I get some forty or so reports regarding transsexual and or transgender people each day as I am subscribed to several trans-newsfeeds.
I’m also Facebook friends with a lot of sisters and brothers..
While this Blog is titled Women Born Transsexual, its overall world view is more progressive , human right modern hippie.
This is because we live in a bigger world rather than just a “Trans-Community” or even trans-communities. For that matter we live in a bigger world than that which is encompassed by the collective communities of the queer alphabet.
For example: Wars, climate change, destruction of the food chain, misogyny, and the class war that has been waged by the rich upon the working classes and the poverty classes affects all of us. Those issues don’t impact just trans-folks or even just the people of the queer alphabet.
We get dumped on quite a bit by people in the gay and lesbian communities. We have a lot in common with bisexual folks who are also misunderstood and often dumped upon by gay and lesbian folks.
Since I have been on Facebook I have been elated to learn that many if not most trans-activists have lives and interests beyond trans-activism.
People are relating to each other better on Facebook than we did on Usenet or mailing lists. Seeing pictures of each other and knowing people have lives beyond black on white words typed in the form of posts has helped humanize us and has cut down on the gratuitous cruelty.
We tend to be nicer when we see pictures of each other and know something about each other.
I’ve also come to realize the HBS bullies are more of a small circle of social misfits who are lashing out at the rest of us due to their own fucked up lives and personalities. They tend to be sick people who hide behind aliases. They may be right when they think their lives would be ruined if people knew who they really were. But not because they are speaking truth to power but the exact opposite because they are nasty sociopaths who spread hatred and bigotry, sort of the same way the KKK does.
One thing that has been missing from much of what we think of as Trans-activism has been mutual support.
Our communities, the people in our communities have needs that won’t be met simply by passing laws.
Many of us have substance issues. (I am in my twelfth year of sobriety. I have been drug free for over twenty years.) When I was getting sober I had a hard time finding an AA group where I could be open about certain issues.
Tina stepped up for me and became my long distance support.
This helped me in a way that I needed. Now I find myself being asked on occasion to pass the help and support on, even if I am unsure of how to help someone else. So I talk about the Big Book and the slogans.
Once a year we get together to remember those who have been murdered.
Most are sex workers, many are throwaway kids, some are homeless. Many have multiple layers of issues and few of us know how to pare away even one or two of those issues.
I’m not suggesting we all become social workers. That is a talent, a calling and many have neither the gift nor the calling. I’m merely suggesting that amidst our activism we make a place for support of TS/TG people that is oriented towards helping deal with those issues rather than solely focused on transition.
Too often we have this Pollyanna POV that transition or SRS will solve everything. That is rarely the case as the same issues remain and still need to be dealt with after SRS as were there before.
I often worry about those who say, “After SRS, I am going completely stealth. No one will know of my past.”
It gets very lonely with no one to talk to or friends to share with. No matter how flawless you are you still have that history and to some extent no matter how assimilated you become you are still an outsider, the immigrant who may speak the language perfectly but still has the immigrant history.
I have friends I have known for over forty years, some I reconnected with on Facebook.
People I can talk with on the phone and share a joke with.
At the same time many of my friends have died. Substance issues led to health issues. Many of us dread seeing doctors because of negative experiences and put off seeing one until health issues become life threatening.
As a child we were the only one and so we learned to be strong. We need to unlearn the idea that we are the only one. We need to learn sharing and compassion towards each other.
We need to become circles of support and advice for each other. If someone is going through substance abuse issues and you are clean and sober be their support if they ask you to be. What will it cost you to talk on the phone with someone?
Rather than guarding the name of a Doctor who is understanding ask if it is okay to give out his or her name and then if some one needs a doctor you have a name you can share.
If someone needs a job and you hear of an opening, share the information.
One reason post-transsexuals get bored with whole thing and leave is that transition is the constant reinventing of the wheel. There is more to life than just transition.
There is nothing new about what I have written today. We talked about these same things forty years ago, but starting in about 1980 it was as though we forgot all the things we had learned in the 1960s and instead of continuing to build on the idea of real communities we all became involved in the idea of “self-reliance.” It is as though we forgot about real communities and created these re-imaged communities and identity-activism.
We need circles of support, real communities, along side of these communities based on identity.
Good luck on that one. The bigots don’t believe in evolution or global warming and think the universe was created in one week about 6-8000 years ago. I doubt scientific arguments are going to work on them cuz they got Jazzus and their Bible.
Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
After my year-long research study on social determinants of transgender health, a leading conclusion was that we need to pass policies to protect our trans youth — but now a hate group is threatening the lives of youth by drowning the science in inflammatory rhetoric.
Earlier this week the East Aurora, Ill., school district passed a policy that would provide key supports to their trans youth. Soon thereafter a confirmed hate group, the Illinois Family Institute, published an outraged letter and urged people to complain about the policy. Today the East Aurora school district might very well rescind that protective policy.
There is absolutely no scientific debate about the health risks of growing up trans. There is no scientific debate about the stigma trans youth endure, or about the extremely high number of trans youth who attempt suicide. And there is absolutely no scientific evidence that supporting trans youth in any way compromises the experience of non-trans youth.
After life-history interviews with dozens of trans people, I was struck by the fact that every single one of them had had their education interrupted by stigma. Two of the young girls I interviewed literally walked away from their schools and their homes because the stigma was too intolerable — at the tender age of 12. This reaction illustrates the pressure of stigma on these youth.
The Trevor Project reports that 80 percent of trans youth admit to feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. This fear appears justified. In the National Transgender Discrimination Survey trans and gender-nonconforming students reported alarmingly high rates of school harassment (78 percent), physical assault (35 percent) and sexual violence (12 percent). Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.
Scientists know that early life factors have a magnified impact on one’s life course. The years when school and family provide guiding wisdom are key to developing strong, healthy, productive members of society. The two 12-year-olds I interviewed were just the youngest of the subjects who had to interrupt their education to cope with the stigma they endured. Others dropped out of high school, then college. A rare few were able to restart their education and get degrees. But too many tried to commit suicide multiple times, and all were extremely scarred. I walked out of the interview with one 19-year-old trans woman knowing that she had no place to sleep that night and that she was making no plans for the future, because violence had claimed so many living like her.
From The Dallas Voice: http://www.dallasvoice.com/anti-gay-hoax-ut-10129236.html
By Scott Rose
19 Oct 2012
Reposted with Permission
A notorious, scientifically unsound University of Texas study on gay parenting funded by national anti-gay-rights moneybags is being wielded as a political weapon against LGBT victims in U.S. courts and elections, as well as abroad. Any decent human being will be horrified, disgusted and outraged that this commissioned hate speech was produced on the grounds of a public university in the 21st century.
With UT’s Mark Regnerus as lead investigator, the project — called the New Family Structures Study — was funded chiefly by the Witherspoon Institute, which is joined at the hip to the National Organization for Marriage. It must not be ignored that in letters to the Texas attorney general, UT has described itself as a co-investor in Regnerus’ study. That is to say, UT has conflicts of interest in making any inquiry or investigation into, and/or public statements about the scientifically invalid genesis of this blatant hoax.
Regnerus and his funders are fraudulently alleging that no funding agency representative was consulted on study design, which documentably is booby-trapped against gays. The intent of their lie is to mislead the public into believing that Regnerus carried out his project independently of the cash-rich political anti-gay-rights figures who commissioned it from him.
Here is how we know that Regnerus and his funders are lying:
Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS forms describe the study as “an achievement” of the Witherspoon Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy. In 2010, the director of that program was W. Bradford Wilcox. Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the study, and then Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant. Wilcox, in his capacity as Witherspoon program director, subsequently collaborated with Regnerus on the study design. After Witherspoon approved the study design for full funding, Regnerus received a known total of $785,000.
Wilcox additionally is documented as having worked with Regnerus on data collection, data analysis and interpretation. Moreover, he is on the editorial board of the journal that published the study, Elsevier’s Social Science Research. And, Wilcox is a longtime crony to Regnerus and the journal’s editor, James Wright.
Make no mistake about it: For Regnerus to have published first that his funders were not “at all” involved in his study design and for him then to publish that “no funding agency representatives were consulted about research design” — when in reality they were — is a serious infraction against science publishing ethics.
As University of Arkansas sociologist Lori Holyfield said: “It is especially unacceptable that the conflicts of interests were hidden, and that there is an ongoing attempt to deceive the public about them. It adds insult to that injury, that what was produced was a methodologically invalid study that perpetuates negative social stereotypes. This is a very malevolent situation; something must be done about it.”
