Trans Inclusion: Trust, Verify, Eduate

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-mollmann/trans-inclusion-trust-verify-eduate_b_2568566.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


01/30/2013

Earlier this month the punditsphere erupted in vicious back-and-forths over the (lack of) space for trans women in mainstream feminism and how to talk about transgender people to begin with.

The comment that led to the storm has since been described by its author, Suzanne Moore, as a throwaway line, and, though certainly thoughtless, it was indeed a minor and nonessential component of the essay in which it appeared. In short, in a Jan. 8 piece about the current state of women’s rights activism, Moore described the perfect body that women are expected to have as “that of a Brazilian transsexual.”

A Twitterstorm of criticism ensued, making the point that trans people are victimized and excluded by mainstream feminism. (I am paraphrasing the hostile tone of this debate, which went both ways.) The controversy peaked on Jan. 13, when the Observer published a retort by another writer, Julie Burchill, that included such offensive language about transgender people that the Observer ultimately took it down.

It is obvious that not all women face the same challenges. Every disadvantaged group of humanity has a different history of exclusion and suffers in different ways. How we see ourselves, how others see us and how we believe they see us all have an impact on our experience of discrimination and abuse.

As a result, the two main substantive points in this debate were not mutually exclusive, though they were presented as opposites. On the one hand, it is true that girls are treated differently (in most cases less advantageously) than boys practically everywhere, and that this suffering has an impact on adult women’s self-worth, identity and ability to exercise our rights. It is also true that many transgender individuals suffer a different — and often both violent and invisibilized — type of exclusion throughout their lives, an experience that would color anyone’s understanding of what is safe and what is not. This is so whether we are talking about trans women or trans men.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-mollmann/trans-inclusion-trust-verify-eduate_b_2568566.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Maryland lawmakers introduce transgender rights bill

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/01/29/breaking-maryland-lawmakers-introduce-transgender-rights-bill/

By
on January 29, 2013

Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban anti-transgender discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 that gay state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) introduced has more than 20 co-sponsors. These include state Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Howard County.)

The proposal died in committee last April because Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Prince George’s and Calvert Counties) reportedly blocked a vote on it. Miller has since backed the proposal.

“Put simply, the process of passing a bill requires that you line up the votes you need to make it through a chamber,” Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, told the Washington Blade. “That process is eased considerably when those legislators are willing to sign on as co-sponsors. I am very pleased we can show this degree of support in the Senate, which I attribute to the diligent work of Senators Madaleno and Raskin and their staffs. The trans community should be very hopeful that this is the year.”

Complete article at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/01/29/breaking-maryland-lawmakers-introduce-transgender-rights-bill/

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Remembering Dr. Leah Schaefer, the Sweet Singer-Turned-Psychiatrist Who Healed a Generation of Trans Women

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/leah-schaefer-trans-women_b_2569123.html


01/30/2013

Dr. Leah Cahan Schaefer died this past week at 92. A giant in the fields of transsexualism and female sexuality, she represented the best of the medical profession. During her professional life, as the custodian of the voluminous professional files of Dr. Harry Benjamin, the dean of transsexual medicine in the United States, himself a student of the renowned German scientist Magnus Hirschfeld, she persisted in recognizing transsexualism as a normal human developmental variant, a vision that she lived long enough to see come to fruition in the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, this past December.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her in the late ’90s, when I was researching the link between fetal DES (diethylstilbestrol) exposure and transsexualism. The possibility intrigued her, and she supported my work on endocrine disruption before others in the profession were even willing to consider the possibility. She was professional and gracious, which fit with the description others had shared with me.

One of my earliest post-transition relationships was with a woman who knew Dr. Schaefer professionally, and it was clear from her stories that the trans community of New York felt blessed to have her as a counselor and general resource. At a time when most trans women had been excluded from society, receiving just a modicum of kindness would have seemed like a lucky thing. But Dr. Schaefer not only cared deeply for her patients; she offered them hope.

