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Fri May 22, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Tough Times in the Hate Business

by rserven

I guess when you run a hate organization, you have to keep the perceived horrors involving what you hate in the news in order to keep those donations rolling in.  I mean, the hate don't pay for itself!

It must be really painful when this sort of stuff backfires.

Case in point.  People have noticed the recent stories about the Girl Scouts' policy on transgender girls.  That's not really news.  The policy goes back to 2011 when Colorado trans kid Bobby Montoya wanted to join.  After Bobby was first humiliated by he local troop leader, the Girl Scouts of Colorado announced,

Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in Kindergarten through 12th grade as members.

If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.

--Girl Scouts

As I reported back then, girls all over the country expressed their support.
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Wed May 20, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Boulder mom steps up for her kids

by rserven

Kai Mackenzie has two children.  Both were assigned male at birth...but that didn't take.

As a parent, Kai McKenzie admits it took years to understand what it meant to raise a transgender child. Kai’s oldest, Elsa, was assigned male at birth but began rejecting that identity at just two years old.
When I told her she was a boy she just screamed, ’No!’” Kai said. “I still didn’t get it.


From age two until age 8, Kai's oldest child would draw pictures of herself as a girl...and chose to dress as a girl when she could.  
Kai says Elsa eventually refused to go to the bathroom and, at 8 years old, began showing signs of physical sickness when gender conversations came up.
She started increasingly just breaking down any time anyone called her a boy. I mean, just collapsing and sobbing.  She came to me and said, ‘If I’m a boy, why is there no one like me? There must be something wrong with me. I wish I didn’t exist.’  And those words. Those words are a wake-up call to any parent.


So last year the Mackenzie family embraced Elsa as a girl.

But there was also Sky.

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Tue May 19, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

A small but important detail

by rserven

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee in Illinois unanimously passed HB 3552, which is an amendment to the Disposition of Remains Act which would allow transgender people to provide written instructions to the person charged with the responsibility for carrying out the decedent's funeral and disposition of remains to ensure that said transgender person's identity is respected.

Specifically, the directions may include instructions pertaining to appearance, chosen name, and gender pronouns.
Many transgender people face rejection by or isolation from their next of kin, or they fear stigmatization due to their gender identity or expression.

Some transgender people do not reveal their transgender status due to concerns about discrimination, harassment, and violence. This measure, through a simple legal change, will provide solace to transgender people facing end of life, in that it will ensure that their names and genders are respected after death.

--Alison Gill, Human Rights Campaign

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 photo VictoriaRamirez2_zpss5qmmpor.jpgVictoria Ramirez put herself through college working for Barnes & Noble.  She worked herself up the ladder from bookseller to merchandise manager at a store in Irvine, CA.

But when she began transitioning from male to female, she says that managers told her she would not be allowed to use a new name, would not be referred to by female pronouns and would not be allowed to use the women's restroom.

In other words, her managers vetoed her transition.  She was told the store had a "neighborhood vibe" and that she should "think about the children."  When she complained she was fired.

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Reposted from eState4Column5©2013 by rserven
In a breakneck race with so many stupid folks, that scion of minor-league hate radio, Todd Starnes continues to suck up to the RW via his DIY psychological lemonade stand at Fox News to prop up pre-modern binary views of sexuality and gender identity from groups like Family Research Council and the Traditional Values Coalition.

If he'd only interview some of those extreme radical Log Cabin Republicans, perhaps he'd consider getting past his belief that "God created male and female" and not "that there are dozens and dozens of possible genders." Clearly Todd might actually try reading something other than the usual fundamentalist screeds trying to make secular public education into parochial schools.

The actual subtext is the threat of losing $42 million in Federal funds because of the need to comply with Federal policy

The district said they were mandated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to add “gender identity” to the policy or else risk losing federal funding.

“The Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education is requiring that school divisions revise their non-discrimination policies to include gender identity,” ... “If FCPS refuses to amend its policy, OCR has the right to recommend the termination of federal funding to FCPS.

One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum – the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.

Fairfax County Public Schools released a report recommending changes to their family life curriculum for grades 7 through 12. The changes, which critics call radical gender ideology(sic), will be formally introduced next week.

Eighth graders will be taught that individual identity “occurs over a lifetime and includes the component of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Individual identity will also be described as having four parts – biological gender, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).”

The district will also introduce young teenagers to the “concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum.” By tenth grade, they will be taught that one’s sexuality “develops throughout a lifetime.”

“Emphasis will be placed on an understanding that there is a broader, boundless, and fluid spectrum of sexuality that is developed throughout a lifetime,” the document states. “Sexual orientation and gender identity terms will be discussed with focus on appreciation for individual differences.”

