Is American Conservatism Inherently Bigoted?

Conservative Bigotry

 

“Is American conservatism inherently bigoted?” asked Peter Beinart.

(Click on video at right.)

For many liberals, the answer is obviously “Yes.” President Trump’s attacks on Mexicans, Muslims, and other minorities, combined with his half-hearted repudiations of white supremacists, have made Repub­lican racism almost an article of faith in Democratic politics.

But efforts to shame conservatives have backfired horribly. “Outrage at political correctness-fueled by the conviction that charges of bigotry are used to shut down legitimate discussion-has become more central to American conservatism.”

After being constantly stigmatized as racists and homo­phobes, conservatives have adopted a siege mentality and are expressing more racial and cultural resentments.

“Liberals would be wise to recog­nize this vicious cycle” and stop wielding the epithets “racist,” “bigot,” and “anti-Semitic” so promiscuously. Republicans do bear responsibility for renouncing egregious racists in their midst, as well as policies, such as Voter ID laws, that clearly have racial consequences.

But to halt “the downward spiral” of cultural division, self-righteous liberals should re­mind themselves that values evolve over time, and that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama publicly opposed gay marriage until five years ago.

Were they bigots until 2012? “Hatred and scorn” are easy. Empathy and persuasion are hard-but without them, our divisions will only deepen.

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur “I’m a Woman”

Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur

In a country where official Jewish life is overwhelmingly Orthodox, Delphine Horvilleur is something of a
scandal, a married mother of three who defies centuries of gender norms in a manicured corner of French
public life. A cause célèbre, she remains unrecognized by France’s central Jewish authority. Extremists
regularly threaten her on social media.

She welcomes those with Jewish fathers, those who identify as LGBT and encourages community service in the name of Jewish values.

But what is perhaps most scandalous about “Madame le Rabbin,” as she is often called, transcends Jewish politics. Unlike the United States, France is a staunchly secular country that expressly bans religion from public life. In violation of that long-standing separation, Horvilleur is insisting that religion should play a role in this Western society now struggling with religious fundamentalism, both foreign and homegrown.

halal meats or that we don’t want exams on Shabbat. But it’s not that at all,” she said, sipping green tea in the cafe beneath her daughter’s dance studio. “People are in search of a dialogue with their personal identities and how they relate to their identities as a citizen.”

Uniquely, France expects its citizens to bracket their affiliations with any particular identity group in favor of “the Republic,” an abstract community of equal citizens who bear no difference from each other, at least in theory. To that end, the state refuses to collect any data on race, ethnicity or religion — categories that, officially, are not supposed to exist.

Horvilleur takes issue with this line, and her argument is that one can easily be French as well as
something else.

“I’m Jewish, yes, but I’m not just Jewish — I’m French, a woman, a mother, many things.
Whenever I say that, people always tell me, ‘Ah, what courage!’ And that just shows you how much work
there is to do.”

This month, Horvilleur published a book — “1,001 Ways of Being Jewish or Muslim” — with Rachid
Benzine, one of France’s most prominent advocates of a liberal, progressive Islam. The book is a defense of the plurality of religious identity, and a call to reclaim religions from leaders who “favor the return of obscurantisms, an isolation from the rest of the world and a rejection — sometimes deadly — of ‘others.’ “

In France, where more than 200 people have been killed in the past two years in terrorist attacks linked or inspired by Islamic State, the question of “Islamist extremism” is a mainstay of public debate. But “obscurantism” is not the exclusive province of conservative Islam, Horvilleur has argued. French Judaism is in dire need of a liberal renewal, she insists.

Federal judge tosses out Texas abortion law – again

District Judge Lee Yeakel

For the third time this year, a federal judge has tossed out an abortion-related regulation in Texas — this time a law that bans a common type of second-trimester abortion unless doctors first employ an added procedure to ensure fetal demise.

In a ruling issued Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin said the law requires doctors to use risky, unproven and medically unnecessary methods to cause fetal demise before beginning a dilation and evacuation abortion, the safest and most common such procedure after the 15th week of pregnancy.

The added procedure, typically conducted by injecting toxins into the fetus via a 4-inch needle inserted through the abdomen or vagina, carries increased risks of infection and other health complications, Yeakel wrote.

“The court is unaware of any other medical context that requires a doctor — in contravention of the doctor’s medical judgment and the best interest of the patient — to conduct a medical procedure that delivers no benefit to the woman,” he wrote.

In his ruling, Yeakel acknowledged that the state has an interest in preserving the life of a fetus, as determined by the Supreme Court. But the state’s interest does not supersede a woman’s right to an abortion, he said.

