience would be focused less on the play and more on her as a trans actress.

Lines are still drawn in the sand, she says, noting that a trans performer “can’t rock the boat” by having a love scene with a straight, opposite-sex actor.
That is true in part. There are some parts that it would “rock the boat” for example if there was a sex scene it could change the nature of the scene, but if the part was of a “a housewife with three kids” why couldn’t a trans person play the part? Say in a cop show the police are interviewing a housewife why couldn’t it be a trans person?

Just like many parts some are gender or race specific while others not, the same is trans for trans actresses and actors.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Death And Taxes

Well this post doesn’t have anything to do with taxes, just death. When we die a death certificate is issued and it lists our gender.
California Gives Transgender People Right to Determine Sex Listed on Death CertificateKQED
By April Dembosky
June 22, 2015

In July, California will become the first state in the country to allow transgender individuals to have their gender identity listed on their death certificate.

Christopher Lee is the Bay Area man who inspired the law. Forty-eight when he died in Oakland in 2012, his friends took great care to explain to the coroner that Lee was transgender — born female, but living his entire adult life as a man. They submitted his driver’s license, which indicated Lee’s sex with a capital M.

But when the death certificate came back, Christopher was listed as Kristina. Sex: female.

“It felt like spitting on his grave,” said Lee’s close friend, Maya Scott-Chung. “When they put RIP on people’s tombstones, it’s rest in peace. And I just felt like Christopher’s spirit will not rest in peace with a death certificate that says female.”
It is the final insult for us, one we cannot fight on our own, we must count on our next of kin to do the right thing. The new California law will make that easier.
“There’s no statutory or regulatory guidance on whether sex should be listed according to the deceased’s gender identity or the anatomy,” Atkins said. “The lack of guidance can create complications when friends and family disagree about the deceased’s gender.”

Under current law, family members have the final say over how sex is noted on the death certificate. The new bill would require coroners and funeral directors to record the person’s gender identify rather than sex. And when there’s a dispute, a driver’s license or other legal document trumps family opinion.
This is something that we’re looking into here in Connecticut. There is no regulation just like in California and our legal minds said that it “should” follow the gender on the birth certificate. We will be keeping a eye out to see if it does follow the birth certificate.

Trans In Politics

Another trans person is running for office, this time it is Kristin Beck who is running for a seat in the House.
Kristin Beck: The transgender former Navy SEAL running for the US Congress
The Independent
Ben Terris
June 23, 2015

The first thing Lawrence Shaw noticed about the congressional candidate in his driveway were the medals — a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with a “V” for valor, and a Joint Service Commendation decoration — clipped to her blazer.

“Are you retired military?” Shaw asked, taking a break from his lawn work to walk over to the broad-shouldered woman.

“Yeah, 20 years, Navy SEAL,” Kristin Beck said. She brushed back her long blond hair and showed him the silver pendant on her necklace, an eagle clutching a trident, anchor and pistol.

“Wow, I didn’t know there was a woman SEAL. That’s amazing,” said Shaw, a retired Army colonel.

“I’m the first one,” Beck said. What she didn’t say was that at the time of her service, she was Christopher Beck.

She didn’t think she needed to mention it. Two years ago, Beck publicly came out as a woman, but by her account she still “looks like a dude in a dress.” Even on a day when she was wearing jeans and a black jacket with white trim.
She will have a hard time defeating the second-most-powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives and making it even tougher she doesn’t have the backing of the party. But she is not shy of battles.

She didn’t have an easy time in the military; she didn’t earn those metals for nothing,
Years of wear and tear have destroyed the disks in her spine. Her knee aches from a hard parachute landing in Afghanistan. Her ribs still throb years after she fell off the roof of a hut, and her arm is still scarred from the time a rocket exploded beside her, a present from the Taliban on her 42nd birthday.
Her house is a museum exhibit of her life. Twenty-nine medals from her years of service hang in a glass encasement by the window — an acknowledgment of hundreds of clandestine missions and dozens of captures and kills. Her abstract paintings of wild seascapes scatter the shelves with quotes scrawled on the back: “Even Heroes Rust and Break.” There’s a photograph in her kitchen from her SEAL days of a bushy-bearded Christopher. To blend in with the mujahideen, Christopher wore a wool Pashtun cap and a baggy brown vest. A disguise upon a disguise.
When I met her late last month at a brunch, she was walking with a limp.

