Monday, November 30, 2015


Trans people are everywhere and it seems like a lot of us are in engineering, science, and computers. Case in point…
Meet Apple's New, Inspiring Transgender Programmer
The Advocate
By Cleis Abeni
November 29 2015

When she became a senior software engineer at Apple this year, Brielle Harrison reached her most important milestone yet. She is one of a small number of transgender programmers who are continually breaking the glass ceiling in America’s technology industry.

The Advocate spoke with Harrison about her pioneering career at some of the most well-known companies in the field: Facebook, Netflix, Google, and SmugMug. For the first time ever, Harrison publicly shared key details of her diversity work at Facebook and her continuing efforts at Apple, which she called “the best company yet to work for” and a great proving ground for a new generation of affirming practices for trans technologists.
Harrison’s contributions stand out among her peers. As an in-demand engineer who continues to work on key teams within the industry in Silicon Valley, she is uniquely primed to address internal issues of inclusion. Now, more than ever before, Harrison is helping to rethink how nondiscrimination policies are implemented, creating new strategies for welcoming and retaining trans talent, and developing best practices that affirm the unique experiences of trans users. Here are the ways that Harrison is making a difference.
Is it because we try to bury our dysphoria in our work? Or is it we want to hide in a male world? There have even been some who say it is because of our dual nature that we use both sides of our brain.

Whatever it is there is a noticeable number of trans people in masculine creative fields.

I’m Tired…

I’m tired of the lies, I’m tired of the innuendos, I’m tired of the hate that the conservatives and Republicans pile on the trans community.
Ted Cruz Describes Alleged Planned Parenthood Shooter As ‘Transgendered Leftist Activist’
By Zack Ford
November 29, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is the latest presidential candidate trying to downplay the role anti-abortion rhetoric may have played in motivating the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs Friday afternoon. When a reporter asked him at an Iowa campaign stop Sunday evening about suspect Robert Lewis Dear saying he was motivated by “no more baby parts,” Cruz countered that he’s also been reported to be a “transgendered [sic] leftist activist.”

Cruz explained, “We know that he was a man registered to vote as a woman.” This discrepancy on Dear’s voter registration was first reported by The Gateway Pundit, a self-described “right-of-center news website,” under the claim that he “identifies as [a] woman.” Conservatives have since run with the claim that Dear is transgender.

There is actually no evidence to suggest that he is transgender, nor a “leftist,” nor any kind of activist. In fact, all of the available information suggests he was none of those things.
I’m tired of all the laws they try to pass to make us out as monsters.
If passed, GOP transgender bathroom bill would be first in the nation
Wisconsin State Journal
By Molly Beck
November 20, 2015

Wisconsin would be the first state to ban transgender students from using bathrooms and locker rooms assigned to the gender with which they identify if lawmakers approve a controversial bill that drew more than 100 people to the Capitol on Thursday.

The bill would require school boards to designate bathrooms and locker rooms by gender, require schools to make special accommodations for transgender students and others, and to require the state Department of Justice to defend school districts in lawsuits alleging the policy is discriminatory.
I’m tired of the lies,
Houston 'bathroom bill': What it says about transgender issues in US
Houston voters' decision Tuesday to reject a measure to protect transgender people and others from discrimination came after a contentious debate. Christian Science Monitor
By Jessica Mendoza, Staff writer
November 4, 2015

Led by the city’s religious community, opponents claimed the transgender protections would put women and children in public restrooms in danger.

The voters clearly understand that this proposition was never about equality – that is already the law,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement. “It was about allowing men to enter women’s restrooms and locker rooms – defying common sense and common decency.”
Conservative media outlets have reported that boys claiming to be transgender have harassed girls in school bathrooms. But liberal watchdog groups such as Media Matters have sought to debunk such allegations, arguing that no incidents of harassment have occurred in schools and other venues that have adopted consistent nondiscrimination policies.

“People need more accurate information, not fear-based horror stories,” says Robyn Ochs, a campus speaker who focuses on identity, sexuality, and gender.
I’m am tired of people who say that Republicans is the party of fiscal conservatives, that might have been the case thirty years ago but it is now a party of racists, sexist, xenophobes, homophobes, and transphobes. It is a party of hate! It is a party that uses hate to get votes.

You don’t believe me?

Just listen to the presidential front runners. They are using fear of people who are different; fear of people from other countries… us against them. Fear of lesbians, gays, and trans people… us against them. Fear of non-Christians… us against them. Fear of gun control… us against them.

Stop the hate!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Umbrella

When I do training I have a slide at the beginning of the section on definitions, it says…

  • Every culture has their own language 
  • Definitions evolve
  • Words can have different means to different people
  • Some people are very passionate about labels
  • Some of the more common definitions (At least for today) are…

And one of those words that are evolving is the word “Transgender” back when I was coming out it was an umbrella term that covered anyone who cross the gender norms.
Trans* Women Are Not Freakshows and Drag Queens: The Problem With the Transgender Umbrella
Huffington Gay Voices
By Nikki Araguz Loyd
Posted: 11/24/2015

Over the last couple decades, societally, the term "transgender" has become an umbrella term, joining all transsexual, intersex, transvestite, cross-dressers, non-binary people and others who either identify as either male and female, or neither male or female into one category of human. While in most cases, I have found myself relating to my "lumped together" counter-parts, there seems to be a movement amongst some "transgender" identified individuals that I don't agree with, the "bearded lady" movement, and it makes me increasingly frustrated at the appropriation of our community by individuals who seek to push the boundaries of societies gender roles while positioning themselves as victims of it. Sometimes, it reminds me of the kids in high school that would change their preferences based on what was "cool" at the moment. I guess, right now, trans is cool.
Just because I am transgender, it doesn't mean that I am required to completely disregard society's gender role norms, including choosing to not shave and become the "bearded lady." In fact, I actually like stereotypical gender roles; my first dream was to be a mom and a housewife.

It's sad that in our individual assertion of our right to choose the gender we most identify with, some far left-wing, anti-binary activists insist that we must also then ignore all socially accepted gender identities and if we don't, we then are considered racist or privileged. I guess I could say, that by my following societies gender norms, it has afforded me acceptance. Which is one of the reasons why my organization, Transgender National Alliance, is the only organization that provides financial support for life changing name and gender marker changes as well as medical procedures, helping others to achieve their own personal goals. Sometimes, people choose to live a "non-binary," "androgynous" and even "cross-dresser" existence because they are afraid to transition or they think they can't "pass" as their chosen gender, and our organization exists to knock down those obstacles inspiring others to fearlessly walk in their truth.
When I have talked to children and young adults, they are more fluid in their gender. It seems to me that the old we are the more rigid we are to the binary. I believe as I mentioned before that “Transgender” does cover drag queens and kings, it does cover crossdressers, it covers all those who are outside of the gender norms.

There are many trans people who do not blend into society and there are some who do not want to integrate into society.

She ends the article with,
In the end, being transgender does not mean I dislike binary roles, and liking binary roles doesn't mean I dislike non-binary people. But the bottom line is intersexed people, crossdressers, drag kings and queens, transsexuals (non/pre/post), effeminate men, masculine women, questioning and gender queer individuals should view each other through the eyes of equality in that we are all a part of the same community and none of us are better than, more authentic than and/or more legitimate than any other type of trans person.
I have written in the past about lateral hostility (here, here, and here) we cannot let it tear us apart. We cannot have "them vs. us." We should push aside our biases and embrace all who cross the gender norms.