It’s not easy today, even for those of us who lived through those decades, to remember the depth and brutality of the ostracism. For me it was even more intense because my professional colleagues were among the worst. I spent years combing the stacks of my university library and the libraries of the other Ivies whenever I got the chance, to learn about who I was. And everything I discovered in the psychiatric literature during the ’70s and ’80s was uniformly vile and hateful, until I happened across Drs. Harry Benjamin and Leah Schaefer.

It’s hard to believe that physicians, including psychiatrists, could so totally lack compassion and understanding. In one respect, reading the work of Drs. Benjamin and Schaefer highlighted the contrast even more. How could these two be right and everyone else wrong? I won’t comment on the humanity of the majority, but Dr. Schaefer certainly was a woman of compassion and loving kindness. She and her mentor were also scientists, however, and they refused to be overwhelmed by religious sensibilities and the pseudoscience known as Freudianism, which was the cultural consensus among psychiatrists during those years.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dana-beyer/leah-schaefer-trans-women_b_2569123.html

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Brazillian model Lea T. features in Benetton ad campaign

From Pink News:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/28/brazillian-trans-model-features-in-benetton-ad-campaign/

by
28 January 2013

A global advertising campaign by United Colors of Benetton has launched, and features a Brazillian trans woman model.

Aiming to “fight against hate and discrimination in all its forms,” the Unhate campaign features Lea T, who has also modeled for Givenchy.

She underwent gender reassignment surgery ten months before the campaign, and was discovered as a model by Givenchy two years ago, reports the Huffington Post. 

Trans Media Watch welcomed the decision to feature Lea T in the campaign, but said that it didn’t think it was meant to shock audiences.

“Although Benetton has run shock campaigns in the past, we don’t see this as part of that tradition. Lea is presented alongside other beautiful people and is simply being herself,” it said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/28/brazillian-trans-model-features-in-benetton-ad-campaign/

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Plastic surgery on the rise – with Botox and breast implants most popular

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-news-blog/2013/jan/30/plastic-surgery-rise-botox-breast-implants

Research finds almost 15m procedures were performed last year, with more than 21% of those taking place in the US

Posted by in New York
Wednesday 30 January 2013

Almost 15 million plastic surgery procedures were performed around the world in 2011, according to a study by the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

The trade body took into account surgical and non-surgical procedures such as filler injections and hair removal for its study, which has just been published. The total number of procedures, 14.7 million, is up 4% from 2010.

The US accounted for the most cosmetic enhancements for the second year in a row, with over 3m procedures performed, or 21.1% of the global total. This may be because the US has the largest body of licensed plastic surgeons, 5,950 at last count. Brazil came in second, with approximately 1.5m total procedures, with China trailing in third place with 1m. The UK remained at No 16 for the second year in a row, with 211,406 procedures performed.

Botox came out on top as the most popular procedure, with over 3m injections of botulinum toxin (type A) having been administered worldwide.

Lipoplasty, or fat removal surgery, was the leading invasive procedure. Approximately 1.3m lipoplasties were performed, 223,066 of them in the US, where 35.7% of adults are obese.

Breast augmentation procedures were the second most in-demand surgery, followed by eyelid lifts and tummy tucks.

Brazil performed the most gynecomastias (male breast reductions), buttock augmentations and vaginal rejuvenations – perhaps not unsurprising, considering its famous beach culture. Asia, on the other hand, is big on noses, with China, Japan and South Korea coming in the top five for rhinoplasty.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-news-blog/2013/jan/30/plastic-surgery-rise-botox-breast-implants

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Catholic bishops: Gays make good parents but still must not marry

From Gay Star News:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/catholic-bishops-gays-make-good-parents-still-must-not-marry300113

Bishops from the Roman Catholic Church of England and Wales have outlined their reasons why gay couples should not get married

By Joe Morgan
30 January 2013

The Catholic Church in England and Wales has said gay people may make good parents but must still be banned from marriage.

Bishops have outlined their reasons why they believe same-sex couples should not be allowed to get married.

In the document published in the Catholic Herald, it states: ‘We recognize that many same-sex couples raise children in loving and caring homes.