“That a woman may make the decision to have an abortion before a fetus may survive outside her womb is solely and exclusively the woman’s decision. The power to make this decision is her right,” Yeakel wrote.

“The state’s position is that the right and the interest are entitled to equal weight. But this is incorrect,” the judge added. “The state’s legitimate interest in fetal life does not allow the imposition of an additional medical procedure … not driven by medical necessity. Here, the state’s interest must give way to the woman’s right.”

At the urging of abortion providers, Yeakel temporarily blocked the Texas law on Aug. 31, the day before it was to take effect. That 14-day temporary restraining order was extended until Wednesday to allow time for Yeakel to issue a written opinion after a five-day trial on the law’s constitutionality that took place earlier this month.

Abortion rights advocates praised Wednesday’s decision.

Danica Roem First Trans Elected State Legislator

This is so precious.A republican male was running against a transgender democrat. His thing was ensuring that trans women could not use the female restroom. He was defeated by a transgender woman.

danica roem

State Legislator Danica Roem

Associated Press 11/09/2017.

Richmond Virginia – A Virginia woman who is set to become the first openly transgender person to get elected and serve in a state legislature in the U.S.

Roem, a former newspaper reporter and longtime metal band singer, defeated Republican Del. Bob Marshall, winning 54 percent of the 22,000 votes cast in the Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation’s capital.
She will be the only openly transgender state legislator in the U.S. and the first to both get elected and serve, according to the Victory Fund, a political action committee at works to get openly LGBTQ people elected.

Roem started her gender transition about five years ago when she was 28 and began taking hormone replacement therapy in late 20s. while she openly talks about it, saying it “fundamentally altered my life for the better” – she’s made it clear while campaigning that she would rather focus on jobs, schools and improving Route 28, one of the area’s most congested thoroughfares.

“I’m going to bring a reporter’s sensibilities here to Richmond so that we can actually accomplish the things I’m setting out to do without hyperbole, without discrimination.”

Working as a reporter taught her how to listen and understand people, she said on her campaign website.

No matter where you come from, how you worship, or who you love, you are welcomed and celebrated in Virginia because of who you are, not despite it.

Her opponent was a lightning rod for controversy, sponsoring a bill that would have restricted which bath rooms transgender people could use.

On the campaign trail Marshall and other Republicans repeatedly misidentified Roem’s gender.

The Launch of Magic

Michelle Promaulayko

Michelle Promaulayko

“We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time, and the beauty of this amazing moment we’re living in is that we’re finally starting to break free from those roles. Women, especially, are realizing that they no longer have to conform to certain standards of social and sexual behavior, and this changes what they need from men and the role of men in general.” – Michelle Promaulayko

This article was written by Michelle Promaulayko, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan Magazine. It appears on page 12 of the June 2017 Cosmo. This is an incredible article. It is as women libby as it gets. She obviously does not use Microsoft Word. It didn’t like her writing style at all. I even had hard time typing it. Apostrophe hell. She is “Cosmo Mag” as it gets. Maybe why she is EIC. She is real and weird. Both great qualities. My SEO plugin is telling me that this article will not rank, but that is ok. Apple watch. I expected more.

“In honor of the launch of Magic Mike in Las Vegas, my friends at Cosmo generously invited me to write something for you. The more I thought about this, the more I thought about my daughter reading this article someday. I pictured her in her late teens or early 20s, hoping to explore and discover her sexuality and dreaming about finding true love.

I tried to imagine the things I’d want her to read that would help her understand men and sex and partnership better, and at that moment, I realized a strange thing. I don’t want her looking to the outside world for answers. My highest hope for her is just that she has the fearlessness to always be her authentic self, no matter what she thinks men want her to be.

I thought about when I first met Jenna. I knew our connection was really powerful, but I wasn‘t sure what our relationship was going to be. Then one day, Jenna just blurted out that she knew exactly what she wanted in life and she didn’t have to look for it. Anymore because it was me. She had no idea what I’d say or how I’d react, to that was her truth.

I remember feeling this incredible rush – it was the sexiest thing she’s ever done for me, I felt strength, because in the moment she had accepted every part of me, and the good and the bad. And I knew she wasn’t auditioning me or hoping I’d meet some set of expectations. That radical authenticity of hers was what made me fall head over heels in love.

Before I experienced it, I wouldn’t have known how to ask for it. Now I know it’s what I was always craving. And that’s what I want for my daughter – to be expectation-less with her love and not allow preconceived standards to affect her, and to ask herself what she wants and feel empowered enough to act on it.

We all know that every one of us is different and has a unique road map to our heart. We learn how to navigate it by leaping into love with both feet and giving our full selves without expecting anything in return. So I guess if there’s one thing that I think men want women know, it’s just that they alone are enough. When more women start to truly feel this power in themselves the world will become so magical, it makes my head hurt.