There is a political cartoon going around by George Takei that hits the nail on its head. And fear is alive and well in Mount Horeb Wisconsin.
Mount Horeb school cancels reading of transgender book after lawsuit threat
By Ogechi Emechebe
The Capital Times
November 27, 2015

Around the same time a bill proposing restrictions on school bathrooms for transgender students prompted an emotional public hearing in an Assembly committee last week, one Dane County school made an effort to be more inclusive of a transgender student.

On Monday, students at Mount Horeb Primary Center were scheduled to read and discuss “I Am Jazz,” a children's book about a transgender girl. A letter was sent out to parents notifying them of the scheduled reading on Nov. 19th. The note, signed by the principal, school psychologist and a counselor, said that the school was working with a student that identifies as a girl but has male anatomy.

"We believe all students deserve respect and support regardless of their gender identity and expression, and the best way to foster that respect and support is through educating students about the issue of being transgender," the note reads.

"It is our primary responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all of our students," the note says. "Please let us know if you have concerns about your child participating in this discussion; we respect the beliefs and convictions of all families."
Yes they wanted to do the right thing… educate the students. But then hate fear and ignorance got in the way. The parents contacted Liberty Counsel and filed a lawsuit to block the reading.
But the reading was cancelled after "concerned parents" contacted the Liberty Counsel, which threatened a lawsuit if the book was read to students, claiming it would be "a violation of parental rights."
And the school backs off doing the right thing.

You might remember Liberty Counsel they were the ones who represented the Rowan County, Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis. They were also here in Connecticut when Enfield wanted to hold their high school graduation in a church.

The Christian far right news agency World News Daily had this to say about the lawsuit,
Further, the team of lawyers at Liberty Counsel told the district its plan to support a student with gender confusion by requiring students to call a boy “her” and “she” … “infringes upon the other students’ rights to tell the truth, in accordance with their religious convictions, and reality.”

“No one has a moral right to compel others to participate in a fiction (including compelling teachers and others to use pronouns that do not correspond to objective biological sex),” the letter from Liberty Counsel to the district said.
And guess who they quote?
They continued, “No credible medical authority establishes the proposition that biological sex can be changed. Dr. Paul McHugh, former chief psychiatrist for Johns Hopkins Hospital, wrote in a June 12, 2014, Wall Street Journal op-ed, ‘Policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered’ by refusing to treat transgender confusions ‘as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.’ While students suffering from gender confusion should be treated with kindness and respect, schools should not, by their policies or practices, attempt to coerce other students and teachers into participating in what amounts to a harmful delusion.”
Dr. McHugh theories have been rebuffed and the data he uses have been taken out of context, the authors of the research studies have stated that their findings do not show the concepts that the doctor espouses.

So for now the school backed down with the threat of a lawsuit.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Insurance Coverage, What Is It Worth?

You heard the right wing saying that they don’t want to pay for our surgeries and healthcare, well there is a new study that shows that it is actually cheaper to pay for our healthcare than not paying.
Health insurance coverage for transgender people is cost-effective, study finds
Published on November 25, 2015

A new analysis led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that while most U.S. health insurance plans deny benefits to transgender men and women for medical care necessary to transition to the opposite sex, paying for sex reassignment surgery and hormones is actually cost-effective.

The researchers, reporting online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, say that the cost of surgery and hormones is not significantly higher than the cost of treatment for depression, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, all of which are highly prevalent in those who are transgender but are not in a position to medically transition to the opposite sex. In 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services began paying for sex reassignment surgery and other transitional care, after a 33-year-ban on covering those costs was lifted.

"Providing health care benefits to transgender people makes economic sense," says study leader William V. Padula, PhD, MS, MSc, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Bloomberg School. "Many insurance companies have said that it's not worth it to pay for these services for transgender people. Our study shows they don't have an economic leg to stand on when they decide to deny coverage. This is a small population of people and we can do them a great service without a huge financial impact on society."
The new analysis calculated that the cost to cover transgender people would be fewer than two pennies per month for every person with health insurance coverage in the United States.

"We would be paying a very small incremental amount to improve the quality of life for a population that is extremely disenfranchised from health care and other services we consider a right," Padula says. "For this small investment for a small number of people, we could improve their lives significantly and make them more productive members of society."
And what is the cost savings of just preventing one trans people who tries to take their own life? What is the cost savings of trans people who can now live a productive life instead making their living off the street?

A New Business

There is a new business popping up around the country including here in Connecticut.
Matching voice to identity: Local transgender woman undergoes speech therapy
By Jordan Schroeer
November 24, 2015

orhead, MN (WDAY TV) - With Caitlyn Jenner in the news nearly every day, it's been a historic year for the transgender community; however, stories of those transitioning isn't limited to Hollywood, they're happening here on the prairie.

I met with a local transgender woman to see how a transition is more than a change of hair and clothes.

Ayleah Evitt isn't preparing her voice for a choral performance.

Ayleah Evitt- Transgender Woman: "Presenting to the world too because they're going to know who you are, they're going to either not like you or accept you. One way or the other."

She's stretching her vocal cords as part of transgender speech therapy.

The program at MSUM is one of only a few nationally, started back in the early 2000s.
Here in Connecticut UConn has a voice coach for trans people, there is one other person who working with trans women to help them training their voices.

There are also surgeons who do voice surgery for trans women who want a more feminine voice. However, the surgery only raises pitch not the timbre so you will still need a voice coach to help you to achieve a more feminine voice.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am away today with my brother's family, but for many people Thanksgiving and the Holidays are an especially lonely time, they might not have  estranged from their family since they came out to them. Their families and children have disowned them and for them Thanksgiving is a time when they feel their loss the greatest. Thanksgiving is a time where we reflect on all that we have been thankful for the year but for those of us it could also be a time a great sadness while they see others around them celebrating during the holiday seasons. So let us open our hearts and doors to them and invite them to the table.

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

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I See A Trip To The Supreme Court

I think this is going to go all the way up to the Supreme Court when it will boil down to Justice Kennedy.
McCrory to join transgender bathroom lawsuit without Cooper’s help
The Charlotte Observer
By Colin Campbell
November 25, 2015

Despite opposition from Attorney General Roy Cooper, Gov. Pat McCrory announced Tuesday that he’ll join a legal battle over whether a transgender Virginia high school student can use the men’s restroom at the teenager’s school.

McCrory called on Cooper to join a friend-of-the-court brief that the South Carolina attorney general plans to file, but Cooper declined. His office did not respond to a request to explain his reasons for the decision, but his gubernatorial campaign issued a statement criticizing McCrory for “politicizing” the issue.

McCrory argues that if Obama and the transgender student prevail, North Carolina schools would be affected by the ruling. He said he’ll join the lawsuit “in his capacity as governor.”
“This is political correctness run amok, and it’s a shame Roy Cooper is pandering to the political extremes of his base instead of putting student safety and common sense first,” Berger said. “If the attorney general thinks forcing middle school-aged boys and girls to use the same locker room is going to create jobs for anyone other than his trial lawyer friends, he should explain how.”
Yup, the governor got that right it is pandering to the political extremes of his base but he is the one that is pandering to the far right wing conservatives. Pandering to the fear mongers who spread lies and fear.

I see this case going all the way to the Supreme Court with the Virginia’s once again backing segregation. I see no other path, the Republicans have been doing everything they can to dehumanize us, to make their followers hate and fear us. They have backed dozens of bills that have instilled fear and hatred of us.

