Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Shades Of Dr. Alan Hart

First off, do you know who Dr. Alan Hart was?

He was a doctor back around the turn of the Twentieth century, it is believed that he was transgender (because we will never know what he thought I don’t like to label anyone trans. He could have lived as a man in order to be a doctor and marry the woman that he loved).

Over in England another doctor faced the same bias as Dr. Hart did.
Secret transgender Victorian surgeon feted by Historic England
Dr James Barry, who concealed the fact that he was a woman throughout successful medical career, recognised by Historic England
Dr James Barry ‘was the most hardened creature I ever met’, according to Florence Nightingale.
The Guardian
By Mark Brown Arts
Tuesday 25 July 2017

Dr James Barry, who concealed the fact that he was a woman throughout successful medical career, recognised by Historic England

He died in 1865 and his gravestone reads simply “Dr James Barry, Inspector General of Hospitals”. However, he was one of the most renowned of all Victorian surgeons, and because he was born Margaret Ann Bulkley, he holds an important place in the UK’s transgender history.
The listings shine a light on fascinating stories and people, not least Barry, who hoodwinked the military and medical establishment by masquerading as a man and rising to the top of his profession.

Because women were barred from most formal education and most professions, he had no way of fulfilling his dreams without the pretence. Barry enlisted in the army soon after graduating from Edinburgh University and served around the world. In 1826, he carried out a successful caesarean section in Cape Town – an operation not performed in Britain until 1833.
As I mentioned, we really do not know if Dr. Barry was trans or not. Just because he lived as a man does not mean that he was trans. Just as Dr. Hart, the language and society doesn’t give us many clues. Were they trying to escape the bias against women that barred them from practice medicine or was it because they were lesbians or was it because they were trans we will never know definitely.

But the fact that they both married woman surely shows that they were LGBT but where on the spectrum we will never know.

Taken Care Of Ourselves

On a trans forum one time I posted about having our Prostate checked annually and I had a lot of backlash from the other members. But the reality is that we still have to check our legacy organs.
What Transgender Women Need to Know About Their Risk of Prostate Cancer
By Korin Miller
July 21, 2017

It’s pretty well known that prostate cancer is a disease that should be on every man’s radar. After all, it's the most common cancer among American men, and an estimated 161,360 new cases of the disease are expected to be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society. But things are a little more muddled for transgender women—and experts say that trans women need to be aware of their prostate cancer risk.

Even people who have undergone gender-affirming surgery will typically still have a prostate, Zil Goldstein, assistant professor of medical education and program director for the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System, tells SELF.

Prostate cancer can and does happen to transgender women. A 2013 case study published in the Canadian Urological Association Journal, for example, reports the case of a transgender woman who was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer (meaning, it had spread beyond her prostate to other parts of her body), 31 years after she transitioned. Another case study published in JAMA tells the story of a transgender woman who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 41 years after her transition.
And then for the heart…
Hormone Tx Tied to CVD Risk in Transgender Adults
Transgender health issues need more study
MedPage Today
By Kristen Monaco
July 24, 2017

Although cross-sex hormone therapy (CSHT) is tied with improved psychological well being in transgender persons, it may come with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, researchers reported.

In a narrative review, CSHT was associated with increased cardiovascular (CVD) risk factors among transgender men (female to male), especially among those also on testosterone treatment. Such risk factors included increased blood pressure, insulin resistance, as well as lipid derangements, according to Carl G. Streed Jr., MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

As for transgender women (male to female), there is a link between CSHT with an increased risk for thromboembolism, they wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Streed's group advised healthcare providers should monitor patients on CSHT closely given this increased CVD risk, and recommended patients consider lifestyle modifications, such as not smoking and a healthy diet, in order to mitigate such risks.
We are the Guinea pigs; let’s face it the big drug companies really don’t care about 0.5% of the population. The FDA doesn’t care about and only a handful of doctors care about us.

As much as we hate it we need to have our legacy organs checked regularly.

Monday, July 24, 2017

We Need To Pass A Law.

We cannot let this happen here in Connecticut, we need to pass a law banning trans or gay panic legal defenses in criminal trials.
Ex-Navy sailor gets 40 years for killing transgender woman
CBS News
By Crimesider Staff AP
July 21, 2017

PASCAGOULA, Miss. - A former Navy sailor has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the 2016 stabbing death of a transgender woman in Mississippi.

Dwanya Hickerson, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the killing of Dee Whigham in a St. Martin hotel room on July 23. Hickerson will also have to serve 15 years for a robbery charge. He could have faced the death penalty if he had gone to trial on the original charge of capital murder.

Autopsy results show Whigham, 25, was stabbed 119 times. Many of the wounds were to the victim's face, and her throat was slashed three times.
And why did he stab her in such a brutal way?
Hickerson said in court Thursday that he and Whigham had been chatting online for a couple of months but had never met in person. He said they decided to meet while she was in Biloxi with friends.

He said Whigham picked him up at the gate of Keesler and the two went straight to the hotel where Whigham was staying. He said after they had a form of sex at the hotel, she told him she was a transgender woman.

"I lost. I lost it," he said, saying he really didn't remember much afterward.
First, we do not know if she told him before their encounter because she is dead and we only have the word of the killer to go by. How many times do we hear that the murder knew she was trans before they had sex but when his friends find out that he is dating a trans women he goes and kills her to protect his reputation.

Second, why should we have to tell anyone that we are trans? That assumes that being trans is something terrible and somehow disgraceful.

We need here in Connecticut a law banning trans or gay panic legal defenses, but not only trans/gay panic defenses but also medical, religion or race panic defenses.

It should be not legal for someone kill a person and then say that they did it because they found out the person was a Muslim or black or had a communicable disease.

It’s the Courts We Have To Worry About.

What Trump does can be undone once we get the Republicans out of office, but the judges are another thing all together.
Republicans think blogger who calls gays ‘faggots’ should be a federal judge
LGBTQ Nation
By Jeff Taylor
July 14, 2017

Senate Republicans in the Senate Judiciary Committee have pushed through the nomination of a federal judge with anti-LGBTQ views, and a worrying blogging history.

John Bush has been nominated by President Trump to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday with an 11-9 vote.

Bush writes under the pen name G. Morris for his wife‘s blog, Elephants in the Bluegrass, where he has shown support for a sign promising violence against Obama supporters who might steal an opposing campaign sign, compared abortion to slavery, and backed the conspiracy theory that former president Obama was born in Kenya.

He also wrote a post critical of the State Department‘s decision to change passport applications to refer to parents in a gender-neutral way, as “Mother or Parent 1” and “Father or Parent 2.”
“I come here every year, and let me tell you one thing I’ve learned — this is no town to be giving people the impression you’re some kind of faggot,” Bush said, quoting Thompson.
He is going to be a Federal judge with life tenure; he could be on the bench for 20 or 30 years! And there are over a hundred judicial appointments pending! The Republicans sat on President Obama’s judicial appointments just so they can pack the courts.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Another Step Toward Bigotry.

Down in Texas despite all the comments by big business, the tourist industry, and the clergy against the bill to deny us a place to pee, the Republicans forge ahead.
Texas Senate committee approves transgender bathroom bill
By Chuck Lindell
July 21, 2017

During an 11-hour hearing that lasted into the night, the Capitol rang once again Friday with voices debating legislation to ban transgender-friendly bathroom policies by local governments and public schools.

And although most witnesses spoke against Senate Bill 3, the Senate State Affairs Committee voted 8-1 to send it to the full Senate, which could vote as early as Monday. All Republicans on the committee voted in favor, as did Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville. The only no vote came from Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.

Sometimes tearful, sometimes angry during this year’s third public hearing on the subject, transgender Texans and parents of transgender children told the committee that limiting bathroom use to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate would target a vulnerable population for harassment, isolation and discrimination.

