Monday, July 31, 2017

Good News From A Surprising Source

We usually face negative comments for religious news sources but this one is positive from the Baptist News Service.
Seven things I’m learning about transgender persons
Opinion Mark Wingflield
May 13, 2016
I don’t know much about transgender issues, but I’m trying to learn.

How about you? How much do you really know about this subject beyond all the screaming headlines and concerns about who goes to the bathroom where?

The truth is that I don’t know any transgender persons — at least I don’t think I do. But with the help of a pediatrician friend and a geneticist friend, I’m listening and trying to learn. This is hard, though, because understanding the transgender experience seems so far outside what I have ever contemplated before. And the more I learn, the more theological questions I face as well. This is hard, even for a pastor.
1. Even though LGBT gets lumped together in one tagline, the T is quite different than the LG and B. “Lesbian,” “gay” and “bisexual” describe sexual orientation. “Transgender” describes gender identity. These are not the same thing. Sexual orientation is about whom we feel an attraction to and want to mate with; gender identity is about whether we identify as male or female.

2. What you see is not always what you get. For the vast majority of humanity, the presence of male or female genitalia corresponds to whether a person is male or female. What you see is what you are. But for a small part of humanity (something less than 1 percent), the visible parts and the inner identity do not line up. For example, it is possible to be born with male genitalia but female chromosomes or vice versa. And now brain research has demonstrated that it also is possible to be born with female genitalia, female chromosomes but a male brain. Most of us hit the jackpot upon birth with all three factors lining up like cherries on a slot machine: Our anatomy, chromosomes and brain cells all correspond as either male or female. But some people are born with variations in one or two of these indicators.
6. Transgender persons hate all the attention they’re getting. The typical transgender person wants desperately not to attract attention. All this publicity and talk of bathroom habits is highly disconcerting to people who have spent their lives trying not to stand out or become the center of attention.
Yes, I don’t want to be “in the news.” I just want to live my life. I rather be “Diana” than “a trans woman.”

Right now it is hard to find any other trans topics to write about other than Trump’s tweet so I am using stories from my backlog of articles.

Knowing Us…

Research shows that if a person knows a trans person they are more likely to be pro trans, so does going stealth harm us?
Why The Focus On “Passing” Transgender People Harms The Trans Community
I belong in the women’s restroom. Not because I adhere to any societal standard for femininity, but because I am a woman.
Huffington Post
By Mandi Camille Hauwert
July 14, 2017

Transgender stories are everywhere; from news broadcasts, reality television, to Oscar-nominated films about trans people, the media cannot get enough. The trans community has never been under such a glaring spotlight. The attention comes at great risk; but, with the irresistible promise of a better tomorrow.

From this chaos has arisen a disturbing trend. With few exceptions, the transgender people being featured and profiled happen to be, what we reluctantly call, passable; a term bestowed upon trans people who ‘pass’ as cisgender. With the media’s penchant for casting attractive folks aside, the primary factor at play here is whether or not a person is readily identifiable as transgender.

The passable bias is frustrating on many levels. Giving the general public an incomplete picture of trans expression. It normalizes the cis-looking trans person, while simultaneously diminishing the validity and worth of those unable or unwilling to pass. It erases non-binary, gender queer, and gender fluid people entirely.

Furthermore, the passable bias demonizes those who cannot pass. For an example, look no further than the transgender bathroom debates igniting all across the country. As easy as it would be for me to vilify the conservative viewpoint on this matter, it is the imagery employed by both sides that trouble me.
Well it is a fact that if you can integrate into society (what the author calls passing) you will face a lot less discrimination and the opposite is true, the more you are identified as trans the more discrimination you face.

I don’t know about the author’s claim that “the passable bias demonizes those who cannot pass,” I wouldn’t say that it demonizes those who don’t pass, I would say as I did above that those who don’t “pass” face more harassment or more discrimination.
The result of this massive under-representation inherent to both sides is that it negatively reinforces the gender binary in a way that’s impossible for everyone to live up to. It tells everyone that doesn’t fit neatly into boy/girl categories that they don’t matter. It implies a very dangerous paradigm; that if you cannot or don’t care to pass as cisgender, then you have no rights. If metaphorically speaking, you wear your transgender on your sleeve; you belong in your special restroom.
Cisgender women come in all shapes and sizes, some even don’t pass for women and they also face harassment because they are outside the gender norm.

The other thing to keep in mind is that for many trans women they can’t afford electrolysis to remove their breads, nor can they afford any surgery not only Gender Confirming Surgery but also any cosmetic surgery so they stand out even more.

