British BBC Baptiste actress said she lost roles because she’s not ‘trans-enough’

From Gay Star News:

“I’d just want them to go, “Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?”‘

18 February 2019

Viewers of the British BBC drama Baptiste were left stunned when the lead female character, Kim Vogel, was revealed as trans yesterday (17 February).

And the actress who plays her, Talisa Garcia, came out too, offscreen that is.

However, speaking to The Sun, the 45-year-old said she has lost out on roles in the past as she ‘wasn’t trans-enough’.

‘But in Baptiste you’re not meant to know that she is. She’s not the obvious transgender person,’ she said.

‘With transgender characters it has always been the same, the 6ft tall builder with a wig tilted to the side.

‘Thankfully we’ve moved on.’

In the interview, the BBC star said she had gender confirmation surgery over 28 years ago.

‘Everybody used to call me “boy girl”‘

Significantly, Garcia said she took her new name after the Puerto Rican model and Bond girl, Talisa Soto.

Speaking on her childhood, she said: ‘When I was a kid, everybody used to call me “boy girl” and “sissy”.

‘I used to wear lip gloss and I was the only boy in the school doing ballet. But no one ever picked on me.

‘All the tough kids in school were my best friends.’

‘Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?’

However, Garcia said she feels nervous about how men will react to the news.

‘I always have men hitting on me. But I don’t say anything to them about myself.

‘They’re going to start thinking of a million and one scenarios of what’s going on “down there”.

‘They don’t know how good the operation is. When I’ve slept with men and after it’s gone a couple of months, I’ve told them.

‘They’ve said, “It’s impossible, I’d know. No operation can do that.”‘

She added: ‘I think guys’ reaction will be, “I’d still give her one.”

“I’d just want them to go, “Here’s a woman, what’s the problem?”‘

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Aimee Maddonna Was Told She’s The ‘Wrong’ Kind Of Christian To Help Foster Kids. AU Says That’s Discrimination – And We’re Suing.

From Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

by Liz Hayes
Feb 15, 2019

Aimee Maddonna, a South Carolina mother of three, knows firsthand the impact a loving family can have on foster children.

Aimee was raised alongside both biological and foster siblings because her father – who grew up in the system at a time when foster parents weren’t well-vetted – opened their home to hundreds of the most vulnerable foster kids. Aimee’s parents weren’t wealthy, but they made sure each child was welcomed and had happy memories.

Aimee’s father instilled in her the desire to help children in need, so Aimee and her family began looking for opportunities to volunteer with a foster care agency near their home.

Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest taxpayer-funded foster care agency in the state, stood out because of their prominent advertising. Plus, the agency allows children as well as adults to volunteer. Because Aimee’s own children have special needs, she wanted the whole family to volunteer to make sure they had a good connection before taking the next step of fostering.

Miracle Hill told Aimee her family was a great fit to help these children. Then the agency asked what church the Maddonnas attended. After learning they are Catholic, Miracle Hill turned the family away, saying they will only work with evangelical Protestants – not Catholics, Jews or people of any other faith.

“I’ve never considered myself a religious minority until that moment,” Aimee told The Associated Press today. “I had to tell my kids that, because we’re Catholic, we can’t take these kids out for ice cream and cheer them on at their games. I was devastated.”

Instead of denouncing this discrimination, the Trump administration and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster doubled down, sanctioning the government-funded religious discrimination. Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a policy allowing all government-funded foster care agencies in South Carolina to explicitly reject parents and volunteers who don’t share their religious beliefs; McMaster issued a similar order last year.

While this policy only applies to South Carolina for now, it sets a dangerous nationwide precedent that could have a significant and lasting impact on our most vulnerable children. There are nearly 5,000 children in foster care in South Carolina, and nearly a half-million kids in care nationwide. By allowing agencies to turn away qualified parents, these kids will spend even longer in an already overburdened system instead of being welcomed into loving, stable homes.

Americans United won’t allow the narrow religious beliefs of a government-funded agency to override the best interest of America’s most vulnerable children or our fundamental principle of religious freedom.

That’s why we filed a federal lawsuit today on Aimee’s behalf – to stop the federal government and South Carolina from authorizing and encouraging religious discrimination with taxpayer dollars. Because no child should be denied an opportunity for a loving and stable home when one is available to them, and no one should face religious discrimination from a publicly funded agency.

“At its heart, this case is about two of our country’s most sacred principles: defending religious freedom for all and protecting vulnerable children,” said Rachel Laser, AU’s president and CEO. “It is unconscionable – and unconstitutional – that an amazing mother like Aimee Maddonna and her loving family are barred from helping children in need because they are the ‘wrong’ religion. We will not allow this country to return to the days of ‘no Catholics or Jews allowed.’”

For Aimee and her family, while they were devastated by the discrimination, she’s most concerned for the kids they aren’t able to help.

“It was demoralizing to hear we are not good enough because we aren’t the right kind of Christians,” Aimee said. “It was difficult for my family, of course, but at the end of the day my kids still have parents. These foster children need and deserve to have someone looking out for them – and the government is taking that away. That isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it isn’t necessary.”

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Jackie Shane, Transgender Pioneer of 1960s Soul Music, Dies at 78

From The New York Times:

By Liam Stack
Feb. 22, 2019

Jackie Shane, a black transgender soul singer who packed nightclubs in 1960s Toronto before she stepped out of the spotlight for decades, only to re-emerge with a Grammy-nominated record in her 70s, has died. She was 78.

