Wednesday, March 31, 2021

YouTube allowing discredited anti-trans author and Prager U to fundraise off encouraging parents to reject their transgender children

Discredited author Abigail Shrier continues to declare war on transgender children

According to Media Matters, YouTube is doing the transgender community a huge disservice by allowing groups and individuals to fundraise on the message that parents should reject their transgender children. And in doing so, YouTube is ignoring its own community guidelines:

YouTube is helping right-wing propaganda network PragerU to fundraise off of a March 29 video titled “Why Girls Become Boys,” which spreads disinformation about trans youth and health care -- despite YouTube’s Community Guidelines that include protections for trans people. 

The video features anti-trans author Abigail Shrier suggesting that young trans people are not actually trans and that parents should reject their trans kids’ gender identities. Shrier is a major player in the crusade against the rights of trans youth and wrote a book misinforming about trans youth called Irreversible Damage. She also recently testified before the Senate against the Equality Act and has made multiple appearances on Fox News to lie about trans people. 

 The new video with Shrier uses the YouTube Giving program and has earned more than 285,000 views in one day and -- alongside other videos in PragerU’s fundraising campaign on the platform -- has raised more than $51,000. The YouTube Giving Program’s rules say that nonprofits must follow the platform’s Community Guidelines, which supposedly protect trans people. In fact, YouTube has previously removed videos from PragerU and other channels that spread harmful disinformation about trans people, including suggestions that they have a mental illness. 

Shrier, whose book was called out for several distortions (including presenting false anti-trans statistics) has absolutely no expertise in transgender healthcare.

'LGBTQ students file class-action lawsuit against Department of Education' & other Wed midday news briefs.


LGBTQ students file class-action lawsuit against Department of Education - Well alright! Sock it to them! Sorry but no taxpayer funding for religious schools who discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Biden administration scraps Trump's anti-LGBTQ agenda abroad - Hell yeah I'm happy I voted for Joe Biden. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Unverified horror stories about trans youth helping to pass anti-transgender legislation

In 1981, a now discredited homophobic researcher by the name of Paul Cameron made up a story about a child being dragged into a bathroom, raped and then mutilated by gay man.  He told this story while speaking against a pro-gay ordinance in Omaha, NB. Police investigated but couldn't find any assault. But Cameron repeated the story and subsequently, the ordinance was defeated by a large margin.

Fast forward to 2021 in Arkansas where the state legislature just passed a bill preventing trans children from receiving affirming healthcare. The state did this based upon the lie that transgender children are receiving gender-transitioning surgeries and taking dangerous hormones. 

In bragging about this, anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council sent out the following tweet detailing how a legislator told the story of a trans boy allegedly receiving a double mastectomy and then regretting it:

You'll notice that FRC did not include any details nor did the legislator in question, Alan Clark. Though if you read Clark's twitter feed, you would see that he is a fan of sending out paranoid tweets about President Biden's son Hunter, conspiracies about COVID, and arguments claiming that global warming isn't real.

In other words, a basic far-right smorgabord of hysteria and paranoia. Of course though FRC has never been one for caring about the veracity of its sources or said sources' claims if the group can exploit them both.

And this particular story is a doozy. I had to google but I think I found what FRC and Clark was alluding to - an article called Double Mastectomy at 15, Detrans 16-Year-Old Now Seeks Reversal

It's the alleged story of a 16-year-old transgender boy, Penny Cunningham, who is detransitioning. Penny supposedly got a double mastectomy in Pennsylvania at 15 and was seeking funds via gofundme for a breast reconstruction. The article was published on July 10, 2020 in an online publication called The Velvet Chronicle

The Velvet Chronicle seems to have a very serious problem with the transgender community.  It pushes the idea that transgender youth are actually  "nonconforming youth" bullied into being labeled as transgender. It also embraces the strange notion that lesbian voices are being replaced, particularly by transgender voices. In its attempts to prove  these beliefs, the publication freely throws out phrases like "gay eugenics," "gender vultures,"  or "medicalized gay conversion therapy."  In other words, the same type who likes to use phrases like "women's space" as if  disguising their prejudices in intellectually esoteric terms makes them more palpable.  A polite way to refer to  The Velvet Chronicle would be to call it a "maddening mess of unbridled and ignorant TERFdom," but that's another matter entirely.

