Late Blooming: The Timeline For Second Acts Isn’t Finite

I Think of this as I devote energy to writing, something I long dreamed of doing.

Something I have found inspirational these last few years have been the stories of TS/TG women and men who have come out in mid-life, after their children have grown.  It takes a lot of courage to come out as trans at anytime in one’s life but it is a serious leap of faith to upend an established adult life and change everything including one’s sex/gender.

For some of us this economic down turn has led to our seeking creative paths to survival.  For others it is a matter of seeking to fulfill their life dreams.

From Huffington Post:

Posted: 02/ 6/2012

I did it. Ta-daa! My first novel, “Those We Love Most” will be out September 11, 2012. It’s my wedding anniversary, among other important milestones.

And as I put the edited manuscript in a big padded envelope and filled out the UPS label (too scary to trust to regular mail) I thought I’d feel a total kick-up-my-heels sense of joy. A kind of Sound of Music, bodice-heaving, running over the hills with glee kind of approach. It wasn’t exactly like that.

Don’t get me wrong. Finishing a book is a big old dealy-bop. Stapling that envelope shut is the culmination of a lot of hours, creation, frustration, editing, re-writes, self-doubt, deleting and eraser-chewing, although frankly few writers I know still use erasers.

I’ve always been a sporadic writer. My huckleberry pie life is cut up into lots of different slices, drawn and quartered on any given day; mom, wife, journalist, writer, advocate for injured service members, public speaker. I’m a daughter as well and right now that involves a measure of caretaking and coordinating as my parents fail and falter in different degrees and disparate ways. And somewhere in there I’m a girl friend too. And I’ve always valued my female friendships, even as we all lamented how much work and family often came between more than a few plans to do lunch or grab a drink. So many of my posse have been just as absorbed in the rat-a-tat-tat of the child rearing years as I was. We are only now, most of us, poking our heads out of the foxhole and blinking in the coming dawn of the empty nest.

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NOW Applauds Prop 8 Decision, Calls for Equal Marriage Nationwide Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

NOW Press Release:

February 7, 2012

Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry, violates the U.S. constitution. In a 2-1 ruling, the court said the proposition “serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.” The National Organization for Women applauds this decision and reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that marriages of loving, committed same-sex couples are legally recognized.

For decades, NOW has been a leader in the fight for full equality for lesbians, including the right to marry. This decision is an important step forward in the long march toward justice. Activists have worked tirelessly through demonstrations, conversations and the political process to make this moment not just possible, but inevitable.

And yet, we still have a long way to go until marriage equality is realized. NOW and its allies are working for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage, depriving lesbian and gay couples of protections that heterosexual couples take for granted. Although our climb remains uphill, the Ninth Circuit’s decision today provides momentum to move this struggle for justice forward.

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From The Advocate:

The judges ruled that a gay judge had the right to issue an earlier ruling in the case and that Proposition 8 had no effect on public policy that justified it being on the ballot.

Feb. 7, 2012

A federal appeals court has ruled California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional, upholding retired U.S. district judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision in the high-profile case and setting up what could be an eventual showdown over the ballot measure at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nearly three years after two gay couples filed suit when state officials denied them marriage licenses, a three-judge panel with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that by stripping gay Californians of the right to marry, Prop. 8 violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in an opinion that social conservatives have already slammed as textbook judicial activism.

“There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted,” Reinhardt continued. “Because under California statutory law, same-sex couples had all the rights of opposite-sex couples, regardless of their marital status, all parties agree that Proposition 8 had one effect only. It stripped same-sex couples of the ability they previously possessed from the State, or any other authorized party, an important right — the right to obtain and use the designation of ‘marriage’ to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less.”

Weddings of same-sex couples will not resume immediately in California, however. The court notes that a stay pending appeal remains in effect. Prop. 8 supporters have 14 days decide whether they will seek what’s known as en banc review by the Ninth Circuit; or the legal team could directly appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court within 90 days.

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Prop. 8: Same Sex-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules

What part of Equal Rights do the Bigots for Jesus just not get?

I think the Reich Wing Catholics on the Supreme Court should be required to recuse themselves from ruling on this case since they can’t possibly follow the dictates of the Pope and the Constitution at the same time.

From The LA Times:

February 7, 2012

A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California’s ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.

