Whatever Happened to the Transgender Tipping Point?

From The Daily Beast:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/31/whatever-happened-to-the-transgender-tipping-point.html

After the optimism of 2014—the ‘Transgender Tipping Point’ as decreed by Time magazine—trans people are facing an onslaught of legislative prejudice.

Samantha Allen
03.31.17

In 2014, Time magazine announced “The Transgender Tipping Point.”

Laverne Cox adorned the cover in a blue dress.

The author of the cover story, Katy Steinmetz, declared that “another civil rights movement is poised to challenge long-held cultural norms and beliefs,” chalking up the emergence of “new policies” to the “new transparency” that transgender people were exhibiting after “emerging from the margins to fight for an equal place in society.”

The narrative was clear: Transgender visibility was good. It could change the country. And although Steinmetz herself was careful to qualify that the “transgender revolution still has a long way to go,” Time’s headline made it seem like a critical threshold had been crossed. Progress is linear, it supposed, and there is no going back.

That narrative—I am sad to say on March 31, the Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV)—is wrong.

In 2017, the White House rolled back federal guidance protecting transgender students, effectively scuttling a potentially precedent-setting Supreme Court case in the process.

There have already been at least seven reported murders of transgender people in the United States, placing it on track to be one of the most violent years on record.

And even after North Carolina reached a controversial legislative “compromise” yesterday over its “bathroom bill” under pressure from the NCAA, some Texas legislators are trying to pass a bill similar to HB2 this year.

If 2014 ever could have been described as a “Transgender Tipping Point,” we might say that we’re now in the “Transgender Dipping Point”—a moment when, despite increases in media representation, the sort of tangible progress that felt within our grasp a few years ago may now have been delayed well into the next decade or beyond.

Wherever you look, transgender people may be more visible but they are still facing the same problems in 2017 as they were in 2014.

They are still being denied life-saving health care, discriminated against at work, and harassed in public. Transgender athletes are still being stigmatized for daring to participate in sports. Cisgender actors are still being cast in transgender parts.

All the while, anti-LGBT groups have been doubling down on transphobia, fundraising around bathroom laws now that the same-sex marriage decision seems all but irreversible.

Continue reading at:  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/31/whatever-happened-to-the-transgender-tipping-point.html

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The dark side of “visibility”: How we slept on trans people becoming the new scapegoats of the right

The Taliban Christian Right have decided transfolks are the perfect scapegoats.  There are some frightening parallels between their behavior and the behavior of the Nazi when they first came to power.  If you are out and or obvious you might want to consider relocating to some place safer than certain states.  It isn’t cowardly to put personal safety first.

The following was published a year ago.  It is truer today than ever.

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/the_dark_side_of_visibility_how_we_slept_on_trans_people_becoming_the_new_scapegoats_of_the_right/

The “transgender tipping point” was a welcome milestone—it’s also made trans adults and youth more visible targets


Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016

I was happy to hear about the International Trans Day of Visibility two years ago. I agreed with the sentiment that the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November being the only trans holiday was morbid and depressing and that celebrating happy, healthy trans lives was a positive goal. I was happy to be one of many allies pushing awareness of March 31 as a “day of visibility” last year.

Which is why I was surprised when one of my close friends, who is trans and who hadn’t heard of the holiday, responded with a scowl when I told her about it.

“My goal isn’t visibility, my goal is survival,” she said. “The Jews were extremely visible in 1930s Europe, how much good did it do them?”

Since then I’ve been thinking about the relative shallowness of “visibility” as a goal in and of itself, especially since the past two years have been one long performative celebration of trans visibility.

Caitlyn Jenner became a magazine cover girl in the name of “visibility” and has continued to do highly visible things like entering a golf tournament, blogging about her love life, starring in a reality show and speaking out in defense of Ted Cruz. We’ve had a streaming show about trans issues win a Golden Globe, we’ve had a feature film about trans issues nominated for Oscars (winning one for Best Supporting Actress). Ever since Time ran its famous May 2014 cover of Laverne Cox with the optimistic title “The Transgender Tipping Point,” everything’s been looking up for trans people, right?

Well, no.

The progression from visibility to tolerance to acceptance within the LGBT coalition has infamously been uneven between the LGB side and the T side. If one were to try to make a parallel (an extremely imperfect one) with Time’s “Transgender Tipping Point” with Laverne Cox and an earlier moment in queer history, it’d probably be something like Ellen DeGeneres and her character both coming out on Ellen in 1997 (a moment pivotal enough that there’s a website named for it).