Her death was confirmed by Douglas Mcgowan, her producer and friend. He said her body was found at her home in Nashville on Thursday. He said he did not know when she had died or the cause.

Almost five decades passed between Ms. Shane’s 1960s career in Canada and her 2018 Grammy nomination for best historical album, for “Any Other Way.” The record introduced her to a new generation of fans, and today her face is part of a towering mural in downtown Toronto.

“I do believe that it’s like destiny,” Ms. Shane told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation this month. “I really feel that I have made a place for myself with wonderful people. What I have said, what I have done, they say it makes their lives better.”

Jackie Shane was born in Nashville on May 15, 1940, and grew up as a black transgender child in the Jim Crow South. But she made her name after she moved to Toronto around 1959, becoming a force in its music scene and packing its nightclubs.

She scored the No. 2 spot on the Canadian singles chart in 1963 with her silky cover of William Bell’s “Any Other Way.” The song is about putting on a brave face for the friend of an ex-girlfriend, but Ms. Shane gave it a subversive twist when she sang, “Tell her that I’m happy, tell her that I’m gay.”

Ms. Shane said she identified as female from the age of 13, but throughout her 1960s career she was publicly referred to as a man. Speaking to The New York Times in 2017, she said she sometimes described herself to peers as gay.

“I was just being me,” she said. “I never tried to explain myself to anyone — they never explained themselves to me.”

As a child, she said, her unabashed femininity and unwavering self-confidence turned heads. In 2017, she told The Times about a grade school bully who unwisely threw a stone at her. The rock hit her, and the bully’s fate was sealed.

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Anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan Teams Up With Notorious Holocaust Denier at Saviours’ Day 2019 Conference

From The Anti-Defamation League:

February 17, 2019

Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam teamed up with a Holocaust denier and anti-Semitic ideologue to attack the Jewish religion and blame numerous ills of modern society on Jews, during the keynote event at the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day conference in Chicago.

Speaking before a crowd of several thousand at the United Center and an unknown number on a livestream, Farrakhan was preceded by Michael A. Hoffman II, who suggested that ancient Jewish texts are equivalent to teachings “from the church of satan.” Hoffman is a well-known Holocaust denier who has denounced belief in the “fake homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau,” though he did not reiterate those beliefs at this event.

When he took the podium, Farrakhan unleashed a torrent of attacks on Jews, claiming that anti-black racism “was started by Jewish rabbinical leaders” in ancient times, and that Jewish racism towards Africans is ultimately responsible for the “enslavement… colonization…dehumanization…[and] denial of self-determination” to black people throughout history. Farrakhan based much of his mischaracterization of Judaism on a distorted reading of the Talmud, an ancient compilation of legal and ethical debates among rabbis. Attacks on the Talmud were first instigated by Christian and Muslim polemicists in the early Middle Ages, and have become a staple of extreme anti-Semitic ideologues. Tonight Farrakhan claimed that Talmud created “the poisonous belief that justified and guided the entire institution of the transatlantic slave trade and the continuous exploitation of our people.” He also attempted to sow ill will between Jews and African Americans by saying that “sharecropping can be traced to the Talmud.”

Farrakhan reiterated classic anti-Semitic beliefs about Jews and money, claiming for example that Jewish principles “have exploited the American people through institutional usury and predatory lending practices.” He rehashed the tired cliché that the federal reserve is run by “a family of rich Jews.”

Farrakhan also blamed Jews for “pervasive rape culture…sex trafficking and prostitution,” and for emasculating black men. The latter theme was elaborated upon in an earlier speech by NOI official Brother Wesley Muhammad, who said that “Jewish genius had feminized the black male. The NOI is standing in between the demasculazination of the black man… this is why they hate Farrakhan.” Farrakhan outrageously claimed that ancient Jewish texts condone pedophilia, and that “pedophilia and sexual perversion exercises in Hollywood can be traced back” to Jewish religious texts.

Several times Farrakhan attempted to link current Israeli policy with his allegations against Jews and Judaism. When he attacked Jews for allegedly valuing the lives of their six million coreligionists who died in the Holocaust over the lives of all the other non-Jews on the planet, he added, “That’s how cheap they think of Palestinian life. The life of the gentiles. Only their life is sacred.” Later in the speech he referred to Israel’s effort to come to grips with an influx of refugees from Africa, saying, “Israel sees the black youth as a problem for them. Israel, a government after black youth. Well let me tell you something Israel, you’re making a very big mistake and you’re hastening your doom. You leave my black brothers and sisters alone because you fear what they’re gonna become because they listen to Farrakhan.”

Referring to the controversy over the struggles of Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, and Carmen Perez to forthrightly condemn Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic bigotry, Farrakhan claimed that “the wicked Jews want to use me to break up the women’s movement.”

Farrakhan also claimed that “talmudic principles run the American jurisprudence system” and have informed the movement to create and maintain the right to legal abortion in this country. He described Margaret Sanger, who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. and established organizations that served as the precursors for Planned Parenthood, as a “so-called Jewish woman,” who “didn’t want black babies so she tried to get rid of as many as she could.” In fact, Sanger was of Irish Catholic extraction.