“What about my safety? There are people out there who hate me,” said Ashley Smith, a transgender woman who said the two bills by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, would force her to use the men’s restroom even though she looks nothing like a man.
The Republican governor and the Republican legislature just want to jam this bill through and they don’t care about any repercussions. The only thing that may save us is the Republican Speaker of the House who is against this bill, he has said that,
“I’m not a lawyer, but I am a Texan,” said Straus, according to the magazine. “I’m disgusted by all this. Tell the lieutenant governor I don’t want the suicide of a single Texan on my hands.”
An article in The Hill said,
Bathroom bill opens deep rift in Texas GOP
By Reid Wilson
July 18, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas — A proposal to ban transgender people from using the bathroom or locker room of their choice has sparked a legislative hostage crisis among Texas Republicans, exposing an ongoing rift between populists who align themselves with President Trump and more traditional, business-oriented conservatives.
That bill is a top priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), an arch conservative who runs the state Senate and who served as Trump’s Texas campaign chairman.

But the state House, led by Speaker Joe Straus (R), refused to pass the bathroom bill during the chamber’s regular session, amid opposition from some of the state’s largest employers, sports leagues and civil rights groups. Straus endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.
So will Speaker Straus hold his ground or will he cave into pressure or will he finagle a political plum from the governor? So stay tune to the same bat-channel for more of the continuing saga of Texas’s attempts to force us back into the closet.

I Never Saw This Coming!

In the past Gov. Christie has vetoed similar bills and I thought he would veto this bill also, but I was wrong.
Christie signs bill to create bathroom, other rights for transgender students
By Brent Johnson
July 22, 2017

TRENTON -- Transgender students at New Jersey's public schools were given new layers of protection under a bill that Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Friday.

The legislation (S3067/A4652) -- which takes effect immediately -- charges the state commissioner of education with creating specific guidelines to help schools address "the needs" of transgender students and establish policies that "ensure a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment" for those students.

Schools would be expressly told that they cannot force transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that conflict with their gender identity. Instead, schools would be be mandated to provide "reasonable alternative arrangements" for those students.

Schools would also be required to make sure transgender students are addressed by the name and pronoun they prefer, regardless of whether a legal name change has occurred.

The law also tells schools they must allow students to dress according to their gender identity, create confidentiality plans to make sure employees do not disclose a student's transgender or transition status, issues school documents and identification cards to make the student's gender identity, and let students take part in gym class with the gender that matches their identity.
Any guesses on what the Christian right had to say about the bill?
New Jersey Family Policy Council, a conservative group that champions family values, spoke out heavily against the Democratic-sponsored measure.
Sorry Charlie, your fear mongering didn’t work.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday 9: Don't Stop

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Don't Stop (1977)... because Country Dew recommended Fleetwood Mac 

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Since we're not supposed to stop thinking about tomorrow, let's talk about it: What are your plans for Sunday?
Well, now that we don’t have the cottage the weekends are boring. I don’t have any plans for Sunday.

2) Fleetwood Mac was formed 50 years ago in London. Fifty years is considered a "golden anniversary." Do you wear more silver or gold?
Um… does gold plating count? If so, I have more gold than silver.

3) This song is from Rumours, which has sold 40 million copies. Is it in your collection?
Of course.

4) It was written by keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie. She was born Christine Perfect, a name that earned her a fair share of teasing when she was a school girl. Do you recall being teased in school? What about?
Of course, anyone who wore glasses was “four eyes” and I was a nerd before the word “nerd” even existed.

5) Before Fleetwood Mac, she was in a band called Chicken Shack. If you were to order out for a chicken dinner, which restaurant would you turn to?
That is a hard question to answer. Here in town we have a choice of Italian or Chinese, we are seriously lacking in take-out choices. So to answer your question it would be Chicken Parmigiana from the pizza joint just a block away.

6) Before she could pay all her bills with her music, she supported herself as a window dresser for a London department store. Do you enjoy walking along, just window shopping? Or do you consider "looking with no intention to buy" a waste of time?
Yes, and yes. I like a walking buddy and I don’t like window shopping.

7) When she found herself making big money, one of the first things Christine bought was a pair of matching Mercedes for herself and then-husband, John McVie. If you were handed a check for $1 million, what's the first thing you would do with the money?
Call my broker.
Then rent a big yacht and throw a big party.

8) The other girl in Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, founded the Soldier's Angel Foundation. She believes in the healing power of music, and so she's proud to provide wounded soldiers with iPods already loaded with music. When you listen to music from your phone, MP3 player or iPod, do you use ear buds or headphones?
It depends upon where. Inside the house I wouldn’t wear them but outside on the deck I wear noise cancelling headphones.

9) Random question: Let's pretend your high school reunion is coming up. Which classmate are you more curious about: the one who was your first date, or the one who was too cool to give you the time of day?
The one who I had my first date with. I always wondered how she is doing, the last I heard she was married and working at a small pharmaceutical out San Francisco.

Friday, July 21, 2017

When You Are A Public Figure, The Haters Come Out Of The Woodwork

Anyone who is a public figure, an activist, or just speaks up came become a lightning rod for the haters and that is one reason that my blog comments are moderated to block the haters.
Young Trans Artist Targeted by Neo-Nazis
The Advocate
By Jacob Anederson-Minshall
July 20, 2017

Earlier this year, cartoonist Sophie Labelle’s Assigned Male comic, about a young trans girl, suddenly disappeared from Facebook. It was replaced by a page of vile, racist, neo-Nazi propaganda.

Earlier this year, cartoonist Sophie Labelle’s Assigned Male comic, about a young trans girl, suddenly disappeared from Facebook. It was replaced by a page of vile, racist, neo-Nazi propaganda.

Labelle posted in May that her web comic was down “because it got hacked.”

“After receiving several thousands of death threats in the past few days for making my art, my address was also posted on several forums,” she added.

The 28-year-old Canadian comic creator tells The Advocate there was a coordinated attack on her Facebook page, which made it crash. That forced her to remove it, and someone used the opportunity to create a fake page posting neo-Nazi hate speech, including suggesting Labelle should be sent to a concentration camp or gas chamber.

“This is what you get for being trans on the internet and for reframing transness into something positive and empowering,” Labelle posted at the time.
I have to seconded that, the anonymity of the web have embolden the haters on the web where you can use a pen name or just be anonymous has opened up the web to hate.
The attacks Sophie Labelle experienced are becoming all too common. Emily Waters of the New York City Anti-Violence Project explains, “LGBTQ communities have always used the Internet as a way to create and share community,” which makes us all particularly sensitive to such attacks. “As our lives and communities continue to move online, we must realize that online harassment has a real impact on [LGBTQ] lives.”
I haven’t received threats but I have received hate comments, here are some of the more tame comments,
“When will ‘Diane’ stop looking, talking, and smelling like a man?”

“So one more comment that will never see the light of day simply because the tyrant that runs this blog, just like the vast majority of trans forums and blogs, has no interest in the rights of others or their views, who simply do not agree with their trans-dogma that MEN with penises who throw on a wig and an ugly dress are actually women because they, the MEN, say so.”

“I disagree. Milo is calling attention to the fact that this student is in fact a man claiming to be a woman whose only justification is that he feelz like one. Just how would he know what a woman feelz like? Does he menstruate? Nevertheless he feels empowered enough to invade the women’s locker room and expose his penis. All you delusional cupcakes should read his 8 page profanity filled rant”
These are some of the more mild comments that I get, most of the time there is an overabundance of four letter and derogatory words.

Many of the comments come from people who are trans whom the community calls HBSer for those who follow the old Harry Benjamin Syndrome standards which required you to be attracted to men and be able to fully integrate in your true gender into society.

Someone once told me that if you don’t get hate mail you must not be doing anything.

The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

Our story comes from all places this morning, Playboy.