Did the dramatic moment of a well known entertainer proudly coming out as gay on TV, with widespread support from the media and the industry, end the oppressive invisibility of gay people? Did it, as Dan Savage put it, get better?

Sure, absolutely, in the long run. But then I tend to agree with Martin Luther King that given a long enough run, yes, things get better–but what happens while we’re waiting for that long run is a much more complicated story.

Ellen coming out on TV came after a run of 1990s media garnering attention and box office dollars out of promoting “visibility” of the gay community to Middle America–whether it be dark, tragic takes on the AIDS crisis or cutesy introductions to the culture of drag and camp. There was a vanguard among the (still mostly straight) cultural elite convinced the “gay tipping point” was coming, after the bloody battles fought by ACT UP in the previous generation and at Stonewall in the generation before that.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2016/03/30/the_dark_side_of_visibility_how_we_slept_on_trans_people_becoming_the_new_scapegoats_of_the_right/

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This Whole “Are Trans Women Real Women?” Thing is Gross

From The Medium:  https://medium.com/@emmalindsay/this-whole-are-trans-women-real-women-thing-is-gross-1b15f3d7ad41

The question is not whether trans women are “real,” but what is the real motivation behind defining some women as “real?”

Emma Lindsay
March 23, 2017

One of my facebook friends posted some article on how to be an ally to trans people. Something about the article rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what — so I asked my friend why she’d posted the article. Did you find this article helpful when interacting with the trans people in your life?

She told me she didn’t know any trans people, but wanted to make clear that she was a safe person to talk to about trans issues. As it happened, she actually did know a trans person, she just didn’t know that person was trans. Apparently her method of broadcasting her “trans-safety” via facebook shares was not effective. This friend has always to me represented, like, something that is deeply wrong with liberal culture. The desire to be open minded simply for the sake of being open minded, not because you have come up against a situation that requires it, seems fairly toxic. Additionally, the belief that by dealing with something in the abstract, that by reading enough articles about it, you’ll be equipped to deal with it in real life, seems woefully misguided.

I have a few trans friends, and at times I have behaved problematically towards them. I’m not proud of it; I’m just trying to be honest. You can’t learn how to interact with people via facebook articles. You can’t get to the point where you’re this flawless ally without being a fucked up ally first. And, to get real with you, I try to be a good ally, but I still got trans women on the internet telling me how transmisogynist my writing is, so clearly I still got some shit to work on.

But, despite my problematic bigotry, a surprising number of trans people have forgiven me my issues and opened up to me about their feelings and thoughts on gender. Which, is actually a little weird in some ways.

Truth be told, early on some of my feelings on trans issues were a little TERFish. I remember talking to one of my old friends about feminism, and she said something like “a lot of feminists want to abolish gender, and I really, really don’t want to abolish gender.” She was a trans woman, and she didn’t want to abolish gender because she liked being a woman.

But… I was sort of one of those feminists who wanted to abolish gender! I was into math and science, the sports I liked were fighting sports (wrestling and jiu jitsu) and I had just suffered for a long, long time to do the things I wanted to do as a woman. And, for some chick to be like “omg, all this girly shit IS GREAT — LET’S KEEP DOING GIRLY SHIT” was very threatening to me initially. It triggered an almost instinctual panic: is some of my autonomy going to get lost if I fully embrace the trans movement?

Yet, despite my fears, I liked my friend and I saw how important this was to her, so I just rolled with it. I certainly fucked up a few times, but whenever I did, it was always accidental. Nowadays, I fuck up less because I just think of her as a woman. A quirky woman, possibly a morally questionable woman, definitely a loud woman, but mostly just a woman who is not substantially different from my other female friends.

Continue reading at:  https://medium.com/@emmalindsay/this-whole-are-trans-women-real-women-thing-is-gross-1b15f3d7ad41

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There’s An Insidious New Plot To Make Trans Kids’ Lives Hell

I suggest this special petal flower Snowflake suck it up.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-bathrooms-joel-doe-pennsylvania_us_58d26e3fe4b0f838c62e0f52?afr1kctk3z1gaatt9

A student in Pennsylvania is suing his school for treating a trans student like a human.

By Noah Michelson
03/22/2017

On Tuesday, a teenage boy in Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against his school district in federal court because he doesn’t want to share a locker room with a transgender student.

The teen, known in the lawsuit as “Joel Doe,” claims that using the same locker room as a trans student has caused him “embarrassment and humiliation.” He is asking for damages and he wants the school district to rescind its current policy that allows trans students to use the restroom or locker room that corresponds with their authentic gender identity.