See also JTA: Louis Farrakhan accuses ‘wicked Jews’ of using him to ‘break up the women’s movement’

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Right-wing media and think tanks are aligning with fake feminists who dehumanize trans people

From Media Matters:

TERFs use feminist vocabulary but are aligned with national anti-LGBTQ groups

February 26, 2019

Tucker Carlson recently hosted Julia Beck, a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” or “TERF,” in a segment promoting the illusion that there is an important divide over the importance of transgender rights within the LGBTQ community.

Beck and other TERFs claim to be feminists, but they hold vehemently anti-trans views and are widely rejected by LGBTQ advocates and organizations. In fact, TERF groups and activists have joined with right-wing, anti-LGBTQ organizations around the country in lawsuits against trans rights.

Beck’s appearance on Fox was just the latest example of right-wing figures and groups promoting TERFs, who use feminist vocabulary to disguise their anti-trans bigotry.

TERFs have appeared on right-wing media and at right-wing events

Beck appeared on the February 12 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss her recent removal from Baltimore’s LGBTQ commission for her anti-trans views. During the segment, Beck, who is a lesbian, said, “Women have been speaking out about this for decades, but we have been effectively silenced. Many women like myself have been pushed out … simply because we acknowledge biological reality.” She also claimed that transgender identities are “opposed to biological reality,” said she doesn’t “think it’s fair to lump us all into the same acronym,” and pushed the thoroughly debunked myth that trans-inclusive policies threaten the safety of women and girls.

Beck has also appeared at the anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation as part of a panel of people labeled as being “from the Left” who oppose the Equality Act, a bill that would add “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to existing nondiscrimination laws. The January event was moderated by Ryan T. Anderson, an anti-LGBTQ activist who has previously hosted other TERF activists at the Heritage Foundation to attack trans-inclusive legislation.

On the panel, Beck said, “There are only three sexualities — homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual; all the hip new identities in the alphabet soup like nonbinary, gender-fluid, [and] pansexual are not actually sexualities. Neither is transgender.” She added that the “T” in LGBTQ is “diametrically opposed to the first three letters” and claimed that transgender identities “undermine and erase homosexuals.” She also said the definition of a woman is limited to an “adult human female,” echoing a rallying cry of the U.K.-based TERF movement.

Beck spoke on the panel alongside Kara Dansky, a leader of the TERF group Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) who has also appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight. During her 2017 interview, Dansky said, “We’re called transphobic bigots because we ask questions about gender identity. We’re asking questions and we’re standing up for women and girls.”

Another TERF activist has recently leveraged her anti-trans beliefs into a flood of sympathetic coverage from right-wing outlets.

Meghan Murphy, who founded the pro-TERF blog Feminist Current, is suing Twitter after she was banned from the platform for intentionally misgendering and deadnaming a transgender person. Deadnaming is the act of calling a transgender person by the name given to them at birth that they no longer use and that does not align with their gender identity, and it is a violation of Twitter’s new hateful conduct policy. Right-wing media rushed to cover Murphy’s lawsuit after she posted a YouTube video about the ban, leading to favorable coverage from Quillette, The Federalist, National Review, The Daily Wire, Townhall, The Spectator, LifeSiteNews, the Washington Examiner, and The Daily Caller.

Right-wing media suggest TERFs are liberals; in fact, they’re aligned with extreme right groups

Right-wing outlets seized on Murphy’s self-identification as a “feminist” as evidence that anti-trans reactionaries do not solely come from the far-right. On his Fox show, Carlson similarly identified Beck as a feminist and claimed that WoLF leader Dansky is a “radical feminist” and “not on the right at all.” And during their appearance together on the Heritage Foundation panel, which was titled “The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left,” Beck expressed her surprise at participating in an event hosted by a conservative think tank.

TERFs’ embrace of supposedly feminist aesthetics and rhetoric can make it more difficult for media consumers to identify what they really stand for, and right-wing media take advantage of this confusion to push the illusion that activists “on the Left” share their anti-trans agenda. But TERFs are distinctly on the side of right-wing groups, and they have even allied with the efforts of national anti-LGBTQ groups to oppose trans rights in the judicial system.

In 2016, WoLF sued the Obama administration after it issued guidance to public schools regarding transgender students’ access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. In the suit, WoLF alleged that these accommodations would lead to “indecent exposure” and “voyeurism” — a claim that has been repeatedly and thoroughly debunked. In reality, transgender people are more likely to be victims of harassment, assault, and discrimination in bathrooms than to be perpetrators of such crimes.

In G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, WoLF submitted an amicus brief filed jointly with the Family Policy Alliance, a national anti-LGBTQ group with an alliance of state groups that work to deny LGBTQ people their civil rights. The brief argued against extending Title IX protections — which “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance” — to include gender identity. WoLF’s brief was submitted in support of a school district that refused to accommodate the needs of a transgender student.

WoLF also filed a brief in the Doe v. Boyertown Area School District case in support of a client of the extreme anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, who sued his school district for allowing transgender boys to use the same restrooms and locker rooms as him.

Another coalition, called Hands Across the Aisle, which includes TERFs as well as conservative Christians, has also been actively supporting anti-LGBTQ groups in their legal actions against transgender civil rights. Like WoLF, the group filed an amicus brief in the Boyertown case supporting ADF’s efforts to roll back protections for transgender students.

