Study: Alcohol more lethal than heroin, cocaine

From Yahoo Canada: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/101031/world/eu_med_dangerous_alcohol

Sun Oct 31, 3:06 PM

By Maria Cheng, The Associated Press

LONDON – Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study.

British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.

Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.

Heroin, crack cocaine and metamfetamines, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.

The study was paid for by Britain’s Centre for Crime and Justice Studies and was published online Monday in the medical journal, Lancet.

Experts said alcohol scored so high because it is so widely used and has devastating consequences not only for drinkers but for those around them.

Continue reading at:  http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/101031/world/eu_med_dangerous_alcohol

Happy Samhain

Or Halloween to those of us who look at as a way to get on the good side of the neighbors by stuffing the little ones with oodles and oodles of sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial flavors and preservatives.

May the little beasties bounce off the walls of your houses for days due to sugar induced hyper-activity.

Actually I love it the anarchy, the disorganized play with kids and adults dressing up and going begging door to door in a primal act of pagan tradition?

But like a lot of things commercial exploitation has managed to mess it up.

I went to the gay celebrations on Polk Street, in the 70s as well as the ones in LA’s Boys Town of WeHo.  Went to a couple in the Castro in the 80s when they were haunted by the specter of death and bore a closer relationship with a Mexican tradition of Los Dias de Los Muertos.

In 2001 I went with a friend in LA to Los Dias de Los Muertos on Olivera Street. It seemed right after 9/11.

I like holidays even though I am an atheist.

I even got involved in the Wicca for a while in the late 1970s.  While skeptical about a multitude of god and goddess, after all when you don’t believe in one god believing in a multitude is an even greater stretch, I did like the getting high and dancing around naked under the full moon part.

The other thing I liked was how the Wicca seemed to be closer to nature than to some sort of patriarchal hierarchy with a bunch of misogynistic rules and queer hating laws.

Take the best and leave the rest.  I don’t need gods or goddesses to celebrate the turning of the seasons, the beauty of the planet and universe, to celebrate the lives of others.

To celebrate holidays for the sheer joy of partying and playing.

So Happy Samhain/Halloween/Los Dia deLos Muertos

Yes, Of Course They’re Brownshirts. What The Hell Did You Expect?

From The Smirking Chimp:  http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/david-michael-green/32229/yes-of-course-theyre-brownshirts-what-the-hell-did-you-expect

by David Michael Green

October 31, 2010 – 11:08am

You know, I hate like hell using the tired old Nazi analogy.

For one thing, everybody does it, and everybody does it all the time. It hasn’t exactly earned an A for originality in about a half century now.

For another thing, not only does everybody do it, but now complete idiots who couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel are doing it too, and of course they’re too dumb to even use the term properly. You can’t foam at the mouth about what a freaking socialist Barack Obama is and then call him a Nazi at the same time. Unless, of course, you happen not to mind looking like a moron. Which, of course, all too many Americans don’t anymore. But here’s a hint to all y’all in the ganglion-cyst-where-there’s-supposed-to-be-an-actual-brain crowd: Nazis hate socialists. Indeed, they murder them, along with Jews and Gypsies and homosexuals. Get it?

And then there’s a third reason to avoid the Nazi analogy, namely that because everyone else is doing it, the term has now been diluted to the point of lacking all impact or meaning anymore. If everyone’s a Nazi, no one is.

All good reasons not to use the term.

But, that said, there are also three good reasons to do just that.

Continue reading at:   http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/david-michael-green/32229/yes-of-course-theyre-brownshirts-what-the-hell-did-you-expect

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De-transitioned in Death, How the Media Disrespects Transgender People

You know when Tony Curtis died recently they didn’t feel it was necessary to mention his former name.

It isn’t even the “de-transitioning” of us as much as the disrespecting us by making us less real than others who do the same things we do yet have never been linked with one of three trans prefixed words.

Is this partly our own fault as we argue among ourselves regarding language and usage?  Perhaps but if an individual has shown a preference in life for the usage of a name or a way of defining their life experiences then common courtesy would mandate extension of that same courtesy in death, even when you might consider doing so an act of “polite fiction”.