It Is A Major Move Forward

We fought a war there and now Vietnam has passed a law to protect trans people.
Vietnam passes historic transgender protection law
Prothom Alo
AFP . Hanoi
November 25, 2015

Vietnam on Tuesday passed a landmark law enshrining rights for transgender people in a move advocacy groups say paves the way for gender reassignment surgery in the authoritarian communist nation.

Such operations are currently illegal, forcing people to travel to nearby Thailand for the surgery.

The legislation will allow those who have undergone gender reassignment to register under their new sex. The law will come into effect early in 2017 after 282 of 366 lawmakers voted in favour.

“Individuals who undergo transgender change will have the right to register” under their new gender with “personal rights in accordance with their new sex”, reported the state-controlled VNExpress website, citing a National Assembly report.
But here in the U.S. the Republican controlled Congress would never pass H.R.3185 – Equality Act that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.a

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Memories Of Nuns Are Getting Wacked…

With a ruler on my knuckles for smudging the ink with my left hand.Because I was left handed, my hand would smug the fountain pen ink as I wrote which was a big no, no with the nuns. These trans people have a different experience with nuns.
Cloistered Argentine Carmelite Nun Reaches Out to Trans Women
Bondings 2.0

Regular long-time readers of Bondings 2.0  may remember our posts about Sister “Monica,” a U.S. nun who pioneered ministry to transgender people.  We’ve covered her involvement in this groundbreaking work a few times (here and here, for example), and you can read about her ministry and why she chooses to remain anonymous, using only the pseudonym Sister “Monica” when she appears in the media.

In another part of the world, another Sister Mónica has emerged who is doing similar outreach work with the transgender community.  This Sister Mónica (which is her real name) lives in the Neuquén province of Argentina and is a member of the Discaled Carmelite Order, a contemplative community.  Her ministry has even attracted the attention and support of Pope Francis.
The story recounts how Sister Mónica’s pastoral life has always been with those on the margins of society, and that an encounter with a young transgender woman focused her attention on the needs of this community.  The nun described the story:
” ‘I feel that God wants me to accompany the wounded and that’s why I take responsibility. They often tell me I stand with them; it’s that I feel that from that place I can understand them. Because when we look at them from the other side, it’s impossible. I get in deep,’ the sister adds.

“And because of this kind of attitude, it’s not surprising that in December 2005, when Romina, a trans woman, approached Lourdes parish, the bishop decided this was a job for her.

“Romina went at that time to the church because she wanted to donate a tenth of her wages. ‘When the priest asked her where it came from, she told him from prostitution, and she explained that that was the only work she could get. At that point, the priest called me and told me about the case.’ “
The witness of Sister Mónica should challenge all of us to take one more step along the journey of advocating and standing in solidarity with trans people.  It is people like her who are building God’s reign of justice and peace in the world and in our Church.
It is great that Sister Mónica is working with the trans community, hopefully her work will bring about a better understanding between the Catholic Church and the trans community.

# # # # #

Tonight I am a guest lecturer at a Catholic University for a multicultural education course and I understand that the director of education programs will be attending my talk. A friend teaches the course at a number of colleges and universities in the state and I do the part on gender identity each time.

These are some of the comments that I received from the students from other classes.
I was so inspired by Diana this week. She knew who she was and wanted to show the world. Even at an older age, she wasn't content to live out the rest of her life as someone else, so she did something about it. It must have taken so much courage to even just tell her brother. It's even better that her family was so accepting of who she truly is. She also was really informative about her community as a whole. Some of the points she raised, about bathrooms and such, were very interesting. I really knew nothing about any of the stuff she talked about so it was very informative.


I found Diana ______ to be an interesting speaker. Her powerpoint lecture was cleared up a lot of definitions that society usually clumps together as all being the same thing, but in reality, they’re different. For example, cross-dressing is not the same as transgender, which is also different from transsexual. Also there is a difference between gender expression and gender identity. These distinctions are important and society tends to ignore these differences and associate all transgender things under one category. I thought Diana was going to spend more time discussing her own personal experiences, but besides a few anecdotal remarks here and there, the lecture was directed toward definitions and understanding the transgender coming out process as well as the obstacles and challenges that come along with that regarding self-esteem and the health risks involved. One statistic she mentioned the stood out was that 41% of transgender people have suicidal inclinations as a result of not being accepted by their family, which is very sad and upsetting. I also found it interesting when she discussed how transgender people struggle to find employment as well as finding homes/places to rent; these are issues that I never really thought of before in regards to the transgender community. Interestingly enough, a day later I saw an article on Forbes that said Kroeger's is now going to offer its transgender workers full benefits including surgery and drug therapy for gender reassignment as part of the employee health plan. It was also interesting how Diana's information and anecdotes aligned to a lot of what the mother in the article "Learnign to see" [Transgender Tapestry Issue 112]. For example, the mother discusses how all those years of concern for her son and his introverted ways all throughout life and the variety of interests he had(classes in school, internet etc) and didnt have (dating,girls, prom etc) was him trying to figure out who he was/is. Diana explained that it took her 50 years to figure it out and come out to her brother that she was a transgender. The mother in the story played a similar role to that of DIana's brother in her life.

Staying Together

They are the minority couples that stay together after one spouse transitioned, but how about when both spouses transition?
Meet the transgender couple who stayed together after they both had sex change operations
Metro UK
By Jen Mills
22 Nov 2015

You would never guess there was anything unusual about this young couple from their picture – but their relationship was rather special.

Arin Andrews and Katie Hill were the first openly transgender teen couple in the U.S. and their unconventional love story gave hope to other trans young people all over.

The couple met in 2012 while going through gender transition, and fell in love.

Arin, now 19, and Katie, 21, posted videos documenting the highs and lows of their courtship and their transition, discussing the physical and emotional changes.
I know of one couple that transitioned and they are happily in love. It has to quite rare for couple to stay together when one transitions let alone both. Last September there was an article about trans love.
My Husband Is Now My Wife
The spouses of transgender people face their own dramatic transformations—only no one celebrates them.New Yorker Magazine
By Alex Morris
September 22, 2015

Elizabeth Miller sat in her living room with her wedding album in her lap. It had been a long while since she’d brought it up from the basement, and the brown leather cover was worn, the pages slightly yellowed. From under their plastic covering, the pictures show pink linen tablecloths and taffeta gowns and Elizabeth in a dainty white Laura Ashley dress and a flower crown, peering up at the camera with that expectant newlywed’s look — heaps of bliss, a dash of terror. Next to her in the pictures, wearing a gray morning coat, owlish glasses, and a thick beard, is her groom, Dan, who is now her wife, Diana.
It’s not that there’s no continuity between that bookish man and the boho-chic woman Diana is now, sitting on a sun-dappled burgundy sofa, thigh to thigh with her wife of almost 33 years; it’s that the continuity is uncomfortable, painful even: She’s glad beyond measure that she married Elizabeth that day, but she wishes Dan never did. In many ways, she wishes Dan had never existed at all.
There are some signs that the new awareness of the trans experience is helping families avoid estrangement. A 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found that 43 percent of respondents “maintained most of their family bonds, while 57 percent experienced significant family rejection,” numbers the surveyors say indicate that “families were more likely to remain together … than stereotypes suggest.”