It is hard to find any other trans topics to write about other than Trump’s tweet so I am using stories from my backlog of articles.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Questions... Answers

We all have questions but sometimes we don’t have answers, well TeenVogue tries to answer some questions about trans people
Experts Answer Reddit Questions About Transgender People
"I have never met someone who regretted transition."
Brittney McNamara
July 28, 2017

In a week-long AMA (ask me anything) with various experts, Reddit users have had the chance to ask questions and bust myths about the transgender community. Through these questions and answers, there's one thing that's abundantly clear — transgender people aren't these mysterious, confusing folks, they're people just like anyone else. This should, of course, go without saying.
Okay call me a luddite but I didn’t know what Reddit is so I had to google it. For those who are like me Reddit is kind of like a database of articles, photos, and things that people vote up or down.

Here are some of the answers…
Young people aren't transgender because it's "cool"
Now that the LGBT community has become more main stream and accepted, are you seeing more children and teens come in who may not actually be trans but rather are trying to fit in or find some way to find an identity?

Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, Children’s Hospital L.A.: What is true is that unpacking the gender binary is becoming increasingly popular, because I think youth recognize that it is not adequate for deeper human existence. Gender roles are largely archaic in many regards. SO are youth experimenting with gender bending? Yes, absolutely. But they are not in distress. They are bending in solidarity with a movement to dismantle an obsolete set of gender rules, and stand in solidarity with their trans friends and the community. There are distinct differences in these youth. They are not likely to stick a needle in their body every week to be trendy. There is no reward for being trans. I can't get adolescents to finish ten days of antibiotics. It is so critical to differentiate between distress and social change.
Representation really matters
u/shiruken: How has the rise of transgender celebrities and prominent transgender YouTubers affected your patients? Do role models actually matter or does having a community (online or in real life) have a greater impact?

Fenway Health: I would say that the rise of transgender celebrities has absolutely affected my patients. YouTube and the ability to find other people online who are sharing the entirety of their transition in real-time is an unprecedented benefit for so many of my patients. For myself, I did not meet another transgender person until I was 21. … Now I see 11-year-olds and they know all kinds of very detailed words to explain their identities and are familiar with how they might go about better aligning their bodies with their gender identity. Simultaneously, I'm seeing a lot of patients who are thinking about gender as far more expansive than a traditional masculine and feminine model. I do think online role-models have helped these patients to more quickly identify what they need and seek out appropriate treatment.
And transgender people don't want to
u/Miseryy: Surely there must be some false positives, and then what? Is there a way to go back?

Fenway Health: in over a decade working with the community, I have never met someone who regretted transition or who wanted to de-transition, even if their lives had been extremely hard.
I know a couple of trans people who have de-transitioned but both of them did it not because they weren’t trans but from social pressures. One couldn’t find work and her parents from the mid-west said could move back home if she de-transitioned and the last time I heard about her the person who told said that she was miserable living as a man but she had a job and a roof over her head.

The other person from what I heard had pressure from her employer.

She Has A Uphill Battle

Do you know how hard it is to find something to write about that not about the Trans military ban? If you Google Transgender in Google News all that comes up is about the military ban so I had to dig into my backlog of articles.
Transgender woman challenges Virginia bathroom bill sponsor
Star Tribune
By Sarah Rankin AP
July 24, 2017

MANASSAS, Va. — She's a transgender woman and an experienced journalist who sings in a metal band in her spare time.

He has sponsored some of the most socially conservative legislation in Virginia in the past 25 years, including a measure this year that would have restricted the bathrooms transgender people can use.

Democrat Danica Roem is challenging Republican Bob Marshall for his northern Virginia seat in the state House of Delegates. With such stark differences between the candidates, the race is expected to draw in big money and is seen by some as a referendum on rights for gay and transgender people.

Roem would be the first openly transgender candidate to win and serve in a state legislature, according to the Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports her and calls Marshall "the most anti-LGBTQ member of the Virginia state legislature."
But she won the primary and has a good “war chest”…
Roem handily won a four-way primary in June and is part of a surge of young, first-time candidates Democrats hope will help it retake control of the GOP-led chamber for the first time in nearly two decades.

Campaign finance reports show she's off to a strong fundraising start. Roem raised $151,487 in the first six months of the year, compared with Marshall's $18,564, leaving her with about $9,000 less than Marshall on hand after expenses.
Like many southern states there is an influx of northerners who are starting to tilt longtime Republican stronghold and they hope that this is the case there.