In this particularly case, the story of this alleged detransitioner should raise a lot of eyebrows. I broke down several problems with it.

1. From Penny's claim, the medical professionals in question may have acted illegally  or unethically but Penny doesn't give any information to further an investigation. 

2. Penny is incredibly vague about everything in the story. There is no way anyone can verify if Penny is who he or she says they are or what hospital the alleged mastectomy took place

3. Where there are gaps in Penny's story, The Velvet Chronicle fills in with quite a bit anti-transgender propaganda.

4. Except for a few tweets and links on far-right or anti-transgender webpage (all echoing the article from The Velvet Chronicle and linking  Penny's now defunct gofundme page), there is no more information about Penny. As far as I have seen, there is no knowledge of whether or not Penny was successful with the fundraising or what they are doing in the present. The Velvet Chronicle did no follow-up.

Of course what I found thus far is not meant to be disrespectful.  The truth may be in fact that Penny does exist and that the story told is accurate, including the claim about the mastectomy. But as of now, it doesn't look that way.

It looks as if the religious right hasn't veered from fear tactics about LGBTQ people. What worked in 1982 seems to be working in 2021. And this time, they got help from folks within our community. And that is really scary.

Related posts:


'Lil Nas X's trolling of religious right makes his shoes a huge seller' & other Tue midday news briefs

Lil Nas X

For years, the religious right used outrage against us to fundraise and sell their message. Turnabout, as they say . . . 

Monday, March 29, 2021

SD anti-trans athlete bill dies in embarrassing heap in front of Governor Noem

South Dakota Governor Krist Noem veoted an anti-trans bill she supported.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem went from eager to sign her state's anti-transgender athletes bill to reluctantly vetoing it, even though she refused to call what she did a veto. It was this turn which mostly likely stopped the bill's momentum as it died after the state legislature failed to override her veto.

From Outsports:

 The flaming runaway train that has been South Dakota Republicans’ effort to enact a ban on transgender student-athletes finally flew off the tracks today. 

 Changes proposed by Republican Gov. Kirsti Noem to HB1217, aka the Act to Promote Continued Fairness in Women’s Sports, were soundly defeated Monday by the Republican-controlled State House of Representatives, on what is colloquially known as “Veto Day.” The Grand Forks Herald reported the final tally was 67-2, with all but two Democrats crossing party lines to stand with the Republicans against the embattled governor. The bill is now dead. 

 One week ago today, Noem put all her eggs into the basket she called “Defend Title IX Now.” The governor who has been absolutely hammered by conservatives for refusing to sign HB1217, described it as a “coalition of legislators, leaders and athletes,” who will apply pressure in a “fill the jails”-style action to force the NCAA into a corner. The association would be forced to sue or sanction a number of schools nationwide, in order to uphold its trans-affirming policies in those states. “Once we have a coalition big enough to where the NCAA cannot possibly punish us all, then we can guarantee fairness at the collegiate level,” she said. 

 Nah, said the State House of Representatives.

According to the article, Noem said she stopped supporting the bill to prevent what she was a coming lawsuit from the NCAA, which of course should send a message to other states who either passed or looking to pass anti-trans athletes bills.

Unfortunately I doubt it will change their minds. And neither will Noem's next move.

 Outsports said that she is expected to call a special session of the legislature to push a new anti-trans bill. In reality, the session would be less about passing a bill and more about picking up the pieces of her reputation amongst right-wing conservatives.  They are extremely angry at how they think she botched up an easy win against the LGBTQ community.

Even if she is successful, one wonders just how much her support from religious conservatives has been damaged.

UPDATE - This just in from the ACLU. I guess Govenor Noem didn't want to wait:

'Four myths about trans athletes debunked' & other Mon midday news briefs


Four Myths About Trans Athletes, Debunked - What bothers me about this list is how folks who have the power to tell the real story - ie our mainstream media - failed and continue to fail the trans community. These are facts which should have been introduced a long time ago. 