According to HuffPost’s Kim Bellware, Doe believes “unconsented exposure to persons of the opposite sex in various states of undress creates a sexually harassing, hostile environment,” which violates his rights under the federal Title IX law that prohibits sex discrimination.

In other words, the cis student believes he is being discriminated against.

I know. This is some next level “Twilight Zone” grade shit going on right here. But it’s not just twisted, it’s also diabolically brilliant.

Doe and his legal team are asserting that “people who oppose the equal participation of transgender people in society are the ones being victimized,” Harper Jean Tobin, director of policy for the National Center for Transgender Equality, told Bellware.

Essentially, this means that instead of claiming that trans people are (only?) a physical danger to cisgender (non-trans) people ― an argument proven baseless ― the lawsuit is positing sexual harassment and mental anguish as a possible side effect a cis student might experience upon seeing trans students being treated like human beings.

So now it’s not (just?) being raped or attacked in bathrooms that cis people are afraid of. Now it’s not (just?) the wives and daughters we’re trying to protect. Now we must look out for men and boys who are so terrified by the idea of maybe getting a glimpse of body parts that might not match their own that they can’t even function.

It’s a cunning move. Doe is taking the same tactics that trans people have used to argue and win equal rights and access to public facilities and turning them on their head for his own bigoted purposes.

The difference is that, when trans people are prevented from using public restrooms and locker rooms because of their identity, it’s due to discrimination based on their gender identity. Doe, on the other hand, is not being barred from any situation or location. Instead, he simply wants his discomfort with transgender people to be privileged over the discrimination that keeps trans people out of locker rooms and rest rooms in the first place.

Part of me isn’t convinced that Doe is a real boy with real concerns. I don’t doubt that he actually exists somewhere, but knowing that his case was filled by Alliance Defending Freedom ― an organization has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center ― makes me question who is really driving this crazy train and what the ultimate goal of this lawsuit really is.

So here’s what I think: If Doe can’t give this teen in his class the same respect he’d give any other person — and who I would bet both of my testicles just wants to get in and out of that locker room as quickly than Doe does ― Doe shouldn’t get to use the locker room. It’s time we start singling out those who want to make trouble and misery for others and forcing them to live their lives differently as a result instead of the other way around. If you don’t want to play nicely (a.k.a treat everyone equally no matter what they look like or how they identify), then you shouldn’t be allowed to play. See ya. Bye.

Complete article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-bathrooms-joel-doe-pennsylvania_us_58d26e3fe4b0f838c62e0f52?afr1kctk3z1gaatt9

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Mayim Bialik: “Girl” vs. “Woman”: Why Language Matters

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My Health Care Is Not Cosmetic

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/3/21/my-health-care-not-cosmetic

Even with Obamacare hanging on, trans folks are still pushing back against a tidal wave of ignorance in the insurance industry.

By Cole Hayes
March 21 2017

In June of 2014 Washington State insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler announced that insurers selling policies in the state cannot discriminate against transgender residents. This was exciting news, because up until that point trans people would have to jump through burning hoops to get the care they needed. While this announcement offered hope for the future, it seems many of us are still struggling to see the change.

When I started my transition, one of the first things I wanted was a hysterectomy, not necessarily because of my transition but because my reproductive organs had plagued me from the onset of puberty. It was a nightmare and, unfortunately, still is. While I no longer get visits from Aunt Flo, I still feel her pain every month.

My doctor at the time told me outright that insurance companies would not approve of this surgery for someone who was still considered female in the eyes of the law. I hadn’t even started hormones yet. She explained that insurance companies wanted women to go through a series of steps just to be sure nothing else could be done before permanently removing the uterus.

I could understand to a certain extent why that was, but for a trans man, aching to feel better for the first time in his life, it was disheartening news, especially because I had no plans to bear children. My doctor did say that it would be wise to refrain from changing my information if I ever did want my surgery covered, because once I was no longer technically female, the situation would get even stickier.

A year passed and, contrary to my doctor’s advice, I changed my information. I was and am legally male. My doctor signed the papers and I stood before a judge after my state approved my request for a name and gender change. I decided to make this change because I wasn’t willing to start birth control, which is counterproductive to my medical transition and one of many things I’d have to try before the prospect of a hysterectomy would be considered. By that time, I had heard about the change in trans coverage in Washington State and I felt hopeful that I would finally be allowed to have the most vital surgery of my life — something more important to me than top surgery.