Not valid research but more anecdotal in to trans people who change sexual orientation when they transition.
Going Straight: Investigating the Sex Lives of Transgender Women
By Katelyn Burns
July 19, 2017

According to Debra W. Soh, a sexual neuroscientist and one of Playboy’s resident sexologists, sexuality flips like mine are common among trans women. “Research has shown that about one third of trans women will report a change in their sexual orientation throughout their lifetime, and flipping can happen for a number of reasons,” she says. Sexuality is fluid and there are myriad reasons and situations in which trans women may feel their attractions shifting. Soh continues, “For some people, a change can represent sexual interests that were there all along but only became fully realized upon transitioning. For others it may be the result of romantic opportunities becoming available that weren’t before, like someone whom you wouldn’t have previously considered asking you out.”

Given that it’s fairly common, fears of a sexuality flip are a frequent concern for trans people starting hormone replacement therapy, especially for those already married or in a committed relationship with a straight partner. When I began transitioning last year, my marriage disintegrated quickly. Not only was my wife straight, but she worried I’d be attracted to men after transitioning. In retrospect, she was right to worry.
For many trans people, their transitions have hardened their original sexual attractions; for others, their transitions have allowed them to more fully explore their inner attractions. Trans people who experience a flip in their sexualities seem to be in the minority and trans people in general are more likely to be in the LGB spectrum than cis people are. It’s a common misconception that trans people transition in order to sleep with straight people of their sex assigned at birth. The combination of gender and sexuality is especially complex for transgender people, and we should be allowed to explore our true feelings without stigma or social pressure.
As I said this is not research but a collection of anecdotal stories but it raises so valid question about sexual orientation; is it fixed? Or can it change.

When I do cultural training I bring this up, how I have observed that some trans people’s sexual orientation change and I mention how this might be an interesting research topic.

Some of my thoughts are that their sexual orientation might have been repressed and before they transitioned it subconsciously buried and once they transitioned it might have boiled to the surface. Or maybe they just see that opposites attract.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Second Look

On Tuesday I wrote about a trans woman being denied the use of a bathroom at Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas, well there were comments on the WPATH (World Professional Association on Transgender Health) Facebook page that I want to comment about this afternoon.

First there were these comments by the same person…
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN; this is las vegas, these casino properties are PRIVATE PROPERTY, they each have their own police force. they can and will do anything they want, laws are not neccessarally in effect here. these places have their own rules of conduct, and they enforce them as they please. spouting off laws or anything else will get you escorted to a private security area where you will be assaulted and confined OFF CAMERA. THEN YOU WILL BE ARRESTED FOR YOUR OPINIONS. do not ever take that forgranted in las vegas. these places are private property. they make their own laws.

what the casinos do or dont do is NOT UP TO ME. what laws they follow or dont follow ARE NOT UP TO ME. all im doing is relaying my own experience. PLEASE DO NOT ATTACK ME, TELL ME THE LAWS OR IN WAY SUGGEST MY EXPERIENCE OR THE TRANS PERSONS IN THE ARTICLES EXPERIENCE COULD BE CHANGED. IF YOU DONT BELEIVE WHAT I HAVE SAID OR WHAT HAPPENED IN THE VIDEO, please come here to vegas and prove it wrong i dare you.
One person replied,
I'm a former Vegas resident, and, no--- even though I still have my El Cortez gaming card, these are no longer the days of Bugsy and his mob. All businesses open to the public are subject to local, state, and federal laws, including sanitation, food safety, gaming regs, handicap access, and human rights. The "private property" meme, even spelled in all caps, does not make anyone exempt from the rule of law. For example, southern racists can no longer engage in the atrocity of slavery on their private property. In my experience, most Vegas casino/hotel owners want to avoid a reputation for bigotry. In fact, Nevada S.B. 331, prohibiting public accommodation discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, would not have passed in 2011 if major casino owners had opposed it. MGM's apology and clarification of their own diversity policies is the rule, rather than the exception. Though there are still incidents in Vegas (the Cosmo was problematic when I was there), I feel safer from discrimination in that city than many in the U.S.
Trans people come in all shapes and sizes, some pass easily while others does pass at all. Some trans people can afford to have electrolysis while other cannot, so are we going to prohibit those who can’t afford to remove their breads to transition?

I am reminded of a homeless shelter where residents complained to the staff about two trans women,
Two women who stay at Florence House, a homeless shelter for women in Portland, have complained that two men who dress as women have also been staying there for the past few months -- using the same common bathrooms, showers and sleeping facilities.

The women say it's unsettling to share a space with people they consider men, although shelter officials say the two people identify as transgender and are therefore allowed to stay.
And the staff reply was right on…
Officials with the Preble Street nonprofit organization, which owns the Florence House, said transgender people may appear to be male but identify themselves as women when checking in at the shelter. They have rights and are allowed to use the facilities, said Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street.

“We don’t discriminate against anybody,” Swann said. “We accept people at the shelter as they present themselves.”
We cannot police those who are trans, gender dysphoria does not discriminate it can strike anyone and we have no business telling someone not to transition because if their looks, or socioeconomic status that they cannot transition.

Here in Connecticut it is a little different in that the casinos are on tribal land and subject to tribal law. However, other businesses in the state that come under the public accommodation laws do have to obey the law and not discriminate. It doesn’t matter if they own the building and land, if they are “open” the public they come under the law (private clubs are exempt from the law, places like golf courses, VFW, and the American Legion or private organizations like the Boy Scouts are also exempt).

It should be interesting to see what happens to the new casino that they are building off of tribal lands in East Windsor and if it will be subject to state laws. But I have to say that when I have gone to the casinos on tribal lands I have had absolutely no problems… other than losing money on the slots (I have only been there about four times in the seventeen years).

Another comment be another person said is more disturbing,
I saw the video. I could not tell that was a trans woman. She looks like a guy. Now I know things change. And I know, people start somewhere. But if you wanted to be treated like a woman you should present as a woman. You wanna be treated as a man you should be presenting is a man. Going Postal on the guy for doing his job does not help our community whatsoever. 31 years as a transgender woman and I would've asked for his ID. I would've asked why he was in there. This looks more like a person who wanted attention.
Okay… once again how is a woman supposed to look? Or how is a trans woman to look? Especially since she only transitioned seven months ago and from the picture it looks like she is letting her hair grow out from the military hair cut.

Someone reply to her and said,
I know a lot of women who have short hair and look butch? How does a woman present according to your standards?
And the original person who commented said,
It's not about a standard. It's about expecting somebody to know something without any possible clue. And then going ballistic on them. We have a lot of problems in this country right now against Trans people. This does not help us. Actually, this hurts us in looks like a cry for attention.
Are we going to have to go before a board of trans people to get a thumbs up or down on whether we can transition? Or are we going to have to take lessons and get a certificate and what to say in public when you are discriminated against?

We are who we are; there are going to be some who know what to say and what not to say before a camera and others who haven’t a clue what to say.

I got my baptism under fire back in 2007 when I went down in Washington DC for lobby days. Nobody told me what to say but I learned fast… think in sound bites. In 2007 they interviewed me for about five minutes and all they used was “I don’t think it will pass this year, we are in for the long haul” and all of sudden they labeled a “season professional.”

Hmm… $3 million vs. LGBT Groups

That is the choice that a Baptist college had, accept a donation of 3 million dollars and get rid the campus LGBT organization or keep the LGBT organization and forgo the $3,000,000.

Guess what the  Baptist college did?
This university would rather give up $3 million than destroy its LGBT students group
Pink News
By Josh Jackman
20th July 2017

A Christian university has turned down $3 million in funding from a religious group which came on condition of shutting down an LGBT students group.

Samford University, which was founded by Alabama Baptists, rejected the hefty annual donation from the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

The university has seemingly chosen to support Samford Together, a group in which students can discuss topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, over the Christian group.
Instead of waiting to see if this threat would be fulfilled, Samford has preemptively rejected the donation.

Samford’s president, Andrew Westmoreland, said in a statement announcing the decision that all students must be respected.
Maybe people are starting to realize that discrimination against anyone is wrong. Just maybe we are starting to see a backlash against the bigots.

Then down in Texas companies are standing up against the Republican legislators who are trying to force us back in the closet.
IBM takes out full-page ads, sends top execs to lobby against bathroom bill
Dallas News
Written by Lauren McGaughy
July 14, 2017

IBM is upping the ante in its fight against Texas' so-called "bathroom bill," dispatching top executives to Austin and waging an ad war against what it calls the "discriminatory legislation."

