Rural California town models support

I'm sure that very few of you have ever heard of Denair, CA. It's a "census designated place" in Stanislaus County, CA. Not enough of a hint? It's near Turlock. Doesn't help? That's between Modesto and Merced. Central Valley.

Population was 4404 in 2010. The town encloses a grand total of 2 square miles.

It really epitomizes the phrase "small town." Except the part about the government not thinking it is large enough to be called a town.

Denair calls itself "The Oasis of the San Joaquin Valley."

In 2010 Denair had 10 same-sex married couples/domestic partnerships. 22% of the residences were rentals. 32% of the residents identify as Hispanic or Latino. In 2000 16% of the population lived below the poverty line.

As the Wikipedia entry for Stanislaus County says,

Stanislaus County is not a great place, it's just a place in the Central Valley.

 photo anry-fuentes-x750_zpswls1aeat.jpgAnry Fuentes lives in Denair. She is a transgender teen. When she she told her mother last year that she was going to come out, her mother kicked her out of their home.

Well my mom kicked me out. I’m not mad at her or hate her. I understand where she’s coming from. She was raised differently, and I can’t judge her for that. If I did regret [coming out] then I wouldn’t be this happy. It's much harder to hide than to come out as yourself.




DoE, DoJ step up for Gavin Grimm in 4th Circuit

 photo Gavin_zpsuoaqpjow.jpgWhen last we encountered Gavin Grimm, Gloucester County Schools were still preventing the trans teen from using the boys room and the district had received the blessing of District Court Judge Robert Doumar in Norfolk.

Gavin's ACLU attorneys have asked an appeals court to replace Doumar, who denied his request for a preliminary injunction, because Doumar has made statements that he is "suspicious of modern medical science regarding gender identity." The lawyers say that Doumar has repeatedly referenced Gavin's "mental disorder" and accused him and them of just seeking publicity.

Yesterday the Department of Educations Office of the General Council and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division filed a 40-page friend-of-the-court brief with the 4th US Circuit Court on behalf of Grimm.



GLAAD: too few transgender characters on TV

GLAAD has released its yearly report analyzing the quantity and quality of LGBT character portrayals on television. Where We Are on TV 2015 found that of the 881 regular characters on broadcast primetime programming in the coming year, 35 are identified as LGB. That's 4%. Not one of the regular or recurring characters is transgender.

I guess that means we are not to expect Mrs. Hudson to pop up on Elementary this season.

The number of regular LGBT characters counted on cable increased from 64 to 84, while recurring characters increased from 41 to 58.



Open season on bashing trans people?

I guess Fox News' resident transphobic Dr. Keith Ablow must have been busy elsewhere. In the wake of FRC's Tony Perkins suggestion that trans people in California will commit crimes in order to be sent to prison so that they can get the health care they deserve (and isn't that a shocking condemnation of our society all by itself?), Fox trotted out 'psychology expert' Gina Loudon to dish its special brand of transphobia.



Loudon, a tea party activist who became a reality star after she and her husband joined ABC’s Wife Swap (that's what I would want in a psychotherapist), insisted that it was “absolutely not” cruel and unusual punishment to withhold surgery from transgender inmates.

And the science is on my side of this. I’m not sure why the other side is deciding to be science deniers now. Johns Hopkins University ended their program because they realized that people who go through with the sex change surgery have a 20 fold increase in suicide rates as opposed to those who don’t.

Not true. Well, the fact that Dr, Paul McHugh closed down the Johns Hopkins University program is true...but the fact that he did so because of science is not. McHugh is an 'orthodox Catholic' who has spent his career peddling myths about gay and transgender people.



Tony Perkins goes full-on bonkers. Nobody notices the difference

Last Tuesday court-appointed receiver who has managed health care for California prisons under federal court order since the Scwarzenegger administration announced new guidelines which authorize surgical procedures for transgender inmates suffering from severe gender dysphoria who desire surgery.

The guidelines call for panels of state health professionals to review appeals for sex-reassignment surgery from inmates whose doctors say their patients are under significant distress because of a mental condition known as gender dysphoria. The inmate must have been taking hormones for at least a year and have consistently expressed a desire to change his or her biological gender before an operation can be approved.

Prison officials have estimated the cost of the state-funded operations as high as $100,000. But the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, which has represented two inmates in suits against the state, says each operation would cost $15,000 to $30,000.

California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says it has about 385 transgender inmates, most of them male-to-female, who are currently undergoing hormone therapy.



Cuomo end-runs NY State Senate

This past Thursday evening, ay a dinner for the Empire State Pride Agenda Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that, through executive action, he had added transgender and gender nonconforming people to New York's Human Rights Law of 1945.

This action comes after the Republican-controlled State Senate once again failed to pass GENDA, New York's Fender Non-Discrimination Act. As in the past, the Act passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly only to find that it would not even receive a vote in the Senate.

The Human Rights Law protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of "age race, creed, natinoal origin, sexual orientation (SONDA passed in 2002), and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit.



Franken presses Feds to take action on anti-trans violence

On Wednesday, Minnesota Senator Al Franken sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey seeking answers on the reporting of this year's record level of anti-transgender violence. Franken wrote the two-page letter from his position as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I write to express serious concern about the alarming number of homicides and violent crimes targeting transgender and gender nonconforming people. I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice to work with state and local authorities in the investigation and prosecution of these incidents, and to redouble its efforts to ensure the accurate reporting of all bias-motivated crimes.




We come to suck God from your brain

Put a microphone in front of a conservative talk show host and an adjunct professor of statistics from Cornell who also claims to study the philosophy of science...while seeming to specialize is climate denial...and you shouldn't expect anything good to happen.

So Joe Miller had a guest named William Briggs. The subject du jour was recent research by psychologists at UCLA and the University of York that indicates that both religious belief and nativism can be reduced by directing magnetic energy into the brain.

The researchers targeted the posterior medial frontal cortex, a part of the brain located near the surface and roughly a few inches up from the forehead that is associated with detecting problems and triggering responses that address them.

In the study, half of the participants received a low-level “sham” procedure that did not affect their brains, and half received enough energy to lower activity in the target brain area. Next, all of the participants were first asked to think about death, and then were asked questions about their religious beliefs and their feelings about immigrants.



Sometimes people just suck

 photo reported that trans girl Jae Irizarry was crowned homecoming queen last Saturday at Trenton Central High School.

I wanted to make a difference, to show not only the city and world that it's 2015 and things are changing and progressing. I am so happy that I won, it's been amazing.

Jae credited the friends and teachers who convinced her to run and a supportive school community.

They're making my dreams come true.

But there were some who doubted the outcome could happen legitimately ot that it shold have been allowed to happen.

Penny Rae, writing for the Trentonian on Sunday reported that "sources with intimate knowledge of activities at the school say the vote was a fraud."

Penny wrote that an anonymous source who feared retribution said the teacher in charge of the voting process "failed to properly oversee the votes, which allowed students to stuff the ballot box as an alleged practical joke."

Then Penny wrote

But other sources say the teacher was involved in stuffing the ballot box and did so because she wanted to “make history.”

Because, you know, how else could the tranny have won?




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