From Trans-Advocate: http://www.transadvocate.com/de-transitioned-in-death-how-the-media-disrespects-transgender-people.htm

Reposted with permission

Posted by Marti Abernathey

Oct 30th, 2010

I’m tired. Tired of the so called “liberal media” disrespecting our dead.  Hell, even our own “LGB(t) media does it. Ya know, “Today a transgender woman, Jane Doe,  who was formerly known as John Doe, was murdered today.”  A few examples:

“The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office reported today that the victim of a fatal shooting in Maplewood on Sunday was Victoria Carmen White, formerly James White. White had legally changed her name to Victoria Carmen following sex reassignment surgery.”- Maplewood Patch

“Detectives originally thought the 28-year-old victim, from Roxwell, near Chelmsford, Essex, may have drowned, but a post mortem has revealed unexplained head injuries.

Ms Chappel, formerly known as Bryan Hooley, underwent a sex-change operation in 1994.”- BBC News

But it’s not just the mainstream media doing it. Edge, a “Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) news and entertainment portal”, posted this:

“Johnson’s arrest for prostitution last winter led to a police interrogation in which Johnson–formerly known as Dwayne Johnson–was beaten by police officers.” – EDGE Boston

and On Top ( “a gay advocacy website”):

“Andrade has confessed to killing Zapata, formerly known as Justin Zapata, in a fit of rage when he confronted her about her sexuality.”- On Top

and the latest example:

“Police spokesperson Sgt. Ray Evers said Blahnik, whose birth name is Michael Lee, was strangled with a pillowcase.” - Philadelphia Gay News

It’s 2010, and as the Transgender Day of Remembrance comes close I think it’s time that ALL media stop disrespecting our dead brothers and sisters this way.  As a health care worker, I could be fired for revealing personal health information (HIPAA) of a patient.  If not illegal,  revealing personal health information after death is highly unethical.  And publishing the birth name or surgical status  of  these murder victims doesn’t serve any purpose,  other than titillation.  Go back and reread each one of these articles and remove the transgender person’s birth name. Does it change the story at all?

I know that in the past transgender people were outside of the public eye and that maybe media outlets didn’t know any better (never mind widely accepted journalistic standards).  I hope that from this day forward every media outlet can be more respectful of  our fallen transgender brothers and sisters.  Many died living their truth. If you’re a journalist and you post their former name,  you’re effectively  stripping their lives of that truth.

Please, just stop it.

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GOP plans attacks on the EPA and climate scientists

The Republi-Nazis represent  strange cults of dispensationalists and Armageddon wishing Rapture Bunnies  that want to bring on the end of the world by any means necessary thereby hastening the return of magic Jesus and the thousand year Taliban Christian Reich.

These people are dangerous on so many levels. Ignorant of science, hateful towards ecology and bigoted beyond all belief toward anyone who isn’t part of their cults.

From The Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-epa-battle-ahead-20101030,0,6040861.story

By Neela Banerjee
October 30, 2010

Reporting from Washington —

If the GOP wins control of the House next week, senior congressional Republicans plan to launch a blistering attack on the Obama administration’s environmental policies, as well as on scientists who link air pollution to climate change.

The GOP’s fire will be concentrated especially on the administration’s efforts to use the Environmental Protection Agency‘s authority over air pollution to tighten emissions controls on coal, oil and other carbon fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming.

The attack, according to senior Republicans, will seek to portray the EPA as abusing its authority and damaging the economy with needless government regulations.

In addition, GOP leaders say, they will focus on what they see as distortions of scientific evidence regarding climate change and on Obama administration efforts to achieve by executive rule-making what it failed to win from Congress.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-epa-battle-ahead-20101030,0,6040861.story

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A Little Saturday Night Folk Music From So Long Ago

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Former Mexican president on California marijuana legalization: ‘May God let it pass’

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/mexican-president-california-marijuana-legalization-may-god-pass/

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, October 29th, 2010 — 2:03 pm

In California’s battle to legalize marijuana, former Mexican President Vicente Fox has picked a side, announcing in a recent radio interview that he favors Prop. 19.

“How great it would be for California to set this example,” he said, speaking to the W radio network on Wednesday. “May God let it pass. The other U.S. states will have to follow step.”

The quote was first snagged stateside by McClatchy Newspapers.

The former president also criticized his successor’s violent campaign against the drug cartels, suggesting that the country’s path has been ultimately destructive.

“Violence never resolves violence,” he said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/mexican-president-california-marijuana-legalization-may-god-pass/

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UN deal struck to ‘save ecosystems’

From Aljazeera English:   http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/10/20101029232339816267.html

Almost 200 countries sign up to key targets on pollution, forest and reef protection, and creating conservation areas.
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2010 04:37 GMT

The world’s most threatened species are to benefit from a UN plan to protect world’s forests, coral reefs and other fragile ecosystems.