Before state lawmakers reconvene Tuesday for a special legislative session, the technology giant is taking out full-page advertisements in The Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News and Austin American-Statesman opposing the legislation they say discriminates against transgender Texans.

IBM will also send 20 employees, including top executives like Senior Vice President for Human Resources Diane Gherson and Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, to the Capitol on Tuesday to express their opposition to the bills in person.
And they are not alone.
IBM has been at the forefront of the business community's push against the bathroom bill. In May, it was one of several corporations, including Apple and Facebook, that sent Abbott a letter saying that "any such legislation would deeply tarnish Texas' reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families."

On Thursday, the Dallas Regional Chamber also sent Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick a letter expressing opposition to the legislation. Business leaders from North Texas plan to rally against the bathroom bill at the Capitol when the special session convenes.
Stay tune for the continuing saga of Texas Republicans try to demonizing us.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

It’s Not That Simple

If you ever read comments on an article about trans issues you will usually see a comment about XX and XY chromosomes and that is so Fiftyish.
Transgender People and “Biological Sex” Myths
By Julia Serano
July 17, 2017

note: The day this was published, H.R. 2796 — a U.S. congressional bill that would legally re-define “man” and “woman” based on an individual’s “genetic sex,” as a means to rollback transgender rights — started to garner news & media attention. While this essay was not intended to address that bill specifically, it thoroughly undermines its logical, legal, and scientific standing.

I recently penned an essay entitled Debunking “Trans Women Are Not Women” Arguments in the hopes that it would be a useful primer for countering such claims. But sometimes, efforts to undermine or exclude trans women rely on a somewhat different tactic which takes the following form: A case will be made that sex is distinct from gender — the former being purely biological in nature, the latter being entirely social. Upon making this claim, it will then be argued that, while trans women may indeed be women (because “woman” is a gender category), we nevertheless remain “biologically male” (a sex category). This line of reasoning is often accompanied by claims that women are oppressed because of their sex (not gender), and therefore feminism should be exclusively for “biological females” (thereby expunging trans women).

While this is not a new argument, it has garnered increased attention after Laci Green (a popular YouTube personality) recently forwarded it in a series of videos and comments. Since social media is actively reacting to Green’s comments and similar claims made by others, I thought that this would be an opportune time to debunk this “trans women are biological males” argument, as well as misconceptions about “biological sex” more generally.
More controversially, there is some evidence to suggest that our gender identities are influenced by biology. For those interested, here are some references from my book Whipping Girl that discuss this: [see article for the list of references]

This evidence includes the findings that a few microscopic regions of the brain display sexual dimorphism, and that, in these regions, trans women’s brains appear more female-typical than male-typical. Even more persuasive is the fact that a majority of genetically male children who have been (without their knowledge) raise from birth as girls because they did not have a penis (due to botched circumcision, or the non-intersex condition cloacal exstrophy) eventually come to identify as boys and men, despite their gender socialization to the contrary. These examples demonstrate that biological sex can influence gender (thereby disproving point #1).
She goes on to debunk more arguments that are used against us, including…

  • The “nature versus nurture” fallacy
  • Clarifying the “sex is a social construct” argument
  • Women are oppressed because of both sex and gender
  • The myth that trans people are trying to deny or erase “biological sex” differences

And she ends with,
But in my experience, when people go out of their way to use the clunky phrasing “biological male/female,” they are almost always attempting to contend that 1) biology trumps trans people’s gender identities and lived experiences, and 2) dismiss the reality of gender and sexual diversity, and the fact that there are exceptions to every sex and gender category. If this is your intention, then you should know that I am not “denying” or “erasing” sex differences. I am simply pointing out that you are uninformed about these matters and/or an outright bigot.
We now know that there are many factors in determining one’s gender besides chromosomes. There are hormonal, there are genes such as the SRY gene, there are enzymes like 5-alpha reductase deficiency and there are prenatal environmental factors that determine gender identity.

It is interesting to note that intersex babies when they are given “corrective surgery” still identity as their dominant gender. In a NBC article Dr. William Reiner who studies intersex persons said,
“To discover who or what a child is ... you have to ask them,” Dr. William Reiner of the Oklahoma University Health Science Center told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“There is no one biological parameter that clearly defines sex,” added Dr. Eric Vilain of the University of California, Los Angeles, whose research suggests gender is genetically hard-wired into the brain before birth — regardless of which genitalia develop.
Then there is the BSTc a section of the brain which has been found to be different in men and women. Medscape reports that…
A similar study by Kruijver et al provided further data supporting the role of the BSTc in transgender identity.[10] They examined tissue from the same 6 MTF estrogen-treated transgender persons studied by Zhou et al and found that the number of neurons in the BSTc was more similar to genetic XX female controls. BSTc neuron number was also in the male range in the 1 FTM androgen-treated transgender individual studied.
There are also other regions of the brain that are different in men and women that trans people show a resemblance closer to the gender identity than their assigned at birth gender that are pointed out in the Medscape article.

But it is also important to remember that this might be one of a number of the reasons why a person is transgender.

Making Headway… Slowly

Down in Puerto Rico there is some movement in LGB rights.
Puerto Rico takes first step toward equal rights for all
LGBTQ Nation
By Associated Press
July 5, 2017

Puerto Rico‘s governor has created the island’s first government advisory board to champion LGBTQ issues and protect the rights of that community.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Wednesday that he’s striving to make the U.S. territory more diverse and inclusive. He is leader of a party known for being socially conservative.

Rossello said the board will submit a progress report every six months.

Currently, as in all U.S. territories save for American Samoa, same-sex marriage is legal in Puerto Rico, although a marriage equality ban was briefly reinstated by an antigay district judge last year until a federal appeals court restored the right.
However, the headline is misleading because…
However, as the Washington Blade reported, Puerto Rico’s senate rescinded transgender protections this past April, making it illegal for transgender students and people who work in the island’s Senate to use the bathroom or wear clothing that corresponds to the gender with which they identify.

Transgender Puerto Ricans can legally change their gender marker on their driver’s licenses, although not on their Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates. They can change their names on those documents, however, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Thump, thump, once again were hear the bus diving over of us.

Last week I wrote about crusade against LGBT people in Chechnya well now the leaders of Chechnya and Russia speak up about the killings and concentration camps.
Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov: Families should kill their gay relatives
Pink News UK
By Benjamin Butterworth
19th July 2017
Chechnya’s leader Presdient Ramzan Kadyrov has defended honour killings of gay men.

Speaking to HBO, the Chechen president said that he would defend the rights of families to murder their gay relatives.
In the TV interview, he declared: “If we have such people here, then I’m telling you officially, their relatives won’t let them be, because of our faith, our mentality, customs and traditions.
“Even if it’s punishable under the law, we would still condone it.”
And in Russia Trump’s idol said,
Putin spokesman backs Chechnya leader’s call for gay purge to ‘purify our blood’
LGBT Nation
By Jeff Taylor
July 17, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov for his comments during an interview with HBO about gay people.
Peskov’s response amounts to a shrug and a, “Nothing to see here, folks.”

After saying Kadyrov’s words are often taken out of context, Peskov stated that “nothing out of the unusual was said there,” TASS reports.

Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia, and since April reports have been coming in about the abduction and abuse of gay and bisexual men.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Your Papers Please Or Passing Privilege

If you can integrate into society you are going to have a lot less harassment than someone who is readily identified as trans.
Transgender Texan Trolls Governor to Protest ‘Bathroom Bill’
By Associated Press
July 17, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas — A transgender Texan has posted an all-smiles photo with Gov. Greg Abbott to protest a "bathroom bill" that state lawmakers will again consider during a special legislative session beginning Tuesday.

Ashley Smith posed with Abbott after he announced his re-election campaign Friday in San Antonio.

She later identified herself in the photo as "trans-woman" and posted it on Facebook with the hashtag #BATHROOMBUDDY.