The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that limited marriage to one man and one woman, violated the U.S. Constitution. The architects of Prop. 8 have vowed to appeal.

The ruling was narrow and likely to be limited to California.


“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

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The privatization trap

From Salon:

From schools to prisons, outsourcing government’s works typically ends with cronyism, waste and unaccountability

By Mike Konczal
Sunday, Feb 5, 2012

Privatizing the government is one of the most active projects of the early 21st century.

Everything we once expected the government to do — from education to regulatory rule-writing to military operations to healthcare services to prison management — it now does less of, preferring to support markets in which these services are done through independent, profit-maximizing agents. Tools such as contracting out, vouchering and the selling-off of state assets have been used to remake the government during our market-worshipping era.

Privatization is one of the few political projects that enjoys bipartisan support: Conservatives cheer the rollback of the state, and liberals like to claim that the virtues of the free market are being used towards the egalitarian ends of public policy. The fraud and waste that often come with outsourcing these services has been well-documented. The private management in Iraq and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the lobbying efforts of corporate prisons have all provided horror stories of what happens when cronyism guides decision-making on behalf of the state. But privatization as standard government practice has problems that go far beyond the abuses of any single incident.

Rather than solving problems with government, privatization often amplifies those issues to new extremes. Instead of unleashing market innovation, it often introduces new parasitic partners into the decision-making process. Instead of providing a check on the power of the government, it allows the state to circumvent constitutional and democratic accountability measures by merging with the private sector. And ultimately, the practice replaces the set of choices and constraints found in democracy, with another set found in the marketplace. Today’s political conversation is blind to these problems out of a mistaken faith in the efficiency and fundamental equality of markets, contrasted to the ineffectiveness and corruptibility of the state.

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Bradley Manning for Nobel Peace Prize?

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How the Sexual Revolution Changed America Forever

From Alternet:

With a little pharmaceutical ingenuity, the double standard relaxed its clawing grip on female humanity.

By Nancy L. Cohen
February 5, 2012

The following is an excerpt from “Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution is Polarizing America” by Nancy L. Cohen.  Click here to buy a copy of the book. 

Perhaps if the pill had not been invented, American politics would be very different today.

Enovid, the first birth control pill, went on the market in 1960. Unlike any other previously available form of contraception, the Pill was both reliable and controlled by a woman herself, requiring neither the consent nor the knowledge of her sexual partner. “I don’t confess that I take the Pill,” said one Catholic mother after the Vatican reaffirmed its doctrine against the use of birth control, “because I don’t believe it is a sin.” Within five years, 6 million American women were on the Pill. With one quick visit to a doctor, a woman immediately gained sole and exclusive power over her fertility, a power that had eluded her sex since . . . well, since forever.

The Pill made possible the sexual revolution of the 1960s. The true warriors in that revolution were young, single women, who, with the help of this new contraception, took their sexuality into their own hands. If not for women’s self-determined sexual liberation, the sexual revolution might have been another unremarkable episode in the long and varied sexual history of humankind. Instead, with the impetus the sexual revolution gave to a new feminism and a movement for gay liberation, it became one of the major catalysts of America’s ongoing political delirium.

Men certainly benefited from the new sexual freedom, but for them, it was hardly an innovation. Although religious doctrine and public mores told them chastity and marital fidelity applied equally to men and women, the practical moral code included an important loophole: the double standard. Single men had always been able to avail themselves of sexual relations outside of marriage, even at the pinnacle of American sexual puritanism in the waning days of the nineteenth century. For men, the sexual revolution changed things by making sex relatively cost-free. Women were now liberated, and the Pill steeply lowered the risks of accidental fatherhood and unwanted marriage.

For women, likewise, the sexual revolution concerned the rules of engagement, rather than the act of sex itself. Premarital virginity had been going out of fashion for decades before the declaration of sexual liberation. It started in the 1920s, as middle-class Americans converted from Victorianism to Freudianism and began to accept that a desirous woman was perhaps not so depraved after all. There- after doctors and psychologists counseled America’s women that a happy marriage was sustained by mutual sexual satisfaction. Experts encouraged women to explore their natural desires, but to start the journey in the marital bed. Women accepted the prescription and ignored the fine print. At the high noon of fifties traditionalism, 40 percent of women had sex before they married—compared to just 10 percent who did in the reputedly Roaring Twenties.

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