Before my transition, my doctors just said I had dysmenorrhea, which means, “painful periods with cramps.” I had a sonogram, and nothing showed what was causing the pain. Truthfully, no one really knows why trans men continue to feel pain after our periods stop. Doctors say it’s the uterus’s way of dying dramatically. How’s that for implicit bias?

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2017/3/21/my-health-care-not-cosmetic

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On Betrayal by the Left – Talking with Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider

From Quillette:  http://quillette.com/2017/03/16/on-betrayal-by-the-left-talking-with-ex-muslim-sarah-haider/

by Jeffrey Tayler
March 16, 2017

In twenty-first-century America, what happens to a young woman who has wised up and quit a faith-based ideology that ordains the second-class status of women, the submissiveness of wives to husbands (even violent husbands), the partial disinheritance of female heirs in favor of their male counterparts, the stoning of adulterers (and especially adulteresses, given the misogynistic vagaries of evidentiary law associated with said ideology), the taking of captive women as sex slaves, the adherence to a cumbersome dress code, and that also sanctions the savagery of female genital mutilation? Does she win plaudits for standing up her for rights as a woman? Do progressives recite panegyrics that sing her courage and praise her clear-sightedness? Is she inundated with offers of support?

Does she feel, perhaps for the first time in her life, that the United States, her adopted country – the only country on Earth established, at least according to its foundational documents, on the rights to free speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – wholly and unreservedly welcomes her as one of its own?

Not necessarily! If the ideology is Islam (and it is) and the woman is a former Muslim (and she is), she must steel herself to face threats against her life from her onetime coreligionists and a hail of invective from, and insidious betrayals by, those posing as progressives. Moreover, she must prepare to fend off attempts to silence her viewpoint as “inconvenient” given our current political morass. Even more egregiously, if the woman is trying to help (as she is) others also striving after the gloriously secular freedom she has achieved for herself, she becomes a danger to the entire edifice of hypocrisy, cowardice, and fact-deficient balderdash forming the mainstream left’s view of Islam as a “religion of peace” distorted by a few deranged miscreants. In short, in the America of today, such a brave woman will find no haven extended to her, but, rather, confront wielders of figurative pitchforks eager to skewer her for both abandoning her religion and traducing her kind. And with Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, her position becomes more precarious than ever.

Such a woman is Sarah Haider, a native of Pakistan who moved to the United States when she was between seven and eight, and who is co-founder and director of outreach for Ex-Muslims of North America. EXMNA, declares its web site, “advocates for acceptance of religious dissent, promotes secular values, and aims to reduce discrimination faced by those who leave Islam.” It also provides a range of services (e.g., temporary shelter, counseling) to its members, who are spread out in eighteen chapters across the continent, and offers a platform from which ex-Muslims can recount, via Youtube videos, their personal stories of faith-free enlightenment.

Soft-spoken, articulate, and earnest, Haider hardly fits the image of a sinister, subversive “native informant” or “house Arab” or “house Muslim” (as she has been vilified by some on the left) scheming to stir up “Islamophobia” and spoil life for American Muslims. Haider drifted away from Islam at age fifteen, but received national attention when, in 2015, she delivered a widely viewed lecture, “Islam and the Necessity of Liberal Critique,” at an American Humanist Association conference in Denver. She has been, since then, hailed as a hero by the neuroscientist and outspoken atheist Sam Harris (the host of the Waking Up podcast) and has appeared on, among other venues, Dave Rubin’s popular Youtube talk show, The Rubin Report.

I spoke with Haider via Skype one day recently. She told me that things have only gotten tougher for ex-Muslims since she made her appearance in Denver, and that she and her fellow apostates live with a level of threat that influences every aspect of life. (Apostasy is an offence punishable by death, according to Islam, and female apostates in particular, even in the United States, find themselves imperiled.) The more publicity she receives, the more potential danger she has to live with.

“Fear of being exposed has changed how I go about my life and how I socialize. As I become better known, I feel increasingly isolated.”

Worst of all, she feels so besieged in the United States.

“Ex-Muslims in the West should be free to be who they are and leave their religion. At the very least, we shouldn’t have to be fearful of our family and friends. If Muslims feel they’re being badly treated here [in the United States], they can go to Muslim-majority countries. But where can a person like me go? I’m in the safest place I can possibly be, yet I’m too afraid to tell people where I live. It’s tragic for me that there’s even a need for our organization.”