Hands Across the Aisle also wrote a 2017 letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson urging him to rescind protections implemented by the Obama administration in 2016 for transgender people seeking assistance in homeless shelters. The letter was signed by dozens of leaders of various anti-LGBTQ groups such as the Family Policy Alliance, Concerned Women for America, and the Texas Eagle Forum. (A prominent member of Hands Across the Aisle, Meg Kilgannon, was recently interviewed on Fox’s The Ingraham Angle about the group’s opposition to transgender athletes.)

One prominent TERF has also connected with extremist movements overseas to support reactionary movements seemingly unrelated to her anti-trans agenda. Kellie-Jay Minshull, who goes by Posie Parker, recently traveled to Norway for a conference where she posed with far-right Hungarian politician, Holocaust denier, and Islamophobe Hans Lysglimt Johansen.

Additionally, Parker has repeatedly expressed support for far-right anti-Muslim activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson. Robinson, another former Tucker Carlson Tonight guest, has also expressed anti-trans views in a video for far-right media outlet The Rebel.

Right-wing media misleadingly suggest TERFs demonstrate a division within the LGBTQ community

The idea that TERFs are liberal feminists — bolstered by right-wing media — helps create the illusion of a growing division within the LGBTQ community over transgender civil rights. In reality, mainstream LGBTQ rights organizations support and campaign for transgender civil rights, and lesbian institutions such as the Dyke March explicitly champion issues impacting transgender and gender-nonconforming people while also preserving pride events as a form of radical protest. Civil liberties advocates have also taken on the Trump administration’s anti-trans agenda and sued on behalf of transgender people for their right to access public accommodations. There is no such “divide” among mainstream feminists and LGBTQ advocates regarding the inclusion of transgender people in the queer community, as TERFs would like us to believe.

In a piece about U.S. TERFs for Bitch Media,Tina Vasquez wrote that the debate over transgender rights “is not just feminist-theory inside baseball. Though outspoken, politically active trans-exclusionary radical feminists are relatively few in number, their influence on legislation and mainstream perceptions of transgender people is powerful and real.”

Right-wing media figures like Carlson — who has time and again demonstrated his intimate familiarity with extremist movements and a willingness to champion their causes — are pushing a larger agenda that is anti-transgender, which includes denying trans people health care, expelling them from the military, and legally undermining their existence. And along the way, they’ll undoubtedly continue to uplift TERFs’ viewpoints under the guise of progressive feminism. But other media outlets and media consumers should be aware that nothing could be further from the truth; without transgender people leading the way, LGBTQ liberation cannot take place.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Richard & Mimi Farina

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Transgender troops, Trump officials to testify before Congress on military ban

From The Washington Blade:

by Chris Johnson
February 19, 2019

Transgender troops and Trump administration officials are set to testify before Congress on February 27 about President Trump’s transgender military ban, the Washington Blade has learned.

The House Armed Services Committee announced on Tuesday as part of it weekly scheduling announcement the personnel subcommittee, newly chaired by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) under the Democratic majority, will hold a hearing on that date on “Transgender Service Policy.”

Set to testify are transgender members of the armed forces — Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik, Army Capt. Jennifer Peace, Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King, Navy Corpsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Akira Wyatt and Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann. (Two of these witnesses — Peace and Dremann — were among the transgender service members lawmakers invited to the State of the Union address earlier this year.)

The Trump administration officials set to testify on Trump’s ban are James Stewart, who’s performing the duties of under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency. They’ll likely face questions from the subcommittee why on the Pentagon is seeking to ban transgender people from the armed forces and whether there is a medical need to do so. (The American Medical Association has concluded there is not.)

Also set to testify is Jesse Ehrenfeld, a combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan and is now a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

During the Obama administration, Ehrenfeld questioned then Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during a military town hall in Kandahar after transgender military policy. The process toward implementing openly transgender military service started shortly afterward.

Trump later sought to reverse this policy change by announcing on Twitter transgender people will no longer be able to serve in the military “in any capacity.” Although courts have until recently issued orders blocking implementation of Trump’s policy, the U.S. Supreme Court issued stays on those injunctions, essentially allowing the ban to go into effect.

(Technically, one injunction against the ban issued by a federal court in Maryland remains standing, but the order isn’t expected to last long. The U.S. Justice Department is seeking to have it dissolved following the green light from the Supreme Court.)

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BDS Is Linked To Terrorists. Just As You Suspected.

From The Forward:

Peter Lerner
February 4, 2019

For years, we have heard various claims from Israeli officials positing that the global movement to boycott Israel, known as the BDS Movement, is tainted and controlled by extreme anti-Israel individuals who are unconcerned with the human rights of Palestinians which they claim to champion.

However, until this week, no incriminating evidence had ever been provided.

All that changed when a report by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs provided conclusive evidence that the energy of terrorists and their organizations has infiltrated, and is even driving, the BDS activities.

The report reveals direct ties between numerous boycott groups and US, Canada, and EU-designated terror organizations such as Hamas and the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“Hamas and PFLP operatives have infiltrated and adopted seemingly benign NGOs in the Palestinian Authority, Europe, North America and South Africa, for the purpose of advancing their ideological goal: the elimination of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people,” reads the report. “Convicted terrorist operatives who have served prison sentences currently hold senior positions in NGOs which delegitimize and promote the BDS campaign against Israel. In these positions, they recruit fellow terrorist operatives to their NGOs. Israeli courts have determined that some of the terrorist operatives listed in this report pose a concrete security threat.”

