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?



International Advances in Transgender Rights

The World Medical Association held is annual Assembly this past weekend in Moscow.

If you are like me, you've barely heard of the WMA, if at all. Established in 1947, the WMA's purpose is "to serve humanity by endeavoring to achieve the highest international standards in Medical Education, Medical Science, Medical Art and Medical Ethics, and Health Care for all people in the world." The organization had 106 constituent members and 1013 Associate members as of 2014.

Delegates from 60 national medical associations voted on Sunday to adopt new guidelines for physicians to increase their knowledge about, respect to and sensitivity towards "transgender people and the unique health issues they face."

The delegates from nearly 60 national medical associations adopted guidelines saying that being transgender is “not a disorder”, that “everyone has the right to determine their own gender, and that the WMA rejects “coercive treatment or forced behavior modification.”

Furthermore the WMA agreed that "every effort" should be undertaken to make available "individualized, multi-professional, interdisciplinary and affordable transgender healthcare."

The guidelines were proposed by the German Medical Association, which said they acknowledged the inequities faced by the transgender community and the crucial role played by physicians in advising transgender people and their families about treatment.

Delegates said they were aware of the cultural sensitivities in some parts of the world about this issue, but also said it was important for the WMA to stress that cultural, political or religious considerations must not take precedence over the rights, health and well-being of transgender people.




Where we stand

Vanessa Baird, co-editor of the New Internationalist. has created a video intended to promote that magazine's October issue. I decided to bogart it for my own purposes, because the video provides a fairly good summary of where the transgender community stands at this particular time.






The President (No, not the American one) speaks out against murder of transgender woman

Argentina President Cristina Fernandez has asked for the full involvement of of federal and Buenos Aires police in finding the person who killed transgender and LGBT activist Diana Sacayan.

Sacayan's body was found in an apartment in Buenos Aires on Tuesday. It is believed she had been stabbed to death.

 photo Argentinas-Fernandez-seeks-justice-in-transgender-killings_zps6ana2k4r.jpgFernandez spoke from the city of Garin. She personally presented Sacayan with the first identification document in Argentina to indicate a gender change.



Her Name was Zella

It has been ten whole days since I wrote about the murder of a trans woman of color.

The respite couldn't last.

In the early evening on Thursday Zella Ziona, 21, was walking in an alleyway between two shopping centers in Montgomery Village, Maryland when she was surrounded by four or five teenagers. According to a witness, one of the youths pulled out a gun and shot Ziona in the head.

Zella was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Police initially identified the victim as a woman, but by later in the evening insisted on misgendering and dead-naming her. As usual, the media followed suit.

An impromptu vigil took place last night.




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