‘Nevertheless, marriage has an identity that at its core is distinct from any other legally recognised relationship, no matter how much love or commitment may be involved in these other relationships.

‘Marriage has, over the centuries, been the enduring public recognition of this commitment to provide a stable institution for the care and protection of children, and it has rightly been recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection for this reason.

‘Marriage furthers the common good of society because it promotes a unique relationship within which children are conceived, born and reared, an institution that we believe benefits children.’

The bishops also say refusing marriage to same-sex couples is not discriminatory, as gay couples already have civil partnerships.

Despite the differences between civil partnerships and marriages, they say ‘it is not unequal or unfair to treat those in different circumstances differently.’

Complete article at:  http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/catholic-bishops-gays-make-good-parents-still-must-not-marry300113

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Inside Ex-Gay Therapy: Homosexual Behavior Is A Fantasy Addiction To A Wounded Gender Identity

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/01/29/1511421/inside-ex-gay-therapy-homosexual-behavior-is-a-fantasy-addiction-to-a-wounded-gender-identity/

By Zack Ford
on Jan 29, 2013

Joseph Nicolosi, founder of ex-gay group NARTH and trainer of many other ex-gay therapists, is back with another brief article attempting to explain his perspective on the nature of homosexuality. Earlier this month, he explained that his patients can get over their supposed “addiction” to gay porn by simply making friends with more men. This week, he offers a convoluted description of homosexual behavior as an addiction to acting out a fantasy that compensates for a wounded gender identity:

Joyce McDougall has investigated the central role of “theatre and role-playing” in non-typical forms of sexual activity, including homosexuality. She is among the few contemporary psychoanalysts willing to study such forms of sexuality. McDougall understands “sexual theatre” as an acting-out of intrapsychic sexual forces in a symbolic attempt to resolve an identity conflict. In this regard she confirms the classic psychoanalytic understanding of “perverse” (as the term was used in previous years) sexual activity as being rooted in identity confusion. Noting the repetitive-compulsive nature of these role enactments, McDougall found that while her patients complain about the constrained structure of these “erotic theatre pieces,” they could not abstain from their enactments: “…and have to do it again and again and again” (McDougall, 2000, p.182).

What Nicolosi is trying to suggest is that gay people (and “the extreme case of transsexuals”) were somehow sent the wrong messages by their parents about how they are supposed to understand their own gender. This leads to a sense of inner conflict that they then address through compulsively trying to fulfill that “false” identity. Essentially, he thinks that gay people are just actors cast in the wrong role who don’t know how escape the performance because they believe they are trying to fix some kind of “past trauma” by acting it out.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/01/29/1511421/inside-ex-gay-therapy-homosexual-behavior-is-a-fantasy-addiction-to-a-wounded-gender-identity/

See also Think Progress:  Ex-Gay Leader Explains Bizarre Interpretation Of Gay Porn

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Scientology and the cloak of religion

From CBC Canada:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/01/29/f-rfa-macdonald-scientology.html

By Neil Macdonald
Jan 30, 2013

Scientology is a religion. Of that there is no doubt.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service says so, and in this country, that’s pretty much the final word.

The designation means a lot legally, but as a matter of objective fact it is neither a laurel nor a pejorative.

It merely lumps Scientology in with all the other belief systems, from the Big Three of monotheism, with their billions of followers and hundreds of sub-sects, right down to self-proclaimed prophets seeking to found new faiths.

To each his own gods and rituals. For those of us who live wholly in the secular world, no religious doctrine is more or less credible, or worthy of ridicule, than any other.

The law must look upon all religious belief with indifference, and does, at least in most Western nations.

But, after reading Lawrence Wright’s searing new investigative book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, my usual indifference has given way to concern.

On second thought, make that fright. And not just about L. Ron Hubbard’s secretive army of adherents.

Because Wright’s book demonstrates in granular detail what an organization with enough money and zealous acolytes can do once it has wrapped itself in a religious cloak: assault, conspire, burgle, forge, perjure, spy, bully and intimidate anyone who gets in its way.