Lil Nas X Claps Back at Conservatives Calling 'Montero' 'Evil' - Lil Nas X is having the time of his life trolling conservatives. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Revisiting 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo' - funny, offensive, or just plain corny?

Editor's note - a frivolous and funny post every now and then never hurts.

A long time ago - to be accurate, in 1996 - when the LGBTQ community was on the cusp of the visibility we have now, Saturday Night Live would run  funny cartoon shorts. Probably the most popular was The Ambiguously Gay Duo.

From Wikipedia:

The Ambiguously Gay Duo is a parody of the stereotypical comic book superhero duo done in the style of Saturday morning cartoons like Super Friends. The characters are clad in matching pastel turquoise tights, dark blue domino masks, and bright yellow coordinated gauntlets, boots and shorts. The shorts were intended to satirize suggestions that early Batman comics implied a homosexual relationship between the eponymous title character and his field partner and protégé Robin, a charge most infamously leveled by Fredric Wertham in his 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent, the research methodology for which was later discredited. 

The typical episode usually begins with the duo's arch-nemesis Bighead, a criminal mastermind with an abnormally large cranium. Bighead is usually briefing his henchmen on a plot for some grandiose plan for world domination, interrupted by a debate as to whether or not Ace and Gary (The Ambiguously Gay Duo) are gay. Once the crime is in process, the police commissioner calls on the superheroes to save the day, often engaging in similar debates with the chief of police. Ace and Gary set out to foil the evil plan, but not before calling attention to themselves with outrageous antics and innuendo, and behaving in ways perceived by other characters to be stereotypically homosexual . . . 

I found the segments funny at the time they premiered. I still find them a bit hilarious, but less than I originally did. They are interesting to view for the sake of history. But now they strike me as a bit more corny.

I'm curious as to what you think. Please let me know in the comments section below.

Friday, March 26, 2021

The Family Research Council is obviously trying to 'bust hell wide open'

 Accusing someone of "busting hell wide open" is an action calling out a supposed religious person or group for a breathtakingly show of hypocrisy.

With that in mind, check out a Friday tweet from the Family Research Council:

Gender dysphoria is the scientific name which describes conditions of the transgender community. So basically FRC is saying that the transgender community should be treated with sympathy and compassion. This is the same Family Research Council whose president, Tony Perkins,  has targeted the transgender community with dehumanizing rhetoric and false accusations, worked with former VP Mike Pence to get them banned from serving in the military, and worst of all, portrayed transgender children as predators:

My suggestion would be for FRC to first follow its own advice. And stop thinking the rest of us are so stupid to take its tweet about "compassion" seriously.

Or at the very least, don't bother sending a postcard when y'all and Tony do in fact bust hell wide open. 

'Tenn bill seeks to ban LGBTQ content from school textbooks' & other Fri midday news briefs


Youth activists lead the fight against anti-trans bills - And they're right, too. They are being ignored.

New U.K. Currency Honors Alan Turing, Pioneering Computer Scientist And Code-Breaker - About time, too. There is no such thing as too many honors for Alan Turing.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Transphobic former HHS official's claims about Dr. Rachel Levine simply aren't credible

Former HHS official Roger Severino (top photo) makes alleged claims about new and openly transgender  HHS official Rachel Levine (bottom photo). But the claims cannot be verified as truth, particularly when one remembers that during his tenure, Severino made several attempts to undermine transgender health via policy changes. Severino even misled the public to create a 'conscience rule.' The 'conscience rule' was then struck down by three court rulings.

As I said Wednesday, even though Dr. Rachel Levine was successfully confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, conservatives and the religious right will do their utmost to undermine her.

From the Family Research Council:

 The Biden administration made history Wednesday, but not the kind that most Americans will celebrate. In a tight, near party-line vote, the Senate confirmed the president's transgender pick for deputy secretary of HHS, Rachel Levine -- whose idea of "health care" is sterilizing and mutilating young children.