But even if a spouse doesn’t reject a partner’s transition, most are, according to therapists and trans experts, unlikely to remain in the marriage. Anecdotally, this seems especially true when the transgender person’s partner is male. “In my experience providing support for partners of people in transition, the majority are women,” says Helen Boyd, a gender-studies professor at Lawrence University whose writing about her own husband’s transition has become required reading for those dealing with this issue. “Men either don’t stay or don’t seek support.”
I remember talking to Helen and Betty over breakfast one time and Helen said one of the things that she missed was falling asleep on her husband’s shoulder on a train or walking down the street holding her husband’s hand and not hearing whispers.
The experience can be especially challenging for straight women. For lesbians with transitioning partners, their place in the LGBT community can be somewhat preserved. But a woman whose relationship was ostensibly heterosexual must face questions related to her own identity. Milena Wood, who met her trans wife, Shannon, when they were both in the military, says she doesn’t necessarily mind being mistaken for half of a lesbian couple now that Shannon’s transition is under way, but she still doesn’t think of herself as gay, which makes it hard to know where to fit in. “I don’t know how comfortable I would feel in a group of lesbians,” she tells me. “Because here I am doing the very thing that they’re trying to prove is not possible” — change the gender to which she is attracted. “Shannon doesn’t have to change anything about how she feels about me, because I haven’t changed,” Wood says. “But I have to change everything about how I feel about her: how I see relationships, how I see sex, how I see a whole bunch of things.”
The Florida Times-Union also had an article about a couple that stayed together,
Katie and Tricia still have navigating to do within their marriage. Together they will map out whether they will continue to live as spouses.

“When you love someone, you give your life for them. The soul that is there needs to be taken care of and I’m not going to try to do anything that’s going to cause him distress,” Katie said, perhaps unaware of another slip of the tongue.
Jenny Boylan and her wife stayed together after Jenny transitioned. About ten - fifteen years ago when I went to hear a speech that Ms. Boylan gave at Smith College in Northampton MA we had pizza with them afterwards at a small pizza place behind the college. It seemed to me that her wife was still struggling with her transition.

I know another couple that broke up when the husband transitioned but after a number of years they are back together again.

They are the exceptions, most do not stay together. I remember once during a support group meeting one spouse sat there crying during the whole meeting saying “I just want me husband back!” There is no easy solution sometimes the love is still there but the obstacles are too great to overcome.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Doctors Are A Problem Everywhere

If you are trans trying to find proper medical care is hard. You never know if the doctor that you placed your life in will be treating you to the best of their ability or is biased against you as a trans person.
‘We don't look after people like you.' Transgender people refused medical careThe Sydney Morning Herald
By Jill Stark
October 18, 2015

Transgender people have been refused medical care, kicked out of their jobs and forced to undergo psychiatric and surgical procedures in a systematic violation of their human rights, new research has found.

An Australian-first study of the experiences of older trans people reveals many have faced a lifetime of discrimination and abuse, leading to fears they will be forced back into the closet when entering aged care services.

Refusal of care from GPs, psychiatrists, dentists and other medical specialists was a common experience for the study's participants, with some saying doctors had denied them treatment on moral or religious grounds.

Advocates say that while prejudice against gay and lesbian Australians is decreasing, the trans community still faces widespread discrimination.
That is also true here in the U.S., I never had a doctor that refused to treat me but I have had a doctor that I never really felt comfortable seeing. It seemed to me that he was very enthusiastic with having me as a patient. He was a kidney doctor that I saw and there was a six month wait to see him and when I did see him he looked over my records and ran some lab tests. When the tests came back he looked at them and looked at my other lab test results and just said we know what it isn’t but we don’t know what caused. However, since my kidneys are improving I didn’t have to see him again unless they got worst again. He is a highly recommended kidney specialist and I didn’t know if he was brushing me off or this was how he treated all his patients. But there is that little doubt in the back of my mind that he didn’t want me as a patient and he just wanted me out of his sight.

The Web We Weave

The World Wide Web was aptly named it fingers reach into every part of our lives.
Transgender and non-binary communities online: 'Thank God for Wikipedia and Google'PennLive
By Kari
November 17, 2015

When we asked transgender and non-binary readers to share information about their lives in central Pennsylvania and beyond, the internet figured crucially into many responses, particularly when it came to readers' initial awareness of transgender people as well as seeking support and resources.

Of the readers that submitted answers to our survey, 81% reported that they are out on the internet – and for some, that is because transgender people are not visible in the community where they live, Nef said. "I have found support on the internet," wrote Lys, a 30-year-old transgender man from outside central Pennsylvania. "There is a strong community of trans people there. There is not much community support I can access in Beaver County."
In some cases, transgender visibility within a community can yield hostile responses, and the internet can provide a comparatively safer space for exploration. Avacyn, a 21-year-old non-binary person from Cumberland County, first became aware of transgender and non-binary people as a young teenager. "I'm pretty sure the first time I heard anything that wasn't derogatory was on an internet forum," Avacyn wrote. "I have a small group of friends online that I feel safe talking to about this. I haven't heard of anything in my [offline] community where I could go to talk my problems out."
For me the first time that I became aware of the trans community was at work we had just gotten PC connected to the Internet (back then the internet was always spelled with a capital “I”) and my boss asked my boss asked me to search the internet for a replacement transformer. The old search engines back then were Lycos, AltaVista, and Excite and they weren’t very good, so some of the websites that they listed were not for electrical transformers but they also had trans websites listed. And that was my first exposure to the trans community. My first blog was on GeoCities in 2000 and then I switched to Blogger in 2006.
Online communities also can connect transgender and non-binary people to local resources. "Recently I have become aware of several groups online – some of them local," wrote Karen Leigh, a 72-year-old transgender woman from Lancaster County, "which gather regularly to socialize and discuss issues."
Now most of the inquiries I get are through the CT TransAdvocacy Coalition’s website, they either call or fill out the “Contact Us” form.

And then there is Facebook,
No site was mentioned more by readers than Facebook.

"Facebook has been amazing for finding support online," wrote Julia, a transgender woman from outside central Pennsylvania. "It brings people together in ways that I could only have dreamed of years ago.
"I love being friends with people on there and seeing stories of what it's like being trans in different parts of America and the world. If I ever have any issues, I can post, and have people who understand me respond. Plus, some of my cisgender friends have told me that they have a much better understanding of our community through me and my friends on Facebook. That in itself is a wonderful education tool. If we left education about the trans community up to the schools and media, they'd all think we're sex-crazed maniacs out to get your children and make ourselves look like freaks."
(Note: A "cisgender" person is a person whose gender identity corresponds with the gender they were identified as at birth.)
Does the internet do away with the need to a face-to-face contact with people? What are the future of support groups? Do the young kids coming need support groups or will they just fade away as the current members age out?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Very Interesting!

As Arte Johnson used to say on Rowan and Martin Laugh In… very interesting this latest medical research. A recent study looked at different types of medical treating for trans people and long term health.
Sex reassignment surgery may protect metabolic health of transgender women
Transgender women who undergo sex reassignment surgery and hormone therapy may be less likely to develop metabolic disease than those who receive hormone therapy alone. This is according to new research recently presented at Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender - a conference of the American Physiological Society, held in Annapolis, MD.Medical News Today
Published: Sunday 22 November 2015

For this latest study, lead author Michael Nelson, PhD, of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, and colleagues set out to determine whether this metabolic risk varied depending on the type of therapy used make the male-to-female transition.
The researchers measured the insulin resistance and the accumulation of fat in the liver of each participant. They explain that insulin resistance is a key sign of poor metabolic health, and build-up of fat in the liver can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease - which studies have suggested can increase heart disease risk.

Compared with transgender women who received female hormone therapy alone, those who received both female hormone therapy and bilateral orchiectomy were found to have better metabolic health.
This is something I thought about since I have Type 2 Diabetes. I find it very hard to lose weight and I had an inkling that it was probably because of my taking hormones and the change in metabolism due to loss of muscle mass.