A summit of rich and poor nations in Japan agreed on Saturday to take “effective and urgent” action to curb the destruction of the biodiversity upon which human survival depends.

Delegates from 193 countries agreed to key targets on pollution, forest and reef protection and the creation of conservation areas.

“This is a day to celebrate,” Achim Steiner, the UN environment programme chief, said after the accord was struck following almost two weeks of negotiations in the Japanese city of Nagoya.

Clear targets

Anshuman Saikia, the regional spokesman for the International Union for Conservation of Nature based in New Delhi, told Al Jazeera this was the first such success in terms of the convention on biodiversity.

“There are clear targets, clear mechanisms of trying to reduce or even reverse the loss of biodiversity.

“What is different in terms of this treaty is that it has adopted a strategic plan as opposed to just a target and a series of indicators related to the target.”

Continue reading at:  http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/10/20101029232339816267.html

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The Phyllabuster ponders on why even bother to vote this Tuesday – Phyllis Randolph Frye

The Phyllabuster ponders on why even bother to vote this Tuesday

I feel certain that this may make some folks angry and that I will get some REMOVEs to my list.   Well, I feel this needs to be said.  And if you are one of my Republican friends (and I have many Republican friends), please consider the entirety of this message.

I have watched with interest as a kid or as a volunteer for and as a voter in elections since IKE ran in 1956.  I have never seen anything as ugly and violent as this election.  I remember the anti-catholic fervor during the Kennedy election.  And, I apologize for voting for Nixon in 1972.  I remember locally in the mid-1980′s in Houston when a so-called “Straight Slate” ran a field of anti-gay candidates for City Council.  As you might suspect,  almost every house within a hundred yards of our front yard had a “Straight Slate” sign in their front yard.  I remember the flak we got with our “Jesse Jackson for President” signs both times that he ran.  I remember when a leading candidate for mayor said “Kill the Queers” into an open microphone.  And I have represented in the criminal courts various citizens who were arrested and charged for no reason other that the bigotry and hatred from a particular rouge cop or two.

My parents were kids in the 1920′s and grew up in the Great Depression in the 1930′s and were young adults after World War II and watched with fear the entire Joe McCarthy witch-hunts.  They are both dead now, so I have a tad bit of forgiveness in my heart for their rejecting me.  I know that they were afraid of what other people might say or do to them as a result of being related to the “super-out-tranny,” ME.

And I have always wondered at how the Brown-shirted thugs took power as a minority in 1930′s Germany.  So many historians and documentaries have commented that the majority parties thought that they could keep the minority extremists in check.  People were angry with the economic situation.  The corporate barons felt that the order brought by this minority was good for business.  And so slowing things began to change for the worst.
The thuggery that is coming out in this election cycle is frightening to me.  Candidates are having their private security “arrest and cuff?” the media.  (and not being arrested themselves for false imprisonment!)  Candidate supporters are stomping on women’s heads.  (and not being arrested themselves for assault?)  We had a violent incident just yesterday in Houston.

The Tea-Party candidates who have co-opted the once moderation in the Republican Party will not talk to the media (Fox News is not media).  And their ideas are extreme.  Give social security to the stock market.  End medicare.  End separation of church and state.  No abortion for kids raped by fathers.  And on.

So, as I ponder to why even bother to vote this Tuesday, I hear from my friends on the left and in the center that they feel let down.  So do I.  I wanted a lot more out of this President and out of this Congress.

But consider this:

in all but a few cases, the House and Senate Republicans refused to do anything but block legislation and nominations. they did all they could to block everything.
they are embracing candidates who are EXTREME!
they are trying to buy this election with untraceable corporate money.
_____
YOU MUST VOTE ON TUESDAY.

Okay, be angry or be disappointed, but don’t give the keys to power back to the folks who screwed up the economy so badly it is still on life support and who will block everything for another two years.  If the Tea Party co-opted Republicans take over, they do NOT have your interests in mind

The end of our Democracy could begin on November 2 unless you vote to say NO to filibusters and blockage, NO to the extremists who do not have your interests at heart, and NO to the big money buying this election.
Even if you have to hold-your-nose, please get up off your seat and vote on Tuesday.
And insist that someone goes with you.

