Sunday, July 25, 2021

' Joy and Hope to be Found' - CNN spotlights four parents who became fierce, loving advocates for their transgender children

CNN just published a very good article about four parents of transgender boys. The article allows them to relate about how their kids came out, how it affected their relationships, and how the recent anti-trans hysteria made them fierce for their children and other trans children.

 The article is simply amazing due to the honesty and brevity of the parents. They speak from the heart and you will learn more from reading this than any foul anti-trans book or talking points spewed from the mouths of right-wing phony experts.

Here is just an excerpt and after reading it, you will want to read more:

Anger has played a role in all four parents' efforts to speak out against transphobia. Stephen Chukumba of New Jersey told CNN he'd never considered what it meant to be trans until his son, one of his four children, came out as trans. He quickly caught up on the proper vocabulary and history and learned the myriad ways in which trans Americans have been excluded from society. "I found myself really incensed by it," he said of transphobia. "I just can't sit idly by." 

Amber Briggle would agree. It was rage that spurred the owner of a massage business to alert local media in 2016 to a Facebook post by a candidate for sheriff in Denton County, Texas, in which he endorsed physical violence against transgender people. The same year, she invited the state attorney general who criticized trans-inclusive policies to her house for dinner with her husband, daughter, and her son, Max, who is trans. She may not have changed the attorney general's mind that night, she said, but her dinner did get the attention of the Human Rights Campaign, with whom she helped create the Parents for Transgender Equality National Council. She did a TEDx Talk, too, about supporting her son's transition and started a blog about what it meant to be his mother in a state with hostile policies toward trans people.

. . . All four parents unequivocally support their children, though some said they could have been better allies in the beginning of their sons' transition. "I would say I failed at first, although my kid laughs when I say that," Trujillo said. 

From the time her son was 2, he showed her in different ways that he was a boy, Trujillo said. He'd draw himself as a boy and leave LEGO figures of boys around the house to hint at the way he saw himself, he told her. When she finally overheard Danny's friends use "him" in reference to her son, "all the puzzle pieces fell into place," she said. 

Danny was 8 when he socially transitioned, and Trujillo immediately affirmed him. Before he formally came out, she said she didn't see him as trans because she worried that she'd say the wrong thing or damage Danny in some way. But once he transitioned, she realized he knew himself better than she did. Briggle said she'd do "a million things differently" now than she did when her son came out. For one thing, she said, he'd been "expressing that he was a boy" since he was 2-and-a-half, but she didn't understand what he was trying to tell her.

After reading the article, I made one sad realization. Transgender issues are similar to the problems we are facing when it comes to misinformation about the COVID vaccine.  Too many people are being manipulated to draw their own inaccurate conclusions by others with ulterior motives.  They aren't being empowered to educate themselves. They are being empowered to think they know more than the medical experts and others invested in these issues. Sometimes people need to realize their limitations, shut their mouths, and listen to those who know what they are talking about. That would do a world of good.

Photo does not include children in CNN article. It was taken from the Human Right Campaign's Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Video: Fox News is killing Americans

Not necessarily an LGBTQ issue in itself, but this situation does involve our community. There has been a snag in our country overcoming this COVID pandemic and that snag is Fox News. Even though employees of that awful network have most likely been vaccinated, day after day they spin lies and fear stories against vaccination. This has been accurately pinpointed as one of the main reasons why it has been so difficult to get folks to do the right thing. And none of them care - not Tucker Carlson, not Laura Ingraham, not Rupert Murdoch, nor anyone else employed at that network.  To them, hurting the Biden Administration is more important than saving lives.

'Louisiana lawmakers fail to overturn veto of transgender ban' & other Thur midday news briefs

Louisiana lawmakers fail to overturn veto of transgender ban - BOOM! Another well-deserved victory for the transgender community. 

Hollywood heavyweights line up to mentor LGBTQ screenwriters - A wonderful idea courtesy of GLAAD. 

Pence's 'Political Career Over' as '24 GOP Presidential Nom Slips Away - For now. But keep an eye on that rascal. Politics changes all of the time. 