Continue reading at:  http://quillette.com/2017/03/16/on-betrayal-by-the-left-talking-with-ex-muslim-sarah-haider/

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The Only True Surprise? Trump’s an Idiot | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

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Robert Reich: The Resistance Report 3/20/2017

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The Most Telling Thing About the FBI’s Probe into Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

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Appeals Court: Federal Law Doesn’t Ban Antigay Discrimination

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/14/appeals-court-federal-law-doesnt-ban-antigay-discrimination

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‘Family values’ anti-gay politician accused of affair with his own cousin

From Pink News UK:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/15/family-values-anti-gay-politician-accused-of-affair-with-his-own-cousin/


March 15, 2017

A ‘family values’ politician, who repeatedly proposed anti-gay laws, is accused of some less than ‘family values’ behaviour.
Joey Hensley, a Republican Tennessee state senator, is alleged to have had an extramarital affair.

But not just any extramarital affair – an affair with his colleague, who is also one of his patients at the medical practice he works at.

And also his second cousin.

The accusations have come about as said cousin divorces her husband, revealing the allegations during testimony in the divorce trial.

Sen. Hensley has served in the state senate since 2013, is a devout Pentecostal Christian and also works as a family physician.

As a GOP senator, he’s made the most of his few years in the legislature to introduce a string of regressive and anti-gay proposals.

He has frequently spoken about the importance of good morals, and fiercely opposed socially progressive laws.

He sponsored a bill that would have forbidden sex ed teachers from ever mentioning the existence of homosexuality, on the grounds that it wasn’t related to human reproduction.

He also sponsored a bill to allow college counsellors to reject seeing students – even suicidal ones – on religious principles after a counsellor was fired for refusing to see an LGBT student, which he thought was fine.

For other outrages go to: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/03/15/family-values-anti-gay-politician-accused-of-affair-with-his-own-cousin/

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Southern Baptist leader’s role is in question because of his ardent Trump opposition

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2017/03/13/silencing-dissent-evangelical-reverend-may-be-fired-from-southern-baptists-post-because-of-his-anti-trump-stance/

Rev. Russell Moore has been praised for challenging the politics of evangelicals


Monday, Mar 13, 2017

The Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, was an emerging leader among young evangelicals because, in part, of his anti-Trump message he preached during the presidential campaign. But now many white Southern Baptist leaders are questioning whether Moore can function in his role, which will require him to lobby before the new Trump administration.

Moore, who said he would not vote for either major party candidate in 2016, was a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and the evangelical leaders who endorsed him. He accused his colleagues of “normalizing an awful candidate” and refused to drink the Trump “Kool-Aid.”

The 45-year-old reverend is feeling backlash for his blunt opposition to the president, according to a report from The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey. One megachurch pastor and Trump supporter, Jack Graham, said after a meeting with Moore that his congregation would withhold $1 million in donations to the Southern Baptist Convention’s umbrella fund. The move has Baptists wondering if Moore will be replaced by someone cozier with the Trump administration.

In May, just before clinching the Republican nomination, Trump attacked Moore in a tweet, insisting that he was “truly a terrible representative of Evangelicals.”

Results from the election appear to support Trump’s theory that evangelicals would rather side with him than a man of the cloth. More than 80 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump in the election, according to exit polls.

But since Moore was elected to his position in 2013, he has steadily become a beloved leader among younger evangelicals, who may not be as receptive to conservative politics. Moore is also very popular among evangelicals of color, who have welcomed his promotion of racial justice, according to the Post.

Unafraid to deliver public lashings, Moore wrote in December that he has seen a “handful of Christian political operatives excusing immortality and confusing the definition of the gospel.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a fellow Southern Baptist, responded to Moore’s persistent commentary by telling Town Hall that he was “utterly stunned that Russell Moore is being paid by Southern Baptists to insult them.”

As president of the Southern Baptists Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Moore reports to a board of trustees who control his future. The board chairman, Ken Barbic, told the Post in a text that Moore is a “Gospel-centered, faithful, and prophetic voice for Southern Baptists” and that he has the full backing of the board.

Continue reading at:   http://www.salon.com/2017/03/13/silencing-dissent-evangelical-reverend-may-be-fired-from-southern-baptists-post-because-of-his-anti-trump-stance/

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Trans Pastor To Texas Bathroom Bill Supporters: ‘Stop Using God As An Excuse To Hate People’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-pastor-texas-bathroom-bill_us_58bfe764e4b0d1078ca263de?section=us_queer-voices

“In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. … So God is transgender.”

By Hayley Miller
03/08/2017

A transgender pastor is lashing out against people who cite God as their reason for supporting a controversial Texas bill that aims to prevent trans people from using public bathrooms that correspond best with their gender identity.