Continue reading at:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/01/29/f-rfa-macdonald-scientology.html

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Churches threaten to pull funding if Boy Scouts drop anti-gay ban

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2013/01/30/churches_threaten_to_pull_funding_if_boy_scouts_drop_anti_gay_ban/

About 70 percent of Scout troops are sponsored by faith-based organizations. Many are threatening to break ties

By
Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America announced earlier this week that they are considering an end to their decades-long ban on gay members, leaving it to regional and local councils to dictate membership guidelines on sexuality.

The news was met with cheers from scouts across the country who have been banned from the organization after coming out, but many conservative and religious leaders are angry about what they see as the organization abandoning its long-standing commitment to biblical principles.

“If that is what the leadership is doing, then I think it will be a sad day in the life of the Boy Scouts of America,” Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, told the Baptist Press. “This is a tradition that so many of us across the country grew up in. We were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in elementary school, and this organization has always stood for biblical principles — all the things that grounded our lives as a young kid growing up. To now see this organization that I thought stood on biblical principles about to give in to the politically correct thing is very disappointing.”

About 70 percent of all Boy Scout troops are sponsored by faith-based organizations, with the Southern Baptists, Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, United Methodist Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints representing the most troops, according to Fox News.

And many are suggesting they will break financial and membership ties with the organization if the policy goes through.

“Churches of all faiths and denominations, including Southern Baptist churches, will be forced to reevaluate whether they can, in good conscience, continue to host Scout troops given that the Scouts appear poised to turn their backs on this clear biblical and moral issue,” Roger Oldham, spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/01/30/churches_threaten_to_pull_funding_if_boy_scouts_drop_anti_gay_ban/

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The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy

From The New York Times:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/the-rise-of-the-permanent-temp-economy/

By ERIN HATTON
January 26, 2013

Politicians across the political spectrum herald “job creation,” but frightfully few of them talk about what kinds of jobs are being created. Yet this clearly matters: According to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working but do not earn enough to support themselves and their families.

A quarter of jobs in America pay below the federal poverty line for a family of four ($23,050). Not only are many jobs low-wage, they are also temporary and insecure. Over the last three years, the temp industry added more jobs in the United States than any other, according to the American Staffing Association, the trade group representing temp recruitment agencies, outsourcing specialists and the like.

Low-wage, temporary jobs have become so widespread that they threaten to become the norm. But for some reason this isn’t causing a scandal. At least in the business press, we are more likely to hear plaudits for “lean and mean” companies than angst about the changing nature of work for ordinary Americans.

How did we arrive at this state of affairs? Many argue that it was the inevitable result of macroeconomic forces — globalization, deindustrialization and technological change — beyond our political control. Yet employers had (and have) choices. Rather than squeezing workers, they could have invested in workers and boosted product quality, taking what economists call the high road toward more advanced manufacturing and skilled service work. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, American employers have generally taken the low road: lowering wages and cutting benefits, converting permanent employees into part-time and contingent workers, busting unions and subcontracting and outsourcing jobs. They have done so, in part, because of the extraordinary evangelizing of the temp industry, which rose from humble origins to become a global behemoth.

Continue reading at:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/the-rise-of-the-permanent-temp-economy/

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Report: Nearly Half of Americans Have No Safety Net to Keep Them Out of Poverty

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/report-nearly-half-americans-have-no-safety-net-keep-them-out-poverty

Nearly a third of Americans live with no savings account at all.

By Lauren Kelley
January 30, 2013

A new report reveals a fact that too many Americans are familiar with first-hand: nearly half of the nation’s residents have no safety net to protect them from falling into poverty in the event of a layoff or other financial misfortune.

The recently published Assets & Opportunities Scorecard from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) shows that “[n]early 44 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings or other liquid assets to stay out of poverty for more than three months if they lose their income,” as NPR summarized. At the same time, nearly a third of Americans live with no savings account at all.

The nonprofit [CFED] tries to help low- and moderate-income families achieve the American dream. The group’s president, Andrea Levere, says that’s not easy when all your energy goes into paying the rent and buying food.