No qualified professional without a conflict of interest in evaluating the Regnerus study considers it scientifically valid. Erik Olin Wright, president of the American Sociological Association, is among more than 200 researchers who signed a letter calling Regnerus’ study groupings “absurd.” A court brief filed by eight major organizations including the American Medical Association analyzes Regnerus’ methodology as scientifically fallacious. Andrew Perrin, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina, has said: “I think the study is so thoroughly flawed, in particular with respect to its categorization of ‘gay’ and ‘lesbian,’ that no conclusions can be drawn with sufficient confidence to report, publicize or use them.”
Holyfield does not mince words about UT’s culpability in the Regnerus scandal. She said: “Politically-motivated groups bend facts all the time. The difference here is that this took place at a research university, which absolutely should have measures in place to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen. It sounds like there was some social networking going on, and that the $55,000 planning grant from The Witherspoon Institute got talked about, and then the work with the full $785,000 in funding followed. Somewhere along the way, though, the relationships that allowed this unacceptable thing to happen in a research university got obscured.”
Michael Schwartz, chair of the department of sociology at Stony Brook University, is calling for the Regnerus study to be retracted from publication and for Wright, the journal editor, to be replaced “with a new editor who will not violate the norms and values of scholarly publication.”
It nonetheless remains evident that some levels of UT administration are actively shielding Regnerus from academic accountability for his dishonesty in reporting his research. Presented with Freedom of Information Act requests related to the study, UT engages in obstructionism, asking the state attorney general for exceptions.
In late August, UT concluded a sham misconduct inquiry into Regnerus and the study, without making public the fact that Regnerus’ funding agency representative collaborated with him on the booby-trapped study design. A foul, dark shadow of disgrace is looming over the university. The push to get the Regnerus study retracted, and editor Wright fired, will continue. If UT is not more forthcoming with documentation related to the Regnerus hoax, it is likely that advocacy groups soon will join the effort to get the documentation released. Whereas the school now should be cleaning out and disinfecting from the Regnerus excrement, it is instead ludicrously kicking its hind legs backwards over the carpet, as though nobody could see the stinking mess lying there.
Anybody at UT who believes that this gay-bashing assault on scientific integrity has not very significantly cheapened the school’s reputation is severely deluding themselves.
Scott Rose is a New York City-based novelist, investigative reporter and freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2012/10/19/op-ed-bullying-crisis
A question on Spirit Day: How can we, as a community, put an end to bullying?
BY Herndon Graddick and Lee Hirsch
October 19 2012
Thirteen million young Americans will be bullied in school this year alone. Three million kids will skip school, each and every month, because they feel unsafe.
Our communities are filled with young people whose dreams and futures are being crushed by the devastating impact of emotional and physical torment.
Bullying. A national crisis that demands fierce and urgent action.
In response, we all must work together to reach those young people who are victims of this crisis, and those who can stand up and make a positive difference in their lives.
October marks both National Bullying Prevention and LGBT History months; a time when we are all called to action to speak out against bullying and show support foryoung people.
Perceived difference often triggers bullying incidents, and thus the bullying crisis powerfully impacts LGBT young people. Eight out of 10 LGBT young people experience harassment while at school, according to GLSEN; with nearly 65% of those kids also reporting that they feel unsafe there. And often, even for kids who aren’t LGBT, gay slurs are the first line of attack. Many of these kids are too embarrassed or ashamed to report the harassment they undergo.
The struggle of gay youth in America is an important part of the film Bully. Since premiering at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, Bully has sparked a national conversation about bullying, and whole communities have come together to engage in meaningful dialogue about solutions. The Bully Project, the social movement inspired by the film, launched the “1 Million Kids” campaign, which has engaged and empowered more then 200,000 students and 7,500 educators in 122 American cities through screenings of Bully within an educational framework.
Continue reading at: http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2012/10/19/op-ed-bullying-crisis
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/obama-energy-policy_b_1985714.html
I was in the early days of my acting career in 1962, when Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring made its way onto best-seller lists and college campuses and into living rooms across America and sowed the seeds of today’s environmental movement. The story of that movement still represents for me who we are as a country: a people dedicated to something greater than ourselves, and a nation that recognizes our responsibility to each other.
In this election, only President Obama shares those values and the belief that our kids and grandkids should grow up with living, natural places to explore. Yosemite, the Great Lakes and the Everglades should always be places we can visit and wonders that inspire — not just photos of what used to be.