Until I read this report, I have always remained a moderate voice. I have advocated listening to criticism of Israel and its policies, even when uncomfortable for us. But as BDS it looks like we’ve all been duped.

Read more:

See also: Documenting the BDS Movement’s Undisputed Ties to Terrorism

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Bari Weiss and Deborah Lipstadt discuss the rise of antisemitism at home and abroad

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Anti-LGBT Groups Launch Movement Against Federal Equality Act

From The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Hatewatch Staff
February 08, 2019

Anti-LGBT hate group leaders and activists recently launched a new project, the #Gone2Far movement (GTFM), to oppose H.R. 2282, the federal Equality Act, which seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections for the categories of a person’s sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The GTFM officially debuted at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 5, where participants decried the Equality Act, which has been introduced in Congress in one form or another since 1974 but has never passed. It has renewed support in 2019 from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is committed to passing it.

The GTFM attempts to link LGBT people to pedophilia and refers to the Equality Act as “The Pedophilia Act.” The movement’s website is filled with false assertions that LGBT people are attempting to recruit or assault children.

The site includes a “Proclamation for Morality” and claims that “the consumption of fecal matter” is a common sexual practice among gay men, and homosexuality is a behavioral choice caused by childhood sexual abuse, a common myth among anti-LGBT activists. Visitors to the site are invited to sign their name in support.

The following people spoke at the press conference:

  • Scott Lively, best-known for being sued for violating human rights in Uganda and for the pseudohistorical book The Pink Swastika, which claimed gay men were responsible for the Nazi party and the Holocaust
  • Peter LaBarbera, director of anti-LGBT hate group Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH), who believes that pedophilia “is a subset of the larger deviance of homosexuality”
  • Randy Short, an advocate of anti-LGBT and anti-Soros conspiracy theories
  • Stephen Broden, senior pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship, Dallas, Texas, and a Texas Republican congressional candidate with Tea Party ties who peddles conspiracy theories and rails against the “New World Order”
  • Stephen Black, executive director of Oklahoma’s ex-gay ministry First Stone Ministries
  • Dan Fisher, pastor and former Oklahoma state representative who introduced an anti-trans bathroom bill into the state legislature

Each speaker expressed a litany of grievances against LGBT people and the Equality Act during the over 90-minute event, with a focus on homosexuality and “transgenderism” as behaviors that are not immutable characteristics and therefore are ineligible for protection under the Civil Rights Act.

Randy Short, the first speaker, set the tone of the event, proclaiming, “Today is the day that we declare war on those who are ungodly, unbiblical and wicked.” Short went on to say that “we are sick and tired of all the deviants, all the eugenicists, all the homophiles coming out of the closet to destroy this country.” “We have a group,” Short said, in reference to LGBT people, “that nobody wants, that has decided like a parasite to hook itself to the history and legacy of the African American people.”

Other speakers offered warnings about the “homosexual and pedophile agendas.” Stephen Black claimed bans on pseudoscientific and harmful conversion (ex-gay) therapy are a way to “take our sexually confused youth and bind them into LGBTQ chaos.” Scott Lively warned of nondiscrimination policies including LGBT people that are “the seed that contains the entire tree of the LGBT agenda and all of its poisonous fruit.” According to Lively, LGBT people are introducing the pedophilia agenda through the “transgenderization of the children” while Peter LaBarbera said that nondiscrimination means discrimination against Christians.

GTFM is currently promoting the upcoming “God’s Voice: A Biblical Response to the Queering of the Church” conference, slated for Oklahoma City on Feb. 22 and 23. LaBarbera and Black, members of the GTFM organizing committee, will also be spreading their message there.

My patient swapped chemotherapy for essential oils. Arguing is a fool’s errand

From The Guardian UK:

I wish that as an oncologist I could see off quackery through good communication. Unfortunately that doesn’t work

Wed 13 Feb 2019

“Tell me why I should have your chemotherapy when I can be healed naturally!”

His face is set, his arms defensively squared. His friend carries a pamphlet that features a suspiciously healthy woman with glamorous hair and a glowing complexion. This is the urgent appointment of the day, for whom other patients were hastily shuffled to make room.

I know I shouldn’t take the bait but, like an addict, I have the urge to say:

Go ahead then, be healed. And I will almost certainly see you again, emaciated, ruined, lamenting the fact that it’s too late.

Thankfully, the code of conduct glides in. I imagine his dread. I remember my position. And I say: “Tell me more.”

I hear about the man who uses waves, the woman who boosts immunity and the seller of pure herbs. They are the healers – 100% convincing, 100% certified by a gaggle of secret Facebook users.

He asks: “What’s the guarantee of your chemo, anyway?”

I have perfected my retort during sleepless nights.

In life there are no guarantees but you have a curable cancer. Yes, there will be side effects but we can manage them. No, I can’t guarantee a cure, but I’d recommend evidence-based treatment any day over the magnet that purportedly draws out cancer cells. And while we are there, it’s not my chemotherapy. Your taxes fund my job but I don’t profit from giving you chemo.

But how many times have I heard that if oncologists hectored a little less and listened a little more, we might win more hearts?

So I bite my tongue again, thinking of the alarmed nurse who begged me to change his mind. As I talk him through his various options from least to most intensive, I remember the patient who swapped chemotherapy for essential oils, the one who chose to “burn” the tumour out and the one who suggested I become a sales representative for a life-saving juice.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: Chet Baker

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Denied Health Care for Being Trans

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Ilhan Omar’s Very Bad Tweets

From The New York Times:

Left-wing anti-Semitism is a gift to the right.