“It’s only when you have those basic needs satisfied that you then can think, ‘How do I make sure I have the best education for my children? How do I make sure I have the skills I need to be more competitive in the workplace?’ ” says Levere.

Complete article at:  http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/report-nearly-half-americans-have-no-safety-net-keep-them-out-poverty

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FBI’s Stuxnet investigation to target journalists?

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Can a Small Community Throw a Monkey Wrench into the Global Fracking Machine?

From Who What Why:  http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/01/29/can-a-small-community-throw-a-monkey-wrench-into-the-global-fracking-machine/

By
on Jan 29, 2013

While New Yorkers anxiously await Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision on whether to lift the state’s de facto moratorium on high-volume slick-water horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” Woodstock, the iconic counter-culture capital of the world, has become the first municipality to call for legislation to make fracking a Class C felony.

Woodstock’s action is just one small town’s response to a rapidly escalating global war over fracking. To both sides in this war—environmentalists and citizens who oppose fracking on the one side and the gas industry and its supporters on the other—the upcoming ruling to allow or ban fracking in New York is being viewed as (you should pardon the expression) a watershed event.

Decisions made in Albany and in towns like Woodstock will likely determine whether fracking goes full steam ahead everywhere, or whether its momentum can be slowed or even stopped. New York, after all, has a rich history of environmental activism and democratic movements, and anti-fracking activism has spread like wildfire over the last couple of years. New York is also home to abundant supplies of clean freshwater, an essential resource that is in crisis globally and that could be endangered by the practice.

Fracking? Please Explain

On January 15, the Woodstock Town Board unanimously passed a resolution to petition New York State to introduce New York Public Law #1—which would impose stiff penalties for fracking and related activities. Before taking this step, the Woodstock Town Board took two others: banning fracking within its borders and outlawing the use of frackwaste fluid, some of which is known as “brine” (because of its heavy salt content), on its roads. This material is used as a de-icing agent in the winter and for dust control on dirt roads in the summer. Despite the fact that brine from oil and gas wells (whether fracked or not) is laden with heavy metals, toxic chemicals, and radioactivity, since 2008 the Department of Environmental Conservation has granted approval for it to be spread on roads in the western part of the state.

New York Public Law #1 was conceived and drafted in May 2011 by the Sovereign People’s Action Network (SPAN) and FrackBusters NY—two citizen anti-fracking groups spearheaded by the late Richard Grossman, a legal historian, democracy activist, and founder of a movement to ban corporate personhood and strip corporations of their special legal privileges.

Continue reading at:  http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/01/29/can-a-small-community-throw-a-monkey-wrench-into-the-global-fracking-machine/

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The Surprising Connection Between Food and Fracking

From Mother Jones:  http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/01/foodfracking-connection-youve-never-thought-about

By Wed Jan. 30, 2013

In a recent Nation piece, the wonderful Elizabeth Royte teased out the direct links between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the food supply. In short, extracting natural gas from rock formations by bombarding them with chemical-spiked fluid leaves behind fouled water—and that fouled water can make it into the crops and animals we eat.

But there’s another, emerging food/fracking connection that few are aware of. US agriculture is highly reliant on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, and nitrogen fertilizer is synthesized in a process fueled by natural gas. As more and more of the US natural gas supply comes from fracking, more and more of the nitrogen fertilizer farmers use will come from fracked natural gas. If Big Ag becomes hooked on cheap fracked gas to meet its fertilizer needs, then the fossil fuel industry will have gained a powerful ally in its effort to steamroll regulation and fight back opposition to fracking projects.

The potential for the growth of fracked nitrogen (known as “N”) fertilizer is immense. During the 2000s, when conventional US natural gas sources were drying up and prices were spiking, the US fertilizer industry largely went offshore, moving operations to places like Trinidad and Tobago, where conventional natural gas was still relatively plentiful. (I told that story in a 2010 Grist piece.) This chart from a 2009 USDA doc illustrates how rapidly the US shifted away from domestically produced nitrogen in the 2000s.

