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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Things First



Well, I'm going to do it.

I don't like talking religion or politics. It seems with either one, someone is always offended or put off.

However, as a Christian first, American second, and being transgender third, I prefer to hold my convictions based on those filters.

One, does my position represent the principles of my Christian faith? That God is first and I worship only Him, and I practice love and tolerance for my brothers and sisters as a means of being of maximum service to God and my fellows?

Two, does my position uphold the principles of the Constitution and our rights as defined in it, my duties as a citizen to defend those principles and to stand firm against those who wish to ignore and/or tread on those principles and rights?

And three, does my position further understanding and acceptance for my fellow transgender brothers and sisters?

First and for most, am I doing God's will? To seek that I ask for guidence and pray for it. I then have to meditate for insight. The thoughts that come to me must then be filtered though four qualifiers. Am I being self-centered, dishonest, resentful or fearful?

I'm human and I'm prone to fail. I do not profess to know alot, let alone the answers to many of my questions. Yet I'm okay with that.

I find the political climate extremely disturbing. Hate is not a commodity in sole possession of the Right. Nor is the Left the sole bearers of true tolerance.

I have little faith in either canidate as being "The Messiah" or "A Faithful Servant".

Yet based on positions and plans for our country, I find pulling the lever for Obama-Biden too difficult. It will be hard enough pulling that lever for McCain-Palin with one hand pinching my nose.

Barack Obama's desires to "distribute the wealth" are in stark contrast to our American principles. Our government is OF the people, FOR the people, and BY the people. He's too leftist for this Libertarian. Personal liberty has never been more in jeopardy than it is today.

I will defend my fellow citizen's right to express their political viewpoint regardless of whether that position is in accord with my own. I suspect many of you would do the same. For anything less is truly unpatriotic and quite un-American.

May God Bless All of Us

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

One Year Later



It's ironic. One year ago, while at SCC I heard Joe Solmonese speak to the largest transgender conference in America. However I didn't remember him being so " uhm" well, "uhm" un-well-spoken..... I know I usually stammer when I'm trying to deceive someone....

Uhm, but, in his uhm defense, he, uhm did , uhm say he was , uhm optimist uhm about our uhm chances....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Comprehensive NCTE & NGLTF TG Survey




Comprehensive National Survey on Transgender Discrimination Launched by National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"This is an absolutely critical national effort. We urge all transgender and gender non-conforming people to take the survey to help guide us in making better laws and policies that will improve the quality of life for all transgender people. We need everyone's voice in this, everyone's participation." Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Respond to the survey online at ONLINE SURVEY


WASHINGTON, DC September 11, 2008 -- In the wake of one of the most violent years on record of assaults on transgender people, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (The Task Force) have teamed up on a comprehensive national survey to collect data on discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodation, health care, education, family life and criminal justice. To date, in 2008, several young gender non-conforming people of color have been murdered, including California junior high school student Lawrence King, who was shot in public during the school day. King's murder, and the murders of Simmie Williams in South Carolina and Angie Zappata in Greeley, Colorado come in a year in which we are still working to include transgender provisions in a federal bill to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual workers from discrimination in employment. Hate crimes against transgender people suggest multiple points of vulnerability, which can compound each other: discrimination in employment may lead to unstable housing situations which in turn can leave transgender people at the mercy of public programs and public officials who may not respond respectfully or appropriately to them. These stressors add burdens in a health care system that is often unprepared for transgender people's needs. The list goes on. "We know that transgender people face discrimination on multiple fronts," said Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE. "This data will help us sort out the combination of forces that leave transgender people vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, and violence." Jaime Grant, director of the Task Force Policy Institute noted, "There is so little concrete data on the needs and risks associated with the widespread discrimination we see in the lives of the transgender people we know. This data will help point the way to an appropriate policy agenda to ensure that transgender people have a fair chance to contribute their talents in the workplace, in our educational systems and in our communities." NCTE and the Task Force have partnered with Pennsylvania State University's Center for the Study of Higher Education to collect and analyze the data. Applying rigorous academic standards to the investigation will strengthen any case made to legislators, policy makers, health care providers, and others whose decisions impact the lives of transgender people. A national team of experts in survey research and transgender issues developed the questionnaire, which can be completed on-line at
https://online.survey.psu.edu/endtransdiscrim
. Paper copies can also be downloaded from the NCTE and The Task Force websites soon. Keisling notes: "This is an absolutely critical national effort. We urge all transgender and gender non-conforming people to take the survey to help guide us in making better laws and policies that will improve the quality of life for all transgender people. We need everyone's voice in this, everyone's participation."
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The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization. For more information, please visit www.nctequality.org.The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement's premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unraveling Michelle



My friend Michelle Farrell is a film maker here in Baltimore. She has spent the last two years, in between gigs and projects, working to film, co-produce, edit and promote her project, " Unraveling Michelle" .

Having just recently been honored with the Best Local Film Award at Artsfest Film Festival in Harrisburg Pa, she was estactic to receive word that the film was accepted by the NY International Independent Film and Video Festival this September. The screening is in prime time on a Saturday night!

I plan on attending to be there for her. She's truly been there for me! I've screened several pre-final cut versions of this film and its great. Michelle's sense of humor and desire to NOT take herself too seriously is one of the main reasons we're friends!

Love Ya M

Hang in there baby, Friday's coming...