We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time, and the beauty of this amazing moment we’re living in is that we’re finally starting to break free from those roles. Women, especially, are realizing that they no longer have to conform to certain standards of social and sexual behavior, and this changes what they need from men and the role of men in general.

I decided to turn Magic Mike into a live show because I wanted to create a space where we could really explore these themes in a fun, provocative way. I want women to feel what it’s like to exist in a world where men really listen to them, where they treat them like goddesses, and where they can feel comfortable and proud to experience the full force of their sexual energy together. I want them to experience a place where they are much more than enough. If that intrigues you, please come check out our show and let us know how we’re doing. Thank you so much for reading, and thank you to Cosmo for allowing me to share!”

Love, Michele

About Michelle P

Cosmopolitan Magazine, Hearst Publishing

Killer of a Transgender Woman Gets 49 Years

Mercedes Wiliamson

Mercedes Williamson

Transgender Woman Mercedes Williamson

For the first time in the U.S., a person will be sentenced on federal hate crimes charges for killing a transgender person.

The case has been closely watched by LGBT groups nationwide, who cite studies showing transgender people are particularly likely to be victims of violent crimes.

Williamson was born male but transitioned to a female. Prosecutors say Vallum and Williamson dated and that he killed his transgender girlfriend because he worried fellow gang members would discover their relationship and kill both of them because gay sex was strictly forbidden by the Latin Kings gang.

Joshua Vallum is scheduled to appear before a federal judge Monday in Gulfport, Mississippi, after pleading guilty in December to hate crimes charges in the 2015 death of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. could sentence Vallum to as long as life in prison without parole.

In his defense, Vallum initially told sheriff’s deputies and later told The Sun Herald newspaper that he found out that Williamson had a penis on May 30, 2015 — moments before he killed her. He said he “blacked out” and doesn’t remember the crime, a variation of what’s known as a “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense.

He declined to speak with the AP in a March letter, citing advice from his lawyer, but could talk to the judge Monday about the issue.

Prosecutors have said Vallum knew of Williamson’s transgender status long before he killed her, citing a witness in a state court proceeding who testified that Vallum and Williamson had sex multiple times while the witness was a roommate with Williamson.

The roommate also testified that Vallum once told her and Williamson his gang would kill both Vallum and Williamson if Williamson’s transgender status was discovered.

Vallum didn’t contest evidence in court that he long knew Williamson was transgender. Federal prosecutor Julia Gegenheimer said during Vallum’s plea hearing in December that he began planning to kill Williamson after a friend called him May 28 to say he’d discovered her identity.

Vallum lured Williamson into a car in Alabama and drove her 50 miles (80 kilometers) to his family home near Lucedale, Mississippi, prosecutors have said. He shocked her with a stun gun and stabbed her in the body and head with a pocketknife, they added. They also said that when she tried to run into the woods, he chased her down and bashed her head with a hammer.

Transgender Killers

Texas Legislature Seeks to dis-allow Foster Care Placement with LGBT Couples

Foster Care

The hugely overburdened child welfare systems seeks to worsen it by not allowing placement with LGBT couples.
Divided largely along party lines, the Texas House approved a bill Wednesday that would allow faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender households over religious objections.

Supporters, most of them Republicans, said HB 3859 would protect the free practice of religion while keeping essential Christian organizations in the child-welfare system, which is plagued by a shortage of homes for children who had been abused or neglected.

The 93-49 vote sent House Bill 3859 to the Senate, where similar legislation has been stalled in committee.
Led by Democrats, opponents said the bill would allow for state-sanctioned discrimination under the guise of religion, favoring conservative Christian beliefs — and potential objections to non-Christian, single or LGBT Texans — over the welfare of children.

“I never want y’all to have to go against your religion,” said Rep. Mary Gonzalez, D-Clint. “But when we use tax dollars, those tax dollars should never be used to discriminate against any Texan.”
The bill’s author, Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, said he was trying to ensure that faith-based groups can remain in business.

“This is really to give quick, clear certainty to providers so they can take care of children instead of fighting lawsuits,” he said. “We need everyone to the table to help with the foster care situation.”
Four Democrats voted for the bill — Reps. Nicole Collier of Fort Worth, Rene Oliveira of Brownsville, Terry Canales of Edinburg and Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City.

Two Republicans voted against — Reps. Sarah Davis of West University Place and Jason Villalba of Dallas.
Wednesday’s vote followed more than three hours of sometimes emotional debate on the bill Tuesday night, during which Frank said most of the opposition was based on “fabricated hysteria” by opponents.
“This provides a reasonable accommodation to those who are helping solve our foster-care crisis,” Frank said. “This bill will make more foster-care homes available.”

But Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, said she believed the bill was more about political posturing than helping children. “The idea that kids in foster care should be political pawns is just crushing,” she said.
HB 3859, with 41 Republican authors and co-authors, would allow faith-based child-welfare agencies to refuse service based on a sincerely held religious belief. The bill should not affect the choice of families for foster children, Frank said, because those decisions are made by Child Protective Services and organizations that would not be granted the right of religious refusal.
Applying to be a foster care parent in Texas

Creator of the Rainbow Flag Dies at 65

Gilbert Baker, a self-described “gay Betsy Ross” who in 1978 hand-dyed and stitched together eight strips of vibrantly colored fabric into a rainbow flag, instantly creating an enduring international symbol of gay pride, was found dead on Friday at his home in New York City. He was 65.

Cleve Jones, a friend and gay rights activist who confirmed the death, said that Baker had a stroke several years ago but had not been sick recently.

The first flags had eight colors, each stripe carrying its own signicicance: pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for magic, blue for peace and purple for spirit.

As the gay rights movement spread from San Francisco and New York in the 1970s, Baker was often asked by friends aware of his creative talents to make banners for protests and marches.

Before a gay pride parade in 1978 in San Francisco, Harvey Milk, a city supervisor and gay rights leader who was assassinated that year, joined others in asking Baker to create an emblem to represent the movement.

Baker, with help from volunteers, pieced together the first rainbow flags, unveiling them in the parade on June 25, 1978.

“A flag translates into everything, from tacky souvenirs to the names of organizations and the way that flags function,” Baker said in an interview in 2008. “I knewinstantlywhenIsawthe reaction that it was going to be something. I didn’t know what or how or — but I knew.”

The flag itself has changed since 1978, going from eight colors to six. Pink fabric was too expensive, Baker said, so it was removed,and turquoise and blue were combined into one color, royal blue.

Baker was born on June 2, 1951, in Chanute, Kan. His mother was a teacher, and his father was a lawyer and a judge. Baker said he was outgoing growing up but had always thought of himself as an outcast because he was gay.

Baker spent a year in college before he was drafted into the Army. He served as a medic and was eventually stationed in San Francisco, where he remained after leaving the Army in 1972.

After the 1978 parade, Baker joined a flag company in San Francisco that supported his idea of mass-producing his creation, but he later left for a career in art and design.

Baker refused to apply for a trademark for his flag.

“It was his gift to the world,” Jones said. “He told me when the flag first went up that he knew at that moment that it was his life’s work.”

The rise of Wild Feminism and Pussy Riot

Nadya Tolokonnikova

The rise of Wild Feminism and Pussy Riot
Lisa Gene Cox

“It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’”

Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikova (Russian: Наде́жда Андре́евна Толоко́нникова; born November 7, 1989),nicknamed “Nadya Tolokno” (Надя Толокно), is a Russian conceptual artist and political activist. She is a member of the anti-Putinist punk rock group Pussy Riot, and has a history of political activism with the controversial street art group Voina. On August 17, 2012, she was convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after a performance in Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. On December 23, 2013, she was released early with another Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina under a newly passed amnesty bill dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution.

Tolokonnikova was recognized as a political prisoner by the Russian human rights group “Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners”. Amnesty International named her a prisoner of conscience due to “the severity of the response of the Russian authorities”.

(Source Wikipedia)

If influential advisers to Mr. Trump continue to so loosely issue jail threats to journalists for doing their constitutionally protected work that’s a big change to the institution of the presidency in my book, as well as in the one the founders wrote.

Leading up to Ms. Tolokonnikova’s trial, Russian news reports carried suggestions that she and her bandmates were pawns of Hillary Clinton’s State Department or witches working with a global satanic conspiracy — perhaps linked to the one that was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, as lawyers for one of their offended accusers put it. This is what we now call “fake news.”

Pussy Riot became an international symbol of Mr. Putin’s crackdown on free speech; of how his regime uses falsehood and deflection to sow confusion and undermine critics.

Make America Great Again – Pussy Riot

Now that the political-media environment that we smugly thought to be “over there” seems to be arriving over here, Ms. Tolokonnikova has a message: “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K.,’” she told me. “It’s important to remember that, for example, in Russia, for the first year of when Vladimir Putin came to power, everybody was thinking that it will be O.K.”

She pointed to Russian oligarchs who helped engineer Mr. Putin’s rise to power at the end of 1999 but didn’t appreciate the threat he posed to them until they found themselves under arrest, forced into exile or forced into giving up their businesses — especially if those businesses included independent media critical of Mr. Putin (see Berezovsky, Boris; Gusinsky, Vladimir).