By Michelle Goldberg
Feb. 11, 2019

Last October, after a crude mail bomb was found in George Soros’s mailbox, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who is now the House minority leader, tweeted, “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer and Bloomberg to buy this election!” The tweet, since deleted, was referring to Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, both of them, like Soros, Jews who are often the object of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Speaking on CNN, Steyer, who had also been sent a mail bomb, described McCarthy’s tweet as a “straight-up anti-Semitic move.”

So it was a bit rich when, last week, McCarthy posed as the indignant defender of the Jewish people, threatening to force congressional action against two freshman Democratic representatives, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, for their criticism of Israel.

It would have been easy enough for either Omar or Tlaib to point out McCarthy’s cynical hypocrisy. Instead, Omar responded with a blithely incendiary tweet quoting Puff Daddy’s ode to the power of money: “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” When an editor at The Forward, a Jewish publication, asked who Omar thinks is paying American politicians to be pro-Israel, she responded, “Aipac!,” meaning the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the United States’ most prominent pro-Israel lobby.

Consciously or not, Omar invoked a poisonous anti-Semitic narrative about Jews using their money to manipulate global affairs. This came just weeks after she’d had to apologize for a 2012 tweet in which she said that Israel had “hypnotized” the world, phrasing that also recalled old canards about occult Jewish power. Her words were a gift to Republicans, who seek to divide the Democrats over Israel, even as their president traffics in anti-Semitic imagery and stereotypes. The knives were out for Omar and she ran right into them.

On Monday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership rebuked Omar and called on her to apologize for her “use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.” It was a depressing fall from grace for someone who just weeks ago was being feted as a path breaker, a refugee from Somalia who, alongside Tlaib, rose to become one of America’s first two Muslim congresswomen.

Omar herself has been subject to vicious Islamophobic smears, and has also come under attack for supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic pressure to secure Palestinian rights. Perhaps such criticism is why she’s sometimes seemed unwilling or unable to distinguish between disingenuous political pile-ons and good-faith calls to respect Jewish sensitivities. But whether from carelessness or callousness, her weekend tweets damaged her political allies and squandered some of her own hard-won power.

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Why Anti-Semitism on the Left Hurts Me More

This is why we have a special name for those trans hating bigots who proclaim themselves to be feminists and or lesbians.  Bigotry hurts far more when it comes from people we believe to be on the same side we are on.  We almost expect it from our enemies, but from people we think of as friends?

From Lilith:

By Rabbi Susan Silverman
January 24, 2019

Someone asked me incredulously if the anti-semitism on the left really upset me more/made me feel the need for a Jewish state more than the Pittsburgh. (And then went on to describe the evils of Israel.) Oh yes, yes, the anti-semitism on the left does hurt and scare me more. Not that it’s worse. Just in terms of how I feel able to function in the world, it is much more impactful.

Trump-types’ hatred of me means there are people I do not identify with who don’t want me. But when the people who are my refuge, who I want to make a home with me (meaning a home in the world), who I long to celebrate for and with when they succeed–when these people see me, Israel, Jews (except their approved Jews, maybe, relishing this potential division from each other?) as uniquely evil and worthy of being pointed out as so, Haman-style—whether we are relevant or not to the issue at hand—I fear that I have no home in the world at large.

I will always, I pray, hold onto my values for human rights and justice and compassion and fight for them in the U.S. and in Israel, and many of those values are shared with these same people. But I fear they don’t want flawed but trying hard me, us—and in fact see us as worthy of more hatred, less deserving of existence, as anyone else in this world. As generations have not wanted us before, have seen our sins as the whole of us and uniquely powerful and cruel.

I guess I can understand, now, the disbelief we read about when Jews’ friends, neighbors, compatriots turned against us in the past. I always thought now is different. It’s not.

Please don’t respond to this with any unkindness. Right now I just need support. I don’t claim to be the first of anyone to feel this way. Or that people of other groups, especially People of Color, have not also felt this way forever, and I hope I have lived a life of empathy and sisterhood in that regard. But right now am so very heartbroken and afraid.

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Felicia Elizondo’s Wild Memories of Trans Life in 60s San Francisco

When I read these stories I’m reminded how briefly I was part of any sort of “Trans-Community”.  I had different communities and a few friends who were trans and also tended to not be part of the “Trans-Community”.

From Broadly Vice:

In the 60s, activist and entertainer Felicia Elizondo was a regular at San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria, the site of a historic 1966 riot for trans rights, and the only place she felt free as a transgender woman.

by Zackary Drucker
Dec 12 2018

Coming of age as a Mexican-American “sissy” in 1950s Texas, a “hair fairy” in 1960s San Francisco, and finally as a transsexual woman in the 1970s, Felicia Elizondo’s memories are a vivid and spectacular rendering of trans life in the latter half of the 20th century. And as an activist, historian, entertainer, and long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS, her work in the decades-long movement for trans rights is a testament to our adaptability, fortitude, and industrious ability to build community in the margins.

Felicia was a regular patron of San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria, a refuge for queens and transgender people in the 60s, and the site of the historic 1966 Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, when patrons of the diner fought back against discrimination by police. She is also featured in Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, a 2005 documentary about the uprising co-directed and produced by Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman. Her stories of time spent there reveal a particular moment and place, where trans people were able to create chosen family and thrive in each other’s care, that is still not widely recognized—even as part of LGBTQ history.