Shortly after taking office, President Obama signed one of the largest expansions of wilderness protection in a generation, setting aside more than 2 million acres as protected wilderness, conserving more than 1,000 miles of rivers, authorizing a 26-million-acre conservation system of historically significant landscapes and adding thousands of miles of trails. He’s helping restore treasured landscapes from coast to coast that support local economies and communities through tourism and outdoor recreation.
The President has set historic standards that by 2025 will double the distance our cars and trucks will be able to go on a tank of gas, reducing our reliance on foreign oil by 2.2 million barrels per day and saving each of us thousands of dollars at the pump.
He made the single largest investment in clean energy of any other president, helping to double the amount of electricity we generate from wind and solar, strengthening our global economic competitiveness and supporting nearly a quarter of a million American jobs.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/obama-energy-policy_b_1985714.html
From Robert Reich: http://robertreich.org/post/33847356202
By Robert Reich
Thursday, October 18, 2012
President Obama should propose that the nation’s biggest banks be broken up and their size capped, and that the Glass-Steagall Act be resurrected.
It’s good policy, and it would smoke out Mitt Romney as being of, by, and for Wall Street — and not on the side of average Americans.
It would also remind America that five years ago Wall Street’s excesses almost ruined the economy. Bankers, hedge-fund managers, and private-equity traders speculated on the upside, then shorted on the downside — in a vast zero-sum game that resulted in the largest transfer of wealth from average Americans to financial elites ever witnessed in this nation’s history.
Most of us lost big — including over $7 trillion of home values, a $700-billion-dollar bailout of Wall Street, and continuing high unemployment.
But the top 1 percent have done just fine. In the first year of the recovery they reaped 93 percent of the gains. The latest data show them back with 20 to 25 percent of the nation’s total income — just where they were in 2007.
The stock market has about caught up to where it was before the crash. The pay and bonuses on the Street are once again sky-high. So are the pay and perks of top corporate executives. The Forbes list of richest Americans contains more billionaires than ever.
And the tax rates of the top 1 percent are lower than ever — courtesy of their armies of lobbyists.
Continue reading at: http://robertreich.org/post/33847356202
From Dollars and Sense: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2012/0912sciacchitano.html
By Katherine Sciacchitano
This article is from the September/October 2012 issue of Dollars & Sense magazine.
The political economy of the recovery is making the United States even more unequal than it was during the bubble years. Incomes fell across the board during the crisis: median family income is 6.3% below what it was in 2001. But the top 1% garnered 93% of income growth in the first year of recovery. Housing, still the main source of wealth for middle-income families, remains depressed while stocks are close to pre-crash highs. Moreover, the drive for more tax cuts for the wealthy continues. And policy initiatives to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would weaken the safety net even as it is most needed.
A spate of attacks on state and local public-sector pensions now threatens to make inequality even more entrenched and painful, and to undermine both short- and long-term economic growth.
The power of labor is dead center in this agenda. Despite a long-term decline in workers covered by union contracts, unions have over 16 million members: they are still the social force most capable of combating the assault on workers’ incomes and militating for greater equality. Crippling their political power therefore remains both a tactical and a strategic objective on the right. With only 6.9% of workers in the private sector covered by union contracts, versus 37% in the public sector, public-sector unions are bearing the brunt of the attacks. And public pensions are the battering ram.
The trip wire for the assault on pensions was the combined fall in state and local revenues from the bursting of the housing bubble, and the steep losses suffered by pension funds during the resulting stock market slide of 2007-2009: by 2010 there were widely acknowledged public pension funding shortfalls totaling nearly $800 billion
While pension funds are slowly making back market losses, conservative advocates like Andrew Biggs at the American Enterprise Institute are arguing for new measures of shortfalls that would bring them to over $4 trillion, and using this $4 trillion figure to call for a national movement to slash both public-sector pensions and union rights. The implicit threat is that taxpayers will have to pay these trillions now and into the future, even though they themselves may not have pensions. The stated policy objective is to convince taxpayers and politicians that defined benefit pensions are too expensive in the public sector and should be replaced with defined contribution plans.
Defined benefit pensions are a form of deferred compensation—pay for work performed; they provide guaranteed lifetime payments in retirement. Defined-contribution plans give workers tax breaks for individual savings; workers invest these savings and then pray they don’t run out. Over the past three decades, defined benefit pensions have been nearly eradicated in the private sector for non-union workers; their abandonment in the public sector would effectively end defined benefit pensions as a norm for retirement security and shift the burden of retirement savings almost entirely to individuals.