I think that her campaign is going to be rough,
Beck is a complicated personality. She makes a living giving speeches about her journey to self-acceptance but doesn’t want to be thought of as a “transgender candidate.” Sometimes, she’s okay with the term “trans”; other times, she asks to be referred to by the Native American term “two-spirited.” She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, manifested by sleep problems and a tendency to repeat herself. She gripes that Hillary Rodham Clinton may have lifted the term “everyday Americans” from her campaign. On a number of occasions, she asks not to be called a hero, even when no one has done so.
I wish her the best of luck with her campaign for Congress.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Some Good News – American Airlines

In a world of corporate greed it is nice to see a company stand up to bigotry. (Of course they’re probably figuring that it is good for their bottom line.)
This Is How American Airlines Responded When A Passenger Got Upset Over Their New Rainbow Flag LogoBuzzFeed
By Ryan Broderick
June 15, 2015

Nathan Lorick, the director of evangelism for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, mentioned American Airlines in a tweet Sunday night, complaining about the airline’s frequent delays.

Flying on @ AmericanAir without a delay is highly unlikely...Always delayed.. One reason I have not flown with them nearly as much this year!
— NathanLorick (@ Nathan Lorick)
Then when AA reply with this tweet with the AA Pride logo…
@ NathanLorick We're sorry for the delay, Nathan. We see that you are on your way and we'll have you home shortly.
Mr Lorick noticed the Pride logo and asked what is with the Pride logo, AA reply was…
@ NathanLorick June is pride month across the globe and we are proud to support the LGBT community and its allies.
And Mr. Lorick replied…
@ AmericanAir Seems like a poor choice from a company that certainly has many customers who do not agree with that lifestyle! # disappointed
AA made this reply…
@ NathanLorick We're sorry for your disappointment.
Simple but elegant.

Another small step towards equality, but it is a step. Hopefully other companies will follow the companies that stood up to Illinois and other state “Religious Freedom” bills and start to realizes that there is more than the bottom line (I know that is only a dream).  

Some Good News - IBM

In a world of corporate greed it is nice to see a company stand up to bigotry. (Of course they’re probably figuring the it is good for their bottom line.)
IBM Punishes Louisiana For Governor’s Anti-Gay Executive Order
By Zack Ford
June 21, 2015

When Louisiana state lawmakers were considering the so-called “Marriage and Conscience Act,” a bill that would have provided “religious liberty” protections for anybody who discriminates against same-sex couples, they didn’t see the same kind of national backlash as Indiana did when it considered a similar pro-discrimination bill earlier this year. But one company, IBM, made it clear that it opposed the bill. Though the legislation failed last month, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who is expected to announce his candidacy for president this week, implemented the reforms through executive order instead. Now, IBM is firing back.

For months, a ribbon-cutting had been scheduled for Monday, June 22, to open IBM’s new National Service Center in Baton Rouge. It would have featured many city leaders, including Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District. There was a rumor when Jindal issued his executive order that IBM might cancel the event in protest, and this week, the company quietly took it off the schedule. If there is be any event celebrating the opening of the new center, which will bring 800 tech jobs to the state and is already stimulating downtown business with its current 200 employees, it won’t be until the fall.
It is only a small token step, but it is a step. Hopefully they might not bring all the jobs they were planning on bring down to Louisiana. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Two Amazing Stories This Sunday: Part 2

We are constantly hearing how we are damn and going to hell but not every religious thinks that way and some of them that don’t may surprise you,
'As a Christian, I am Sorry:' Evangelical Pastor's Reflections on Attending First Pride Parade
By Adam Phillips
June 17, 2015