Not All Are TERF

Not all lesbians are Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists; I believe that they are just small in number but very outspoken. Case in point,
A Cisgender Lesbian's TDOR Message to Trans Women
Beverly Tillery of the New York City Anti-Violence Project wants her trans sisters to know she has their backs.The Advocate
By Beverly Tilery
November 20, 2015

Ty Underwood. Kandis Capri. Jessie Hernandez. Elisha Walker. Amber Monroe. Tamara Dominguez. Penny Proud. London Chanel. Yazmin Vash Payne.

These names may be unfamiliar to you. They are the names of some of the transgender people we honor this Transgender Day of Remembrance. They are just a few of the transgender and gender non-conforming people who were shot, stabbed, beaten, or killed in some other manner as a result of anti-transgender hate and violence in 2015.

They were from large and small places all across this country. Places like Tyler, Texas; Phoenix; Denver; Smithfield, N.C.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans; Philadelphia; and Los Angeles.

They were students, workers, unemployed, mothers, daughters, partners, friends, and so much more.

And even though I never met them, they were my sisters.
As I looked around the TDoR on Friday most of the people there were not trans but cis they were there in solidarity with us.
I don’t choose this word, “sister,” lightly. As I grew up up in a household with four cisgender female siblings, “sister” has been a powerful word from the day I was born. It means family, unconditional love, and support even during the hardest times. For me, as a black woman, sisterhood is my link to generations of women of color who have cleared paths for me to walk along as well as the many women of color who will come behind me and go farther than I will ever travel. As an adult, finding my own way in the world, I find sisterhood has come to represent the powerful, unbreakable bond that connects me to other women who I know always have my back, and I theirs. In sisterhood, we are stronger, smarter, more compassionate, resourceful, and creative than the sum of our parts. And in sisterhood we can and do change the world.

So it is in this most awe-inspiring spirit of sisterhood that I send out this message to my transgender sisters across this country.

I see you. And I stand with and beside you.
I hear over and over members of our community lumping all lesbians and gays but just like our community there are all sorts of subcultures. Some do hate us, many don’t understand us but don’t hate us, and many are out there fighting for us.

We find so much easier to group people together and think they all share the same traits, whether it is lesbians and gays, blacks, or religions but they all are different. Episcopalians are different from Baptists and not all Episcopalian are the same and not all Muslims are the same

Last night at the big fundraising for the Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective called One Big Event there were a number of lesbians that I knew there, many of them through the LGBT Moveable Senior Center (monthly meeting at area senior centers that program for LGBT seniors centers), many of them through the advocacy that I do, and other through my volunteer work at the health collective. Just once have I had a lesbian say anything about my being trans, one lesbian told me that her wife is down on trans people but she also said that she was working on her wife to change her feelings.

So please, please don’t lump everyone together, look at the individual and don’t judge everyone by just one person or act.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thoughts From Last Night

Two things come to mind about the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The first is the story told by the reverend. He is a chaplain to a number of hospitals around the area and he told of going in to visit a man who tried to take his own life. He told him that he was a transgender woman. The minister asked her what is her name and she told him, and he asked would she like him to tell the staff to use that name. She said yes and started to cry. He then told her a secret… that he is trans and that there is a community out there that will welcome her with open arms. I thought this had to be more than a coincident what are the odds for a person who tried to take their life because they are trans to have a trans minster walk in to console her.

The other thing was there were so many trans people kill this year, we lit a candle for each one and placed the lit candle in a metal bowl filled with sand. The heat from all those candles caused them to melt and when the candles melted all down the bowl filled with wax and caught fire. It felt very symbolic with the flames rising up on the altar. All the candles merged together into one fire, it was kind of like all their souls become one.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Less We Forget

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today we remember those of us who were murdered for who they were; not for money or passion but were murdered because of hate. Because they had the courage to live their lives as the person they were.

This year I was asked to give a speech…
Reverend ______ asked me to speak about the state of the trans community and I think the best way to describe it is from the Tale of Two Cites
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…
For the trans community it was the best of times for some while for other trans people it was the worst of times.

In Houston the opposition used fear and lies to block a non-discrimination ordinance. We saw more states and communities try to pass anti trans bathroom bills. While in Connecticut a bill was introduced that would have stripped insurance coverage for us that was blocked in committee. At the same time the legislature with bipartisan support passed a bill to allow us to change our birth certificate without surgery.
In Maine we saw their Supreme Court rule that the Maine non-discrimination law covers bathrooms and down in Virginia a federal judge ruled that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act does not cover us in school bathrooms.

Federally, EEOC and OSHA ruled that we are covered under the under Title VII and HUD ruled that we are also covered under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. So here in Connecticut we are protected not only locally but also federally.

If you are homeless one of your fears is going to a homeless shelter and those fears are not groundless. A trans woman was placed in a men’s shelter where she was attacked. The attack was the initiative that created a coalition of non-profits and HUD that is going out and train the shelter staff and 211 operators on the law and how to integrate their shelters for trans individuals. There have been some pushback from shelter staff and they have been warned that they have to accept homeless people based on their gender identity,
We must also care for our senior citizens. We must train our care givers and health care providers to respect and provide proper care for elderly LGBT clients. When we need to invite care givers into our home we must be able to feel that we are safe. When we go into a nursing home or long term care facility we have to make sure we are not isolated and shunned. Also a number of senior centers in the area have teamed to create a Moveable LGBT Senior Center where one day a month the centers are hosting a LGBT day at their centers on rotating schedule.

Caitlyn Jenner created a lot of discussion in the trans community but it also exposed many people what it means to be trans. There are many new television shows and movies but unfortunately many of those shows the trans parts are played by non-trans actors we need to make sure that at least trans actors are allowed to audition for those parts. But equally important is that trans actresses and actors to be cast in non-trans parts.

There still is a lot of work that needs to be done. We need to look into if we need laws to ban reparative/conversion therapy and we need to see if we need protection from trans panic and gay panic being used as a defenses against hate crimes we need to see if they are necessary here in Connecticut. We also have to be vigilant to make sure that our hard fought rights are not taken away by legislation like they tried with our health insurance. We have to continue to educate businesses and the public. We have to keep the pressure on Congress to pass an addition to the Civil Rights Act to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

Those who have lost their lives in the U.S. this past year because of anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