I've been preoccupied with looking for work, staying sober and trying to be of service to my friends and fellows.
Moderating The Gender Identity Group is one of the most rewarding experience I've been blessed to have had in my life. To get the opportunity to meet new friends, sharing the same dream, the dream of freedom to be ourselves, is incredible. Twice a month all of my problems disappear when I hear people sharing their triumphs of name changes, comings out to family and coworkers, and of taking the physical steps on their journey.
It would be criminal for me to get paid to this!
However, being paid an honest wage for an honest day's work is still elusive. I've apllied, submitted, replied and resubmitted. I've been keeping faith in my Faith and allowing life to take its course. These last 6 weeks, while financial tight, have paid me dividends. In my free time I've met people with life opportunities more challanging than mine. I walk away grateful for my situation. My basic needs are being met. I have a roof over my head, friends that love me and food in my belly. I've met 2 sets of husbands and wives, all struggling to stay clean and sober. One couple had their 4 month old son taken into protective custody until they complete a sustance abuse treatment and evalutation. Another couple just moved from Georgia and are homeless until they receive their first paychecks here. Yet all four want to stay sober.
The ironic and humorous part of this is that one of the gentlemen, while not knowing I'm non cisgender, in the early part of my transition(Whatever the hell that really means anymore!) always hands me or leaves at my seat a pamplet called "A.A. and the Gay/Lesbian Alcoholic ". Poor chap, little does he know........ Of course, I usually hand him the large print, " AA for the Older Alcoholic".... teasing him on being 39 years old and looking like he's 50!
While Friday will come, one day, I'm happy to be living in today, whatever day of the week it actually is, and know that I'll keep hanging in there, baby.......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

TDOR

Are there any groups plannning a Transgender Day of Remembrance this November 20th?

I know of one in Baltimore. I attended on in DC last year. What about the rest of the country?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Live and Let Live

For as much progress our society makes in understanding gender identity disorder( not my term, its the medical profession's) we, as a culture, really take some stupid back pedaling moves.

Take for instance this article from The Vital Voice in St Louis. It's yet another government body discriminating based on "moral" grounds.

I don't want to hear any knee jerk "Moral Majority" "Religious Right" cracks. No , "Bush went down to Georgia and made them do that" lines either. A person insults their own intelligence in making such statements.

Live and Let Live.

Hold yourself to account and forgive others as they find their way.

Immoral?

By who's standards? Over 50% of the work force could be fired for premarital sex based on "moral" codes.

Inappropriate?

Possibly. It depends on the way a person HANDLES their transition.

Yet that's not the issue. Vandy Beth Glenn wasn't fired for just showing up to work one day as Vandy, wear something out of Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Doesn't she have the right to treat her disorder? (REMEMBER its the medical profession's term). If a person had a cleft palette and required a procedure to correct an inconsistency, should they be fired?

Any medical or psychological condition should receive treatment if that treatment will abate or suppress the condition.

Here's what McDoc has to say (WebMD)

How Is Gender Identity Disorder Treated?

Individual and family counseling usually is recommended to treat children with gender identity disorder. Counseling focuses on treating the associated problems of depression and anxiety and on improving self-esteem. Therapy also aims at helping the individual function as well as possible within his or her biological gender.
Counseling is recommended for adults, as is involvement in a support group. Some transsexual adults request hormone and surgical treatments to suppress their biological sex characteristics and to achieve those of the opposite sex. The surgical alteration of a person's sex is called gender reassignment surgery (sometimes referred to as a "sex change" operation). Because this surgery is major and irreversible, candidates for surgery must undergo an extensive evaluation and transition period.

What Are the Complications of Gender Identity Disorder

If not addressed, the disorder can cause a poor self-image, social isolation, and emotional distress. Untreated, the disorder can also cause severe depression and anxiety, and can interfere with an individual's ability to function, leading to problems in school or work, or with developing relationships.


So an individual, receiving treatment for a condition, is terminated from their job for seeking and following their health care provider's prescription?

Morality supposes we have a choice in our actions. And while I have a choice to drink myself to death over depression, its actual immoral to do so.

Is it immoral to take Viagra so that sex with your wife is as fulfilling as with your mistress? Or better yet, your femme boy you've got stashed on the side.......

Oh wait, you have a "medical" condition. You're addicted to sex.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Set your TiVos

There are some up coming programs on cable this month.
On LOGO


7/22 8:00am
Southern Comfort
Robert Eads, a transgender man, is dying of ovarian cancer. This documentary follows his struggle with the disease as he reveals traumatic events as well as stories of personal triumph. Highlighted are the often poor medical attention transgender people receive and the love expressed between family members faced with terminal illness. Part of Logo's Real Momentum documentary series.


7/25 6:00am
Beautiful Daughters

This original Logo documentary looks at the lives of four transgender women intertwined with the casting, rehearsal and opening of a V-Day benefit production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues." The women confront and discuss the issues they face as transgender women and how "The Vagina Monologues" is used as a vehicle to address these issues to a mass audience. Part of Logo's Real Momentum documentary series.



7/27 1:00pm
The Believers
What happens when a group of trans-people want to reclaim their spirituality and start an all-trans gospel choir? Transcendence Gospel Choir, the first ever entirely transgender choir, consists of individuals who are attempting to overcome feeling "Bible burnt" by the Christian Right while at the same time trying to form a musically cohesive choir. The documentary follows the Transcendence Gospel Choir from the start and shows how the members had to overcome instability and commotion and build trust with one another. The diverse backgrounds of the choir members, white and black, young and old, parents of children, fully transitioned and not, are profiled-all of whom are working their high notes to find acceptance in Christian churches as well as the LGBT community. Part of Logo's Real Momentum documentary series.



On The Sundance Channel
7/24 10:00am
Ten More Good Years

In the latter part of the 1960’s the Civil Rights Movement made its way into the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Community. Across the country LGBT persons defiantly stood up and fought for the right to be out, proud, and equal. Today, the LGBT Community is out and definitely proud; however, they are far from equal. Those who “could not take it anymore” some 40 years ago at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco, The Stonewall Inn in New York City, and elsewhere across the United States, are older now and are facing an onslaught of discrimination from their government, social service networks, and even from their own Community.