Smith, who has been active with groups opposing the bathroom bill, also posted: "How will the Potty Police know I'm transgender if the Governor doesn't?" and received thousands of likes.
Photo from Ms. Smith via NBC Out

She has “Passing Privilege” a trans woman who doesn’t probably wouldn’t even gotten close to the governor.

Then down in Las Vegas...
Transwoman denied access to women's restroom at Las Vegas resort
Las Vegas Now 8
By: Karen Castro
Posted: July 14, 2017

LAS VEGAS - A transgender woman is speaking out after claiming she was not allowed to use a women’s restroom at a casino on the Strip.

Kaite Charm, who is from San Francisco, was attending a Cirque du Soleil show inside New York, New York a few days ago when the incident happened.

She says someone complained when she tried using the bathroom. When she tried going to the bathroom a second time, she was confronted by security.
“The last thing he said to me is 'why would we give you a refund because you have a problem with our establishment?’” Charm said.
So what is the difference between these two incidents?

In one case you couldn’t tell that she was trans and in the other case you can tell she is trans.

Our rights should not be based on how well you can blend into society.

The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

Or anti-LGBT fractions make strange bedfellows.
The emerging alliance between Putin and Trump’s God squad
The unlikely partnership is years in the making.
By Jack Jenkins
July 12, 2017

As evidence continues to emerge of Russia’s alleged attempts at the direction of Vladimir Putin to disrupt the 2016 election through nefarious means, President Donald Trump has endured fiery criticism from all sides regarding his ties to the authoritarian leader. In addition to an avalanche of progressive detractors, Republican senators such as Lindsay Graham (R-SC) have expressed unease about the connection, and Pope Francis declared the budding alliance between the U.S. and Russia “dangerous.”

But as Trump prepared for his first face-to-face meeting as president with Putin this past weekend, his attempt to thaw relations with Moscow was blessed by a seemingly unusual source: Rev. Franklin Graham, a prominent member of the Religious Right and the son of evangelist Billy Graham. Days before the meeting, the younger Graham — a longtime Trump supporter who led a prayer at the president’s inauguration — published a Facebook post voicing optimism about a potential Trump-Putin partnership.
An evangelical heaping praise on a U.S.-Russian partnership may surprise some, but the pastor’s prayerful post belies a deeper history that is already shaping American politics: Graham, working tandem with Russian church officials and select few of his right-wing Christian colleagues, has already formed an alliance with the Russian president — all while Putin continues to use faith as a tool to accrue power.
When did the conservative movement become communist?

It seems like more and more conservatives are moving into the communist bed because Putin is anti-LGBT and these religious conservatives are happy to embrace Putin.

In the Washington Post article about Trump Jr. meeting with the Russian spy and lawyer and Sr. tweet about how any Republican would had also met with the Russian agents, they write…
 This is a remarkable claim for a Republican to make. Republicans used to compete with each other over who was tougher on Russia (or, more precisely, the Soviet Union), and to condemn Democrats for their purported softness. Now, Trump sees nothing wrong with his son meeting a person who had been described to him as a “Russian government attorney,” in order to provide “high level and sensitive information” that was described as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Here’s how dramatically the Republican position has changed.

Being tough on Russia was once the name of the game

During the Cold War, anti-communism was the glue that held the GOP together. In the 1970s and 1980s, Republicans of all stripes took great political advantage in criticizing Democratic presidential candidates, such as George McGovern and Michael Dukakis, as being too weak to stand up for U.S. interests in the face of the threat from Moscow.

Conservative Republicans saw it to their advantage to criticize not just Democrats but members of their own party for showing any signs of appeasement of Moscow.
And now the Republicans are mostly silent with only a few with the courage to speak up against Trump Sr.
So why hasn’t the GOP spoken up? Yes, there are occasional remarks by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey O. Graham suggesting Donald Trump is getting hoodwinked by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose efforts working with the Trump campaign to swing the 2016 presidential race are under daily scrutiny.
My guess is that they don’t want to go against Trump supporters.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ding, Ding… Ding, Ding…

You all have heard and seen them out in front of stores ringing their bells by the red kettles; well now they are in hot water in New York City for discrimination against us.
Salvation Army rehab centre faces charges for rejecting vulnerable transgender people
Pink News UK
By Nick Duffy
14th July 2017

A substance abuse center that refused to serve transgender people is one of four facing action in New York over discriminatory policies.

The NYC Commission on Human Rights this week filed four complaints against substance abuse centers across the City for discriminatory policies involving the intake of transgender patients.

The complaints, filed on behalf of the City, come after the Commission investigated reports of discrimination from advocates.

Following tips from the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, the Commission began testing substance abuse centers for discriminatory practices.

The Commission’s testers approached more than a dozen substance abuse centers citywide to inquire whether the centers accepted transgender patients for treatment and where those patients would be housed.
And where did they find discrimination against us?
The centers include Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (Brooklyn), Addicts Rehabilitation Center (Manhattan), Promesa Residential Health Care Facility (Bronx), and the Thomas and Marie White Health Center (Queens).
There are those who think that all the good that the Salvation Army does outweigh the discrimination against LGBT people. That is like saying that the good that the KKK does for white people outweighs the black people that they hanged.

Evil cannot be tolerated; the trans people that they turned away were begging for help to kick their disease could be dead because they were denied help. The trans person who they turned away from their homeless shelters might be frozen to death by morning.

Federal funding should not go to organizations who discriminate, help should be for all people that need it not just for those who follow their religious code or their moral beliefs.

The Gathering Of The Tribe

For some trans people once they transition you never see them again, they just want to live their lives in their true gender. While other trans people still hang out with other trans people, they live their lives in their true gender but they don’t cutoff their friends from the community.

There is no right way or wrong way; it is just your way.

For those who still hang out with trans friends there was a gathering of the trans tribe this past weekend (that is way there was no post Sunday) up in Vermont of trans people and our allies at a home in southern part of the state.

I drove up Saturday and got there at the beginning of the campout. The weather wasn’t raining but it was overcast and high round the low seventies, about twenty people showed up for the which was less than the year before. We figured the weather might have kept some from coming.

Around six the burgers and dogs were put on the grill and all the side dishes came out (I bought my cream cheese rollups for appetizers) and after dinner when everything was cleaned up around 9PM, they lit the bonfire.

A few brought their guitars and played in the evening and around the bonfire, this is not a small fire, the wood was piled about eight feet high!

Sitting around the fire under the stars was magical for me.

There were trans and cis women, and trans and cis men sitting a ten to fifteen back from the fire and a trans women was playing on her guitar, she played songs from the late sixties and early seventies and many we singing along with her.

I stayed overnight at the B&B just down the road, while many slept out in tents or crashed in the house. I am past the age of sleeping on the ground so I opted for the soft bed, a civilized indoor plumbing and a hot shower.

Sunday morning after breakfast at the B&B I went back to house to hangout and relax before driving home. I went in to their above-ground pool for a bit and then rested my eye for awhile. I left a little after 2 and got home around 4.

Do you hang out with other trans people?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday 9: I Will Never Let You Down

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: I Will Never Let You Down (2017)
... because Smellyann recommended Fastball

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I will be up in southern Vermont this weekend.

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

1) Fastball is a trio from Austin, Texas. Austin is the capital of Texas. When you were in school, did you have to memorize the state capitals?
Yes, but that was very long ago and I doubt I will know them now.

2) Have you ever visited your state's capital?

In the Governor's office for a bill signing

At a press conference two weeks ago at the Legislative Office Building (LOB)
Peeking over my shoulder is U.S, Senator Blumenthal
 Photo from CT Women's Education and Legal Fund (CWEAJF) Facebook page

3) Fastball played dates throughout Canada this past spring. When did you last leave the US of A?
A very, very long time ago. It probably was in the late 50’s or early 60’s

4) Tony Scalzo is a founding member of Fastball. He's the singer in the video for this song, and that's his wife, Jennifer, playing the organizer of the speed-dating event. Have you ever gotten a job because you knew somebody?
Yes. Actually all but one of my jobs I got because I know someone who toldme of a job opening.