Of course, the United States has checks, balances and traditions that presumably preclude anything like that from happening, she acknowledged as we sat comfortably in sunny Miami Beach while it played host to a celebration of free expression (Art Basel).

“It is a common phrase right now that ‘America has institutions,’” Ms. Tolokonnikova said. “It does. But a president has power to change institutions and a president moreover has power to change public perception of what is normal, which could lead to changing institutions.”

As if to make her point, later that day the informal Trump adviser Corey Lewandowski declared that The New York Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, “should be in jail.” In October, The Times published an article about leaked pages from Mr. Trump’s 1995 state tax returns.

If influential advisers to Mr. Trump continue to so loosely issue jail threats to journalists for doing their constitutionally protected work after Inauguration Day, well, that’s a big change to the institution of the presidency in my book, as well as in the one the founders wrote.

None of it is all that shocking to Ms. Tolokonnikova, who at 27 has seen this music video before.

She was planning a lecture that night urging artists to become more engaged and pick up where the politically conscious punk bands like the The Dead Kennedys left off — their messages largely lost in the music of corporate-label imitators who hardly said boo through the debates over two wars, the Great Recession and racially charged police shootings.

Transgender Dolls Now on Sale

jazz jenny
WASHINGTON — A New York dollmaker says it will be selling what it believes is the first transgender doll on the market.

The doll is based on Jazz Jennings, the teenage trans-gender subject of the TLC documentary series “I am Jazz.” It will make its debut at the New York Toy Fair next week and be available on the Tonner Doll Co.’s web site and in specialty stores in July.

A spokesman for the company said the 18-inch doll, made using a “genderless” plastic mold typical of most dolls, is being tested for children ages 8 and older and is expected to retail for $89.99.

In comparison, the popular mass-market “American Girl” 18-inch dolls, which come with a book, sell for $115 on AmericanGirl.com.

jazz jenny

Tonner Doll, which is based in Kingston, N.Y., said Friday that the “Jazz” doll is being launched as a test for the specialty-retail market and will be sold in 25 to 50 stores.

The doll was designed and sculpted by company founder Robert Tonner.

Jennings appeared at age 6 on a Barbara Walters “20/20” special in 2007. She has identified as a female since she could talk, her parents told ABC News.

LGBT Foster Kids are the Responsibility of OUR Community

LGBT Youths

LGBT youths should be the top priority of the embattled Texas Child Protective Services.

I see and recognize an extreme danger here to the youths in our community. I feel that everyone who is LGBT should make it a priority to help our youths in our community from the dangers of those who disagree with our life style and feel that they must fix it. If you know of a solid LGBT family that would consider taking one of our youths into your home and provide a safe and supportive environment, I feel that it is your obligation to thoroughly discuss the issue then contact Child Protective Services of the decision.

Texas officials have unveiled a plan to work side by side with churches and faith leaders to recruit foster families to address the backlog of children in need of safe and nurturing homes. Some fear that such a heavy reliance on churches and faith communities might have an adverse impact on LGBT youth, making them even more vulnerable to rejection and placement disruption. Considering the platform state lawmakers have given reparative and conversion therapy efforts in recent years, it would be very easy for foster families to force youth to take part in these dangerous practices.

I read about every week where an LGBT youth commits suicide after being forced to say that gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexuality is a horrible sin that must be ridden from their life.

I recall an article last month where a 17 year old went to a Florida Christian based Teen Challenge for court ordered drug treatment. After arriving back home he announced that he was no longer gay, that they had not only cured his drug addiction but also cured his homosexuality. Everyone that knew him, including family, knew instantly that something was not right. They knew who he was born as and what he was living as. Three days later he committed suicide.

Involving churches in placing foster kids is probably good for non LGBT youths, but LGBT youths should be out of their reach since Christians and other religions firmly feel that the LGBT life style is a sin, what ever that is, and that they will go to hell if not changed. If placed in such an environment the motive of accepting the kid by the foster parent was probably motivated by their desire to pursue what they think is their gods demand to change such behaviors to those taught in the very prejudiced and biggitous book that they refer to as the Bible.

Perhaps the state should consider a recruitment effort that is equally as aggressive in targeting progressive families who have the capacity and willingness to provide safe, accepting and affirming homes to LGBT youth. Furthermore, all foster families should be provided with training that addresses the impact that rejection can have on LGBT youth. A seminal study assessing the importance of family acceptance found that youth with rejecting caregivers are nearly eight times more likely to attempt suicide, six times more likely to be depressed, and 3½ times more likely to engage in risky sex associated with HIV infection than those youth with accepting caretakers.