There have been a number of trans people running for office and some of them have won but they won in towns where people know each other. However, there have been no state wide victories for trans candidates.

Let’s face it, being trans and a candidate is going to be hard no matter who it is running.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday 9: Angel

Crazy Sam’s Saturday 9: Angel (1998)
... because Bev recommended it

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…
I will be attending a concert on the green this afternoon so I might be a little late in answering your comments.

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

1) Sarah McLachlan wrote this song about someone she barely knew. She read the obit of Jonathan Melvoin, keyboard player for the Smashing Pumpkins, who died of a heroin overdose. What's the most recent news story that touched you deeply?
Yikes! There are so many stories that move me, I’m a sucker for cute puppies and kittens articles.

2) Ms. McLachlan performed this in tribute to Linda McCartney at the 1999 Concert for Linda. She was expressing her hope that, in death, Linda found relief and peace after a long and painful battle with cancer. What do you think happens to us when we die?
When we die nothing happens… we’re dead.

3) Daytime dramas General Hospital and As the World Turns used this song on-air after a major character died. Do you follow any "soap operas?"

4) In 2007, Sarah donated her recording of this song to the ASPCA. Do you have a pet? If yes, how did you get it (shelter, pet store, etc.)?
No, I don’t have a pet. I like pets but I just don’t want to be tied down with one. It is a big responsibility to have a pet that I don’t want to take on.

5) She admits she can't watch those ASPCA commercials, where her recording of "Angel" plays over sad photos of animals. Is there a TV commercial that really gets to you (in either a good or a bad way)?
I forget what they are selling but what gets me is the ad that says something like, “and six is greater than four.” Do they really think that we don’t know six is greater than four?

6) In 1994, Sarah was stalked by an obsessed fan. Tell us about a time you were really frightened. In retrospect, was your fear commensurate with the threat?
Yeah, there was one time I was scared.
One of my technicians was transferred into my department; he was working at another department that was fifteen miles away. They shut down the department there and told him he couldn’t get unemployment compensation because they offered him a job less than 20 miles away, so he had a 30 mile commute every day. He wasn’t a happy camper and didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t blame him.
Well he owned many, many guns and talked about guns with some of the other technicians (when he did socialize with other technicians), he also wasn’t mentally stable (I leaned latter from other technicians that he was on medication for bipolar disorder).
One day he flipped out, one of the other technicians offered to help him when he was trying to fix an electronic printed circuit board. He tried to strangle him but he picked on the wrong technician, he was a master sergeant in the air force reserves. Since the company takes a dim view of their employee attacking another employee I had to fire him. As the HR person and me were escorting him off of the company property he said that we better watch out backs and as we were walking back to the building I turned to that HR manager and told her that I was taking the rest of the day and tomorrow off. The company had security people there for a week just in case.

7) Sarah was adopted by Jack and Dorice McLachlan. Though she has a friendly relationship with her birth mother, she always considered Dorice her mother and sees herself behaving with her son the way Dorice did with her. Is there anyone in your family that you feel you resemble, either physically or by behavior?
Yeah, my mother. My sister-in-law thinks that my brother and I are like our parents.

8) McLachlan is one of the founders of Lilith Fair, a summer concert series designed to showcase talented female performers. Do/did your summer plans include an outdoor concert?
As a matter of fact yes. That is where I am this afternoon.

9) Random question: Which of these men would you most like to be seated with at dinner -- Clint Eastwood, Prince William or Jimmy Fallon?
Well since Clint Eastwood is strongly conservative I don’t think we would have much of a dinner conversation. Fallon, I’m not into comedy and I think Prince William might be an interesting partner and have an intelligent conversation.

Friday, July 28, 2017

One Question Was Answered

I have been asked many time about how a school is can support gender non-conforming, gender queer, or gender neutral students and the question got answered today… Ask them what sport team they want to be on. Ask them what bathroom they want to use. Ask them what pronouns they use.

Let them lead the way.

Another question also got answered… What happens if a student is trans and their parents are either non-supporting or against their transition and the answer was once again let the student guide you. The school systems can override the parents.

Another question was about the intersection of gender identity/expression and race and how it affects trans students.

It was also mentioned that sometime this fall the Connecticut Department of Education will issue guidelines for trans students (I was on the committee that wrote the CHRO guidelines for trans students so I think a more realistic time for the release of the CT DoED will be more like the spring.).