This year I was invited to attend my first ever Pride Parade. Our friend Robin invited us to join her church on their “float” and march the hour-long parade route together. Robin’s church has been nothing but inclusive of us these past four months. You see, our one-year old new church plant was kicked out of our parent denomination because of our convictions on including the LGBTQ community.
What I did not realize, however, was the overwhelming sense of inclusion I would experience, along Portland’s downtown streets and waterfront.
You see: for the longest time I would not be allowed to communicate such sentiment, for fear of the picture being posted on social media. That’s how intense the fear was for me in my former denomination and so many of my friends and colleagues who remain. Better to let these things lie unsaid, church leaders would tell us. We were not allowed to preside over same-sex weddings, for one, even though many of us either affirmed or secretly presided over them for years. You wouldn’t want a photo of you attending such a gay-affirming event to pop up on Facebook for fear of losing your job. Marching around with an apology on my chest at the Pride Parade? Well, that was the most unfathomable thing of all.

But those fears were meaningless to me now. We had already lost everything: two years of funding, friends, our faith family support system. Best to move forward, step by step, and see what this brave new world had to offer.
There are people of faith who support LGBT people so don’t paint all religions with a board brush, you might be painting an ally.

This Friday at 5:00 PM there will be a Pride Rally at the Old State House in Hartford, come and join us.

Two Amazing Stories This Sunday: Part 1

We are constantly hearing how we are damn and going to hell but not every religious thinks that way and some of them that don’t may surprise you,
The Road to Pride: Supporting My Transgender Daughter
My Jewish Learning
By Britt Rubenstein

My newly turned 12-year-old child walks into the room trembling and crying.

This is going to be huge. I wondered if I was going to be able to handle what my child was about to tell me.

To quote my child, “Transitioning [from male to female] is not a choice, it is a necessity.
To quote myself, “Support is not a choice, it is a necessity.

People tell me when they watch my daughter on TV or see me talk about her that they could never be like us. Please don’t be fooled when you see us now. My husband Stuart, my oldest child Eli, and my soon-to-be daughter, had cried ourselves to sleep at night. We spent many hours in therapy and support group sessions. We got a little feisty with one another from the stress. The first seven months were the worst, and we hit a low point.
During the first year, we cancelled the Bar Mitzvah that was fast approaching. This was a huge loss for us, because we did not think we could get her to do a Bat Mitzvah. She spent a great deal of time being angry with God. As happiness set in, confidence continued to grow, and support continued to flow from our Jewish community, Lily announced that it was time to start scheduling her Bat Mitzvah.

Two years after my child told us she was transgender, she would chart new territory for our congregation. Lily led Shabbat services, read from our Holocaust Torah, and took her place as an adult woman in our Jewish community.
What can I add? This is a loving family and a loving congregation.

Friday, June 19, 2015

This Is Amazing! Did You Ever Think…

Did you ever think there would be a Pride night at a major sporting event? Did you would hear a trans person sign the national anthem at a major league baseball game?
From Homeless to the High Notes, and Now a Home Run
Opera singer Breanna Sinclairé becomes the first transgender woman to sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event. 
By Brian Schaffer
June 17, 2015

Breanna Sinclairé is not much of a sports fan but tonight she’s attending her first Oakland A’s game, and, at least at the beginning, all eyes will be on her. Sinclairé, a San Francisco-based opera singer, will ring in the game by singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" in her powerful soprano, becoming the first transgender woman to sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event, according to the singer. “We wanted to promote the theme of inclusion throughout the night, and the anthem is an important part of that,” the team told Out in a statement.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” Sinclairé admits, noting that it is by far the largest crowd she has performed in front of — not even counting the vast TV audience. “But I love what I do and I’ve been trained to do this. It’s a blessing.” The honor is also something of a peak ascent for the 25-year-old, who has traversed a number of dark valleys on her journey to becoming a professional singer.
Did you catch the other facet of this story? That she is also an opera singer. In an article on Breitbart Sports about her it says,
Sinclairé, a classically-trained opera singer, took to the mound at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum to belt out the Star-Spangled Banner before the A’s faced off against the San Diego Padres in the first game of a two game series.