The Rev. S. David Wynn, a senior pastor from Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth, Texas, spoke Tuesday to hundreds of LGBTQ advocates protesting the bill outside the state Capitol in Austin.

“In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. … So God is transgender, ” Wynn said, to which the crowd roared in approval. “We’re all created in the image of what is holy and divine and sacred, and we should all be treated that way.”

More than 200 people, including Wynn, testified against Senate Bill 6, known as the “Texas bathroom bill,” during a public hearing with the Senate State Affairs Committee that began Tuesday morning and spilled into Wednesday morning.

Despite more than 13 hours of mostly oppositional public testimony, the committee voted Wednesday 7-1 in favor of the proposed legislation. The bill will now advance to the full Senate, where its passage is all but assured. Many senators, including the majority of Republicans and one Democrat, have already voiced support for the bill.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. cited “God’s creation” as one reason he supports the bill.

“God created everything as far as I’m concerned, but especially man and woman,” Lucio said.

Wynn blasted the senator’s message during his address outside the Capitol.

“We’re going to stop using God as an excuse to hate people,” Wynn said of the bill’s religious supporters, before paraphrasing author Anne Lamott. “If God hates all the same people you do, then you’ve created God in your image.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/transgender-pastor-texas-bathroom-bill_us_58bfe764e4b0d1078ca263de?section=us_queer-voices

 

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Wave of Vandalism, Violence Hits LGBTQ Centers Across Nation

From NBC News:  http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/wave-vandalism-violence-hits-lgbtq-centers-across-nation-n732761

When Ruby Corado arrived at her office on Sunday, she found broken glass everywhere, a door ripped off its frame and a shaken staffer.

Corado told NBC News a man had burst into Casa Ruby — the Washington, D.C. drop-in center and advocacy organization for transgender women she founded in 2004 — and demolished a door and physically attacked a trans woman working at the center.

“He grabbed something and threw it at her. It hit her on the arm. Then [he] walked toward her and said, ‘I’m gonna kill you, faggot,'” Corado said. “Everyone was trying to control him. He goes to the door and leaves, then a brick comes flying through the door from the outside.”

This is the third time in just two weeks that men have come to Casa Ruby to harass and attack the transgender women that meet there for support and companionship. And D.C. is not the only city to see its local LGBTQ community center hit by violence or vandalism in recent weeks.

In February and March, a spate of hate incidents occurred at LGBTQ community centers and similar venues across the nation, in a trend that has gone underreported.

On March 6, a drive-by shooting targeted the Tulsa, Oklahoma headquarters of Oklahomans for Equality. The very next day, a man entered the center harassing and threatening staff, reportedly saying “I wish you all would die.” The center’s executive director, Toby Jenkins, told The Tulsa World it was the most serious incident he’d seen in 12 years.

LGBTQ community centers in Los Angeles and Milwaukee were hit with hate graffiti in February, with workers in L.A. arriving to see “F**k Trannies” spray-painted across the walls. Milwaukee’s Diverse & Resilient center was covered in paint reading “Fag.”

The vandalism incidents do not appear to be connected to each other, but several similar attacks occurred at LGBTQ nonprofit offices, bars and at schools.

Churchgoers in New Orleans were startled on Sunday morning when a brick flew through a stained-glass window. Members of the LGBTQ-affirming First Unitarian Church had held a widely publicized town hall on anti-transgender violence less than 48 hours prior to the attack. Rev. Deanna Vandiver told The Times-Picayune the town hall may have “stirred up hate mongering.”

The offices of New Jersey’s Garden State Equality and Orlando’s Equality Florida were both vandalized about a week apart. On February 24, someone smashed the windows at Equality Florida, and two men kicked at the front door of Garden State Equality until it shattered on March 4.

Last Wednesday, police arrested an Indiana man they said threatened to carry out a Pulse-style shooting at a local gay bar. Police said the man entered Olly’s Bar in Indianapolis and told an employee, “I’m going to hold all of you hostage.” He also told police he had a Glock, a machete and a derringer.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/wave-vandalism-violence-hits-lgbtq-centers-across-nation-n732761

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Americans oppose bathroom laws limiting transgender rights: poll

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/americans-oppose-bathroom-laws-limiting-transgender-rights-poll/

Reuters
March 10, 2017

The majority of respondents to a new U.S. poll opposed laws barring transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identities and indicated growing acceptance for gay rights, a nonpartisan research group said on Friday.