CT TransAdvocacy Coalition was a co-sponsor for the symposium. Why was it important for me to go besides being a co-sponsor; if you want to advocate for the trans community you need to know the problems we face and how to overcome those problems and this symposium was the place to find those answers.

The symposium co-sponsors

The lawyers & staff of the CHRO

The distinguished panel

Alix Simonetti CHRO Human Rights Attorney 

Robin McHaelen, Executive Director - True Colors, Inc

Karla Vazquez, President - CT Association of School Psychologists (CASP)

Dustin Rader, an English teacher at Canton High School. 

Michael Roberts, CHRO Human Rights Attorney and member of the CT Equality Coalition

The Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol
All in all it was a very informative symposium.

What The Heck Is Going On?

This Wednesday morning Trump tweeted that he was going to ban trans people from serving in the military. He said it was after a discussion with his generals.

All hell broke loose.

Now we learn that no military personnel knew anything about it, not even the Secretary of Defense, so who did he talk to?

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, including chairman General Joseph Dunford knew anything about it, so who did he talk to?

No one in Congress knew anything about it, so who did he talk to?

He claimed in his tweet that it cost too much for our healthcare but from the Rand study we learn that was not true.

It is my belief that if he did talk about it he only talked to his staff or some retired members of the military.

During the Obama administration they conducted research for over a year, they looked into all the possible ramifications of allowing us to serve but it seems the Trump administration did it over corn beef on rye. It doesn’t look like he did any research at all.

Was this to distract the press from the Russian investigation?

That one tweet got the Joint Chiefs of Staff mad at him. Members of Congress in a show of bipartisan outrage over the tweet. Even congressional members who want to exclude us was upset over the way he did it.

This is not how presidents lead, they don’t blurt out a major national policy change in a 160 character tweet.

Trump does not show any Presidential leadership. Between the debacle at the Boy Scout Jamboree and tweet on us he has shown that he is a loose cannon that is running our nation.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A History Lesson

It is hard to put modern definitions to historic figures, as I mentioned earlier in the week about the doctors here and in England we can only wonder if they were really trans.
A history lesson for Trump: Transgender soldiers served in the Civil War
Washington Post
By Steve Hendrix
July 26, 2017

Albert Cashier served in the army as a man, lived his life as man and was buried at 71 with full military honors in 1915, as a man. But beneath the uniform in which he fought and was buried, he was biologically a woman, one of the many cross-dressers and gender defiers who have served in the U.S. military since the earliest days of its history, according to historians.
Cross-dressing has roiled the ranks of armies at least as far back as Joan of Arc, the 15th century military genius who was burned at the stake for heresies that included wearing a man’s uniforms. Leonard’s own expertise is the Civil War, a time when the ranks were filled with hundreds of women who cut their hair, put on pants and took up arms on both sides of the War Between the States.

Researchers at the National Archives have found evidence that at least 250 women dressed as men to fight in the 1860s, some motivated by ideology, some by a taste for adventure and some by the need for a job. Most of those who survived presumably returned to their lives as women. But others continued to live as men after the war.
It is those who continued to live as men that are interesting. Were they trans? Or did they just want to shake the yoke of the restraints of their gender?
Cashier’s anatomical secret only came out after he was injured in a 1911 car wreck and treated by doctors. He was committed to an insane asylum but when his story was reported in newspapers, his former army comrades rallied to ensure he was buried as a soldier and recognized on a monument at Vicksburg as one of the Illinois soldiers who fought there.
And then there was another doctor who presented a man for most of their life.

A portrait of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Union Army surgeon during the Civil War
who dressed as a man for most of her life. (Courtesy of Library of Congress)
We will never know what they thought, were they trans? What do you think?

Busy Day Today And Yesterday

Yesterday will Trump’s tweet all hell broke loose and I had a number of interview requests which took up my morning. In the afternoon I did my three hours of volunteer work at the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective.

The reporter who did the interview for NBC kind of looked like he didn’t like the topic of he was covering. He looked like he would cover a cute puppy story rather than a trans story.

The Fox station had this to say,
“For us, we’ve been working for equality for a long time and this is part of it, we should be able to serve in the military, you know we have all the rights here in CT, but around the country now we’re losing more and more under this administration,”
The key for when you do an interview is think in “sound bites” if it is not a feature story then they are only going to have at most 90 seconds on air so they use a sentence or even a part of a sentence.