Punctuated by moments of presenting as male in the first act of her life—to avoid arrest for cross-dressing, to satisfy a male benefactor, or to prove her manhood to her mother by joining the army and serving in the Vietnam War—the interludes of Felicia’s survival are well traversed terrain for trans folks. Her memories amount to a wild and explosive ride that proves the accuracy of her nickname, Felicia “Flames.”

ZACKARY DRUCKER: Tell me about when you first came to San Francisco.

FELICIA ELIZONDO: Let me tell you a little bit about my past life, okay? I was born Felipe Alvarado Alessandro in San Angelo, Texas. I’m Mexican American. My birth certificate says that I’m white. In those days, anything that was not “colored” was white, and Black people were colored. Those days, everybody had their own community. Whites had their own community, Blacks had their community, and Latinos had their own community.

I was raised a little sissy boy. Everybody called me “joto,” “queer,” “sissy,” and all that stuff. I was wondering, how come they’re calling [that]? I don’t even know the meaning of all these words, and they’re calling me all these names just because I’m feminine. We were raised in a place where queers, sissies, and jotos were in the closet—they were pushed back somewhere. But I was very flamboyant. I had these little hot pants on before hot pants was even in style. When I was around maybe seven or eight, I was wearing hot pants, girl.

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When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

There are a lot of people in this country who suffer from chronic pain.

The latest battle in the never ending War on Drugs, which is really the Prison Industrial Complex’s real purpose behind ginning up the “Opioid Crisis” which is the current version of the Meth Crisis and the Crack Cocaine Crisis.  The real Crisis is the Prison Industrial Complex is losing bodies for which it gets paid as the War on Pot winds down.

People who suffer debilitating pain are the real causalities of  Prison Industrial Complex’s “Opioid Crisis”.  People who suffer because they can no longer get their prescribed drugs that ease physical pain.

As for the Junkies… Addicts always find a way and most of these deaths are being caused by street drugs.

From The New York Times:

In an effort to reduce opioid addiction, doctors are cutting back on pain medication — and sometimes leaving patients to suffer.

Maia Szalavitz
Feb. 9, 2019

Katie Tulley suffers from an incurable bladder disorder so painful that it feels “like tearing skin off your arm and pouring acid on it, 24/7,” she said. On scans, the organ looks like an open sore.

Ms. Tulley, a 37-year-old Louisianan who used to work with autistic children, manages her pain with a fentanyl patch. The opioid gives her a few precious hours out of bed to help her parents, do online volunteer work and occasionally leave home for something other than a medical visit. “I don’t get a euphoric feeling,” she said, noting that she has lowered her dose to avoid feeling woozy and impaired.

Now, because of legal concerns about overdose risk, her doctors have considered stopping her medication, even though she has never misused it. And so, when she recently discovered a suspicious lump in her belly, she found herself hoping it was cancer. “I shouldn’t ‘want’ cancer,” she said. “But at this point it’s the only way to be treated” for her pain.

As many as 18 million patients rely on opioids to treat long-term pain that is intractable but not necessarily associated with terminal illness. In 2016, seeking to curb opioid misuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced guidelines outlining a maximum safe dosage and strongly urging doctors to avoid prescribing for chronic pain unless death is imminent. The guidelines were supposed to be voluntary and apply only to chronic pain patients seeing general practitioners. Instead, they have been widely seen by doctors as mandatory.

As a result, thousands of pain medication recipients have had their doses reduced or eliminated. But this attempt to save people from addiction is leaving many patients in perpetual pain — and thus inadvertently ruining, or even ending, lives.

A Veterans Health Administration study found alarming rates of suicidal acts “following discontinuation of opioid therapy.” Human Rights Watch recently released a report detailing the struggles of chronic pain patients in the United States to find relief and care as a result of government efforts to reduce prescriptions.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrats unveil Green New Deal plan: full speech

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Andrew Sullivan, the Thinking Gay Man’s Milo Yiannopoulos, Spews Praise of TERFs

I always knew Andy was kind of a stick up the ass right wing POS but I didn’t realize how much of a bigot the lad actually is.

Time for a new acronym for nasty right wing gay men who are anti-trans bigots

From New York Magazine:

The Nature of Sex

By Andrew Sullivan
Feb. 1, 2019

It might be a sign of the end-times, or simply a function of our currently scrambled politics, but earlier this week, four feminist activists — three from a self-described radical feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front — appeared on a panel at the Heritage Foundation. Together they argued that sex was fundamentally biological, and not socially constructed, and that there is a difference between women and trans women that needs to be respected. For this, they were given a rousing round of applause by the Trump supporters, religious-right members, natural law theorists, and conservative intellectuals who comprised much of the crowd. If you think I’ve just discovered an extremely potent strain of weed and am hallucinating, check out the video of the event.

I’ve no doubt that many will see these women as anti-trans bigots, or appeasers of homophobes and transphobes, or simply deranged publicity seekers. (The moderator, Ryan Anderson, said they were speaking at Heritage because no similar liberal or leftist institution would give them space or time to make their case.) And it’s true that trans-exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs, as they are known, are one minority that is actively not tolerated by the LGBTQ establishment, and often demonized by the gay community. It’s also true that they can be inflammatory, offensive, and obsessive. But what interests me is their underlying argument, which deserves to be thought through, regardless of our political allegiances, sexual identities, or tribal attachments. Because it’s an argument that seems to me to contain a seed of truth. Hence, I suspect, the intensity of the urge to suppress it.