8 Point Doe Transgender Deer

8 point doe

Transgender 8 point doe takes on the world

A Massachusetts hunter bagged what he thought was a large buck deer. Doe deer usually weigh around 150 pounds. Bucks around 185. This one weighed 220 pounds hand had a great rack of horns.

Then someone noticed something unusual. “Looks like female stuff to me!”

You think that the bucks had a problem banging a doe 40 pounds larger than them and with larger horns? Better make her happy guys!

“Every year we get reports of does with antlers, but generally speaking, they still have velvet on them,” a game warden said. “On average, you’re looking at 1 in 1,000 does having antlers of some kind.”

“There are different theories that scientists think cause antlers to grow in does,” Ravana explained. “Most scientists believe that does have the latent capacity to grow antlers. It’s just that they don’t have the testosterone to initiate antler growth.”

And those that do develop antlers will often have small nubs, or antlers covered in velvet, which consists of living tissue that nourishes the antlers during their growth phase.

“One of the things that crossed my mind when I heard about the 8 point doe, being hardened antlers and being so large in size, is that this might actually be a pseudohermaphrodite,”

“I didn’t get a look at the 8 point doe, but there might have been vestigial testes in the animal. It could have been an actual hermaphroditic deer — an animal having both male and female parts — which would increase the level of testosterone in the animal and initiate the antler growth and the subsequent shedding of the velvet.”

Damn, even deer have a hard time being understood when they are transgender. That makes me feel a little better.

If there are transgender 8 point does, it is not a long stretch to see that this is a natural phenomenon. All of nature has the capacity to identify with the gender that they identify with. Shit, just born that way y’all

NBC News on 8 point doe

Travis County Jail Transgender Ready

Travis County Jail Transgender Ready

November 19, 2016 Lisa Gene Cox

travis county sheriff office

A transgender activist has declared Travis County Jail to be transgender friendly and ready.

On November 2 of this year, I had a significant misunderstanding with a security guard, whom I have known a while, with a background of misunderstandings at a bus stop in front of a shopping center owned by HEB at Oltorf and Congress in South Austin, Texas. This disagreement landed me in jail for criminal trespass.

What concerned me the worst about going to jail was that I was obviously transgender, and jails are not known for ‘guests’ who are polite and open minded. I felt that I would be in great danger, and locked up with a lot of male robbers, sexual predators, drug dealers, you name it. None of them outstanding citizens of Austin Texas. “A guy with a first name Lisa and wearing red nail polish and toe polish, and has boobs! I have an idea.”

When I arrived at the Travis County Correctional Complex, run by the Travis County Sheriff Department and also known as Travis County Jail, I was shaking and crying. During my initial search, they asked if I wanted to be housed with the males or females. I said “females of course.” Then they had a female correctional officer take me to a room, take my clothes and look for things that you were not born with. Then I was given jail clothing (you will not find whem in Cosmopolitan magazine.) Then they had me sign a document that I wanted to be housed with the females.

Next I was taken to a nurse for screening. She saw the predicament and screened me not only for medical issues but transgender issues as well being what surgeries have I had done and my HRT, or Hormone Replacement Therapy, both I which I have been going through for years. I looked female (pretty much, considering I am 57 years old), and had boobs. She did her best to assess me to be placed with the females. I have read that this is the norm in Harris County, but as far as I knew it had never been done in Travis County, but I could be wrong. She told me not to take it personal against my gender but they would put me in isolation for a while and scratch their heads concerning classifying me.

Next a counselor visited me and filled out a “Transgender Review Board” document. Apparently, each transgender claim is studied by a board which they have set up. I so approve of that. Then I was placed in a lonely little cell for two days to await the outcome. I can see the problem. If they housed me with the males, it could lead to the greatest problems. And if they housed me with the females, it could lead to the greatest complaining.

Then someone visited me who was obviously a higher up and could make the decision. This is what he offered me. House me with the male kitchen workers. They don’t put up with problems in that area, and the guys would be probably the least problem. There were two men cells, but they gave me my own cell, and instructed the guards in that area to “Take care of her. DO NOT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO HER.”

This worked out great. As a transgender woman and transgender activist, I applaud the handling of this difficult situation by the Travis County Sheriff Department Correctional officers and those who directed them. I left a week after being locked up feeling cared for, and no one was uncomfortable.

