Monday, May 25, 2009
Civil Unions and marriage are two completely different things. I foresee the Supreme Court hearing a case based on a same sex couple being denied the right to have a civil union in some backwoods state like Virginia. The court will decide civil unions should be accessible to all adults. After all a civil union is a binding contract. If two people chose to become contractual partners, nothing should get in the way. The religious right (wrong) says marriage is a religious institution based on their belief in god between a man and a woman. I agree. Once anyone has a civil union performed by a government official, they should be able to go to the church, temple, mosque, tree of life, drum circle or beach of their choice to be married by whomever they please in the eyes of whatever deity or lack there of they chose. This should be a no brainer for the politicians who are all by and large lawyers. If everyone has to have civil unions in order to get married, the lawyers make out like bandits writing the contracts and dissolving them.
Posted by De Sube at 5/25/2009 02:48:00 PM
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
============================= Published Saturday May 16, 'I'm a boy-girl,' says 8-year-old BY ERIN GRACEWORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER Now that2009 Ben has had his final day at a west Omaha Catholic school, he gets to give away the last of his boy clothes — his school uniform — and live full time as the person inside: Katie. This decision seems like a no-brainer for parents who at first presumed their prancing, pink-loving son who squirreled away cousins’ girl toys was gay. That was before he told them he had a girl heart, a girl soul and was, in fact, a girl.A defining moment came when it was time for First Communion. Eight-year-old Ben declared he wouldn’t go if he had to wear a suit, and he pined for the white dress that girls wear. But neither his family nor church leaders thought it would be a good idea to introduce Ben as Katie in the Communion line. The church doesn’t want Ben to be Katie at the school at all. So, after behavioral testing, therapy and a lot of research, the parents have decided to switch their child to a public school and to let their son live as a girl. They asked not to be named out of concern for their child’s safety outside the circle of those who know the family. They know the path Katie faces is long, difficult and fraught with controversy. Some scientists say the approach they are taking amounts to child abuse. Other scientists say any other response would be abuse. What might seem like a drastic, life-altering decision for their child is in fact the culmination of years of words and deeds that convinced Katie’s parents, extended family members and therapists of this: She is a girl born into a boy’s bod. As young as age 2, Ben would use anything he could find to create long hair. At Grandma Mary’s, it was old scarves. At home, he wore armchair covers and sweatpants around his head to mimic ponytails. He did this so often that his father caught himself hollering for Ben to “throw your hair down the steps” so he could get a full load in the washer. At 3, Ben was a princess for Halloween, wearing a tiara.When he turned 4, he told his mother, “I can’t wait to be a mommy and have babies.” At age 5, Ben was taking girl toys to show-and-tell in kindergarten despite the razzing he got from some classmates. He felt as deep a passion against boy things, including his penis. He asked when God was going to make it go away so he could get his girl parts. He began to urinate sitting down. Ben’s mother raised the issue with the pediatrician, who told her Ben was going through a common stage. Kids often experiment and mimic the opposite gender. Ben’s mother persisted: This was no stage. The pediatrician referred Ben to specialists. After a series of verbal and behavioral tests, the Boys Town specialists said Ben met all the criteria for gender identity disorder. But they held off on a diagnosis. He was 5. And the disorder is rare.The American Psychological Association says it is difficult to accurately estimate the prevalence of transgender people in Western countries. Current estimates of the prevalence of transsexualism are about 1 in 10,000 for biological males and 1 in 30,000 for biological females, the association says. The number of people in other transgender categories is unknown. Transgender is a broad term and generally applies to people who see themselves as the opposite gender. Transsexual is a more specific term and generally refers to people who live as a different gender, including some who have sought or had sex-change surgery. Author and gender specialist Stephanie Brill said as many as one in 500 children could be gender-variant or transgender. A small portion of youths with gender-variant behavior end up transgender. The advice to the parents? Let Ben drive the bus. His mother asked if letting Ben do girl things was reinforcing the behavior somehow. She was told no. And so she and Ben’s father went home and decided not to make gender identity a major issue for any of their three boys.They didn’t push pink. His mom, in fact, talked Ben out of pink paint and into teal when it was time to