Continue reading at: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2012/0912sciacchitano.html
By Robert Scheer
on Oct 18, 2012
Mark the name of R. Glenn Hubbard, the man who will make your life miserable if Mitt Romney is elected president. Unless, that is, you happen to be one of the swindlers who has profited mightily from the nation’s economic pain.
Hubbard is the ideological hit man instrumental in justifying the mortgage derivatives bubble that caused the Great Recession during the George W. Bush years. He now serves as Romney’s key economic adviser and is the front-runner to be the next Treasury secretary should the Republican win.
“Romney’s Go-To Economist” read the headline on a New York Times profile of the dean of Columbia University’s Business School, which notes that “During a stint as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President George W. Bush, from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Hubbard was known as the principal architect of the Bush tax cuts.” In that capacity, and after returning to Columbia, Hubbard was also the chief cheerleader for a runaway derivatives market that spiraled out of control and left the Great Recession in its wake.
While pocketing millions in fees from the financial industry that he was ostensibly studying as a neutral academic, Hubbard was an enthusiastic backer of the virtues of a burgeoning unregulated capital market that sold toxic derivatives to the world. In a landmark paper that he co-wrote in November 2004 with William C. Dudley, at the time the chief U.S. economist at Goldman Sachs, it was asserted, “The capital markets have helped facilitate a major transformation of the U.S. mortgage financing system over the past 25 years. … The result has been a dramatic decline in the cyclical volatility of housing activity.”
Their study was published by the Global Markets Institute of Goldman Sachs at the very time that Goldman, a leader in the capital market, was packaging and selling some of the toxic mortgage-based derivatives that would come close to destroying the world’s economy.
Continue reading at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/meet_romneys_economic_hit_man_20121018/
From the Union of Concerned Scientists: http://allthingsnuclear.org/dam-failures-and-flooding-at-us-nuclear-plants/
Some 34 nuclear reactors—one-third of the U.S. fleet—could face flooding hazards greater than they were designed to withstand if an upstream dam fails, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff report written in July of last year.
The NRC has known about these risks for at least 15 years and has failed to adequately address them.
The report generated attention a month ago when its lead author, Richard Perkins, accused the NRC of deliberately whiting out passages before releasing the report in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Perkins suggested in a letter to the NRC inspector general that the NRC censored his report because it reveals “the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it.”
Nuclear reactors are built adjacent to rivers, lakes and oceans because they require vast quantities of cooling water. Many U.S. nuclear plants that are sited along a river have one or more dams located upstream. If a dam failed, the ensuing flood waters could overwhelm a plant’s protective barriers and disable critical safety equipment, causing an accident that could release a large amount of radiation, just as it did at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in March 2011. In that case, the flooding was caused by a tsunami, not a breached dam, but the result could be similar.
An article today by Tom Zeller in the Huffington Post posted the unredacted July 2011 NRC report. The report shows the risk of a nuclear accident from flooding appears to be greater than previously thought.
Continue reading at: http://allthingsnuclear.org/dam-failures-and-flooding-at-us-nuclear-plants/
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/19
Year of high temps and record drought portends climate future for once fertile croplands
Common Dreams staff
Published on Friday, October 19, 2012 by Common Dreams
Dramatic video footage and eye witness accounts from Oklahoma on Thursday tell the story of a scene right out of the Depression-era ‘Dust Bowl days’ as a massive wind-swept cloud of ‘reddish-brown’ dirt made visibility impossible on a stretch of Interstate-35 between Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Mo.
The mid-western states have experienced some of the highest temperatures on record this year and a severe drought has devastated corn crops and turned once thriving fields to brown. Scientists make direct connections between these trends and the growing impact of climate change fueled by human-caused global warming.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jodi Palmer, a dispatcher with the Kay County Sheriff’s Office, told the Associated Press. “In this area alone, the dirt is blowing because we’ve been in a drought. I think from the drought everything’s so dry and the wind is high.”
“You have the perfect combination of extended drought in that area … and we have the extremely strong winds,” said Gary McManus, the Oklahoma associate state climatologist, also speaking with AP.
“Also, the timing is bad because a lot of those farm fields are bare. The soil is so dry, it’s like powder. Basically what you have is a whole bunch of topsoil waiting for the wind to blow it away. It’s no different from the 1930s than it is now.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/19