Travis County Jail Website

Lisa Gene Cox

Transgender Activist, Author

Fantasypi.com gene@fantasypi.com

New Transgender Sexual Transitioning Insurance Requirements

transitioning

WASHINGTON – Big companies are pushing back against proposed federal rules they say would require their medical plans to cover gender transitions and other services under the nondiscrimination mandate of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Civil rights advocates representing transgender people say the regulation representing transgender people say the regulation, now being finalized, would be a major step foreword for a marginalized community. The latest dispute over the health care law may have to be resolved in courts [as usual].
Taken from an article in the Austin American Statesman, March 23, 2016. P.B1

Transitioning on Wikipedia
Transitioning basics

India’s Huge Transgender Community, the official third gender

There are many items of clothing that announce to the world that their wearer is now a woman. For some people, it’s the bra, for others, it’s their first shoe with a heel. For many Indian women, that garment is the sari, an expansive length of cloth that takes skill and know-how to wear correctly. Girls learn to execute this multi-step process from their mothers, and “come out” for the first time in their own sari during Ritu Kala Samskara, a ceremony that marks a girl’s transition into womanhood.

But, this journey isn’t just for girls. For India’s third gender, the hijra, that process of transformation is a much more complicated and fraught one to make. The label of “hijra” pertains to a diverse range of people who consider themselves outside of the cis categorization of male or female, but largely describes those born male who transition to female through a combination of gender affirmation surgery, taking on India’s traditional feminine gender roles, and wearing women’s clothing.

Though hijras were officially recognized by the Supreme Court in India in April of this year, which mandated their representation within government institutions, the idea of a “third gender” is not new there. Its origins go back thousands of years, and they have held cultural, political, and spiritual importance throughout history. But, like many in the global trans* community, they face incredible prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Even with their new legal recognition, hijras are still marginalized in a country where impoverished women do not have the same rights as their male counterparts. Since reliable doctors for sexual affirmation surgery are expensive and hard to find, many poor hijras seek out less-safe options. So, making the decision to transform at the risk of their own safety, civil rights, and personal health requires an incredible sense of identity. To hijra people, saris are a badge of honor, a symbol of self, and an armor against the world; it is their right.

With our host Asha Leo, we traveled to Coimbatore, India, to meet with a brave group of hijras in our final episode of Style Out There. Watch as we explore their world and perspective, and how powerful a single piece of clothing can be.

Two Transgender Workers Illegally Fired

DETROIT — A federal agency on Thursday filed its first lawsuits to protect transgender people in the workplace, accusing a Michigan funeral home and a Florida eye clinic of illegally firing employees who were making a transition to female.

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes of Garden City, Michigan, and Lakeland Eye Clinic of Lakeland, Florida, violated federal law by discriminating based on gender stereotypes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said. It’s the first time the agency has sued claiming discrimination against people who are transgender.

Amiee Stephens, an embalmer and funeral director, was fired in 2013 after six years, after telling her boss she was transitioning from male to female, the EEOC said.

Brandi Branson was fired in 2011 as director of hearing services at Lakeland Eye in Florida after saying she was undergoing a gender transition to female, the agency said.

“Branson began wearing feminine attire to work, including makeup and women’s tailored clothing,” according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Tampa, Florida. “Branson observed that co-workers snickered, rolled their eyes and withdrew from social interactions with her.”

The lawsuit against the funeral home was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. Messages seeking comment from the funeral home and the clinic weren’t immediately returned.

Federal law “prohibits employers from firing employees because they do not behave according to the employer’s stereotypes of how men and women should act,” said EEOC attorney Laurie Young.

The Human Rights Campaign applauded the EEOC’s actions: “Transgender people continue to face some of the highest levels of discrimination in the workplace,” legal director Sarah Warbelow said.

Transgender Teen Wins Right to Pee in the Woman’s Bathroom

Nicole

Published on Feb 8, 2014

“School officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they would not allow a transgender fifth-grader to use the girls’ bathroom, according to a ruling by the highest court in Maine that’s believed to be the first of its kind.

The family of student Nicole Maines and the Maine Human Rights Commission sued in 2009 after school officials required her to use a staff, not student, restroom.

“This is a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people,” said Jennifer Levi, director of the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling on Thursday.

The court concluded that the Orono school district’s actions violated the Maine Human Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, overturning a lower court’s ruling that the district acted within its discretion.”


Your Brain isn’t ‘male’ or ‘female’

brain

Conventional wisdom holds that men and women’s brains are somehow wired differently. But a detailed study has found that most brains have a mix of structures associated with traditional male and female traits and behaviors, making every person a mix of the two.

Researchers analyzed over 1,500 brain scans of 200 men and 120 females between 20 and 80 years old, focusing on the regions in the brain whose size and patterns are associated with gender differences such as aggression, risks taking, tolerance, and spacial recognition.

(Why do women have spatial recognition problems? There whole life they have been told that 8 inches is this [ holding up a 2 inche gap.]),

They found that no more than 5 percent of brains were composed of all ‘male’ or ‘female’ structures. More that half of the brains contained a mix of these structures. Most brains lay between the polar brains, with some strengths and tendencies considered male and some considered female. The line is blurred.