redecorate his room. They set some boundaries. The hand-me-down dressy clothes from his cousins were OK inside the house and in the backyard but not at school.And Ben still got his regular buzz haircut. Maybe if he looked like a boy, his mother said, it would help with socialization. She also routinely took what she called “temperature checks.” She’d ask: “What do you like about being a boy?”Ben’s consistent response: “Nothing.” Gender Identity Disorder is the formal classification found in medical and psychiatric manuals. There is no medical test, and Ben has yet to have a formal diagnosis. Ben would have to meet certain criteria. He would have to show persistent and intense distress about being a boy and a desire to be a girl. He’d have to show a preoccupation with stereotypical female activities or a rejection of stereotypical male toys and activities. He’d also have to show a persistent repudiation of his male anatomy. And he had to have shown these behaviors for at least six months. Ben’s mother, a lawyer, dived into research. She documented Ben’s words — even scribbling notes in the Wal-Mart parking lot — and saved his artwork. On one piece, he drew himself with pigtails and blue bows. On another, he drew himself twice: once with long hair and labeled “the real me is Katie.” For an assignment about household tasks, he wrote about folding his princess blankie. When Brill’s “The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals” was published in 2008, Ben’s mother bought copies by the dozen to pass out.Ben’s father, a manager at a manufacturing plant, did not mourn losing someone to toss a baseball with. He saw how happy and peaceful Ben was with girl toys and clothes. At three years older than Ben, the family’s oldest child has coped remarkably well, but expressed frustration at Ben having to switch identities between home and school. The change for now involves clothes, pronouns and a name. But in a few years, Katie could join the first generation of U.S. children receiving hormone therapy to first forestall puberty and then make the body outwardly conform to the female identity. Genital reconstruction surgery could be the final step after she turns 18. To Katie’s parents, the course to take was obvious. Yes, they knew their son’s life would not be easy. So they strive to make it less hard and to avoid at least this pitfall: instilling a sense of shame. He did nothing wrong; they believe he was born this way.“This really isn’t our journey,” his mother said. “We’re kind of observers on this path.” The correct path is not so clear to everyone. The term Gender Identity Disorder itself is controversial, with advocates for transgender people arguing it’s natural diversity, not a disorder.The advocates also say not all therapists making diagnoses are versed on nuances, including the distinction experts make between homosexuality and identifying with the opposite gender. Science has not yet ruled about the degree to which biology influences gender identity. Few medical specialists oversee hormone therapy in children with Gender Identity Disorder. “We have not been able to find a pediatric endocrinologist who feels comfortable dealing with this issue,” Dr. Jennifer Larsen of the University of Nebraska Medical Center wrote in an e-mail. “Some of us do care for individuals who are transgender as adults. But the issues are quite controversial as kids.”Furthermore, professionals who do treat children with the disorder are deeply divided. Psychiatrist Paul McHugh, who closed the nation’s first sex-change clinic at Johns Hopkins University, called the medical treatment of transgender children child abuse.And Canadian psychologist Kenneth Zucker says he has helped hundreds of youths return to the gender of their birth through behavior modification. Parents must remove clothes, toys and other items used to identify as the opposite gender. Zucker says the children who continue to exhibit Gender Identity Disorder after this are in that small minority of transgender people. Other psychologists balk at the idea a transgender person can or should be cured. Diane Ehrensaft is a California psychologist and author who says Zucker’s approach doesn’t work. Children who end up accepting their birth gender were never transgender, she said. They might be gay or be more fluid in their definition of gender, but they do not hold the deep belief that they were born into the wrong bodies. Such children, she said, when forced to conform to the gender of their anatomy, may hide the behavior. That can lead to anxiety, depression, acting out and, for some, substance abuse and suicide. Ehrensaft wrote a book, “Spoiling Childhood: How Well-Meaning Parents Are Giving Children Too Much — But Not What They Need.” But she said there is no comparison between a child pushing for a later bedtime and a child insisting he is really a girl. Last spring, toward the end of first grade, Ben pestered his mom and dad for a new name. He hated that china plate on display in the dining room curio that listed his birth date and name, Benjamin James. Together, they came up with a new name: Mary Kathryn. Katie for short.Katie at home, Ben at school. Katie was Katie all summer, and his mother began buying girl clothes. She also realized she and her husband needed help. They rejected Zucker’s approach. “This does not go away, this is not a phase,” said Katie’s mom. Instead, they enlisted Megan Smith, an Omaha therapist who works with transgender people. A licensed therapist with a master’s degree in counseling who initially was a social worker, Smith has counseled women in prostitution. A number were transgender — men passing as women. Smith declined to comment on Katie’s situation, saying she would not discuss a client. In general, she said she has heard a lot of sad stories from transgender adults. Many were rejected by families and kicked out of their homes. Bullied at school, they dropped out. They turned to prostitution to survive and drugs to cope.