House resolution apologizes for treatment of LGBTQ troops, federal workers - It's a nice start but I would prefer passage of the Equality Act. 

22 LGBTQ athletes to cheer at the Tokyo Olympics - Good luck to them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Federal judge temporarily blocks Arkansas ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth

In what hopefully will be a preview of what's to come, a federal judge temporarily blocked an Arkansas law banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.

From Time magazine:

A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked an Arkansas law that would have banned transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming health care while a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality proceeds. The law would have gone into effect on July 28. In April, Arkansas became the first state in the U.S. to approve a ban that would prevent doctors from providing gender-affirming care—including hormone treatment and puberty blockers—to patients under 18. The law would also prevent doctors from referring patients to other physicians who provide gender-affirming treatment. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in May on behalf of four transgender children, their families and two doctors challenging the ban, arguing it violates the Constitution and threatens the well-being of trans youth. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Kay Moody in Little Rock, Ark., placed a preliminary injunction on the law’s enforcement while the case moves through the legal system.

The Arkansas law is part of a coordinated legislative act across the nation targeting trans youth.  Republican-led state legislatures have attempted to enacted laws outlawing gender-affirming care for these youth while falsely claiming that they are trying to keep them safe. 

But to trans youth, these bills and laws are having the opposite effect:

“This is who I am, and it’s frustrating to know that a place I’ve lived all my life is treating me like they don’t want me here,” said 15-year-old Dylan Brandt, one the plaintiffs, in a statement when the suit was filed in May. Should the law go into effect, Brandt will lose access to the gender-affirming treatment he’s received for nearly a year. “Having access to care means I’m able to be myself, and be healthier and more confident—physically and mentally,” Brandt said. “The thought of having that wrenched away and going back to how I was before is devastating.” 

According to NBC News

Brandt's mom, Joanna Brandt, spoke on behalf of the parents involved in the suit. "We have seen the benefits of this health care firsthand," she said during the news conference. "Our children were suffering, and with this care they have a level of hope and happiness we've never seen. We are no different than any other parent in Arkansas. We love our kids and we want them to grow up healthy, loved and safe." Joanna Brandt said the law "ignores" what medical professionals say about gender-affirming care. Major medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the Endocrine Society, among others, support access to gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

Arkansas Gov Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill when it was passed, calling it "government overreach." However, his vetoed was overriden by the legislature. 

Lastly, according to NBC News:

During Wednesday's news conference, Chase Strangio, an attorney with the ACLU, noted that the group has recently had success in a number of states where measures targeting trans people were blocked by judges pending litigation. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Tennessee blocked a law that required businesses to post a notice if they allow transgender people to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. Last year, a federal judge in Idaho also blocked a law that would've banned transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams in middle and high school and college.

'Barriers exist for LGBTQ people as both foster parents and foster children' & other Wed midday news briefs

Barriers exist for LGBTQ people as both foster parents and foster children - Yep. 

Olympic swimmer Markus Thormeyer performed at his peak after coming out as gay - Because he didn't have to deal with the stress of being closeted.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Video: Gay Life As Seen on 1970s TV

One of my hobbies is to explore how LGBTQ people were depicted on television and in movies before the days of Ellen DeGeneres, Will and Grace, and (I still hate that damn show) Queer As Folks. So this video is right up my alley. Some of you young folks don't remember how it was back in the 1970s when we were depicted as the drama of the week. Consider this video as your entry into that world and a realization of how far we've come as a people.

'California budget includes $3 million to train teachers about LGBTQ issues' & other Tue midday news briefs

California budget includes $3 million to train teachers on LGBTQ issues - I'd like to see more states do this even though I can just picture the religious right outrage.

Monday, July 19, 2021

NPR: How Ben Shapiro and The Daily Wire market conservative outrage for the big bucks

Having watched Ben Shapiro and his publication, the Daily Wire, target LGBTQ people with lurid articles like the ones above, it should be no surprise to know that they only do it for the almighty dollar.