5) In this pitch to a perspective lover, he admits he doesn't have much money. Last time you went to the ATM, how much did you withdraw?
Probably a month ago and it was $60.

6) He sings that at times, his mind is hazy. Do you have a good memory for names?
I am horrible with names and faces.

7) Fastball guitarist Miles Zuniga admits that he once had a crush on Carrie Fisher (aka Princess Leia). Tell us about one of your one-sided love affairs, either with a celebrity or someone you knew in real life.
I never had one to tell about.

8) Fastball's drummer Joey Shuffield is partial to drums from Pork Pie Percussion. This company was started by Bill Detamore, who began making drums as a hobby. Do you have any hobbies that, under the right circumstances, could make you money?

9) The fast ball is the most common pitch in major league baseball. Now that the MLB season is past the halfway mark, how is your baseball team doing?
I don’t follow any sport teams.

Friday, July 14, 2017

This And That In The News

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

There are a number of bills in Congress that will affect us directly…

First the good news,
Republicans fail in last-ditch push to ban medical treatments for transgender troops
The Charlotte Observer
By Alex Daugherty and  Vera Bergengruen
July 13, 2017

As the House of Representatives debated a proposal that would ban medical treatments for transgender individuals serving in the military, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California had a brief message:

“Choose what gender you are before you join.”

A smattering of Democrats gathered to oppose the amendment offered by Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., quietly gasped.

Just under an hour later, the House of Representatives narrowly voted down Hartzler’s proposal 214-209, to audible cheers from the House floor.

Two dozen House Republicans voted with 190 Democrats to sink the amendment that would prohibit military funds for soldiers seeking medical treatment related to gender transition.

“It’s a hurtful amendment, it’s not needed,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, a noted advocate for LGBT rights who has a transgender son. “I view it as a personal issue, because as a mom I’m impacted, but it’s an issue of fairness for everyone. You don’t have to know someone that’s transgender or have someone in your immediate family to feel this impact. It’s just needlessly hurtful and serves no useful purpose.”
Maybe there is some hope for us after all, the Republican moderates are starting to rebel against the far right-wing conservatives.

Trumpcare or the uncaring healthcare bill…
Transgender Health Care Targeted In Crusade To Undo ACA
Kaiser Health News
By Shefali Luthra
July 13, 2017

The ACA’s non-discrimination portion, known as Section 1557, says federally funded programs that provide health care, coverage or related services cannot discriminate based on sex. The provision has been in effect since the law’s enactment and helped fuel a federal push to protect transgender people from discrimination in receiving health care services. In 2016, the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule crystallizing that policy.

Before the ACA, Medicaid operated under its own anti-discrimination requirements. However, many state programs were vague in describing gender-transition benefits. This made it difficult for people like Singleton to understand what Medicaid covered. It also made it easier for plans to question the “medical necessity” of treatments and to issue denials.

By making it clear that state Medicaid programs could not refuse to pay for a health care service simply because the beneficiary is transgender, and suggesting greater federal attention to the matter, the Section 1557 rule pushed states to be more upfront about coverage specifics.
Uncaring Republicans are trying to do away with the coverage…
That regulation is back in play as the Department of Health and Human Services appears to be walking back from its directive and coverage protections.

In a Texas case in which faith-affiliated health care providers argued Section 1557 required they act against their religious beliefs — which “will not allow them to perform medical transition procedures that can be deeply harmful to their patients” — a federal judge issued an injunction at the end of 2016 to block the transgender protections. HHS responded by asking the court to remand the case and stay further proceedings while it rewrites the rule. Earlier this week, the judge obliged. In the meantime, that portion of Section 1557 will not be enforced.

The rewrite is part of the administration’s overarching executive effort. HHS Secretary Tom Price and President Donald Trump have vowed to use administrative power to mitigate the health law’s policy changes, specifically those that created “regulatory or economic burdens” or that don’t match up with the current White House agenda.
Meaning we are going to get screwed!

Attorney General Sessions secret speech before the anti-LGBT organizations that has be labeled as a “hate organization” by the Southern Poverty Law Center has been printed by the conservative website Federalist and it is just as bad as we feared.
Jeff Sessions Tells ‘Hate Group’ DOJ Will Issue Religious Freedom Guidance
NBC Out News
By Mary Emily O'Hara
July 13, 2017

Right-wing news website The Federalist published on Thursday an exclusive transcript of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a conservative Christian law firm that was designated a "hate group" in 2016 by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Justice Department confirmed in an email to NBC News that the transcript was legitimate. ADF did not respond to multiple requests for comment delivered on Wednesday and Thursday.

Right-wing news website The Federalist published on Thursday an exclusive transcript of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a conservative Christian law firm that was designated a "hate group" in 2016 by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Justice Department confirmed in an email to NBC News that the transcript was legitimate. ADF did not respond to multiple requests for comment delivered on Wednesday and Thursday.
But after reading the transcript and learning of the Justice Department's plans to create a new federal policy on protecting religious liberties and doubling down on enforcing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, advocates suggested Sessions was more interested in protecting the right to discriminate than the freedom of religion.
The law should be called Religious Freedom To Discriminate Act will only spell bad news for us.

Those who follow my blog know that I am a strong supporter of more trans people actors in media, well this is an article about an actress acquaintance, Rachel Crowl of “My Husband Betty” fame.
(In)Visible: Rachel Crowl represents how transgender actors have been sidelined from their own stories
LA Times
By Emily Mae Czachor
July 13, 2017

From an outsider’s perspective, Rachel Crowl had achieved success as a working actor. She’d ascended the ranks of a prestigious New York City-based theater company, playing lead roles in several off-Broadway productions including “Henry V” and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” and helped start another company while landing a steady theatrical contract, which proffered a reliable arena to pursue the craft that she fondly refers to as her “first love.” She was performing in eight shows per week and starting to settle into a marriage to a thoughtful, incisive nonfiction writer.

But while she’d long before come to terms with her identity as a woman (a journey that her wife, Helen Boyd, chronicled in several memoirs about their relationship), to the rest of the world, she appeared to be — at least, physically — a man.
Before transitioning she thought that her career would be over if she transitioned,
“I figured I could either play a dead hooker that the cops made a ‘meat and potatoes’ joke about, or I could play a live hooker that the cops made a ‘meat and potatoes’ joke about,” Crowl said. “And there really was nothing else.”
But now she is staring in an independent film,
“Well, evidently, the universe has re-negotiated its contract,” Crowl said, beaming while perched atop a stilted director’s chair during a Q&A with the cast and crew of “And Then There Was Eve,” a gritty psychological dramedy by first-time feature director Savannah Bloch, which had its world premiere at this year’s L.A. Film Festival.
Ms. Crowl also supports having trans actors playing trans parts and straight parts.
By distorting the public’s perception of what a transgender person — specifically, a transgender woman — “looks like,” Crowl argued the overwhelming presence of cisgender actors portraying transgender characters has given rise to a dangerous, manufactured construction of “transgender visibility” that is faulty by definition.

“You’re subconsciously reinforcing this idea that trans people are just essentially the gender they started off as,” Crowl said, prompting a chorus of affirmative nods and “mhmm’s” from her fellow panelists. “You go see Jared Leto in ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ and then, he’s out there doing press as Jared Leto. So, you’ve got Jared Leto doing press, or you’ve got Matt Bomer doing press, but he’s supposed to be playing a woman. It reinforces this subliminal, unconscious idea that ‘Oh, he’s a dude. Trans women are really just dudes.’”

Bona fide trans visibility, the panelists agreed, will materialize only when real, authentic transgender voices are incorporated into the conversation — when trans actors are cast in trans roles and are otherwise included behind the scenes, as directors, producers, writers, etc. Crowl believes that Hollywood is on its way to embracing this shift in storytelling method, but needs a little extra push.
I hear all the time comments saying that using named actors over trans actors because they can bring in the audiences but my comeback to that is that trans actors never get a chance to become “named actors” if they don’t even get a part.