Today, Trinidad and Tobago, an island nation off the coast of Venezuela and our leading source of imported N, is in the same position the US found itself in the early 2000s: Its supply of conventional, easy-to-harvest natural gas is wearing thin. In 2012, the International Monetary Fund estimated (PDF) that at current rates of extraction, the nation had sufficient natural gas reserves to last until just 2019.

Continue reading at:  http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/01/foodfracking-connection-youve-never-thought-about

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Sen. Reid proposes chopping $4 billion in oil subsidies to help the economy

From The Gristhttp://grist.org/news/sen-reid-proposes-chopping-4-billion-in-oil-subsidies-to-help-the-economy/

By Philip Bump
30 Jan 2013

A bit of surprising news this morning: The economy actually shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. It was only down by an annual rate of 0.1 percent, but it had been expected to grow by 1.1 percent. And it didn’t drop because of burdensome regulation or slow job growth. It dropped because of the Pentagon.

From The Washington Post:

[F]ederal defense spending fell at an astounding 22.2 percent annual rate in the quarter, which subtracted 1.28 percentage points from GDP growth. That was in part a reversal from the unusual 12.9 percent gain in the third quarter. But when the two quarters are averaged together, the defense sector was a drag on the economy in the second half of 2012 — and that’s before a “sequester” of automatic defense cuts goes into effect this year if Congress doesn’t act to avert it.

That “sequester” is the result of a poison pill that Congress administered to itself. Last year, knowing full well that Congress couldn’t be trusted to get anything done without some sort of threat hanging over its head, Congress decided to force Congress to act, passing a bill that created huge, automatic spending cuts unless Congress got its act together and figured out a budget package. Well, Congress was not smart enough to avoid Congress’ trap, so now those $1.2 trillion in budget cuts are slated to go into effect.

At the end of 2012, the Pentagon saw those cuts looming; this week, it announced 46,000 layoffs. If the full weight of the cuts go into effect, the damage to the economy could be severe.

Enter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with an idea. From Environment and Energy Daily:

Continue reading at:  http://grist.org/news/sen-reid-proposes-chopping-4-billion-in-oil-subsidies-to-help-the-economy/

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Major climate changes looming

From SF Gate:  http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Major-climate-changes-looming-4227943.php

Carolyn Lochhead
Sunday, January 27, 2013

Washington — In his inaugural address last Monday, President Obama made climate change a priority of his second term. It might be too late.

Within the lifetimes of today’s children, scientists say, the climate could reach a state unknown in civilization.

In that time, global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are on track to exceed the limits that scientists believe could prevent catastrophic warming. CO{-2} levels are higher than they have been in 15 million years.

The Arctic, melting rapidly and probably irreversibly, has reached a state that the Vikings would not recognize.

“We are poised right at the edge of some very major changes on Earth,” said Anthony Barnosky, a UC Berkeley professor of biology who studies the interaction of climate change with population growth and land use. “We really are a geological force that’s changing the planet.”

Wholesale shift needed

The Arctic melt is occurring as the planet is just 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) warmer than it was in preindustrial times.

At current trends, the Earth could warm by 4 degrees Celsius in 50 years, according to a November World Bank report.

The coolest summer months would be much warmer than today’s hottest summer months, the report said. “The last time Earth was 4 degrees warmer than it is now was about 14 million years ago,” Barnosky said.

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Insidious: Extreme Pressures Faced by Trans People

From Trans-Advocate:   http://www.transadvocate.com/extreme-pressures-faced-by-trans-people.htm

by January 27, 2013

Reposted with permission

Studies show that the trans population lives under extreme psychological pressures unseen in even active military personnel. Fifty-five percent of trans people  [1,2] were found to live with social anxiety. Within the general American population, similar types of anxiety are experienced by only 6.8% [3] of the population while these levels of anxiety were found to exist at a rate of 8.2% among military personal. [4]

chart

Levels of social anxiety experienced by population.

This graph compares the social anxiety transgender people feel against levels of social anxiety within the general American population and that experienced by military personnel.