Sitting this one out because you are disappointed is NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.
Phyllis Randolph Frye

a.k.a. THE PHYLLABUSTER
prfrye@aol.com
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Archdiocese opposes legalizing gay marriage in District of Columbia

The Catholic Taliban opposes the equality of LGBT/TQ people…  Why am I not surprised?  I think they are afraid that if LGBT/TQ people had full equality the repressed gay men they turn in to child molesters would find an alternative to the miserable lives of the priesthood.

Catholic News Service: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0904817.htm
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Washington Archdiocese said in written testimony Oct. 26 that it opposes legislation to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in the District of Columbia and is concerned the bill “would restrict the free exercise of religious beliefs if it is passed as drafted.”

The archdiocese said it “opposes this legislation and any effort to redefine marriage as other than that between a man and a woman.”

“Besides overturning the definition of marriage,” it said, the bill has no exemptions for churches and faith-based organizations that oppose gay marriage for religious reasons but provide services to the general public or rent space to individuals or groups outside their faith.

Citing the Knights of Columbus and religiously-owned nonprofits such as Catholic Charities as examples, it said that under the measure they would be forced to offer their facilities and services to same-sex couples or face a lawsuit.

Continue reading at:  http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0904817.htm

TAX CHURCHES

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Why should politics be polite?

I’ve been bothered by the Rally this weekend for a number of reasons.  I like Stewart and Colbert.  But they are satirists on The Comedy Channel and like the Fox Network comedian Beck’s rally this to feels like a performance piece with people spending time and effort on Spectacle as diversion rather than working toward something with meaningful political content that might actually improve their lives.

As for the liberal politeness.  That is reason enough for me to take the Phil Ochs position regarding liberals.

I’m not a liberal.  I’m a radical.  When some one calls me a name or hits me I don’t whimper off and pout about them calling me a name.  I hurl an insult right back.  If someone hits me I hit them back.

I don’t believe in god and Jesus is a common Latino name as far as I am concerned.  Gandhi’s game owes as much to the Nazis and Japanese destruction of the British military and Britain’s ability to rule an Empire as it does to some sort of moral imperative.

Dr Martin Luther King’s non-violence wouldn’t have made half the civil rights gains had there not been the huge riots scaring people into passing civil rights legislation.

From Socialist Worker: http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/28/why-should-politics-be-polite

Scott McLemee

October 28, 2010

TO RESIDE in Washington, D.C., means occupying a front-row seat on life’s rich pageant.

We get regular visits from the Tea Partiers, with their outrage, their guns and their imaginatively spelled signs. Earlier this month, amidst the many thousands of people attending the One Nation rally, a few hundred people in the Socialist Contingent marched with signs demanding higher taxes for the rich and an end to the wars. (Full disclosure: I was part of this, and joined in chanting, “We’re gonna make Glenn Beck cry!”) And each year, shortly before Halloween, the drag queens turn out in force to strut their stuff on 17th Street–as if to show that Monica Lewinsky is alive and well, albeit with a hint of stubble.

The Klan comes to town every so often. Then the police get a lot of overtime. Other than that, these gatherings tend to be peaceable enough. And so one would expect with this coming weekend’s gathering, convened by Comedy Central’s faux news anchors Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert–particularly since it’s being promoted as a rally for the militantly moderate.

Blaming the left and the right equally for the shabby state of American political discourse, its goal is, in the words of Stewart, to “take it down a notch for America.” The default response a longtime DCer will be, if anything, even more non-ideological: “Thank you for your tourism dollars. Now please go home.”

But while bracing for the influx of visitors (this is a city, after all, where the mass transit system occasionally doesn’t break down), I’ve been trying to think about the strangeness of this event. It is not so much a political protest as a parody of a political protest. Yet it will nonetheless serve partisan ends. The Democratic slogan for this election season might as well have been, “Don’t blame us, we’ve never actually done anything!” which has not exactly galvanized the youth vote.

The Democrats are, of course, a predominantly centrist party (delirious fantasies about Obama as follower of Franz Fanon notwithstanding). So it’s not hard to tell which electoral base will be mobilized by the opportunity to consume well-produced comic infotainment in the nation’s capitol.

Continue reading at:  http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/28/why-should-politics-be-polite

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FACT SHEET: TRANSGENDER & GENDER NONCONFORMING YOUTH IN SCHOOL

SRLP Publication

FACT SHEET: TRANSGENDER & GENDER NONCONFORMING YOUTH IN SCHOOL

    DOWNLOAD FACT SHEET (BLACK/WHITE) (COLOR)What is “gender identity”?