“If the child is truly transgender,” Smith said, “it’s not going to go away.” At most schools, the emphasis on gender is reflected in the same-sex lines of children walking down the hallway and the gender-specific restrooms, locker rooms and sports teams. Schools often are not equipped to deal with gender identity issues. The Omaha Public Schools try to discuss concerns, like restrooms, while honoring the family’s choice of gender for the child. Millard said it was a private family matter. Westside said it hadn’t dealt with any cases. Teachers at St. Wenceslaus Catholic School appeared to take Ben in stride. They allowed him to use the nurse’s restroom. When his letter to his Kimball, Neb., pen pal said “I’m a boy-girl,” his first-grade teacher told him that was a little personal for the first letter and saved it for his parents. Last fall in gym class, a classmate told Ben he was a boy. Ben responded by spitting on the classmate. Ben’s parents decided they had to move faster to transition Ben to Katie. The church leaders, however, said Ben was welcome as Ben but not as Katie. This came just as Ben was telling his parents he would refuse to go to First Communion if he had to wear what he called a “tuxedo.”His mother didn’t want to force Ben into a suit; nor did she want to spring “Katie” on Ben’s classmates at Mass. She found the option of First Communion at Sacred Heart parish in north Omaha, where her family had worshipped with Katie as Katie. But when the mother took the case of Ben’s transition to Katie in third grade to the chancellor for the Archdiocese of Omaha, the Rev. Joseph Taphorn, he said no. In a recent interview, he explained the decision. From the church’s perspective, Taphorn said, one is either male or female and can’t change. He added: “It’s not fair to other children or families to introduce this question and this issue that is obviously a very real and serious one.”Educated in Omaha’s Catholic schools, Katie’s mom was hurt and upset. She asked friends by e-mail to show their support by putting empty envelopes in the collection plate. Later, she said she didn’t want to hurt the school, but wanted to spark discussion. Katie’s mom decided to end the school year a week early. “Katie’s waited long enough to be Katie,” she said. The child will enter third grade at a public school in fall. On Mother’s Day, Katie was oblivious to all the grown-up turmoil. She showed up at her grandmother’s suburban home wearing a turquoise tank top with a sparkly star, and jeans that had the cuffs dotted with faux jewels. She played in the basement with her 5-year-old brother. She sat on her mom’s lap to nuzzle. Her thick, sandy brown hair now is past her chin. Blue clips pin back the short parts. Dancing into the kitchen to color a picture, her voice and manner were so girl, it would be difficult to tell she was a boy. Puberty, of course, could change that. Unless Katie decides to be Ben before age 11 or 12, her parents will try to get her on puberty blockers.The blockers, the first stage of medical intervention, delay puberty. A boy on blockers won’t get his Adam’s apple. A girl won’t get her period. If the blockers are stopped, the child proceeds with puberty. If not, the child proceeds to take cross-hormones. Boys develop female characteristics, including breasts. Girls gain deeper voices and facial hair. Most of the transgender patients Dr. Carol Milazzo treats in the Sacramento, Calif., area show more than physical change.“When I first see them,” the former Omaha pediatrician said, “they are very introverted, very insecure, and then they come out of their shell. They just blossom tremendously in social skills and, generally, happiness.”Milazzo’s clinic has treated about 150 transgender patients, some as young as 10. The youngest prescribed cross-hormones was 15. They come from as far as 500 miles away. The Omaha parents constantly ask themselves: Are we doing the right thing? Then they think about how their middle child loved to play with Polly Pocket dolls, still is a Hannah Montana fan and often strikes a pose with hand on hip. And how Katie is unequivocal when choosing girl clothes. For Katie right now, there is no uncertainty. Several days ago, a present arrived in the mail. Her grandmother had ordered a replacement plate for the curio. Overjoyed, Katie took the old Benjamin James plate and wrapped it in three plastic sacks. She threw it with all her might, shattering it to pieces.In its place, on display in the dining room, a new china plate reads: Mary Kathryn.Katie.