Fifty-three percent of the Americans surveyed oppose laws requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, according to the national poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey showed that 39 percent of respondents favored such laws, and almost one in 10 of the 2,031 adults surveyed in February by telephone had no opinion.

The issue of transgender bathroom rights has become the latest flashpoint in the long U.S. battle over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

Significant partisan divisions remain, the survey found. While 65 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents oppose laws limiting transgender bathroom rights, 59 percent of Republicans support the laws, according to the poll. Thirty-six percent of Republicans oppose them.

“This is a case where it really is Republicans kind of pulling away and being more of an outlier to the rest of the country,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive of the Washington-based group.

The poll results come as Republican leaders in Texas are among those considering whether to follow North Carolina in requiring people to use the bathrooms matching their gender at birth in public schools and government buildings.

The U.S. Supreme Court this week sidestepped a major ruling on whether transgender students are entitled to bathroom choice under federal anti-discrimination law.

That decision followed Republican President Donald Trump’s swift move to rescind a 2016 directive by former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration to open up bathroom access in U.S. public schools.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/2017/03/americans-oppose-bathroom-laws-limiting-transgender-rights-poll/

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Is Christian-run hospital forcing this 5-year-old transgender girl to be a boy?

From LGBTQ Nation:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/christian-run-hospital-forcing-5-year-old-transgender-girl-detransition/

By
Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Facebook post from the mom of a transgender girl has gone viral, as concerned friends and advocates plead for help for a family in Illinois. Kathy Blazer-Williams wrote that a five-year-old trans girl named Stevie, with a host of medical issues, is not only being kept from her parents by a faith-based hospital, but is being forced to live as a male, the sex she was assigned at birth.

A lawyer representing the family told LGBTQ Nation this all started last month, with the parents trying to get medical help for their daughter, who has type 1 diabetes and epilepsy. Although they agreed to something called a “therapeutic separation,” the attorney confirmed the parents never signed any documents surrendering their parental rights or authorizing any treatment of her gender identity, and in fact have attempted to have her moved to another hospital.

But last week, the Illinois Department of Children and Families reversed an earlier decision to not get involved. DCFS took protective custody of Stevie on Monday, according to the family’s attorney, Rina Infelise. She told LGBTQ Nation in a phone interview Sunday evening that this kind of move requires a legal hearing, and so both the parents and DCFS are due in court this week to face a judge, who will decide Stevie’s fate.

For the past few weeks, Stevie has been undergoing what Blazer-Williams described as something that appears to resemble so-called reparative or conversion therapy, which aims to change a transgender child’s gender identity.

The hospital is only giving her boy toys. Stevie is playing with the legos to build dolls, ghostbusters, ponies, and shopkins. They are refusing to use her name or pronouns, more importantly they are breaking this bright shiny happy child. Their reasons for taking her have changed several times, the accusations ridiculous. For weeks the hospital has lied and deceived, even claiming that Stevie admitted to being a boy to DCFS and was “happy, and doesn’t miss you” to the parents. Her parents are good people who wouldn’t care if she was a boy, if that was her choice. One look at her proved that was all a lie. The hospital took her because they couldn’t make her well and her family wanted to change hospitals . The family had also filed several complaints against the hospital, as recently as days before the “intervention”. Of course the fact that Stevie is ill could not be the hospitals faults, it must be the parents. After testing and proof she was in fact sick, they sunk their teeth into miscellaneous nonsense claims and the fact she identifies as female. For over a month the family has had an empty bedroom in their home. They are losing hope. Court seems to not want to step in against the hospital.

The hospital is Advocate Children’s Hospital, also known as Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, part of the Advocate Health network, which identifies itself as a faith-based, not-for-profit health system, and the largest in Illinois.

Stevie’s parents are not named in her post, but in a phone interview, Blazer-Williams said they are complying with the hospital’s demands in hopes of challenging them in court.

“They originally held her on a therapeutic separation,” Blazer-Williams told LGBTQ Nation. “She never signed anything. It was an oral agreement that does not require action by the court until after 30 days. Then the Department of Children and Family Service has to go to court for a temporary order to take custody. After that, they have a hearing. The first one was Tuesday, but went into continuance. Before that, DCFS did not involve the courts, and they are not legally obligated to.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/03/christian-run-hospital-forcing-5-year-old-transgender-girl-detransition/

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American Pastoral

I just read Phillip Roth’s American Pastoral.  It is the story of mid-20th century America

The protagonist Swede (Seymour) Levov is the All American Ideal, an allegorical icon, the handsome perfect athlete in high school.  Enters the Marine Corp at the end of World War II.  A hard working assimilated Jewish man who inherits a business built by his father and marries Miss New Jersey an equally hard working lower class Irish American woman.