    •    “Gender identity” refers to how people see and identify themselves; for example, some people identify as female; some people identify as male; some people as a combination of genders; as a gender other than male or female; or as no gender. For example, transgender girls identify as girls but were classified as males when they were born. Transgender boys identify as boys but were classified female when they were born.  Everyone has a gender identity.
    •    “Gender Expression” refers to how people express their gender identity. Everyone expresses their gender identity in different ways: for example, in the way they dress, the length of their hair, the way they act or speak and in their choice of whether or not to wear make-up.

    What does “transgender” and “gender nonconforming” mean?

    •    “Transgender” is a general term used to describe people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.
    •    “Gender nonconforming” refers to people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth.
    •    “Transgender” and “Gender nonconforming” are umbrella terms that often encompass other terms such as transsexual, cross dresser, gender queer, femme queen, A.G., Two Spirit, and many more. It is important to refer to people with the term they prefer.
    •    “Gender Questioning” People who are questioning their gender identity might be wondering whether they identify as a boy, a girl or another gender.  They might also be experimenting with different genders.

    Did you know that it is illegal to discriminate against transgender or gender nonconforming students in New York City?


    New York City and State law protects students’ right to be free from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity or because some aspect of their appearance or behavior does not match stereotypes associated with their gender identity or their sex assigned at birth.

    o    A school may not refuse to admit a student because they are transgender or gender nonconforming.
    o    A school may not suspend or expel a student because they are transgender or gender nonconforming.
    o    A school may not force a student to receive psychiatric treatment before admitting them or once they are enrolled simply because they are transgender or gender nonconforming.
    o    A school may not prevent a transgender student from using the restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.
    o    A school may not ask a student to disenroll or transfer to another school because they are transgender or gender nonconforming.
    o    A school may not deny a student participation on a sports team because they are transgender or gender nonconforming

    New York City and State law protects students’ rights to wear clothing that corresponds to their gender identity and expression.

    •    For example, it is against the law to refuse to allow a student to attend school and related events and activities because that student is wearing clothes that are too “girlish” or “boyish.”  This is true regardless of the gender identity or the assigned birth sex of the student.
    •    A school may not compel a student to shave or groom their hair to look more “feminine” or “masculine.”
    New York City and State law protects its students’ right to be free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.
    •    Examples of harassment include:

    o    repeated, deliberate use of pronouns and names that are inconsistent with a student’s gender identity;
    o    Denying appropriate academic support to a student because of their gender identity
    o    Inappropriate touching;
    o    Insults or remarks about a student’s body parts or about a student’s behavior being too “masculine” or “feminine”;
    o    Asking people inappropriate, unnecessary questions about their gender identity, anatomy, and / or any medical treatment that is related to their gender identity;
    o    Verbal, sexual, or physical assault because of one’s gender identity.

    School faculty, administrators and staff also have an obligation to protect students from harassment and discrimination from other students.

    But, did you know that transgender, gender nonconforming and gender questioning youth still encounter pervasive discrimination at schools?

    For example, transgender youth have reported being:
    •    called derogatory names at school, such as “dyke”, “faggot,”“it” and “he-she” by both other students and faculty;
    •    prevented from using the restroom or locker room that corresponds to their gender identity and sometimes even being unable to use any restroom at school because of their gender identity;
    •    beaten up because of their gender identity;
    •    sexually assaulted because of their gender identity;
    •    forced to fight to defend themselves resulting in suspension and/or expulsion;
    •    forced to miss school because of suspensions or skip school because of fear resulting in missed learning opportunities;
    •    forced to quit school because of their gender identity;
    •    forced to attend psychiatric programs because of their gender identity;
    •    ridiculed and / or punished by teachers for dressing and / or acting too “feminine” or “masculine”;
    •    left with little or no academic support at school by faculty and administration
    •    left with little or no emotional support at school by faculty and administration;
    •    given no one they can reach out to for support about their gender identity at school;
    •    made deathly afraid of being “outed” and skipping school as a result.