Posted by De Sube at 5/20/2009 03:09:00 PM
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I was walking into a store the other day. It was a raining pretty hard. A guy standing off to the side trying to stay dry under the building's overhang. It looked like he had all of his worldly positions with him. I said hello to him and he sadly smiled back at me. He had the weight of the world on his shoulders with no place to go and no hope in sight. He was simply trying to survive. I gave him the few dollars I had for my purchase and he thanked me and looked like he was going to cry. Homeless people are all around us. We hear on the news about all of the people losing their homes through foreclosure. We do not hear about those who lose their homes through eviction. We do not hear about the people who are living with their friends, family or those living in their cars and tents. We do not hear enough about those who are evicted from mental institutions and hospitals because they appear to be no harm to themselves or others.
There is an alarming rate of Transgender homeless. It is hard enough for Trans folks to find work when times are good. Now, there are may Trans people on the street. To compound the issue, the numbers of homeless Transgender - Queer youth is exploding. PRNewswire reports "Foreclosure rates continue to rise, and more Americans are on the brink of homelessness every day. Unfortunately, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community are at a higher risk for becoming homeless. Youth are particularly vulnerable. Some estimate that between 40%-60% of homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender."We live in the richest country in the world. Billions are being thrown at irresponsible corporations, i.e. Bank of America, GM and AIG who continue to screw the American people. There is no excuse for anyone to be homeless or lack medical care. We elected President Obama with great hopes and then he flies Air Force One plus escorts over the Statue of Liberty for a photo op. Some might make the excuse he was not aware of the $328,835 publicity stunt. Ignorance is not an excuse. He was elected as Chief Executive of this Country. President Harry Truman said, "the buck stops here." There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to be homeless. We waste money and natural resources like there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is here. Shame, shame on us!
Posted by De Sube at 5/10/2009 08:55:00 AM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Our own Charlene Hawke is quoted in this article.
I was glad to see the "straight" guys were allowed to participate, if they were "straight." Who knows? Who cares?
Reverse discrimination is as heinous as any other form of discrimination. Our job is to rise above it if at all possible.
Unemployed straight guys attend transgender job fair By Ashley Harrell Published on May 05, 2009 at 11:44am
When the man who had always been a man walked in, well, that was a little strange. After all, this was registration for the fifth annual Transgender Job Fair at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center last week. The point was to help connect transgender folks — who have a difficult time finding work, even in a thriving economy — with savvy, sensitive employers. And although there were no hard and fast rules about attendees being gender-bending, it seemed pretty ballsy for a man who had always been a man and who identified as one to show up at the fair. He was in jeans and a buzz cut, and exuded regular-guyness. "What do I have to do?" he asked volunteer Sherilyn Connelly. Connelly was also there to find work, as she was recently laid off from her job as a Web producer at Cubik Media. She made her male-to-female transition in 1999, and is fabulously distinctive with her darkly lined eyes and orange-, purple-, and platinum-dreadlocked hairdo, which she has affectionately dubbed "the Squid." "Just have a seat at the computer and we'll get you registered," she told him. That guy was one of about a dozen attendees Connelly noticed throughout the day who looked suspiciously like the gender they were born with. It was possible, she says, that some were planning to transition and didn't want to wind up in a closed-minded employment situation. But it seemed likely that at least a few were not transgender, and were merely hoping to cherry-pick job opportunities. "It's a sign of the times," Connelly says, adding that it didn't bother her. The event's organizer, the Transgender Economic Empowerment Initiative (TEEI), says that although the fair is marketed to transgender folks, all jobseekers are welcome. "That doesn't seem quite right," says Lauren Graham, referring to the nontransgender interlopers who attended the fair. Graham, who has been looking for a job in health care for months, says she's been discriminated against in recent interviews. It often comes in the form of a look or body language that seems to suggest, "No way am I hiring someone like you." Another job fair attendee, Charlene Hawk, said she has actually transitioned twice, because the first time she did, she lost her job in Virginia and couldn't find a new one. To get hired, she had to return to being a man. The second time she transitioned, she decided to move to San Francisco. Those kinds of challenges are the reason that TEEI exists. Graham points out that there are plenty of job fairs out there for people who aren't transgender: "This one should have been respected for what it was," she says. "I saw some people that definitely weren't on my gaydar."