My First Thought… But They’re Trans Friendly!

Well they are but you always may get a sales clerk who isn’t or in this a case a country that isn’t trans friendly.
Transgender woman ‘faces discrimination’ at Victoria’s Secret store
Pink News UK
By Katharine Swindells
13th July 2017

A woman in Turkey has alleged that she experienced transphobic harassment from the staff in a Victoria’s Secret store when she tried to use the changing rooms.

Gülşen Afife claims that she entered the changing rooms in the Istanbul shop to try on a bra and was laughed at by the sales clerk.

When she pushed them, arguing that as an international company with many LGBT+ employees they should be more tolerant, Afife says she was told: “We have many gay employees but the customers are uncomfortable with you trying it on here.”

Afife stresses that changing rooms were separate cubicles, with only the waiting area being communal.

She says she told this to the managers, adding: “Are they uncomfortable at the common waiting area? Then you shouldn’t let trans women and gay people to enter the store.”
The incident occurred just days after Turkish authorities cancelled Istanbul Pride for the third year in a row.
Remember YMMV (Your Mileage May Very) on the way we are treated even here in blue Connecticut you can always run into a clerk who doesn’t follow corporate policy.

That is why I don’t like lists of “Trans friendly places” because all it takes is for a bigoted clerk or customer to make it very “unfriendly” business.

One time one of the support groups that I attended had on their website a list of “Trans friendly places” well of the bars that they listed as a LGBT friendly bar was sold and became a country & western bar complete with a bucking bull ride and when two trans women walked into the bar, to say the least, it was an unfriendly bar.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

This Could Be Horrible!

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get much worst it, the haters are coming out of the woodwork.
GOP-Sponsored Anti-Transgender Bill Hits National Stage, Hate Group Applauds
July 11, 2017

(EDGE) A Texas-style anti-transgender law hit the national stage last month with the introduction of The Civil Rights Uniformity Act of 2017 (HR 2796).

The House of Representatives bill, which purports to "repeal executive overreach," was introduced by Texas GOP Pete Olson and aims to roll back transgender rights by prohibiting the word "sex" or "gender" from meaning anything other than "man" or "woman."

Right up front in the second paragraph of its summary, HR 2796 is unapologetically anti-transgender, stating:

"No federal civil rights law shall be interpreted to treat gender identity or transgender status as a protected class, unless it expressly designates "gender identity" or "transgender status" as a protected class."
"The Civil Rights Uniformity Act would ensure that policies which affect the privacy and safety of women and girls are no longer reshaped to meet the demands of the special LGBT rights agenda," the hate group mouthpiece continued.. "The terms 'sex' and 'gender' refer to objective biology, not the subjective, self-professed 'gender identity' as the Obama administration tried to push in all federal anti-discrimination statutes."  
This could wipe-out all the advances we have made in the last thirty years. All the precedent setting court cases would be wiped out.

The Republicans are evil, they are persecuting us for votes, money, and their so called “religious values” but in reality it is nothing more that bigotry. Hopefully there will be enough moderates in Congress who will stop this hate.

The way I feel about this is that this is just one step down from Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code.

Every Dictator Needs…

A scapegoat someone to focus the people’s attention away from what they are doing. Hitler had the Jews, gypsies, and us.

Now in Chechnya the same thing is happening and this time it is the Muslims and us.
Chechnya: Names of 27 men slaughtered and buried in bloody night revealed as gay purge continues
Pink News
By Benjamin Butterworth
11th July 2017

The names of 27 people slaughtered in a single night by Chechen authorities have been published.
The secret mass execution is thought to have seen up to 56 people killed – all without trial.

The executions were all carried out in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on the night of 25 January, the newspaper claims.

According to the strongly anti-Putin publication, mass arrests and executions in the Muslim region were triggered by the killing of a policeman on 16 December 2016.
But that is not the worst, in April Pink News reported concentration camps are being set up.
Chechnya has opened concentration camps for gay men
By Nick Duffy
10th April 2017

Gay men arrested in a ‘purge’ in the Russian region of Chechnya are being held in concentration camp-style prisons, reports have alleged.

Early reports emerged earlier this month that gay people are being targeted in the region, which is part of Russia but has substantial autonomy.

Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such” as part of a purge. Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.
And what does Russia have to say about the mass killings in Chechnya?
Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin reacts to news of 27 men killed in Chechnya
Pink News
By Benjamin Butterworth
13th July 2017

The Kremlin has declined to accept outright the names of men reported to have been murdered in Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta, an investigative newspaper based in the region, has published the names of 27 men killed in one night.

Responding to the published list, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said: “We have taken note of [the reports].”

In an address to journalists, he added: “We have similarly taken note of the denials of this information by Chechen law enforcement bodies
This is scary that in this day of age what we thought just happened in Nazi Germany is once again happening.

This afternoon’s post is about a bill to strip us of our rights has been introduced in the House.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guess Who?

Guess who wants to take away our protections in Wisconsin?
War Against Transgender People: The Wisconsin Front
The move by Badger State GOP to roll back trans rights
Shepherd Express
By Paul Masterson
July 11, 2017

Kenosha Lawsuit Goes to Supreme Court
Wisconsin has already jumped into the new wave of anti-transgender sentiment. Kenosha trans high school student Ash Whitaker had already won a historic lawsuit against his school board to allow him access to the men’s bathroom. In a unanimous decision announced May 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling against the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD). However, the celebration would be short lived. Just weeks later, supported by KUSD board member Gary J. Kunich who had ardently argued against Whitaker’s case, KUSD appealed again, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court. In online social media posting in March, when the Whitaker debate and his campaign for reelection to the school board were at their peaks, Kunich used the “privacy and safety” refrain to underscore his opposition. KUSD’s attorney, Ronald Stadler of Milwaukee, said in a Kenosha News statement, “I think it is very important for the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue because it is affecting schools all across the nation.”

In response, Kenosha County Supervisor Dayvin Hallmon immediately published a seven-point argument against the appeal. His Point 6 clearly cites the clinical realities facing trans individuals and rises beyond the emotional reactions that often come with the politicization of issues or framing them in the context of a religion-based morality. Hallmon cited a 2008 resolution by the American Psychological Association that “encourages legal and social recognition of transgender individuals consistent with their gender identity and expression” and “supports efforts to provide safe and secure educational environments…that promote an understanding and acceptance of self and in which all youths, including youth of all gender identities and expressions, may be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse.” He also noted a 2017 statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics on protecting transgender youth, which reads, “Transgender children should be supported, nurtured and cared for, whether in their homes, in their schools or through policies enacted at the state and federal levels.” Hallmon added, “The decision of the KUSD school board to appeal this case to the SCOTUS is in violation of the scholarship of our medical professionals.”

Hallmon also noted the pragmatic and financially responsible argument, arguing KUSD can’t afford enough school supplies for its students, let alone pursue a Supreme Court case requiring a private lawyer. He was quick to point to the “coincidence” that Republican White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus resides in the Kenosha and that Kenosha is in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s congressional district.
Well first off, they talk about “State’s Rights” in the article, well we happen to live in a Republic that has a constitution and one of the amendments, number 14 to be precise, require everyone to be treated equally.
The ACLU bases its suit on the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, interpreted as barring discrimination on the basis of transgender status unless there is a an important government objective. The suit also cites Title VII prohibition of “sex discrimination with respect to an employee’s ‘compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including discrimination in the terms of an employer-sponsored health care plan.” Finally, it refers to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which bars sex discrimination in any health program or activity that receives federal financial assistance or is administered by a federal agency.
Hopefully the case will not go to the Supreme Court and will rest U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruling.