    These are some ways you can make school a safer and gender affirming place for transgender youth:

    •    Arrange for transgender awareness training for faculty, staff, and administrators from a qualified community-based trainer. Most people do not receive training or support in transgender awareness throughout their education or professional careers; it is not fair to assume that educators will arrive at their work already having learned the skills they need to work respectfully and effectively with youth from these communities.  Transgender awareness trainings are most effective when they are mandatory and regular.
    •    Incorporate positive information about transgender issues into curricula. The existence of transgender people is often erased or only included in a highly stigmatized way in the teaching of any subject, as well as in media and popular culture.  The lack of any positive acknowledgment of transgender issues or history makes it difficult for transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning young people to feel that they have a place in the world and supports a worldview among other students that transgender people do not exist or are an appropriate object of scorn.
    •    Create gender neutral restrooms. Eliminating sex segregation of facilities can significantly decrease violence and harassment against transgender and gender nonconforming youth. While sex-segregated restrooms or locker rooms exist, however, transgender and gender nonconforming youth should be supported in using whichever facilities they identify as most appropriate for themselves in terms of their gender identity and safety needs.
    •    If a student talks to you about their gender identity, listen in a respectful and non-judgmental way. Do not brush them off, react with skepticism or disapproval, or pressure them to put themselves in any particular category. Support them in developing their own understanding of their gender and direct them to resources for transgender, gender nonconforming and questioning youth. Do not “out” a young person or disclose their gender identity to another without permission.
    •    Avoid perpetuating gender stereotypes. Many of us enforce gender norms without even realizing it, but these stereotypes hurt everyone, especially transgender young people, gender nonconforming young people, and young women. Think carefully about the messages in everything you say, do, teach, or communicate about gender. Are you complimenting girls more often on their appearance but boys more often on their athleticism?  Do you ever imply there is something wrong with men who behave in stereotypically feminine ways?  Do you discipline girls more harshly than you would otherwise if they seem “masculine” or “butch” to you? Does your language ever equate gender (the way people view themselves and express their genders) with genitals (a persons birth sex and anatomical designation) or otherwise imply that the gender identities of transgender people are not “real”?
    •    Intervene and take action when students use gender-specific terminology to make fun of each other. When students make fun of each other with terms like “sissy,” “pussy,” “faggot,” “dyke,” “homo,” “freak,” “it,” “he-she,” “bitch,” or “gay” and faculty fail to intervene, these words are perceived as acceptable. The use of such language further alienates transgender and gender nonconforming in schools and perpetuates discriminatory stereotypes about gender, gender identity and sexual orientation.
    •     Create gender-neutral and / or mixed gender spaces. Be mindful about the ways in which single-gender teams and/ or groups (like girls-only groups and boys-only groups) can alienate transgender and gender nonconforming students. Proactively create spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming students within these groups and/or create additional spaces for transgender and gender nonconforming students.
    •    Always refer to transgender and gender nonconforming students appropriately. Always use students’ preferred names, even if they are different from their legal names, and always use the pronouns that students identify as appropriate for themselves.  Correct yourself and others if you or they make a mistake.
    •    Ensure that employment opportunities at your school are open to transgender and gender nonconforming people. Recruit at transgender focused events, job fairs, locations, and web sites.  Ensure that current and prospective employees are not discriminated against or harassed on the basis of gender identity or any other non-job related characteristic.
    •    Listen to criticism from transgender, gender nonconforming, and questioning students. Take such criticism seriously without becoming defensive; such feedback is an important opportunity to learn and grow.

    For more information:

    Contact the Sylvia Rivera Law Project at (212) 337-8550 or www.srlp.org for additional resources and information.

    Selected Sources

    United States Education Act Amendments of 1972, Title IX 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681

    N.Y. Executive Law § 291 (2)

    N.Y. Executive Law § 290 (3)

    N.Y.C. Admin. Code, §  8-107(4)

    N.Y.C. Admin. Code, §  8-602
    Doe v. Bell, 194 Misc. 2d774, 754 N.Y.S.2d 846 N.Y., Sup., 2003 [it is illegal discrimination to force a transgender girl to wear boys clothing in the foster care system]

    Doe v. Yunits, Superior Court of Massachusetts, 2000 [a school could not force a transgender girl to wear boys clothing]

    Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992) [re: Title IX, establishing that victims of sexual h arassment and other forms of sex discrimination in schools may sue for monetary damages]

    Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School Dist., 118 S.Ct. 1989 (1998) [re: Title IX, school district liability for the sexually harassing behavior of a high school teacher toward a student ]

    Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989) [re: Title VII, employment action based on female employee’s failure to comport with female sex stereotype in appearance and behavior is illegal sex discrimination]

    Scott v. Board of Ed., Union Free School Dist. No. 17, Hicksville, 61 Misc. 2d 333, 305     N.Y.S.2d 601 (Sup. Ct. 1969)

    Advocates for Youth. “Trans Living: Youth Resources” available at http://www.youthresource.com/living/trans/index.htm

    Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network. “Harsh Realities: The Experiences of Transgender Youth in our Nation’s Schools.” Available at http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000/001/1375-1.pdf

    Trans Youth Family Allies: Serving Youth Family Allies – Understanding through Education. http://www.imatyfa.org/

    Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Fact Sheet: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Youth Issues (April/May 2001) available at http://www.thebody.com/content/whatis/art2449.html

    Transgender Law Center. “transgender and gender nonconforming youth: recommendations for schools.”Available at http://www.transgenderlaw.org/resources/tlcschools.htm

     

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    The Death of Sonia Burgess

    This story or actually stories  is so full of different information I’ve hesitated to comment on it.