Today I am going to be up at the Capitol for a symposium by the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
Transgender and Genderqueer Public School Students:
School Safety in an Era of Uncertainty
July 27 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM
The Old Judiciary Room (Third Floor), Capitol, Hartford
There is no charge to attend. Sandwiches and light refreshments will be provided.
This event is being co-sponsored by True Colors, Inc., CT Trans Advocacy, the Connecticut Bar Association (including the CBA LGBT, Human Rights and Responsibilities, and Education Law Sections), LGBT Aging Advocacy, the Connecticut Association of School Psychologists, the CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Connecticut State Education Resource Center, and the Triangle Community Center.
This symposium will provide educators and attorneys the opportunity to identify and discuss protections for LGBTQA+ students against unlawful discrimination and discriminatory bullying in the schools. The panelists include:
Robin McHaelen, Executive Director - True Colors, Inc., Robin McHaelen has been an advocate for LGBTQ youth in Connecticut for many years, and regularly provides workshops and trainings on sexuality and gender diversity for students and professionals alike. Her talk will draw from her work with True Colors, and touch specifically on how schools might address the needs of gender queer or non-conforming students.
Michael Roberts, CHRO Human Rights Attorney and member of the CT Equality Coalition, will give a short presentation on anti-discrimination protections on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dustin Rader, an English teacher at Canton High School. He was named to NBC Out's #Pride30 list for 2017 recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer change makers nationwide. Mr. Rader will speak about his experience as a transgender student and teacher.
Karla Vazquez, President - CT Association of School Psychologists (CASP), will speak about the psychological resources available to transgender and genderqueer students in public schools.
Alix Simonetti CHRO Human Rights Attorney and member of the CT Equality Coalition, will provide opening remarks on the historical context for the symposium’s discussion.
Panelists will review and discuss best practices regarding education, advocacy, and protection for transgender and genderqueer students in public schools. In accordance with the mission of the CHRO, the event is intended to inform attendees about the protections afforded these students by human rights statutes in the State of Connecticut and to provide a forum for discussion regarding what steps can be taken to expand upon the principles of equal opportunity and justice that they establish.
Again, we thank CT Trans Advocacy for their support and co-sponsorship of this important and exciting forum, and look forward to seeing any and all members of CT Trans Advocacy of who may be interested at the event. If you require any further information or accommodations, please contact Thomas.Reid AT
It should be a good informative symposium, even though I am co-sponsor it will probably cover new material since Trump took office.

A follow-up on members of Congress who are speaking out against Trump’s tweet.
Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump’s tweet regarding transgender Americans in the military:

“The President’s tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter.

“The statement was unclear. The Department of Defense has already decided to allow currently-serving transgender individuals to stay in the military, and many are serving honorably today. Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving. There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity. We should all be guided by the principle that any American who wants to serve our country and is able to meet the standards should have the opportunity to do so—and should be treated as the patriots they are.

“The Department of Defense is currently conducting a study on the medical obligations it would incur, the impact on military readiness, and related questions associated with the accession of transgender individuals who are not currently serving in uniform and wish to join the military. I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to follow closely and conduct oversight on the issue of transgender individuals serving in the military.”
I think you are going to see more Congresspersons from both sides of the aisle speaking out against the ban.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Department of Justice Is Going Against Legal Precedents

When the DOJ under President Obama ruled that Title VII and IX protected gender identity and expression based their ruling on a number of court cases that had ruled that it did cover us, including Supreme Court cases.

But now the DOJ is tossing out all of the legal precedents and is moving forward solely on bigotry.
DOJ Set to Reject LGBT Workplace Protections Under Title VII: Sources
By Chris Johnson Washington Blade
July 25, 2017

The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to file a brief undermining efforts to ensure LGBT people are protected from discrimination under current federal civil rights law, according to two outside sources familiar with the effort.
Although LGBT groups -- and a growing number of courts -- are taking the view the prohibition on sex discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also bars discrimination against LGBT people, sources say the Justice Department will file a brief in an employment discrimination case before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals opposing that view.
"This would be a gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people's civil rights," Esseks said. "DOJ would be reaching out to offer its opinion on these issues, since they are not a party to this case. That's not championing LGBT people, it's working affirmatively to expose us to discrimination. But fortunately, whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, and not for the attorney general. We are confident that the courts will come to the right decision here."
Such a brief would reverse a position under former U.S. Attorney Eric Holder asserting discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited under Title VII. In a 2014 memo, Holder wrote the Justice Department will no longer assert Title VII's prohibition on gender discrimination "does not encompass gender identity per se (including transgender discrimination)."
“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Or in the Republicans case… “Damn the law, full speed ahead!”