“It means a lot. I feel very honored,” Sinclairé told the Associated Press of the experience. “I used to be homeless in New York City. I think from being homeless to getting my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree to this, it’s just kind of mesmerizing to me to have such a group of people that support me and love me and want to see me succeed. I’m so thankful for them.”
As more trans people make the news we are finding so many amazing people are transgender. The unsung heroes who transition and then move on with their lives, the engineers, the servicemembers, the carpenters and so many more trans people who are not in the spotlight but are just being themselves. Yes, there still are way too many who are being discriminated and we must work to make sure that they can succeed in life.

This afternoon I am giving training at a state agency so that they can have better idea what we are facing every day.

Hate Is A Cancer

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I just don’t understand why people hate. Why do people hate those who are different from themselves? Why do some people hate other for where they were born? Why do people hate the color of people’s skin? Why do some trans people hate other trans people just because they didn’t have surgery or they don't pass or they crossdress?

There are people who I don’t like but I don’t hate them, there are people who did me wrong and I
don’t hate them. Hate is harmful to your health, research show that hate affects your heart and causes many other health problems. Life is too short to hate people, get out there and see the wonders of our planet, get out and enjoy a play or movie. Laugh. Smile.

You know we all live on this small blue marbled sphere for a short time and we all have to get along together, do not let the cancer spread.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


If I did a study to see if drinking coffee lead to a life of crime and I studied only prisoners who drank coffee and then said that it was true you would be laugh at. But suppose you studied only trans people from a gay bar and said that all trans people are autogynephilic, you would become famous.

The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism author J. Michael Bailey is at it again, this time he is analyzing Caitlyn Jenner, in two articles on Pathoes, “What Kind of Woman is Caitlyn Jenner? Part One of a Q&A on Autogynephilia with Michael Bailey” and part two.

In his book Bailey states that the book is not based on research but only observations but then the book is used by others as research. His research was not peer-reviewed nor did he go before any Institute Review Board (IRB).* His subjects were recruited by word of mouth or it is otherwise known as “the snowball method, there was no control group, but from this “research” came the theory of Autogynephilia.

If you are not familiar with it, it is basically trans women being aroused of the image of themselves as a woman and he developed a series of questions that he asked the trans women from his “research”. As I said there was no control group, there was no validation of his instrument (the survey). So he asked these trans women that he meet at a gay bar to take this survey, and low and behold they said that they did get aroused of the image of themselves as a woman. Q.E.D. all trans women are aroused of the image of themselves as a woman.

Then came along Charles Moser who asked himself what would the results be if he asked women if they are aroused of the image of themselves as a woman. Guess what he found when he asked women at the hospital where he worked?
A questionnaire which included the ASW was distributed to a sample of 51 professional women employed at an urban hospital, 29 completed questionnaires were returned for analysis.  By the common definition of ever having erotic arousal to the thought or image of oneself as a woman, 93% of the respondents would be classified as autogynephilic.  Using a more rigorous definition of “frequent” arousal to multiple items, 28% would be classified as autogynephilic.  The implications of these findings are discussed concerning the sexuality of women and the meaning of autogynephilia for MTFs.
Wow! Imagine that, women are aroused of the image of themselves as a woman! I would bet that if you asked men if they aroused of the image of themselves as a man they would say yes. I think it is part of human nature to think of ourselves as sexy beautiful not as short dumpy overweight man or woman, therefore if a trans woman fantasies as a woman are they not expressing their true gender?