    More questions than answers.

    Was it an accident?  Was it deliberate? Did the person being accused of pushing her know her or were they strangers?  Was it in anger or were they just drunk or high and fooling around?

    I’m going to let those questions wait for investigators to sort out.

    What bothers me is how the UK press seems to use some of the grossest most abusive and transphobic language I’ve seen.  Not only in this story but in every story that involves a transsexual or transgender person.

    I’ve listened to so much America bashing from Brits about the short coming of the treatment of TS/TG folks in the US that I kind expect better.

    Who set the language standards, the style guides for the press in the UK?  Benny Hill, a scandal tabloid or Monty Python?

    I’m far less up tight than many who write of the oppression of people whose lives have been impacted by trans prefixed words.  I don’t think transvestite is a bad word and don’t associate it with some sort of pathology.  I use trannie as a term that came from the streets where it was our word.

    In the US we have GLAAD.  They help us mediate respectful language.  We don’t always achieve it but by calling them on it we can gradually improve the language used.

    In cases of someone with an uncertain status transwoman or transman and using the pronoun of presentation unless told different is a reasonable standard to shoot for.

    As far as I am concerned gender variant is as bad as “she-male” in that both create an impression of perversion as well as making it sound as though the victim deserved it.

    If some one says they are transvestite, cross-dresser, drag-queen, transgender, transsexual, post-op transsexual transwoman, transman, woman of transsexual history…  The words one chooses to describe their relationship to a trans prefixed word are the words people writing about them should use.

    We are fighting abusive language that frames our lives and separates us from the rest of humanity.

    At the same time there is an element of being members of a minority culture and so dividing up and using abusive language to members of different groups that  are different from us but that the majority culture lumps together with us is sort of counter productive while pressing for respectful language is beneficial to all.

    Friday Night Fun and Culture

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    Tears of Niobe: GOP candidate sorry comparing gay marriage to marrying a table makes her look like a moron

    Edited to show subtext

    From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/gop-candidate-comparing-gay-marriage-marrying-table/

    By Eric W. Dolan
    Friday, October 29th, 2010 — 9:43 am

    The Republican Nazi candidate for Wisconsin lieutenant governor is apologizing for saying during a recent radio interview that gay marriage is like marrying a table, clock or a dog.

    During an interview with WVCY Christian(Taliban) radio, Kleefisch said (While saying I’m sorry if my being a bigoted idiot offends anyone) extending domestic partner benefits to state employees was “a slippery slope.”

    “In addition to that at what point are we going to be okay marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs?”

    “This is ridiculous,” continued Kleefisch. “And biblically, again, I’m going to go right back to my fundamental Christian ( Christo-fascist) beliefs marriage is between one man and one woman.”

    Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/gop-candidate-comparing-gay-marriage-marrying-table/

    I am sick and tired of Nazi bigots invoking invisible imaginary magic sky daddies as justification for being hateful scum.

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    Catholic schools cannot refuse to hire gay teachers, says Brussels

    EU Observer: http://euobserver.com/890/31150

    ANDREW RETTMAN

    28.10.2010 @ 19:52 CET

    EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Commission has said that Roman Catholic schools in Poland or elsewhere in the EU cannot refuse to employ gay teachers.

    EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said on Wednesday (26 October) in a written statement that EU law on non-discrimination in the workplace allows religious outfits “to take a person’s religion or belief into account, where necessary, when recruiting personnel and to require their personnel to show loyalty to that ethos.”

    But she added: “While it is difficult to make a statement about a hypothetical case, the commission fails to see how a teacher’s sexual orientation could reasonably constitute a genuine and determining occupational requirement.”

    The remarks come in response to formal questions by two MEPs, British centre-left deputy Michael Cashman and Spanish Green member Raul Romeva i Rueda.

