Milford NH: Doctor signing book at Toadstool

From Cabinet:

By Michael Cleveland
Thursday, November 22, 2012

MILFORD – When Jessica Angelina Birch holds a signing for her first book at the Toadstool Bookshop on Saturday, Nov. 24, she will be instantly recognized by a number of people.

Jessica Angelina Birch is her pen name, but she’s known to her patients as Dr. Jennifer Madden, and she has been practicing medicine in Amherst under that name for five years.

But for a long time Jennifer was known as Henry, and that is what the book is about: A monumental change that allowed someone who always believed she was a woman to actually become one.

The book, “Confessions of a Transsexual Physician,” is her story, one she believes portrays a realistic view of the metamorphosis that took place in her.

“For good or for bad, I put it all out there for others to see, so they might better understand what I endured to find peace within myself.”

“There’s a message in the book,” Madden said during a recent telephone interview, “and a fair amount of sadness and trauma. But I think it’s upbeat. I survived the process. Hopefully, future generations won’t have to go through some of that.”

Madden didn’t make the decision to become a woman until she was 48 years old.

“I was afraid,” she said. “It wasn’t something that I was really willing to open up to people about. I was afraid of the consequences.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Milford NH: Doctor signing book at Toadstool

Syracuse Common Council Extends Basic Civil Rights Protections to Transgender Residents



November 19, 2012 —  The New York Civil Liberties Union today applauded the Syracuse Common Council’s passage of legislation amending local civil rights law to protect transgender and gender non-conforming residents from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, such as restaurants, hotels and stores.

In an 7 to 1 vote, the Common Council approved a bill to amend the Syracuse Fair Practices Law to include gender identity and expression as protected categories. With the passage of this legislation, every large city in New York State has enacted basic civil rights protections for transgender and gender non-conforming residents and visitors. Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Binghamton, Ithaca, New York City as well as Westchester, Suffolk, and Tompkins counties have similar local anti-discrimination laws.

“In passing this legislation, the Common Council has reaffirmed our city’s commitment to respecting the civil rights and basic human dignity of all residents,” Barrie Gewanter, director of the NYCLU’s Central New York Chapter, said. “Nobody should be denied service at a doctor’s office or fired from a job because of the way they express their gender. We applaud the Common Council for closing this gap in local anti-discrimination laws across upstate New York.”

The New York State Senate has effectively blocked consideration of a statewide law that would explicitly prohibit discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. The passage of the Syracuse bill, which was sponsored by Councilor at Large Jean Kessner, builds additional momentum for the this statewide measure, known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA).

“The strength of people’s civil rights protections shouldn’t depend on whether they live in an urban area,” Gewanter said. “It’s time for our state legislators to stand up for true equality and fairness by supporting GENDA.”

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Syracuse Common Council Extends Basic Civil Rights Protections to Transgender Residents

It Doesn’t Matter Nate Silver Is Gay. It Matters America Knows He Is.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by David Badash
on November 18, 2012

Nate Silver is gay, in case you didn’t know. Until yesterday, practically no one did. Silver is the incredibly accurate statistician who gave President Obamaa 91.6% probability of winning re-election on Election Day, and gave right wing pundits and prognosticators such angst for the months leading up to the election they created an entire new system of poll reading — that, like most everything the right does, was totally wrong.

Silver, author of the bestselling book, The Signal and the Noise, has not been totally wrong. In fact, he’s been almost totally right. Silver’s statistical model ultimately predicted President Obama would win the White House with an a weighted probability average of about 315 electoral votes — with 332 the most likely scenario — and 50.9% of the popular vote. Obama won 332 electoral college votes and 50.6% of the popular vote. Perhaps more important, Silver’s model predicted the vote correctly in all 50 states. In 2008, Silver correctly predicted 49 out of 50 states and all 36 Senate races.

“I’ve always felt like something of an outsider,” Nate Silver tells Carole Cadwalladr of The Observer, a liberal British newspaper. “I’ve always had friends, but I’ve always come from an outside point of view. I think that’s important. If you grow up gay, or in a household that’s agnostic, when most people are religious, then from the get-go, you are saying that there are things that the majority of society believes that I don’t believe.”

Cadwalladr, who in her extensive profile of the 34-year old superstar, published in the U.S. at The Raw Story, notes, “Silver is gay,” and writes:

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on It Doesn’t Matter Nate Silver Is Gay. It Matters America Knows He Is.

Right Wing Hate Group Spokesman Bryan Fischer: Anti-Gay Exorcisms Work, People Never Born Gay, Gay

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Right Wing Hate Group Spokesman Bryan Fischer: Anti-Gay Exorcisms Work, People Never Born Gay, Gay

Explain Away the Gay

From Slate:

Opponents of same-sex marriage went 0-for-4 in the election. But they have lots of excuses.

By Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

Until this year, opponents of same-sex marriage had never lost a statewide referendum. They’d won 32 straight times. Two weeks ago, the tide of public opinion finally overwhelmed them. They lost all four measures on the November ballot—one to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, and three others to permit gay marriage in Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

Are they humbled? Shaken? Worried that the country might be turning against them? Not a bit. The leading conservative lobby on this issue, the National Organization for Marriage, has cooked up a handy set of post-election excuses. Here’s the list.