Keyshia Blige (33 years old)
Cause of death: Shooting
Location of death: Aurora, Illinois, USA
Date of death: March 7th, 2015
Tamara Dominguez (36 years old)
Cause of death: repeatedly run over by vehicle
Location of death: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Date of death: August 15th, 2015
Kandis Capri (35 years old)
Cause of death: shooting
Location of death: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Date of death: August 11th, 2015
Amber Monroe (20 years old)
Cause of death:gunshot
Location of death:Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of death: August 8th, 2015
Ashton O'Hara (25 years old)
Cause of death: Stabbed to death, ran over by vehicle
Location of death: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Date of death: July 14th, 2015
Shade Schuler (22 years old)
Cause of death: unknown, found dead in a field.
Location of death: Dallas, Texas, USA
Date of death: July 29th, 2015
K.C. Haggard (66 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds
Location of death: Fresno, California, USA
Date of death: July 24th, 2015
India Clarke (22 years old)
Cause of death: gunshot to the head and arm
Location of death: Tampa, Florida, USA
Date of death: July 21st, 2015
Mercedes Williamson (17 years old)
Cause of death: Beaten to death
Location of death: Rocky Creek, Alabama, USA
Date of death: May 30th, 2015
Penny Proud (21 years old)
Cause of death: shooting
Location of death: Tremé, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Date of death: February 10th, 2015
Taja Gabrielle DeJesus (36 years old)
Cause of death: multiple stab wounds
Location of death: San Francisco, USA
Date of death: February 8th, 2015
Bri Golec (22 years old)
Cause of death: stabbed to death
Location of death: Akron, Ohio, USA
Date of death: February 13th, 2015
Lamia Beard (30 years old)
Cause of death: shooting
Location of death: Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Date of death: January 17th, 2015
Papi Edwards (20 years old)
Cause of death: shooting
Location of death: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Date of death: January 9th, 2015
Ty Underwood (24 years old) US
Location of death: Tyler, Texas, USA
Date of death: January 26, 2015
Yazmin Vash Payne (33 years old) US
Location of death: Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of death: January 31, 2015
Kristina Gomez Reinwald (46 years old) US
Location of death: Miami, Florida, USA
Date of death: February 16, 2015
London Chanel (21 years old) US
Location of death: North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of death: May 18, 2015
Elisha Walker (20 years old) US
Location of death: Smithfield, North Carolina, USA
Date of death: August 13, 2015
Jasmine Collins (32 years old) US
Location of death: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Date of death: June 23, 2015

Homeless Shelters

The news media has picked up on HUD’s requirement for integrated shelters.
Feds to Require Shelters to Accommodate Transgender Individuals
Proposed rule lets homeless pick shared sleeping, bathing areas according to the gender with which they identifyWashington Free Beacon
By Elizabeth Harrington
Published November 19, 2015

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking to require shelters to accommodate transgender individuals to use the shared sleeping and bathing areas of their choice.

A proposed regulation would require shelters that receive funding from the Office of Community Planning and Development, which spends $6.5 billion annually, to “provide transgender persons and other persons who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth with access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity.”
“Since the publication of the Equal Access Rule, HUD has conducted further review on the issue of transgender individuals’ access to temporary, emergency shelters and other facilities with physical limitations or configurations that require shared sleeping quarters or bathing facilities, both in terms of individual cases and evidence from broader research,” the agency said.
We have been going out to train the shelter staff and the 211 intake operators on the HUD policy and Connecticut non-discrimination law. So far half of the eight regions have received the training and we had some push-back from shelter operators, most of them seem very accommodating and have had policies in place.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Even In Death…

…We face bigotry, this time by the family.
Haredi mother of transgender woman fights to stop her cremation 
Jerusalem District Court to rule Wednesday on validity of Israeli woman’s will, filed the day before her suicideThe Times of Israel
November 18, 2015
The haredi Orthodox mother of an Israeli transgender woman who killed herself is battling the woman’s lawyer over plans to cremate the body.

May Peleg, 31, an activist in Israel’s LGBT community, filed a will with attorney Yossi Wolfson the day before her suicide stating her desire to be cremated, Haaretz reported Tuesday. The Israeli newspaper did not provide the precise date or details of Peleg’s suicide.
Peleg’s mother, who in her affidavit describes Peleg as her “son,” has requested an injunction to stop the cremation and that she “be given the body for burial according to Jewish law.” She argues that Peleg’s will “should be disqualified since my son was undergoing a deep mental crisis and was not capable of drawing up a will.”

Anticipating that her estranged family might try to stop the cremation, Peleg, according to Haaretz, wrote in a letter to Wolfson, “Since I have no contact with my biological family and since I fear that after my death there will be those who try to obstruct my final wish to be cremated, using various arguments, I ask you to represent me in court and be my voice.”
So what did the judge say yesterday?
Court: Transgender woman can be cremated
May Peleg left behind a will with instructions that she be cremated, but her estranged ultra-Orthodox family wanted a traditional Jewish burial.
By Asaf Zagrizak,Yael Freidson
Published: November 19, 2015

The remains of a deceased transgender woman can be cremated as per her will, despite objections from her estranged ultra-Orthodox family that wishes to bury her in a traditional Jewish ceremony, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Wednesday.
It was too bad that even in death her family tried to take control of her against her wishes, but at least the judge recognized her last request.

A Loophole To Drive A Truck Through

Indiana proposed non-discrimination legislation has an exemption that will allow just about anyone to discriminate against us.
Indiana Bill Would Ban Anti-LGBT Bias... Unless It's Faith-Based
A measure introduced in the state Senate Tuesday may enable more discrimination than it prevents, activists say.The Advocate
By Trudy Ring
November 18, 2015

Indiana Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to state antidiscrimination law, but some activists say it would facilitate discrimination rather than prevent it.

At issue are the proposed law’s broad religious exemptions, which would allow nonprofits and even some for-profit small businesses to avoid penalties for discrimination by citing faith-based objections to accommodating LGBT people — making it, in a way, a resurrection of the “license to discriminate” law that raised such uproar earlier this year.

The bill, introduced Tuesday by Senate Republicans, would, among other things, “allow schools, employers and others to determine their own restroom policies for transgender people; businesses with fewer than four employees to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples; and religious-affiliated adoption agencies to reject prospective same-sex parents,” The Indianapolis Star reports.
A key problem in the bill, according to ThinkProgress, is that these exemptions would apply only to the sexual orientation and gender identity provisions of the law, not to discrimination based on race, age, gender, or any other enumerated characteristic. Utah this year enacted an LGBT-inclusive law with broad religious exemptions, but the state had already applied those exemptions to other types of prohibited discrimination. However, “under Indiana’s bill, LGBT people are very much singled out for less robust protection,” the site points out.
This bill would fly in the face of Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act and put employers and school force them to either follow the state law and be fined by the EEOC or the U.S. Department of Education or follow the federal law and face state action against them. Also the law would in effect allow adoption agencies that receive government funding to discriminate.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Republicans Are At It Again

They want us to keep our legs crossed and not go to the bathroom, this time in Tennessee.
Gay Activists Aim to Kill Transgender Bathroom Bill
The Nashville Scene
By Jeff Woods
November 17, 2015

The Tennessee Equality Project’s petition has collected more than 750 supporters, all of whom have sent emails to senators asking them not to sponsor the legislation's companion bill. That would kill it. But of course, no one in the Republican supermajority cares about opposition from the LGBT community, so the petition is unlikely to have any impact no matter how many emails are sent.

Hulsey wants to force transgender children to use the school bathroom for the gender on their birth certificates, undoubtedly subjecting boys who identify as girls and vice versa to more bullying and ridicule than they already endure. Hulsey worries about schools having to “accommodate everyone’s thoughts and feelings” and possibly causing little Johnny to freak out because he’s using the bathroom with a transgender student.
Hulsey is filing his bill at the behest of a right-wing radio host in Bristol who decided it was an issue that might increase his ratings and so he started yapping about it. The host, George West, has worked up a lot of faux outrage over news reports that the federal Department of Education sided with a transgender student who wanted to use the girls’ bathroom in a school in Illinois.
Can you say, “Transphobia?”

The Republicans are doing what they do best, stir up hatred and bigotry to rally their base.


There are a lot of phobias going around today. In a poll on a local television station 88% of the people that took the poll think that we should close our borders to the Syrian refugees.

intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.

dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.

But there is a greater threat from anyone coming here from any country. So what are we going to do, close all our borders? Then what about home grown terrorists?

It doesn’t even make any sense, why spend years sitting in a refugee camp waiting to get vetted with the possibility of being discovered when you can get a stolen or forged passport and come here immediately.