I Don’t Understand

I don’t understand why this is news. The headline seems to indicate that the apartments are all for LGBT seniors but the article seems to say otherwise.
New York City Unveils Plans For Largest LGBT Senior Residence In America
The 145-unit Ingersoll Houses in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, are slated to be complete in 2019.
New Now Next
By Dan Avery
July 7, 2017

As the Stonewall generation continues to age, questions about their future follow pace: Many older LGBT people lack support systems or children to care for them, and those who can afford care worry about having to go back in the closet in a nursing home. In a test conducted by SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), 48% of older LGBT people were subjected to discrimination when applying for senior housing.

Increasingly, the answer has been to create housing catering specifically to older LGBT residents, as has been done in L.A., Philadelphia and Chicago. Late last week, plans were unveiled for the first in New York.

Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn and Crotona Senior Residences in the Bronx are the result of a partnership between SAGE, the New York Housing Authority, the housing advocacy group HELP USA, and developers BFC Partners.

As the Stonewall generation continues to age, questions about their future follow pace: Many older LGBT people lack support systems or children to care for them, and those who can afford care worry about having to go back in the closet in a nursing home. In a test conducted by SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders), 48% of older LGBT people were subjected to discrimination when applying for senior housing.

Increasingly, the answer has been to create housing catering specifically to older LGBT residents, as has been done in L.A., Philadelphia and Chicago. Late last week, plans were unveiled for the first in New York.

Ingersoll Senior Residences in Brooklyn and Crotona Senior Residences in the Bronx are the result of a partnership between SAGE, the New York Housing Authority, the housing advocacy group HELP USA, and developers BFC Partners.

With 145 units, Ingersoll in Ft. Greene will be the largest LGBT-welcoming elder housing development in the country, while Crotona will offer an addition 82 units. Both will provide affordable housing, hot meals, social activities and support services.
Okay that seems to say that all the units will be for LGBT seniors and some units will be reserved for low income LGBT seniors; but then it says this,
When construction is completed in 2019, apartments will be open to any seniors meeting income requirements, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, based on a lottery system. (A portion of both buildings will be set aside for homeless seniors, as well.)
Um… which is it? Is it an all LGBT complex or a mixed complex?

Furthermore, it seems to me that all they are doing is affirming HUD’s and New York stare, and New York City’s nondiscrimination laws.

On Sunday I wrote about the Church of England voting a trans welcoming service, well they passed it.
Church of England Votes to Affirm Transgender People; Top Bishop Says LGBT 'Not a Sin'
Christian Post
By Stoyan Zaimov
Jul 10, 2017

The General Synod of the Church of England has officially passed a motion welcoming and affirming transgender people to the church. A top bishop also declared that being LGBT is "not a sin."

"That this Synod, recognizing the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person's gender transition," the motion that passed on Sunday reads.

As the official CofE website points out, the vote went overwhelmingly in favor of welcoming transgender people, with 30 for the motion and two opposed in the House of Bishops; 127 who backed the motion and 28 against it in the House of Clergy; and 127 for and 48 against in the House of Laity.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Door Is Shut

Whenever I go into a LG space I am a little nervous, it only happened once but you always wonder if it is going to happen again.
Trans woman in WeHo spit on, 'red flagged' by straight clubs because she is trans
By Timothy Rawles
July 3, 2017

Shayan Siren says she has felt transphobia in many of West Hollywood's straight nightclubs.

A West Hollywood trans woman who just wanted to go out with her friends to a straight club discovered that even in one of the most welcoming LGBT neighborhoods in the country they did not want her there because she is transgender.

Shayan Siren posted on Facebook on Saturday that she tried to get into a straight club called Hyde which is located right down the street from her house in the LGBT neighborhood of L.A., but she claims a promoter--someone she used to work with--"red-flagged" her across town because she is trans.
Last week Shayan says she was on the list to go Lana Del Rey’s birthday celebration at a club called 1 Oak.

“I walked in with a group of girls and they literally singled me out and they told me I couldn’t get in because I’m trans.
For me it happened in of all places Provincetown MA.

It was a cold and rainy night when five of us went in to a bar on the corner of Bradford St. and Carver, two of the group were gay men and one of them was the First Selectman of Provincetown, we sat down at a table and waited, and waited to be served. One of the guys caught the waiters eye and asked him to take our order and the waiter said we had to wait our turn. Now this would make sense except for the fact that only three or four tables were occupied and there were only a couple of guys sitting at the bar.

We then went to the A House (Atlantic House) where we probably each dropped fifty dollars on drinks and snacks.

Here in Connecticut I know of one trans persons was told to leave during Karaoke because she was making the other patrons nervous. As a result the bar lost its liquor license for a week and the CHRO slapped them with a fine.

A Broad Brush

I think the author paints with an overly broad brush, are there TREF (Trans-exclusionary radical feminists)…? Yes. Are the anti-trans gays and lesbians…? Yes. Are there HBSer (Harry Benjamin Syndrome)…? Yes.

But if you look at any social movement you will see the same type of pushbacks from those who do not believe in the movement. Civil rights, immigrant rights, marriage equality, gay and lesbian rights, and trans rights, they all face negative pressure from without and from within.

Which leads me to the article I want to talk about…
Why Trans Activists Can’t Trust The Left
The Establishment,
By Sam Riede
July 7, 2017

From moderate liberals’ self-centered tantrums to far-left radicals’ conspiracy theories, it’s impossible to deny that the left has a transphobia problem.

Even though I’ve been an out trans woman since 2015, and knew I was queer ages before, this year marked the first time I attended a Pride parade. Checking my usual cynicism at the door, I went all in, marching exuberantly with my partner and her wife in the Equality NY contingent behind NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio. Everyone should experience a joyful Pride at least once, I figured. (My partner agreed heartily, rollerblading the entire parade route on less than four hours of sleep.)
Little did I know that less than two hours later, when #NoJusticeNoPride activists blocked the tail end of the parade to call attention to violence against trans women of color, deportations, and the ongoing corporatization of Pride, 12 of them would be arrested by the NYPD. As those same Pride bystanders — standing outside the bar where Black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, “The Saint of Christopher Street,” resisted arrest and started a riot that would change the world — watched the arrests, they cheered again. Not for the protesters, but for the police. Judging from photos, at least one of those arrested was a transfeminine person of color.
The cisgender Left, those who claim to support trans people and our struggle for civil rights, are quick to cheer our oppressors when that support becomes inconvenient.
Okay, nowhere does it say you have to be a liberal to be LGBT, just like nowhere does it say you have to be a liberal if you are black, and there are probably a good number of immigrant who are conservative.
Just because you share one trait with a community does mean you share all the traits with the community.
When the bill to ban conversion therapy was voted on in the House and Senate it had strong bipartisan support, in the Senate all 18 Republicans vote for the ban.

When the gender inclusive non-discrimination bill was going through the legislative process in 2011, major funding was from the Gill Foundation, Love Makes a Family, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. The first two are LGB organizations. ctEQUALITY was the organization that lead the effort to pass the bill, it was funded by the above organizations, it was led by a gender queer woman and its member organizations were LGBT organizations, non-profits, churches, and trans organizations.
It’s not that this is new information, exactly; The Establishment’s own Katelyn Burns reported earlier this year on how quickly liberals sought to blame Hillary Clinton’s election loss on transgender activism. While support for trans rights has ostensibly increased on the left, many still predicate their allyship on trans activists catering to their needs. A Facebook post by D.C. attorney and Catholics for Equality co-founder Phil Attey recently went viral in trans social media groups when Attey demanded to be called “non-trans” instead of “cisgender,” a term which is not pejorative. “If you want to keep us as allies,” Attey wrote, “start by not calling us things we don’t like.”
I would rewrite to say “how quickly some liberals sought to blame Hillary Clinton’s election loss on transgender activism.”

Some will say that I treat Republicans with a broad brush but I see a difference between race, immigrant, and LGBT people and a political party. Race, immigrant, and LGBT people to a certain extent you don’t chose to be black or LGBT while you chose to be an immigrant, however being an immigrant is not exclusive, anyone can become an immigrant. However, a political party has a party platform that puts forth their beliefs and if you choose to join the party then you agree to their platform. The Republican platform is anti-LGBT and anti-women so by joining the party you approve to those tenants.