1. We never really had a shot. Last year, when Minnesota lawmakers voted to put the issue on the 2012 ballot, NOM predicted victory, noting that “deep blue states” such as California, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin had rejected gay marriage. In January of this year, NOM released a survey purporting to show that Washington state voters were “not in favor of redefining marriage.” When same-sex marriage advocates in Maine, stung by a previous defeat, filed signatures for a rematch, NOM President Brian Brown scoffed, “The people of Maine are not in favor of redefining marriage, as we showed in 2009. Gay advocates are fooling themselves when they say things have changed.” In February, when Maryland lawmakers voted to legalize the practice, Brown warned them, “The people of Maryland do not support same-sex marriage.” In May, NOM predicted a “clean sweep” of the four ballot measures.

On Election Day, the clean sweep went the other way. NOM snapped into action. Overnight, the four easy wins became, in retrospect, impossible uphill struggles. “We knew long ago that we faced a difficult political landscape with the four marriage battles occurring in four of the deepest-blue states in America,” Brown pleaded in a Nov. 7 statement. Tom Peters, NOM’s cultural director, told PBS, “Going into these four state fights, we had no illusions. These were deep blue states.” Indeed, Peters marveled, “It`s amazing, with all of the cultural forces trying to redefine marriage, that we’re still here in 2012, just barely seeing some footholds gained in deep blue states.” Those plucky defenders of traditional marriage, holding their ground against all odds as they defend our culture against our culture.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Explain Away the Gay

Bobby Jindal Confident Women Will Vote GOP if Republicans Just Stop Saying What They Actually Believe

From Jezebel:

Erin Gloria Ryan
Nov 19, 2012

Can you guess Louisiana Governor and unfortunate Kenneth the Page doppelgänger Bobby Jindal’s great advice for the GOP as it attempts to retool itself to become more palatable to female voters? Change stuff around so that the party isn’t one big, embarrassing celebration of religious wackiness? Stop making fairy stories interpreted to view women as chattel central to your platform? Nope. Keep all the same ideas as before. Just don’t talk about them. Bobby Jindal, you huggable Southern asshole.

Jindal, who looks like he smells like Play Doh but talks like he smells like artificial deer urine and Febreeze, shared his bizarre prescription to cure what ails the GOP yesterday on Fox News Sunday. When host Chris Wallace rightfully pointed out that the GOP had been “hammered” on social subjects like abortion, especially with single women, this is how Jindal replied,

Well, Chris, a couple of things. One, I think we can still be true to our principles — I’m pro-life. I follow the teachings of my church and my faith.

But at the same time, I think we can respect those that disagree with us. We don’t need to demonize those who disagree with us. We need to respect the fact that others have come to different conclusions based on their own sincerely held beliefs and have a civil debate.

We don’t need to demonize — and we also don’t need to be saying stupid things [referring to Romney’s remarks]. Look, we had candidates in Indiana and Missouri that said offensive things that only hurt themselves and lost those Senate seats, but also have hurt the Republican Party across the board. So, I think we can be true to our principles. We don’t need to pander or change our principles, but at the same time, we can be respectful.

Jindal’s big solution to getting women to vote Republican? Don’t tell women what Republicans actually believe! Piss on their legs and tell them it’s raining, very politely.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Bobby Jindal Confident Women Will Vote GOP if Republicans Just Stop Saying What They Actually Believe

Ohio Is The Latest Battlefield in the War on Contraception

From RH Reality Check:

by Amanda Marcotte, RH Reality Check
November 18, 2012

This year’s UN Population Fund’s annual report reiterates the long-accepted fact that access to contraception is a basic human right, making women’s rights and women’s health at the center of development. The document reflects a growing worldwide understanding that, as bell hooks titled her famous book, feminism is for everybody. When women can control their birth spacing and family size, they and their families have more economic opportunities and can better provide for the children they do have. No duh, right?

Well, unfortunately, the anti-choice movement in the United States presents the biggest obstacle for getting our country to embrace this common sense understanding of the value of contraception. Yes, they are coming for your birth control.

The latest battle in the war on contraception is being fought in Ohio, where the House Health and Aging Committee approved a bill to be sent to the floor that would de-fund Planned Parenthood, as well as other family planning groups that provide affordable contraception and reproductive health care to the women of Ohio. So far, these attempts to de-fund family planning have failed in the courts, though Texas has won a victory in the Fifth Circuit and could very well be successful in dramatically reducing (and perhaps eventually eliminating) funding to clinics that help low-income women afford contraception.

Invariably, these attacks on contraception are rationalized by the politicians mounting them with claims that this is all about abortion, even though the groups in question do not use government funding to provide abortion. One of the reasons that these attacks have failed in court is because the laws usually violate non-discrimination clauses that disallow governments to punish groups for having different views on abortion—which, may I remind you, is legal and ruled a right by the Supreme Court—by taking their funding. But Ohio’s bill goes about it in a different way, by killing the competitive grant process, and instead giving the money to public health departments and federally qualified health centers before non-public family planning clinics, even though the latter are usually far better at dispensing the kind of personalized gynecological care women need to control their fertility.

Because of this, we can see the “pro-life” mask slipping further. Even though the word “abortion” gets tossed around a lot, this bill makes it clear that the biggest sin of Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics, in anti-choice eyes, is that they help women have better sexual health and control their family sizes. They aren’t even trying to tie this to abortion anymore, but blatantly objecting to a model of providing reproductive health care that’s been proven to work, precisely because they don’t want it to work.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Ohio Is The Latest Battlefield in the War on Contraception