Implied by Sen. Rand Paul during her hearing that Dr. Levine supports sex change surgeries for children, this claim has been proven as a lie. What's sadder is that FRC provided links in an attempt to prove the claim's accuracy and the links boiled down to a conference booklet which proved absolutely nothing.

It gets more hilarious. 

Supposedly FRC interviewed an eyewitness who claimed that Dr. Levine does advocate sex change surgeries for children. And who is that witness? Former HHS official Roger Severino.

For those who have not kept up with HHS drama and therefore are wondering why is Severino attempting to channel Alexis Colby on Dynasty during Blake Carrington's murder trial at the end of the first season, allow me to explain.

In 2017, Severino was appointed by former president Donald Trump as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many in the LGBTQ community protested because he came from anti-LGBTQ right-wing groups. and we felt that his goal was to undermine our rights and health.

And that he did. Or at the very least, he tried:

 LGBTQ equality groups and several allies raised the alarm when he was picked due to his history of working against LGBTQ equality. And while at HHS, Severino did nothing to assuage their fears.  In 2018, The Advocate claimed that he was attempting to "erase trans people out of existence" by pushing a memo which would say that gender identity doesn't exist and that gender is set at birth and defined by genitalia. 

Severino was also responsible for an attempt to create a rule which would roll back protections for the trans community against discrimination through Obamacare, and  a "conscience rule" which said any healthcare worker could deny services to LGBTQ people based on "moral or religious" reasons. In November 2019, three different federal courts struck down the rule and one court found that HHS exaggerated a justification for the rule. Severino was pointed out in an NPR article to have contributed to that exaggeration. 

This is what Severino had to say to FRC about Dr. Levine:

During Roger's time at the agency where Levine is now second-in-command, he met the new deputy. Back then, he explains, Levine wasn't so coy about what he believed about young people. When the HHS team asked about minors and transgender treatment, "I heard it directly," Severino explained, "and the answer was: 'Yes, yes, minors should be given cross-sex hormones and surgery when they have gender dysphoria'..."

He even had the audacity to make this claim:

"The activism runs deep," he warns. "It was evasive to the point of being disingenuous, not to answer Senator Paul when asked directly when I knew what the answer was, because I've heard it when the shoe was on the other foot and those doctors wanted to keep the Obama transgender mandate in place. This is scary times when we're going to see this push, especially when it comes to minor children, 12 to 18, to have radical surgeries that will sterilize them. And you cannot turn back. And I'm afraid that's where HHS may be going if Levine gets confirmed."

There is no other way of putting this. Roger Severino is full of shit. Why should anyone believe this man? His entire tenure at HHS comprised of thinking of new ways to undermine LGBTQ,  particularly transgender health. He's also the same man who was caught lying in pursuit of changing HHS policy to endanger LGBTQ health.

The only thing we should take from this nonsense with FRC and Severino is the satisfaction of karma in seeing that Health and Human Services went from housing an undercover bigot like  Severino to being led in part by openly transgender Dr. Rachel Levine. 

That realization, my friends, is sweet.

'Hair care company Pantene refuses to back down after backlash to ad featuring LGBTQ family' & other Thur midday news briefs


Pantene continues to support trans youth and LGBTQ families in spite of the backlash for this ad.

Pantene doubles down on support for transgender youth after backlash to ad featuring LGBTQ family - Way to go, Pantene.

Chechen Crackdown Continues With Persecution of Gay Men's Families - For crying out loud! Persecution continues in Chechnya. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Dr. Rachel Levine makes history, becomes first openly transgender person confirmed by Senate

Just a few moments ago, Dr. Rachel Levine made history. 

By a vote of 52-48, Levine was confirmed as assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. She is the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate. She even had two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski,  join Democrats in voting for her.

Levine survived a brutal confirmation process which saw conservatives practically gang up to sink her nomination, including spreading vicious memes  and lies about her on Twitter and Facebook, disrespecting her during the confirmation hearing, and finally conjuring up some nonsense about her mother in a nursing home. This played heavily in the right-wing media, but rightfully got ignored in the mainstream press.

They even falsely claimed that she advocated sex change surgeries for children.

But none of it worked as Levine sailed through.