The results point to the fact that research suggests that gender identity is formed through a complex interaction of genetic, hormonal, experiential, and environmental factors.

The idea of a unified ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ personality turns out not to describe real people. It describes stereotypes to which we constantly compare ourselves and each other, but more people are ‘gender non conforming’ than most people want to admit.

Gene Cox
fantaspi.com

California High School Crowns Same-Sex Couple Queens at Homecoming

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A Calabasas, Calif. High school demonstrated its zero tolerance for bullying when it allowed a same-sex couple to be nominated for Homecoming royalty and then crowned the girls both queen earlier this month. Greta Melendez, 17 and Lily Cohen were crowned during the halftime period of the school’s homecoming football game.

Melendez came out as openly gay as a freshman. She was relentlessly bullied. Friends abandoned her. Classroom would go silent when she walked in. Students made hand gestures at her and took her picture. She even had water thrown on her. She never dreamed a day like this could come.

A few weeks ago during an honors physiology class both girls take, they were stunned to learn they had been nominated as a couple – the first in their school’s history. That shock was multiplied exponentially when they won.

Though the years following her coming out were tough, Melendez says things have changed. While she still experiences some bullying, it has dropped off greatly and she longer lets it bother her. She uses it to drive her ambition to help other who have not yet found self-acceptance and peace.

Two weeks prior to homecoming, the school conducted classroom conversations about harassment. The small-group discussions were shown a video featuring Melendez discussing her own experiences

Of the victory, the teen who is president of her school’s Gay and Straight Alliance Club and vice president of the peer support group, says it was the most amazing moment of their lives. She was stunned to see the crowd stand up and cheer for them.

Her father, John Melendez views the victory as something other kids can look to and see as inspiration to feel more accepted, too. Greta says seeing the attitudes of the people at her school do a complete reversal was the most remarkable thing she has ever witnessed.

Hays County Jail in Texas Now Houses Based on Gender Identification Not Gender

hays county

This is HUGE for Transgender rights.

Hays Count Jail (Houston, TX), third largest in the United States behind Chicago and LA, Now houses Transgender people based on their sexual identification and not their physical gender. WOW!

How did we win that one? And at the third largest jail in the United States. If I plan to get arrested, I am going to Houston!

The third largest county jail in the United States announced recently that transgender inmates will now be housed according to the gender they identify with rather than their biological sex.

The county making the switch is Harris County, Texas. Harris County, which includes Houston, is home to the third largest county jail in the country behind only Chicago’s Cook County and Los Angeles.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia spoke with Boston NPR program “Here & Now” yesterday about the significant change in the jail’s policy.

“The reality it is that the federal government is imposing what is called PREA, the Prison Rape Elimination Act,” Garcia said. “And to get compliant with that particular law, we started to research how we contend with this very vulnerable population…we want to make sure that our attempts to comply with the law are one that makes sense, resolves any issues and prevents us from getting ourselves in court and waste the taxpayers’ money when we could’ve developed a comprehensive policy to contend with this population.”

Garcia said that of the 125,000 inmates in the Harris County jail system, he does not know at this time how many identify as transgender. After new policies are implemented, however, he believes he’ll have a good idea.

“The population is hard to measure prior to this policy because we didn’t really have a consistent way to measure this. Now, we will,” he said. “But to that end, whenever we did have particular inmates that identified, we were really moving heaven and earth. But we realized that that didn’t necessarily make sense for the inmate, and it didn’t really make sense for the taxpayers. So this policy is going to allow us to contend with that population in a much more mainstream manner without using up more resources than we need.

“I think the folks here in Harris County are principally conservative with their dollars. And that’s what this policy is intended to do. Make sure that we are saving the taxpayers’ money.”

Aside from saving money, the program should help protect the transgender inmates of the county’s jail system. It’s been known for years that LGBT inmates are much more prone to violence and assault in prison. In California prisons, for example, 67% of LGBT inmates report being assaulted while incarcerated, compared to just 20% of non-LGBT inmates.

If I say Im a girl dammit, Im a girl!!!!!

Minister Suspended over Son’s Gay Wedding

Spring City, PA

United Methodist minister who was convicted under church law of officiating at his son’s same-sex wedding in Massachusetts has been sentenced to a short suspension.

The same jury of pastors that convicted the Rev. Frank Schaefer of breaking his vows suspended him from his ministerial duties for 30 days. His credentials will be revoked if he violated church rules during that time.

Shaefer told jurors he is unrepentant for the 2007 marriage and refused to promise he wouldn’t perform more gay unions. He says he has been called by God to be an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.