The National Public Radio just busted conservative Ben Shapiro and his publication, The Daily Wire, on something which should already be common knowledge. They market outrage to make a quick buck.

From NPR   

Daily Wire articles with headlines such as "BOOK REVIEW: Proof That Wokeness Is Projection By Nervous, Racist White Women Who Can't Talk To Minorities Without Elaborate Codes" regularly garner tens of thousands of shares for the site, and Shapiro is turning that Facebook reach into a rapidly expanding, cost-efficient media empire — one that experts worry may be furthering polarization in the United States. "There's a demand amongst certain subsets of the public for outrage politics," said Jaime Settle, director of the Social Networks and Political Psychology Lab at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. "This happens on both the left and the right. But the people who do this on the right have just found a lot more successful ways of doing it."

   . . . The articles The Daily Wire publishes don't normally include falsehoods (with some exceptions), and the site said it is committed to "truthful, accurate and ethical reporting." But as Settle explains, by only covering specific stories that bolster the conservative agenda (such as negative reports about socialist countries and polarizing ones about race and sexuality issues) and only including certain facts, readers still come away from The Daily Wire's content with the impression that Republican politicians can do little wrong and cancel culture is among the nation's greatest threats. 

 An NPR review of stories on The Daily Wire about the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two months found numerous stories about potential side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, but none that portrayed the scientifically demonstrated efficacy of the vaccines or that focused explicitly on the hesitancy that has slowed the U.S. rollout. Often the site's headlines seem like a conglomeration of conservative buzzwords: "CNN Medical Expert Urges We Must Make Life 'Hard' For Unvaccinated, Test Them Twice-Weekly" and "DeSantis Team Offers 'Don't Fauci My Florida' T-Shirt, Triggers Leftists." NewsGuard, a company started by journalists that rates the credibility of news sites based on a number of factors, scores The Daily Wire a 57/100. "They tend to not provide very much context for the information that they are providing," Settle said. "If you've stripped enough context away, any piece of truth can become a piece of misinformation."

Such is what the conservative moment is today. It's no longer a governing philosophy. Conservatism is now an grievance industry filled with no-talent shills making money from the politics of  anger, outrage, and resentment.   

'ACLU sues Montana over trans ID law requiring proof of surgery' & other Mon midday news briefs

ACLU sues Montana over transgender ID law requiring proof of surgery - I am loving these lawsuits.

2 LGBTQ Books Pulled From Elmbrook Schools After Daily Wire Story - Oh good grief. What tripe. 

A Christian teacher demanded a religious exemption to using trans students’ names. A judge said no. - Somebody thought they were being cute and got checked.

5 really queer reasons we love ‘American Horror Stories’ - Fascinating. 

Louisiana GOP To Attempt Override Of Anti-Trans Bill Veto - Try it.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Three adults put under arrest for beating a 12-year-old child, shaving the word 'gay' in his head

These three were put under arrest for beating a 12-year-old child and shaving the word 'gay' in is head on a video last month which went viral.

A child's life has been turned upside down simply because of toxic masculinity and homophobia. And of course none of it was necessary.

From LGBTQNation:

Police in Atlanta have announced that they have arrested and charged three individuals for child abuse following their part in beating a 12-year-old boy and shaving the word “GAY” in the side of his head, all on video that went viral on social media. Brittney Monique Mills, 35, and Lorkeyla Jamia Spencer, 19, were both charged with cruelty to children. Jordan Jarrode Richards-Nwankwo, 18, was charged with “Battery – Family Violence” in addition to cruelty to children. 

 . . . Last month, after a video of a family torturing a 12-year-old boy went viral, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services stepped in. The boy’s mother filmed the abuse and broadcast it on Instagram Live. Footage of the attack was captured from the broadcast and reuploaded across the internet. The video shows the young man being repeatedly smacked and demeaned by adults, as they shave his head, embedding the word “GAY” in the design. The word was put in his head as punishment because, as one person said in the video, “You still doing gay shit.” The boy, identified only as “Tyler,” was subsequently removed from the home.