Transgender and gender variant persons are frequently harassed and discriminated against when seeking housing or applying to jobs or schools, are often victims of violent hate crimes, and face challenges in marriage, adoption and parenting rights.

Discrimination and lack of equal civil rights is damaging to the mental health of transgender and gender variant individuals. For example, gender-based discrimination and victimization were found to be independently associated with attempted suicide in a population of transgender individuals, 32% of whom had histories of trying to kill themselves, and in the largest survey to date of gender variant and transgender people 41% reported attempting suicide.

The APA joins other organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, in endorsing strong policy statements deploring the discrimination experienced by gender variant and transgender individuals and calling for laws to protect their civil rights.

- The American Psychological Association, 2012

The National Institute of Health defines Social Anxiety Disorder as being characterized by a, “… persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and feeling embarrassed or humiliated by their actions. This fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other activities and may negatively affect the person’s ability to form relationships.”

“… ethnic minority MtF transgender persons who experience negative interactions with health providers and face discrimination in the health care system feel strong barriers to utilizing health care services, and consequently exacerbate health disparities. Transphobia experience, depression, and economic pressure would also contribute to the barriers to utilizing services experienced by MtF transgender persons of color. This vicious cycle must be eliminated by developing health intervention programs specific to MtF transgender persons.” – Nemoto, Operario and Keatley, 2005 [5]

The studies reviewed found that over half of respondents claim significant anxiety over the way in which the cisgender population may react to them as transgender women. This is not a baseless concern; the trans population suffers significant rates of housing and employment discrimination, rape and assault. Housing discrimination contributes to homelessness; employment discrimination contributes to chronic unemployment and forced participation in underground economies such as sex work which then drives high rates of HIV within the trans population. Violence and discrimination narrows the experience of life for a significant portion of the trans population to the simple need to physically and psychologically survive. Thus begins a cycle which reinforces depression and shame while simultaneously validating disempowerment and fatalism.

Connecting the Dots

I have spent so many hours avoiding public multi-stall bathrooms  that I have damaged my bladder and put pressure on my kidneys. The problem was a daily one. I’d think about where I was going what bathrooms I’d have access to, how much I drank during the day, whether I’d be with people who could help stand guard…

-  Response to a 2002 survey conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission which found that nearly 50% of transgender respondents reported harassment or assault when simply attenpting to use a public bathroom

We live under the constant threat of horrifying violence. We have  to worry about what bathroom to use when our bladders are aching.  We are forced to consider whether we’ll be dragged out of a bathroom and arrested or face a fist fight while our bladders are still aching .  It’s an everyday reality for us. Human beings must use toilets… If I go into the women’s bathroom, am I prepared for the shouting and shaming? Will someone call security or the cops? If I use the men’s room, am I willing to fight my way out? Am I really ready for the violence that could ensue?

- Leslie Feinberg, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, p 68 – 69

Police officers often harass or abuse transgender and gender nonconforming people regardless of which sex-segregated bathroom they use. This harassment intensifies when coupled with the stereotyping of trans people as sexual predators. As such, the use of the  ‘wrong’ bathroom . . . often results in arrests for crimes such as public lewdness, public obscenity, or public indecency. Refusing to  comply with or simply questioning a police officer’s direction as to  which bathroom the individual must use can often lead to charges  such as resisting arrest or disorderly conduct.

- Pooja Gehi, Struggles from the Margins: Anti-Immigrant Legislation and the Impact on  Low-Income Transgender People of Color, 30 WOMEN’S RTS. L. REP. 315, 326 (2009)

[Non-discrimination protections based upon gender identity] would allow all males – including registered sex offenders or males subject to a domestic violence order of protection – to assert “gender identity” as a means to invade female-only space. Indeed, these laws provide a legal basis for males to be in sex-segrigated space. It is well-documented that males as a class have a demonstrated history of harming females as a class by exploiting bemale biology (ie, rape, sexual violance, unwanted pregnancy).- Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford United Nations letter

… their arrogance and oppressiveness is amazing. It is funny though that they are so used to Feminists immediately bowing before them that they don’t know how to deal with that we don’t care what happens to them. They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.

