The Pope and the Guest List

Now that Pope Francis is on American soil (question: Is the Popemobile considered baggage?), we can turn our attention to the exploding heads on the right (both Vatican and American, from all indications, over the guest list for tomorrow's White House visit.

To put everything in proper context, we should note that there are about 15,000 names on that guest list, so it's not like any one of them is going to spend significant time alone with Francis...or even get close to him, let alone speak to him.

But that's not stopping folks like Mike Huckabee from tweeting:

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Classless decision by @POTUS to transform @Pontifex visit into a politicized cattle call is an insult to millions of Catholics. 

The man who has asserted that he would have been a pervert if transgender people around when he was young, is especially concerned about the invitations to Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, transgender activist Mateo Williamson, and former Nun on the Bus, Sister Simone Campbell.

My attention, of course, is on Mateo Williamson, a former leader of the transgender caucus within Dignity USA.

The Vatican’s disapproval of my presence at the ceremony speaks to the necessity for continued dialogue between transgender Catholics and the church hierarchy.

This is really not so much of a political statement as it is the reality that there are so many LGBT Catholics and family members of LGBT people who would really benefit from this message coming from the White House.





Jill Soloway: We don't have a transgender tipping point yet, we have a trans civil rights problem

Jill Soloway and Jeffrey Tambor of Amazon's Transparent earned Emmy awards last night...Solloway for Best Director for a Comedy and Tambor for Lead Actor in a Comedy.

Soloway's male parent, who she apparently calls Moppa (or Mapa...spelling uncertain) is a transgender woman.

Thank you Mapa for coming out and coming to L.A. And coming here tonight. And something interesting about my Mapa, Carrie: She could, tomorrow, go and try to find an apartment, and in 32 states it would be legal for the landlord to look her in the eye and say, 'We don't rent to trans people.

We don't have a trans tipping point yet. We have a trans civil rights problem, so go to and vote to pass the trans equality bill.


That caused the website for the National Center for Transgender Equality to crash.




Duke University Hospital opens new gender clinic

Duke University Health System of Durham, NC has created a new clinic to treat children and teems with gender identity and development issues.

 photo Hunter_zpsztpcxong.jpgThe clinic will address young people who are transgender or intersex as well as those who may have genital development or puberty issues.

The link above provides some background through the story of Hunter Schafer, one of Duke's patients.







The Breakfast Club (Dig it)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault. 






AIDS Conference Interruptus


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The 2015 US Conference on AIDS was held September 10-13 in Washington, DC. On the opening day dozens of transgender and gender-nonconforming people seized the stage at the lunchtime plenary session to draw attention to HIV+ gender-variant people.

The group was chanting, We are not gay men! to protest the inclusion of trans women in gay male research and statistics.



Federal Judge allows transgender discrimination case to move forward

 photo patricia-dawson_zps9co75plu.pngOn Tuesday Judge Susan Webber Wright of the Eastern District of Arkansas has denied a request for summary judgment in the case of Dawson v H&H Electric.

Patricia Dawson of White County claims that she was fired by H & H Electric of Hot Springs because of her sex and because of her failure to conform to expected sex stereotypes.



How much could her life have been worth anyhow?

 photo Tovar_zps2xutybhn.jpgJanette Tovar was a 43-year-old transgender woman. She was said to be a popular nightclub promoter.

Tovar had been in a relationship with Jonathan Stuart Kenney, 29, for over a year and were living together in October of 2012. From all reports, however, it was a "very turbulent relationship." According to the apartment manager, who dived on the floor below their apartment, the couple were always fighting and were at it again between 8am and 9am on October 15, when he heard Tovar yell, "Get off me." The couple left the apartment at that time...still fighting.

Kenney now admits to slamming Tovar's head into the pavement before they returned to the apartment. Kenney then beat Tovar again.

Around 4pm Kenney called 911 to report that Tovar was unconscious and unresponsive...but not before he posted the following on the Book of Face:

I love you my baby Janette, your my love my everything and I will miss you so much. Your the best thing that ever happened to me girl kisses!!!!!! I hope you can see me down here even though I can’t see you I feel your spirit still living in me. Rest in peace mi amor mi vida.

Tovar was determined to have died from blunt force trauma.



Time to lobby for transgender rights in Massachusetts

More than 50 businesses, including Google, Harvard Pilgrim Health, and Eastern Bank, as well as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, and the YWCA of Boston have thrown their support behind a bill aimed at protecting transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations.

On the opposing side are Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Family Institute.

In 2011 the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill protecting transgender people from discimination in housing, employment, and credit and added gender identity to the state's hate crimes law.

Though hailed at the time as a "major victory," it was not a total success.

The bill did not include language to protect transgender people in public accommodations, which advocates had sought. They will continue to fight to expand transgender protections to include public accommodations, such as hotels, restaurants, and clubs, she said. Opponents had decried those proposals as “the bathroom bill,’’ arguing that they would enable biological men to demand access to women’s restrooms and locker rooms.

Anti-discrimination protection in public accommodations was just perceived as going a bridge too far.





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