Julia M. Serano in the article The Case Against Autogynephilia1 in the International Journal of Transgenderism said,
Two of these papers provide evidence that there are two classes of transsexuals—androphilic [Androphilic to describe people who are exclusively attracted to men, and gynephilic to describe people exclusively attracted to women.] and nonandrophilic (Blanchard, 1985; Blanchard, 1988). In the third, he developed the Core Autogynephilia and Autogynephilic Interpersonal Fantasy scales (which measure various aspects of cross-gender arousal) and showed that the nonandrophilic group scored significantly higher on these tests than the androphilic group (Blanchard, 1989b). The experiments found in these three papers were conducted in the 1980s on the same, or largely overlapping, populations (i.e., clients at the Clarke Institute). Wyndzen (2003) has pointed out numerous shortcomings of this work; these, in part, include (a) that Blanchard’s subtypes were not empirically derived but rather stemmed from his initial grouping of individuals based on their sexual orientation, thus, “begging the question” that transsexuals fall into subtypes based on their sexual orientation; (b) that he did not include nontranssexual female control groups; (c) that Blanchard relied exclusively on clinical samples that may not accurately reflect the greater nonclinical transgender population (c.f., Hooker, 1957); and (d) that his results had not been replicated. Indeed, Blanchard himself described his results as “provisional” and stated that “the present findings, therefore, need replication” (Blanchard, 1989b, p. 620).
The paper goes on to state,
While early explorations of feminine clothing and thoughts of female embodiment may be highly arousing (perhaps related to the sexual symbolism associated with femaleness and femininity in our culture), this sexual charge wanes for many MtF cross-dressers and pretransition transsexuals as they begin to interact socially in the feminine role, to develop a conscious female identity, and/or to view their transgender inclinations as authentic and nothing to be ashamed of (Doorn et al., 1994; Serano, 2007).
It is farmore parsimonious to suggest that cross-gender arousal is an effect of, or merely correlates with, MtF transgenderism (especially in its earliest stages) rather than being its cause.

The third and perhaps most damaging finding for the presumption of causality is that many nonandrophilic MtF individuals report that they experienced an awareness of wanting to be female long before they ever experienced crossgender arousal.
Together, these findings indicate that cross-gender arousal does not cause transsexualism or cross-gender expression in the majority of nonandrophilic MtF individuals.
But their theory of Autogynephilia almost made it into the DSM even though it is based on pseudoscience.

*All human subject research projects must go before a board to see if their research will not harm anyone. I had to go before an IRB when we were studying the trans community about AIDS/HIV a few years ago.

1. Julia M. Serano (2010) The Case Against Autogynephilia, International Journal of Transgenderism, 12:3,176-187, DOI: 10.1080/15532739.2010.514223

Another Trans Actress Gets A Job.

Slowly trans actresses and actors are starting to get acting jobs.
Transgender Maine teen making her TV acting debut
Nicole Maines, who won a rights case in 2014, will appear in an episode of 'Royal Pains' on Tuesday.
Portland Press
June 18, 2015

Nicole Maines, the state’s best-known transgender teen, will make her acting debut next week on national television.

E!News reported Wednesday that the 17-year-old high school senior will appear in an episode of “Royal Pains” at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

In the episode, which airs on the USA network, Maines will play Anna, a transgender teenage choreographer whose hormones may be endangering her health.
“Playing Anna on Royal Pains was an incredible experience and the amount of warmth and encouragement that I received from the cast and crew was so unexpected, but welcome,” Maines said in a statement. “Everyone’s words were so supportive and kind and they made me feel part of the cast immediately, and made my very first television acting experience a pleasure – one I will remember forever.”
Just Monday I wrote about how trans actresses and actors are being hired in record numbers and now Ms. Maines gets a spot on a television show.

Now if only trans actresses and actors start getting parts that are not trans.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why Are They Being Denied Entry?

When one has been invited to come to the U.S. to speak on human rights violation by the country where you live, you would think that they probably have had run in with the police in their country.
Three Central American trans advocates denied U.S. visas
Washington Blade
By Michael K. Lavers
June 16, 2015

LGBT rights advocates have criticized the U.S. over the denial of visas to three transgender women who were invited to attend the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Washington this week.
Aldo Fernández Turitich of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Trans People, known by the Spanish acronym REDLACTRANS, told the Washington Blade during a June 12 interview at the Northwest D.C. offices of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights that three of his colleagues were unable to receive visas from American officials in Guatemala, El Salvador and Panamá. He identified them as Stacy Vásquez Velásquez, Ambar Alvarado Alfaro and Mixair Nolasco
Stacy Vásquez Velásquez said that during her interview at the U.S. embassy,
She said the woman with whom she spoke repeatedly asked her about unresolved “problems with the police” that she said she had in her native El Salvador before moving to Guatemala a decade ago where she is now a legal resident. The advocate maintains Salvadoran police arrested her “arbitrarily” in a market while she and a friend were walking through it.