    The questions arose after a Polish junior minister in charge of equality, Elzbieta Radziszewska, said in an interview in Catholic daily Gosc Niedzielny in September that Catholic schools can exclude openly gay teachers and that the EU’s 10-year-old anti-discrimination directive gives them a special exemption to do so.

    Continue reading at:  http://euobserver.com/890/31150

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    Lawyer at Center of Robo-Signing Scandal Sees ‘More of the Same’ From Banks

    From Pro Publica: http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/lawyer-at-center-of-robo-signing-scandal-sees-more-of-the-same-from-banks

    by Marian Wang
    ProPublica, Oct. 28, 2010, 12:21 p.m

    Despite banks’ assurances that they’re fixing foreclosure documentation problems and that the crisis may amount to a “blip in the housing market [1],” the lawyer who helped spark the foreclosure furor [2] said that the banks’ solutions to the problem have so far been inadequate and don’t address the underlying structural deficiencies that plague the foreclosure process.

    Banks have defined the problems as procedural errors that “can be fixed in the near term [3]” and did not lead “to foreclosures which should not have otherwise occurred [4].”

    But Thomas Cox—whose deposition [5] of GMAC robo-signer [6] Jeffrey Stephan brought fresh scrutiny on the foreclosure process—told me that in Maine, where GMAC has resumed foreclosure sales, the fixed and re-filed documents he’s seeing are “more of the same, cheap stuff.”

    “There’s a structural mess in their departments that they’re not fixing,” Cox told me. “[Banks] refuse to organize their servicing departments in a way that would produce accurate results. There’s a foreclosure department that doesn’t talk to the department handling modifications.”

    Continue reading at:  http://www.propublica.org/blog/item/lawyer-at-center-of-robo-signing-scandal-sees-more-of-the-same-from-banks

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    Obama says his stance on same-sex marriage is evolving

    Screw Evolution.  How about a little bit of revolution?

    It is unconscionable to tell LGBT/TQ people that they have to wait for an evolution on the part of politicians before they can have equality.  Substitute the name of any ethnic or racial minority group for LGBT/TQ and it becomes clear as to why it is unconscionable.

    From 365 Gay:  http://www.365gay.com/news/obama-says-his-stance-on-same-sex-marriage-is-evolving/

    By Sterling Wong, 365gay.com
    10.28.2010 5:30pm EDT

    In a question and answer session with progressive bloggers on Wednesday, President Obama said that his opinion on same-sex marriage was evolving, and that “the arc of history” was leading towards increased acceptance of same-sex marriage, reports The Hill.

    Obama, who has been an advocate of civil unions but not of same-sex marriage, said that he was not prepared to change his position, but said that his position on the issue was “evolving”. “I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine,” said Obama, according to the official transcript published by AMERICAblog’s Joe Sudbay, who represented gay interests.

    “It is an issue that I wrestle with and think about because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.

    And I care about them deeply. And so while I’m not prepared to reverse myself here, sitting in the Roosevelt Room at 3:30 in the afternoon, I think it’s fair to say that it’s something that I think a lot about.”

    Continue reading at:   http://www.365gay.com/news/obama-says-his-stance-on-same-sex-marriage-is-evolving/

    Coming Later Today: Some Thoughts on the death of Sonia Burgess

    We are taking a sanity break and going to a show at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth this afternoon.  A show of some 60 Ansel Adams prints is closing soon and there is a show of photos by Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, and Walker Evans.  Three highly influential documentary photographers work from the Depression era.

    I haven’t posted anything so far because so much seems unclear.

    The war on WikiLeaks

    From Socialist Worker: http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/28/war-wikileaks

    Nicole Colson reports on new revelations about the U.S. war machine in Iraq–and the attempt by politicians and the media to deflect attention from the real crimes.

    October 28, 2010

    TORTURE, BRUTALITY and civilian deaths. That is the legacy of the U.S. war on Iraq, according to nearly 400,000 secret U.S. military field reports recently released by muckracking Web site WikiLeaks.

    But once again, U.S. political leaders and establishment media outlets are trying to shoot the messenger. Not only have the media tried to spin the reports to make the U.S. look better, but politicians are denouncing WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange for publishing the material.

    The same people who cheered on these wars in the first place–from government officials who jumped on the Bush administration bandwagon to invade, to a mainstream media that mindlessly parroted the case for war–are now trying to downplay what WikiLeaks has revealed, while smearing Assange for good measure.

    Continue reading at:  http://socialistworker.org/2010/10/28/war-wikileaks

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