And Todd's framing of this is that “'Parents need to protect their kids from this assault,' said Andrea Lafferty, president of Traditional Values Coalition."


For the first time ever the American Health Association-National College Health Assessment survey allowed students to identify as transgender.  Out of this effort emerged

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eating-Related Pathology in a National Sample of College Students, Diemer, Grant, Munn-Chernoff, Patterson and Duncan in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students.

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Sat May 16, 2015 at 03:00 PM PDT

Transgender Health Care

by rserven

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest group pf medical doctors in the nation, behind the AMA.  This past week the ACP has issued its positions on how best to support and serve the nation's LGBT people.

The ACP recognizes that LGBT people have significant disparity in the health care we receive, ranging from coverage to culturally competent care to state and federal policies that systemically reify social stigma, marginalization and discrimination.  That results in LGBT people being discouraged from seeking preventative health care, as well as increasing anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance and alcohol abuse.

So the ACP adopted nine positions:

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It is not unusual during the course of the day to discover someone who is totally invested in the idea that gender is totally determined by chromosomes and therefore accepting trans people for who we say we are is just an exercise in "political correctness."

A more apparent example of this kind of doubt can be found in a new post at The Federalist called, It’s Not Hateful To Point Out Bruce Jenner Isn’t A Woman. Whereas Robberson offered confused hesitation, Daniel Payne owned his rejection of transgender identities, as many other Federalist writers have done. He argued that journalists “are doing a grave disservice to a segment of the population desperately in need of psychological counseling,” causing them harm by “accommodating their illness.” This is despite the fact that gender dysphoria was declassified as a mental disorder several years ago.

Payne’s attack on transgender equality relied on myths about transition regret, and he distorted data about the high suicide attempt rates in the transgender community. Instead of recognizing that the same study also found rampant discrimination in employment, housing, health care, public safety, and public accommodations — basically every facet of a trans person’s life — Payne simply assumed “the presence of tremendous pain, confusion, and despair” must stem from their “misconceptions.” After asserting that Bruce Jenner “is not a man,” he concluded, “People who believe they are transgender need help, and they need the truth. We should deny them neither.”

--Zack Ford, ThinkProgress

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Reposted from ProgressiveDanNY by juliandomain

Regular watchers of PBS Newshour are accustomed to some excellent reporting, and I'd just like to draw attention to 2 recent examples.  In my opinion, these are "must see" TV for anyone wanting to better understand what it really means to be transgender.  I'll let the videos speak for themselves:


Wed May 13, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Transgender women sue to donate plasma

by rserven

Jasmine Kaiser has filed suit in King County, WA, Superior Court against CSL Plasma, Inc., a for profit company that pays donors for plasma as much as $200 a month because the company refused to let her donate last June because she is transgender.

Company representatives told Ms. Kaiser that she was banned for life because of her status.

They told her that they would inform other blood centers that she was on a lifetime deferral list.

--David Ward, attorney with Legal Voice

Ward, Gender Justice, and Isaac Ruiz of the law firm Keller Rohrback filed the complaint, arguing that denying Ms. Kaiser the right to donate violates the 2006 Washington state law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.

Ward noted that transgender people face almost daily discrimination in everything from housing to health care.

Washington law specifically prohibits discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or expression, and it has since 2006.  We feel the company’s treatment of Ms. Kaiser is a clear violation of the law.  It is based on nothing more than bias against transgender people.

And it is time that this kind of discrimination be taken seriously and not say, 'Well, why would somebody sue about that?


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Tue May 12, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

Miley Cyrus? Really?

by rserven

 photo prism_zpsdmci5cay.jpgPerhaps I should start off with a personal note.  When I was living in Arkansas after my transition, I used to run a LGBT group out of my home:  Conway Prism.  Although the group was mainly advertised as a gay-friendly atmosphere, we were open to anyone who wanted to attend and respect everyone else who was there.  Someone once ask me what the point of it was.  My response was that I wanted everyone to become a member.

 photo Cyrus_zpskxfojncb.jpgIt appears that philosophy may undergo some testing.

A week ago, Cyrus announced the beginning of her Happy Hippie Foundation, which is designed to help homeless and other at risk LGBT youth.

At the event, Cyrus also announced that not all of her past relationships have been heterosexual...and that she sees herself as being "gender fluid."

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Mon May 11, 2015 at 04:00 PM PDT

SAVE Champion of Equality Awards

by rserven

 photo fl-arianna-lint-jpg-20131226_zpsaacm9dg6.jpgLast Friday, SAVE, a South Florida LGBT Equality group, presented its 2015 Campions of Equality recipients.  This years recipients were Rodrigo, Heng-Lehtinen, donor services director for GLAAD, Arianna Lint, transgender services director at Sunserve, Mark Rosenberg, president of Florida International University, and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

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