The road is not going to be easy for Dr. Levine because conservatives and the religious right are angry at her confirmation. And she will continue to be the subject of  many ugly lies and comments. But like the old saying goes, "no struggle, no progress."  Her confirmation is a victory for the transgender community, not to mention the concepts of fairness and equality. 

From The Associated Press:

Levine had been serving as Pennsylvania’s top health official since 2017, and emerged as the public face of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. She is expected to oversee Health and Human Services offices and programs across the U.S. President Joe Biden cited Levine’s experience when he nominated her in January. Levine “will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability,” Biden said.

Related posts:

Rand Paul made a fool of himself when questioning Dr. Rachel Levine. The Family Research Council tries to repair the embarrassment.  

 Rand Paul's attack on HHS nominee Rachel Levine exposes how the religious right needs anti-LGBTQ junk science

'Poll says 75 percent of Americans support LGBTQ protections' & other Wed midday news briefs

As debate over Equality Act rages, new poll shows 75 percent of Americans support LGBTQ protections - Oh? This is interesting. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Guardian rightfully calls out the attack on transgender children by the GOP, gets the story right.

The Guardian just came out with a wonderful article about how the GOP are exploiting transgender children for political power. I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, it's easily the best article I've read thus far about the attacks on transgender children by the GOP and the religious right.  But on the other hand, it embarrasses me. On the risk of sounding xenophobic, it's a shame that a foreign press (The Guardian is a British newspaper) does a better job talking about an issue in this country than the American press.

With the slow death of print media, too many pundits and just about all of them doing very little work for large salaries and generous book deals, outside groups pushing talking points disguised as facts, not to mention  the right-wing propaganda factory known as Fox News and it's crew of slop artists, the American media model seems to be broken.

The Guardian is a good reminder that there are journalists who still exist to get the story accurate. There are so many good portions of the article, so I am just going to highlight a few. Feel free to read the entire thing and share it. 

1. “They are acting like we aren’t humans, that we don’t deserve the same things as them,” said Kris Wilka, a 13-year-old football player and trans boy in South Dakota, where lawmakers have passed legislation that would prohibit trans students from playing on the sports teams that correspond with their gender. 

 “Trans rights have been turned into a wedge issue,” said Jules Gill-Peterson, professor of gender, sexuality and women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh, who has researched the history of trans children in the US. “The Republican party is hardly interested in defending women’s sports. This is a purely calculated political play,” Gill-Peterson said. “And it’s really easy to use children as a political football, because we don’t grant children the privilege to speak for themselves and defend their own interests.”

2. “They’re telling parents of cisgender children that you’re losing something by allowing transgender youth to play in sports,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ+ rights group. “We’ve seen this playbook before – you’re losing something if you allow same-sex couples to marry, if you protect racial minorities in the workplace, if immigration laws are respected. It’s us v them.”

 But there is no research suggesting that trans girls have a competitive advantage. When the Associated Press recently contacted lawmakers behind the proposed bans, most couldn’t cite a single local example of a trans girl playing sports. Some pointed to a Connecticut case in which cisgender girls’ families sued, alleging that two trans female sprinters had an unfair advantage. 

 But two days after that lawsuit was filed, one of the cis girls beat her trans competitor in a state championship race, noted Dr Jack Turban, a child psychiatry fellow at Stanford . . . 

3.For the trans kids targeted by these bills, the consequences could be harmful to their wellbeing and in some cases deadly, advocates said. Trans youth already attempt suicide at a rate more than three times greater than their cisgender peers. 

 Even the introduction of the bills was damaging youths’ mental health, said Turban: “All around the country, these kids are hearing these messages that powerful politicians want to take away their rights.” Kris, the 13-year-old South Dakota boy, said football had transformed his life. After he joined his South Dakota school team last year, he made some of his closest friends and came to excel as a starting lineman. His middle school teammates and coaches didn’t care that Kris was trans, a sharp contrast from his previous school where administrators told him he couldn’t play on boys’ teams: “They treated me as any other kid on the team, and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t want to be the outcast. They gave me the position they thought I deserved.” 

 Now, Kris lives in fear that he could lose it all.  . . .