“She was detained and then released,” Marcelo Ernesto Ferreyra of Heartland Alliance told the Blade. “She now lives in Guatemala, and there have been no problems in that respect.” 
And Ambar Alvarado Alfaro said this about her interview,
Ferreyra said Alvarado’s neighbor called the police after speaking with her about some “private issues.” He said officers “stopped her as they usually do with trans people and then released her, without bringing any criminal charges against her.”
She said they asked her a series of questions about her interactions with the police. Alvarado said a female embassy staffer with whom she spoke used male pronouns to refer to her because the documents she brought with her had “the name that her parents gave her”
While Mixair Nolasco reported similar experiences when she went to the embassy in Panama, the official there didn’t want to see any of her documentation.

So the U.S. officials have effectively shut out anyone from talking about human rights violations in Central American countries.

Oh Boy!

It seems like we are turning up everywhere and some not too great places.
Big Brother US gets first out transgender contestant
Pink News
By Joseph Patrick McCormick
June 15, 2015

Audrey Middleton, from a small town in Georgia, will look to repeat the success of out trans Big Brother UK contestant Nadia Almada, who won the fifth season here.

Middleton, who was open about her identity on her application, calls herself a “superfan” of Big Brother, is a former competitive swimmer and MMA ring girl.

The 25-year-old digital media consultant says in her bio that she “loves to get dressed up and look fabulous head-to-toe, but also isn’t afraid to get dirty.”
“It is customary for ‘Big Brother’ houseguests to share personal news inside the house, and Audrey plans to discuss her story with the houseguests in her own words during the premiere episode on Wednesday, June 24.”
I think I can guess why they pick her, I am afraid that they are going to make a circus around her, lots of drama.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Thought That We Were Beyond This

There is one person who we put our lives in their hands and that person is our doctor. We count on their skills and good will to keep us alive and when that trust is not justified we can literally die.

When I first came out, I saw the movie “Southern Comfort” about Robert Eads, a trans man who died of ovarian cancer in rural Georgia because he couldn’t find a doctor to treat him and I always wondered why did he come north to get treatment. I figured it was only southern doctors who wouldn’t treat him, I was wrong.
This Trans Man's Breast Cancer Nightmare Exemplifies The Problem With Transgender Health Care
HuffPost Live
By Ryan Buxton
Posted: 06/15/2015

Jay Kallio is a transgender man who lived through a healthcare nightmare he hopes no other trans person will ever have to face, and he shared the painful story with HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd last week.

It began when Kallio found a lump on his breast just three months after a mammogram. He had a second mammogram, then a biopsy and, when weeks went by without receiving any test results, he just assumed everything was fine. That changed when he suddenly got a phone call from the doctor who performed his biopsy -- and who was not his primary physician.

"She said to me, 'Hi, I was just curious how you were doing with your diagnosis.' And I said, 'What diagnosis?' She she sort of spurted, '[Your doctor] hasn't called you yet?'" Kallio remembered.
And what did his doctor have to say…
"The first thing [the doctor] said was, 'I have a real problem with your transgender status.' And he said, 'When I found out you were transgender, the first thing I wanted to do, my first impulse was to send you to psychiatry,'" Kallio said. "So this is what a breast surgeon wanted to do with my breast cancer, is first send me to psychiatry."

After a long struggle, Kallio eventually did find a "very welcoming" surgeon to help him, and the procedure also accomplished something Kallio had never been able to do because of his low income.
I worry about his because you will probably not know if your doctor is biased against you, it is one thing to tell you to your face that he or she doesn’t want you as a patient but another to withhold information that is vital to your health. Also as "Religious Freedom" bill proliferate you have to wonder how they will affect our healthcare if we end up in an emergency room/

I had one doctor who I was a little leery of, he seemed a little uneasy to treat me. To me he seemed eager to get me out the door and unfortunately it was about a chronic disease. He never found a cause of the illness but I am showing improvement, he that there was no need for any follow exams because I was improving. I am not seeing him now and if my condition gets worst I will seek another doctor.

Here is Jay’s interview on Huffington Post Gay Voices