By denying refugees we are playing right into ISIS strategy of creating more tensions between Christians and Muslims to bring about another world war. It is creating a climate of "Them Against Us."

This is not the first time fear has run rampant, during both World Wars we persecuted Germans and in World War II we rounded up Japanese people and put them into concentration camps.

It was wrong then, it is wrong now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Can They Do That?

Can a court remove a parent because they are transgender? We are about to find out.
Transgender woman says gender identity being used to keep her from seeing her kids
By April Thompson
November 12, 2015

Maddie divorced the boy's mother years earlier, but always retained some form of visitation.
Now she says there is a push to remove the kids from her life all together.

"I was only allowed to talk to them on the phone Monday, Wednesday and Friday as a new rule, before they took away all my visitation," said Maddie.

The case is in court right now.

Maddie can't see the kids while Judge Gina Higgins decides visitation.
WREG found court records where Maddie was awarded primary custody of the children just two years ago.

"Why do they need access to my medical records? Because it is a witch hunt That`s all this is. This is not about protecting my boys from anything," said Maddie. "It`s been devastating. I am worried how this will affect the boys relationship with me. I am worried it will affect them, worrying I rejected them."
Yup, it is a witch hunt and it all will boil down to the judge, will she judge on the merits of the case or because of bias.

Down in Florida a judge stripped the parenting rights from a trans man but that case was different from this case in that it didn’t involve a biological parent and it centered around a “legal marriage” or if it was a same-sex marriage. So this case can have far reaching outcome.

Here in Connecticut, over ten years ago the question of trans parents was settled in our favor, our trans status cannot be used against us.

They Noticed

Last week protesters protested Caitlyn Jenner speech at a speech during a luncheon in Chicago, Illinois well the press took notice, even in Kenya.
Caitlyn Jenner attacked by “her own” transgender community
Citizen Digital
By Elainer Mogoa,
Published on  17 November 2015

The transgender community turned against Caitlyn Jenner after she won the Transgender Champion Award recently at Glamour Magazine Awards for her ‘monumental courage in publicly stepping out as a transgender woman’.

Caitlyn, who was formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is father of Kylie and Kendall Jenner and stepfather to the Kardashian sisters. Jenner transitioned at the age of 65 years after a long struggle with her gender identity.

On Thursday, the transgender community protestors furiously confronted Jenner, who had been slotted to speak at a fundraiser aimed at raising funds to provide services to those living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and Transgender) Community.
The Huffington Post wrote,
Some, however, were unhappy about Jenner being the keynote speaker. A group of protesters stood outside to challenge the former Olympian. In the video above, one protester says to Jenner: "You are an insult to trans people, you are an insult to women. You have no right to represent us."
If you do a Google News search on Jenner and Chicago House, there are hundreds of news article on the protest. So if they wanted press coverage they got it.

“You have no right to represent us.” So who does?

Are we going to hold a vote on who can be our representative?

All those in favor of Laverne Cox raise your hand. Those in favor of Janet Mock raise your hands. All those in favor of Jazz.

Does that mean no one else can speak about the trans community?

I know there are a lot of trans people who hate Caitlyn Jenner for various reasons but where do we draw the line who can give interviews. I have been invited to give a speech for the anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, do I say “Sorry but I represent white middle income late transitioning trans women, you need to get someone else.”

The gays and lesbians want to separate themselves from the “T,” lesbians want to separate themselves from the gay, trans people want to separate us from the “LGB,” transsexuals want to separate from drag queens and kings and crossdressers. While other want to separate pre-ops from post-ops.

When are we going to learn that the opposition does not see any differences between all of us, they are an equal opportunity discriminators.

We should be glad that people are willing to speak for us because many of us cannot speak-up.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Congressional Hearings Tomorrow

There will be a Congressional hearing tomorrow on violence against the trans community.
Congress to hold first-ever forum on violence against transgender people
Washington Post
By Sandhya Somashekhar
November 13, 2015

A congressional caucus on Tuesday will hold a forum on violence against transgender people, in Congress’s first attempt to address the needs of a small community that has gained new visibility this year.

The forum will include several gay and transgender rights activists who are expected to outline challenges facing the transgender community, particularly violence. At least 21 transgender people have been killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest number reported since activists began keeping track in 2006.
“This week, as we seek to raise awareness of the issues facing the trans community, it is important to renew our commitment to help trans individuals be free of the fear of violence or bullying just for being who they are,” Rep.  Mike Honda (D-Calif.) said in a statement. Honda is vice chairman of the House’s Equality Caucus, which is hosting the forum.
Time also has an article about the hearing,
And the panelists will not lack for statistics. On Friday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released a report, Addressing Anti-Transgender Violence, which tells the stories of people who have lost their lives this year. Among them are people like 20-year-old Lisha Walker, a black transgender woman from North Carolina whose car was found burned out and abandoned two weeks before her remains were discovered in a “crude grave” miles away.

The report lays out the few statistics that are known about the phenomenon, like the fact that transgender women of color appear to be by far the most vulnerable. “Transgender women of color are facing an epidemic of violence
 that occurs at the intersections of racism, sexism and transphobia,” HRC President Chad Griffin writes in the report. Transgender women are more than four times likely than other women to be murdered, the report concludes.
“Imagine fearing for your life every day. That nightmare is a reality for far too many transgender women, a nightmare that deserves national attention,” Griffin said in a statement to coincide with the announcement of the task force and forum. “This hearing will bring together a coalition of families, advocates, lawmakers, and other leaders to address the realities that conspire to put transgender people at risk.”
I don’t know what the hearings will accomplish but at least it is a positive gesture to make people more aware of the perils the trans community faces.

I think for trans women there is also a danger in naivety, we had male privilege and have not developed the caution that women have. We might not think twice about walking alone on a dark city street.

For me I was worried one night when I had to walk back to my car in a parking garage in Hartford and I had to pass by a couple of bars with guys hanging outside of them. Luckily, there were four or five lesbians that were also heading back to their cars. One of them saw me staring at the bars and asked if I wanted to walk with them… Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Trans Athletes

The NCAA rules allow trans athletes to play on the team of their gender identity under certain conditions, as a result more trans people are playing sports.
13 November 2015

A transgender man in the US has become the first NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I openly transgender swimmer.

According to Harvard, Schuyler Bailar, made history in Friday's dual meet against Bryant.
Outsports reported Bailer said:

"It was a pretty emotional moment for me. I had been at countless national anthems getting ready to race and this was the first one I was really myself in a swim setting, and that's something I've been working towards for a really long time."

Bailer’s first race was breaststroke in the 200 medley relay.
According to Jared Anderson writing in SwimSwam,
The Harvard Crimson men will open their season this weekend with a home meet against Bryant University, and the meet will also serve as the NCAA debut of Schuyler Bailar, the first transgender NCAA swimmer in recent history.

Bailar was orginally recruited to the Harvard women’s program out of the powerhouse Nation’s Capital Swim Club, and was a member of a national age group record-setting relay in women’s competition.

But last year, Bailar came out as transgender, and will officially make his freshman debut as a member of the men’s program.
The Harvard coaches were supportive throughout the decision-making process, Bailar says, going back to 2014, when he first told the coach who recruited him, Harvard women’s coach Stephanie Morawski, that he was transgender.

“She didn’t skip a beat,” Bailar said. “She was like, we’ll make it work. If you want to keep swimming, we’re going to make it work.”