Posted by De Sube at 5/06/2009 01:02:00 PM
Monday, May 4, 2009
Original Article This really distresses me. The Richmond Police Department harassed this young man until he quit. Then they had the nerve to say they never discriminate. Read the article, leave your comments, write letters to the Richmond Times Dispatch (Distress).
Colin Mauger, known by the Richmond Police Department as Officer Mandy Mauger, left after allegedly being harassed by fellow officers. Photo by Cortney Berben
Posted by De Sube at 5/04/2009 05:51:00 PM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I find it ironic New Hampshire voted for L's and G's to marry, but when it comes to Trans civil rights, they voted no. The piece of legislation was allowed to be turned into the notorious "Boogie Tranny" or our bathrooms are being invaded by men in dresses. If I believed in conspiracies I might wonder if Trans wasn't used as a bargaining chip. Just food for thought. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I really enjoy New Life Transgender Outreach - NLTO meetings. Last night there were thirteen of us just sitting around my living room having a nice discussion. It's always good to see old friends and catch up on what's happening in their lives. Jaye was able to come to the meeting. I always enjoy her company. MMM showed pictures of her grand children. She has recently reunited with her estranged daughter. Pretty cool. We have a new lawyer almost kind of. He has to pass the ethics part of the Virginia bar exam. Of course, he got some kidding about lawyers having no ethics so the test should be easy. I am very proud to be his friend. We announced a the formation of the new Trans Masculine group which will meet for the first time on May 21 at RR's. The Trans Guys have some unique issues they want to bat around. I don't blame them. CC was a lil concerned the general meetings were going to become primarily Trans Fem but she was assured they will remain inclusive. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Can you blame the folks in NYC for getting upset with Air Force One and it's escort buzzing around? The President was outraged. This begs a question. Was he outraged because he got caught with his pants down or because his team made a very poor decision or all of the above? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are rumblings in Face Book about President Obama's first one hundred days being not up to what they expected. Let's see here...The Reagan-Bush-Bush dynasty took well over twenty years to get things really screwed up. And my impatient FB friends are looking at it all to be fixed in three months? Let's get real and give Obama at least six months to get it all fixed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Something to bear watching is whether Attorney General Holder will seek to appeal the Washington DC District Courts award to Diane Schroer. For me, such an appeal sends up the big old red flag on how the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress will handle any Trans related issues including ENDA and Hate Crime legislation. The buzz is Rep. Barney Frank has made some inquiries and suggested the AG back off. Let's hope so for Diane and her family! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Posted by De Sube at 5/03/2009 03:50:00 PM
Friday, May 1, 2009
The Jolly Banker My name is Tom Cranker and I'm a jolly banker, I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I safeguard the farmers and widows and orphans, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. When dust storms are sailing, and crops they are failing, I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. I check up your shortage and bring down your mortgage, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. When money you're needing, and mouths you are feeding, I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I.
I'll plaster your home with a furniture loan, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. If you show me you need it, I'll let you have credit, I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. Just bring me back two for the one I lend you, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. When your car you're losin', and sadly your cruisin',
I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. I'll come and forclose, get your car and your clothes,
Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. When the bugs get your cotton, the times they are rotten, I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. I'll come down and help you, I'll rake you and scalp you, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. When the landlords abuse you, or sadly misuse you,
I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. I'll send down the police chief to keep you from mischief, Singin' I'm a jolly banker, jolly banker am I. Download Woody's Jolly Banker recorded by Wilco! Available on: Library of Congress RecordingsWoody Guthrie Words and Music by Woody Guthrie© Copyright 1964 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc Contact The Publisher-Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. administered by Bug Music7750 Sunset Boulevard / Los Angeles, CA 90046T: 323-969-0988 / E: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: http://www.bugmusic.com/
Posted by De Sube at 5/01/2009 02:01:00 PM