The title of the Heritage panel conversation — “The Inequality of the Equality Act” — refers to the main legislative goal for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ lobbbying group in the US. The proposed Equality Act — a federal nondiscrimination bill that has been introduced multiple times over the years in various formulations — would add “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, rendering that class protected by anti-discrimination laws, just as sex is. The TERF argument is that viewing “gender identity” as interchangeable with sex, and abolishing clear biological distinctions between men and women, is actually a threat to lesbian identity and even existence — because it calls into question who is actually a woman, and includes in that category human beings who have been or are biologically male, and remain attracted to women. How can lesbianism be redefined as having sex with someone who has a penis, they argue, without undermining the concept of lesbianism as a whole? “Lesbians are female homosexuals, women who love women,” one of the speakers, Julia Beck, wrote last December, “but our spaces, resources and communities are on the verge of extinction.”

If this sounds like a massive overreach, consider the fact that the proposed Equality Act — with 201 co-sponsors in the last Congress — isn’t simply a ban on discriminating against trans people in employment, housing, and public accommodations (an idea with a lot of support in the American public). It includes and rests upon a critical redefinition of what is known as “sex.” We usually think of this as simply male or female, on biological grounds (as opposed to a more cultural notion of gender). But the Equality Act would define “sex” as including “gender identity,” and defines “gender identity” thus: “gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or characteristics, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

If you really feel the urge to read the rest of Andy’s bullshit it can be found at:

How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans

From The New York Times:

A surprisingly mainstream movement of feminists known as TERFs oppose transgender rights as a symptom of “female erasure.”

Sophie Lewis
Dr. Lewis is a feminist theorist and geographer.
Feb. 7, 2019

Last week, two British women stormed onto Capitol Hill in Washington for the purposes of ambushing Sarah McBride, the national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign.

Ms. McBride, a trans woman, had just been part of a meeting between the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council and members of Congress when the Britons — Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who goes by the name Posie Parker, and Julia Long — barged in. Heckling and misgendering Ms. McBride, the two inveighed against her supposed “hatred of lesbians” and accused her of championing “the rights of men to access women in women’s prison.”

Ms. Parker, who live-streamed footage of the harassment on Facebook, contended that she had come to Washington because “this ideology” — by which she presumably meant simply being trans — “has been imported into the U.K. by America, so, to stem the flow of female erasure, we have to come to its source.”

If the idea that transphobic harassment could be “feminist” bewilders you, you are not alone. In the United States, my adoptive home, the most visible contemporary opponents of transgender rights are right-wing evangelicals, who have little good to say about feminism. In Britain, where I used to live, the situation is different.

There, the most vocal trans-exclusionary voices are, ostensibly, “feminist” ones, and anti-trans lobbying is a mainstream activity. Case in point: Ms. Parker told the podcast “Feminist Current” that she’d changed her thinking on trans women after spending time on Mumsnet, a site where parents exchange tips on toilet training and how to get their children to eat vegetables. If such a place sounds benign, consider the words of British writer Edie Miller: “Mumsnet is to British transphobia,” she wrote “what 4Chan is to American fascism.”

The term coined to identify women like Ms. Parker and Dr. Long is TERF, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. In Britain, TERFs are a powerful force. If, in the United States, the mainstream media has been alarmingly ready to hear “both sides” on the question of trans people’s right to exist, in Britain, TERFs have effectively succeeded in framing the question of trans rights entirely around their own concerns: that is, how these rights for others could contribute to “female erasure.” Many prominent figures in British journalism and politics have been TERFs; British TV has made a sport of endlessly hosting their lurid rudeness and styling it as courage; British newspapers seemingly never tire of broadsides against the menace of “gender ideology.” (With time, the term TERF has become a catchall for all anti-trans feminists, radical or not.)

The split between the American and British center-left on this issue was thrown into sharp relief last year, when The Guardian published an editorial on potential changes to a law called the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people in Britain to self-define their gender. The editorial was headlined “Where Rights Collide,” and argued that “women’s concerns about sharing dormitories or changing rooms with ‘male-bodied’ people must be taken seriously.” Some of The Guardian’s United States-based journalists published a disavowal, arguing that the editorial’s points “echo the position of anti-trans legislators who have pushed overtly transphobic bathroom bills.”

A curious facet of the groundswell of TERFism in Britain is that, in fact, the phenomenon was born in the United States. It emerged out the shattered remnants of the 1960s New Left, a paranoid faction of American 1970s radical feminism that the historian Alice Echols termed “cultural feminism” to distinguish it, and its wounded attachment to the suffering-based femaleness it purports to celebrate, from other strands of women’s liberation.

The movement crossed over to Britain in the 1980s, when cultural feminism was among the lesbian-separatist elements of antinuclear protest groups who saw themselves as part of a “feminist resistance” to patriarchal science, taking a stand against nuclear weapons, test-tube babies and male-to-female transsexual surgery alike.

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It is revealing, however, where Ms. Parker feels she still has friends: On her same trip to Washington, the woman claiming to be a feminist, standing up for the rights of lesbians everywhere, made sure to drop by the right-wing Heritage Foundation.