– BevJo, Radical Feminist leader

I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.

State Rep. Richard Floyd (R)


NOTES:

  1. Kenagy, G., & Bostwick, W. (2005). The health and social service needs of transgender people in Chicago. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 57-66. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_06
  2. Padgett, P., & Risser, J. (2010).Transgender HIV behavioral survey (thbs): Pilot study in Houston, TX. Unpublished manuscript, School of Public Health , The University of Texas, Houston, Texas.
  3. NIH Social Anxiety: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1SOC_ADULT.shtml
  4. Social anxiety disorder and social fears in the Canadian military: Prevalence, comorbidity, impairment, and treatment-seeking, Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 44, Issue 14, October 2010, Pages 887–893
  5. Nemoto, T., Operario, D., Keatley, J., Han, L., Soma, T. (2006) HIV risk behaviors among male-to-female transgender persons of color in San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health,  94(7):1193-1199

 

 

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IKEA Apologizes For Transgender Ad

From On Top Magazine:   http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=14240&MediaType=1&Category=24

By On Top Magazine Staff
Published: January 28, 2013

IKEA has apologized for its characterization of a transgender woman in an ad shown in Thailand.

The 20-second ad, titled Forget to Keep Hidden (Luem Aeb), was shown on YouTube.com and on Bangkok’s trains. It featured a transgender woman whose voice becomes suddenly deep when she sees a sale sign. When the woman begins to tote packages of furniture on her own, her male friend scurries away scared. (Watch the commercial.)

In a January 9 letter to the Swedish furniture giant, the group Thai Transgender Alliance complained about the ad, calling the ad’s content “negative and stereotypical in nature.”

“The MTF transgender/transwoman character is openly mocked as being ‘deceitful,’” the group wrote.

“We have carefully considered your concerns expressed in your letter and would like to apologize for any unintended offence created in the TV commercial which featured the surprise of a lady transgender customer who encounters the specials offered in our recent year end sale advertising campaign,” wrote Gannrapee Chatchaidamrong, marketing manager of IKEA Thailand. “IKEA is for the many people, respecting individuals with different views and opinions. We welcome all people to the IKEA stores, independent of religion, political view, ethnic background or sexual preference etc.”

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Christo-Fascist Hate Monger Bryan Fischer Explodes over Boy Scouts Ending National Ban on Gays

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Not Selling Gray Hair Short

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/booming/not-selling-gray-hair-short.html

By
Published: January 25, 2013

Cindy Joseph, a model, knew she was being subversive when she stopped tinting her long, loose waves more than a decade ago.

“Some people think that if you wear your silver hair long, you look like a witch or ‘that frumpy old hippie lady,’” she said.

But she and a significant cohort of graying Americans seem intent these days on proving otherwise.

Last fall Ms. Joseph, still modeling at 60 but also now a blogger and cosmetics entrepreneur, led a band of silver-haired marchers to Times Square. It was a mini demonstration that she and Diana Jewell, a writer and fellow organizer, called the Silver Sisters Strut. “We are the women that we wished we would have had in our lives,” Ms. Joseph said, “if they weren’t busy getting their hair dyed.”

In a series of portraits by Vicki Topaz, a photographer based in San Francisco, inveterate rule breakers like Susan Kim, 54, a boutique owner, showily fans out her steel-colored hair, while Gloria Frynn, 60, a college professor, runs her fingers through a mass of curls.

“Believe me, these are women who have fun,” said Ms. Topaz, whose exhibition of photographs, “Silver: a State of Mind,” is on view through February at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., in Marin County. Reveling in their manes, she said, “reflects their confidence, their ease with being who they are.”

Still, wearing one’s gray hair long is viewed in some quarters as ill-advised. If the cut is not precise, “you’re going to run the risk of looking haggard,” warned Lisa Cicchini, a stylist in Manhattan. She nonetheless finds herself frequently fielding questions from clients, she said, about “where we can push the envelope.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/booming/not-selling-gray-hair-short.html

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