The Republicans don’t care about laws or public opinion they are on a holy war to bring back oppression to force us back into the closet and to criminalize us. They want to bring back the fifties and Lavender scare.
Beginning in the late 1940s and continuing through the 1960s, thousands of gay employees were fired or forced to resign from the federal workforce because of their sexuality. Dubbed the Lavender Scare, this wave of repression was also bound up with anti-Communism and fueled by the power of congressional investigation.
For the Republicans they see “LGBT” as homosexuals and as the scourge of western civilization.

Okay by now you have heard about Trump's decree. We are finding support the we never thought we had, Senator Hatch (R Utah)
Hatch: 'Transgender people are people'
The Hill
07/26/17 11:03 AM EDT

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Wednesday said the U.S. should not "be discriminating against anyone" in response to President Trump’s announcement that he will ban all transgender people from serving in the military.

“I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them," the senator said in a statement.

"I look forward to getting much more information and clarity from our military leaders about the policy the President tweeted today.”

A little earlier, Hatch said he stands with transgender individuals in his state in response to a tweet from a grassroots group in Utah that opposes the president.  

Everyone Is Against It, Except…

Right-wing Christian Conservative Republicans who are hell-bent to pass this hatred filled bill.
Texas Vote Set on 'Bathroom Bill' Despite Police Opposition
July 25, 2017

Police chiefs from Texas' largest cities rallied outside the state Capitol Tuesday in opposition to a "bathroom bill" targeting transgender people, just as Senate Republicans inside lurched toward a new vote on restrictions similar to those approved in North Carolina.

The chances of the bill ultimately reaching the desk of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott remain tenuous despite overwhelming GOP control of the Legislature.
Republican state Sen. Lois Kolkhorst described the bill as an "opportunity to shut down predators and voyeurs" upon bringing the measure to the floor. She spoke just as police chiefs and top commanders from the four biggest cities in Texas -- Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin -- stood on the Capitol steps and told reporters they had not found examples of restroom-related sexual assaults.

They said forcing police to combat non-existent crime will increase discrimination, make Texas more dangerous and waste their time.
But the Republican don’t care about facts… they are on a mission from GOD!
Photo Of Trans Boy In Texas Shows Exactly Who Is Affected By ‘Bathroom Bills’
“Max deserves a summer break, free from bullies like Governor Abbott.”
Huffington Post
By James Michael Nichols
July 25, 2017

The mother of a transgender boy shown crying in a courthouse in a photo that went viral on Wednesday is speaking out about the the [sic] state’s proposed “bathroom bill.”

She’s also opening up about the way the transphobic debate as a whole is affecting her child.

Amber Briggle’s 9-year-old son Max uses male pronouns and transitioned to living as his authentic self almost three years ago. The photo of him crying in a courthouse was shot back in March, but it’s making the rounds on the internet this week in light of anti-trans legislation currently making its way through the Texas legal system.

Briggle decided to share the image because, in her mind, her son Max deserves to have a stress-free summer vacation like all other kids ― and shouldn’t have to cope with the anxiety that his right to use the school bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity may be taken away.
Amber Briggle: This is my transgender son in TEARS outside the Office of the Governor Greg Abbott . Can I just admit for a second how effing tired I am of having to comfort my baby and protect him from bullies in Austin? Let me just be real for a second. This sucks so hard. He deserves a summer vacation with his friends, not a political pissing contest with the Texas Legislature. Not fair. I'm mad as hell. #protectTransKids #mamabear #doodlebug
(Thank you to Bob Owen at the San Antonio Express News for taking this powerful picture when we weren't even looking

But nothing stops the Republican machine, they are on a mission from GOD…
Texas Senate votes to curb transgender access to public bathrooms
By Jon Herskovitz
July 25, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled Texas Senate gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that restricts bathroom access for transgender people, endorsing a piece of legislation denounced by civil liberties advocates as discriminatory.

Final Senate adoption of the bill was possible later on Tuesday or Wednesday. The measure would then be sent to the state House of Representatives, where passage during a 30-day special legislative session that ends in mid-August is less certain despite a Republican majority in that body as well.

The preliminary vote in the Senate was 21-10, with one Democrat crossing the aisle to vote with the Republican majority in favor of the measure, Senate Bill 3.
It is a sad day as this nation moves to strip basic human rights from its citizens in the name of greed and bigotry and religion.

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.