And make it work Harvard did, as Bailar was offered a spot on the men’s team, an option Bailar officially decided on in the spring of 2015.
NCAA has an extensive policy that Bailer must follow,
Hormone therapy will help that charge. Bailar is taking testosterone to reach the level of an average male – the NCAA already has a system in place to govern the fairness of this, which you can read about in the NCAA’s handbook on transgender student-athlete participartion. Bailar’s testosterone levels are monitored regularly to ensure there are no competitive advantages over other men.
The same is true for trans female athletes, they also have to follow a strict hormone regiment with monitoring.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Tough Topic

It is something that the opposition uses against us, the high suicide rate in the trans community. But in reality it is them who are causing it.
The Truth About Transgender Suicide
Huffington Post Gay Voices
By Brynn Tannehill
Posted: 11/14/2015

Why transgender people are at risk is something that has actually been studied in great detail by psychologists and sociologists. They have found many of the same factors increase risk across multiple peer reviewed studies.

Rejection by friends and family increases suicide risk
Transgender people who are rejected by their families or lack social support are much more likely to both consider suicide, and to attempt it. Conversely, those with strong support were 82% less likely to attempt suicide than those without support, according to one recent study. Another study showed that transgender youth whose parents reject their gender identity are 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than transgender youth who are supported by their parents.

Discrimination increases suicide risk
Transgender people in states without LGBT legal protections are at higher risk of suicide. Other studies have found that transgender people who have been discriminated against are at a higher risk of suicide. What makes this worse is that discrimination against transgender people in health care, employment, accommodations, and housing is very common. Even in places with legal protections for transgender people, like Washington D.C., cultural bias and discrimination remains.
The article goes on to list, Physical abuse increases suicide risk, Physical abuse increases suicide risk and one of the biggies, Being seen as transgender or gender non-conforming increases suicide risk being unable to integrate into society is one of the biggest risk factors for self-harm or violence against us.

Also another factor is oursleves,
Internalized transphobia increases suicide risk
Internalized transphobia is when a transgender individual applies negative messages about transgender people in general to themselves. It's not hard to find such messages in our culture, especially since a multi-million dollar smear campaign in Houston successfully convinced an uninformed populace that transgender people should be treated like rapists and pedophiles. When transgender people start applying such messages to themselves, the suicide attempt rate skyrockets.
And if you are a minority Intersecting minority identities increases suicide risk, it doesn't just increase the risk additionally but rather exponentially. If you are a minority and do not integrate into society that good then you risk factor for self-harm is extremely high.

The author goes on to sum up the article,
Notice a pattern here? None of these risks for suicide are about being transgender. They're about what is being done to transgender people. And therein lies the rub.

There's nothing inherently wrong with being transgender.

There is something horribly, horribly wrong with the way we as a culture treat transgender people.
In other words, any attempt to suggest that the solution to the problem of suicide in the transgender community is to stop being transgender is nothing more than chaff. These individuals are more interested in enforcing their brand of Biblical morality on society than the actual well-being of transgender people.
Do you want to end the high suicide rates of trans people? Then help work to change the way society looks at trans people.

Over The Top

Accused murderer shows up in court in a transparent skin-tight dress showing her black underwear and she is trans.
Female transgender turns heads in court in revealing dress
Jamaican Observer
By Tanesha Mundle
November 15, 2015

A transgender woman accused of mowing down her lover during a tiff created quite a stir when she appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court in a transparent skin-tight dress showing her black underwear.

The voluptuous transgender cosmetologist accused, who now sports breasts, extended hips and buttocks and was adorned in Brazilian hair touching her waist and nude pumps, seemed to have fooled many of the men in the courtroom, whose attention she had captured.

The 24-year-old accused, who is charged with manslaughter, was arrested and charged in connection with the death of her lover, Carlos Ottary, a landscaper of Chancery Hall in St Andrew.
She probably just hung herself. As a result the men on the jury have probably already made up their minds.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Do you know whose birthday it is today?

Hint: She is connected to Bach.
Hint: Her music in the late sixties crossed over to Classical to FM.

Wendy Carlos. It was her Moog synthesized Switched-On Bach that came out in 1968 that created a fire storm as it spread across the country. What you may not know about her is,
By Natasha MacDonald-Dupuis
August 11, 2015

In 1968, Wendy Carlos took a Moog synthesizer, an unknown instrument at the time, and electronically reconstructed Johann Sebastian Bach's six "Brandenburg Concertos" into the first ever platinum-selling classical album, "Switched on Bach." The album became the most influential "electronic" classical recording of all time, smashing the borders between classical and synthesized music. It won her three Grammys and sent a message to the world that a synthesizer was a musical instrument, rather than just an obscure machine used by professors in labs to make weird robot sounds.

Carlos was born in a working-class family in Pawtucket, R.I., and started piano lessons at age six. She went on to study music and physics at Brown University and music composition with pioneers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, the first electronic music center in the U.S.A. She started working as a tape editor at Gotham Recording and struck up a friendship with Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer, consequently becoming one of his first clients.

Throughout the years, Carlos influenced Moog and helped him refine his synthesizers, ultimately convincing him to add touch sensitivity to the synth keyboard for better dynamics and musicality. "Wendy has built up lyrical sounds nobody ever heard coming out of a digital synthesizer before," Moog said in a 1985 interview with People Magazine. "Nobody is in her league."
She is one of the early pioneers in the trans community and I can remember when Switched-On Bach first came out, it was by Walter Carlos then a number of years later Playboy (excerpts from the article can be found here) came out with Wendy Carlos’ transition… Wow!

So sit back and enjoy.

Saturday 9: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1972)*

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) The lyrics tell us about a young man who stopped at a bar named Webb's before heading home. What's the last restaurant or bar you visited? What did you order?
I’m trying to remember where I was in Provincetown on Cape Cod (I know that sounds bad), I think it was the Crown and Anchor and I had my usual, club soda and a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

2) In this video, Vicki Lawrence is obviously lip synching. If you had to participate in a competition, would you do better at karaoke or lip synching? And what song would you choose to perform?
Lip synch, believe me when I tell you that you don’t want to hear me sing, and the song… row, row your boat.

3) Back when this song was popular, so was the Rubik's Cube. Can you solve that 3-D puzzle?
Nope my mind just goes blank and I kind of stare off into space and start to drool every time someone hands me a Rubik’s Cube.

4) Vicki Lawrence is a hyphenate, meaning she's a comedienne-actress-singer. Using hyphens, describe yourself.
Engineer-social worker

5) Back in the early 1970s, songwriter Bobby Russell first offered this song to Cher, who refused it. Give us the name of a song Cher did record.
I can name a couple that I like, “If I Could Turn Back Time,” “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves,” and “Half Breed”

6) Vicki Lawrence won her first big break playing Carol Burnett's kid sister because of her resemblance to the star. Have you ever been told you look like a celebrity?
Nope, can’t say that I have.

7) She also starred on Mama's Family in the role of matriarch of an argumentative Southern clan. As we head into the holiday season, do your plans involve a lot of family time? 
Yes, I will be with my family for the holidays

8) After The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family, Vicki became a staple on daytime TV. She hosted Win, Lose or Draw and was a contestant on The Match Game and $25,000 Pyramid. Do you watch much daytime TV?
Zero, however, I do watch the news at twelve.

9) Random question provided by a Sat 9er: Bugs/insects. Do you like 'em or fear 'em? Tell us something/anything you know about them.
I hate the type that bit and I don’t mind them outside, but inside is a different story.

*This week marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Great Northeast Blackout.