Together they do every thing right, everything perfectly

They struggle with a daughter who stutters.  Gradually as this daughter grows up she turns into a monster.  During the Vietnam war she sets off a bomb in their small suburban town’s market/post office.  This bomb kills a Doctor who is again a hard working paragon of virtue.

Over the course of the book Swede’s family is destroyed, everything he worked so hard for is in tatters.

Lately I have been thinking a great deal about 1967 and the hippie years.  I was a hippie, anti-war but never willing to go down the road to bombs and that level of violence.  Very few of us were, yet the right wing tries to hang the guilt for the action of a very few people on the majority of us.

But one thing that is forgotten about the 1960s, lost in the music that is still played today, lost in the long hair, legalized pot, organic foods and yoga, is that very few of us were hippies.

Most of us were more like Swede and his wife Dawn.  They did everything right.  Paid for all sorts of things to make their lives and the lives of their children better.  The finest schools, lessons, therapy.

They built their businesses, their careers in fields they were told would insure their futures.  They saved, they bought stocks, bonds, IRAs.  They did all the right things.

They went in debt and sent their children to the finest universities they could afford.

If they were lower class they went to church, they worked hard.  Some had industrial jobs that paid well enough for them to take vacations, maybe own a cabin somewhere with a fishing boat.

Life was sweet.

Then came automation, computers, off-shoring, H1B visas (that undermined the tech jobs people retrained for). Neo-liberalism/neo-conservatism, bubble economies, stock market crashes, health care crises.

People, who did everything right saw their lives and everything they worked for turned to shit.

It’s hard to pin point the end of the American Dream, the one where following the rules, working hard and conforming to expectations would lead to success.  Perhaps it was a myth all along, one born of advertising in what we call the Golden Era of television and the big glossy magazines.  Maybe we were just basking in the afterglow of defeating Hitler. But I remember the optimism of the 1950s when Eisenhower was President and we as a nation solved problems rather than turning our backs on them.  I remember the expansion of Civil Rights and the battles fought.  The optimism of JFK saying we would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

Maybe the American Dream died in Dallas in November of 1963, or in Mississippi a year later, perhaps it died in Vietnam.

By the 1970s cynicism seems to have replaced optimism.  Until Trump came along was there ever a greater icon of cynicism than Tricky Dick?

Yeah, by the gas crisis of the 1970s and inflation the bloom was off the rose and the tarnish was showing on the great American Dream.

Gen X, the children of the Boomers.  What did they inherit? Academics playing the game, biting and clawing for tenure.  A class war between those who received legacy admissions to college and kids who were economically drafted in to a military that progressives despised.

In the 1980s computers came along and people, who lost their jobs when manufacturing fled the rust belt for the Third World, retrained for the promising new careers that were offered by high tech.  Retrained for careers that often times barely lasted long enough for people to get their student loans paid off.

Big box stores out on the highways outside of town gutted out local businesses killing the American Dream of having your own business and killing the down towns where generations before had grown up.

Progressives and conservatives alike played the game of telling poor white people how they were privileged and much better off than people of color even while economically there wasn’t a hell of a lot of difference.  The resentments and racism grew.

Times got harder for so many.  2008 cost many thousands of people their homes.  Put so many into bankruptcy and the neo-con and neo-libs had arranged it so filing bankruptcy doesn’t really help ordinary people any more.

Now I think Obama was a good President, one of the best we have had in my lifetime.  The right wing prevented him from doing things that would have benefited most people.

I voted for Hillary.  I knew she was the better choice because I still have an optimistic streak.  I can still envision that American Dream as being real.

I was raised on the mythology of America, the American heroes from before the Revolution on down to today.  I still believe in what I jokingly call Team USA.

But I look around and major portions of this country have become a dystopia where the American Dream died long ago and pain pills, booze and credit card debt are facts of life.  Where there is no vision of tomorrow being better.  No faith in the idea that with hard work you too can be a success.

Instead a lot of people have decided The American Dream is dead.  Fuck you. Trump speaks to our rage.

I don’t have an answer to that…

I’m old I still believe in Team USA and an American Dream.  Perhaps a smaller one than what was once possible but an American Dream nonetheless…

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Bollywood: Trump USA

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How did Hitler rise to power? – Alex Gendler and Anthony Hazard

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