This is how it's done. Talking to the people involved, particularly the folks who would be most affected - in this case trans children. And don't allow yourself to be a sounding board for talking points. Impart accurate information and fill in the holes.

'Arkansas legislation targets LGBTQ health care while SD governor wants to ban trans athletes nationwide' & other Tue midday news briefs

Sweeping legislation allowing LGBTQ patients to be refused healthcare services over ‘conscience’ on governor’s desk 

Folks think they are being cute with legislation targeting LGBTQ folks in the above news briefs, but be forewarned. Y'all don't want any of this smoke. Neither attempt has a leg to stand on, but if you want to wreck your reputations with unapologetic bigotry, we are set to not only let you, but help you along the road.

AZ State Rep. Andrés Cano knows how to take on the GOP majority to defend LGBTQ rights - Sounds interesting. 

LGBTQ students at Christian colleges face more harassment, survey finds - Christian colleges which probably have no probably taking LGBTQ tax dollars I bet.

Monday, March 22, 2021

How Fox News is contributing to the targeting of transgender Americans



Editor's note - I could only watch this video once and even then I couldn't finish it. So a huge trigger warning for folks, particularly transgender folks. This should not be happening.

It is not the custom of Fox News to host members of the transgender community or medical professionals with any expertise in transgender health care. But the network personalities and their guests have no problem engaging in all sorts of transphobic rhetoric as seen in the above video.

This goes beyond nasty when a widely watched "news"  network will repeatedly degrade and dehumanize transgender Americans without even giving them courtesy of defending themselves.

It's downright dangerous. It sends a false message to transgender men, women, and children that they are not deserving of love and respect, even from themselves. And even worse, it sends a message of allegiance and approval to transphobic actions, including violence. Last year, there was an ugly surge in transphobic crimes and this year doesn't promise to be any better with entities like Fox News and the conservative propaganda engine creating a false "war on women's sports" and a real war on transgender healthcare.

 If Fox News openly did this to African-Americans or people of the Jewish faith, the blowback would be justifiably enormous There needs to be an equally negative blowback in this case. Fox News isn't debating transgender issues. The network is deliberately targeting transgender people.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Anti-transgender book called out for numerous errors months before author testified in front of Senate committee

Abigail Shrier's anti-transgender book was called out for numerous errors months before she testified before Congress against of the Equality Act.

In the world of the anti-LGBTQ propaganda, bad faith players are highly important. Bad faith players are legitimate researchers, physicians or journalists who have decided to lay their integrity on the altar of bigotry for either personal reasons or a high paycheck. 

They come out with junk science studies, cherry-picked works or books which denounce LGBTQ people. They then become hyped by the religious right and conservatives until - and this always happens - their work and motives are legitimately questioned and it is discovered that they have not been altogether honest in their claims and research.

In the 80s and 90s, LGBTQ people had to deal with  researcher Paul Cameron, who made an infamous name for himself via his now highly discredited studies. During the marriage equality fight of the mid 2000's, there was Mark Regenrus attempting to pass off his bad work as legitimate in a sad last ditch effort to make the case against marriage equality.

And now while we are knee deep in attacks on the transgender community via bad legislation, a new bad faith player has taken centerstage.

Abigail Shrier.

Friday, March 19, 2021

'SC Democrat under fire for sponsorship of anti-trans bill, false idea of health care for trans youth' & other Fri midday news briefs


SC Rep Cezar McKnight has false ideas about health care for trans youth

Democratic Politician Is Architect of South Carolina Anti-Trans Bill - This guy is simply ignorant. He's proposing a bill against trans healthcare and doesn't even know what it entails. Take this passage for example: 

McKnight, whose legislative district is largely rural and two-thirds Black, says that his constituents support the legislation. “Black Democrats tend to be more conservative than white progressives,” McKnight told The Associated Press. “I would not have ever put this bill forward if I didn’t think the people in my district wouldn’t be receptive, and they are. Pastors, young parents, older parents, they all tell me the same thing: if you want to do this, wait until you’re 18.” 

 That's just it. Transgender youth do not go through any type of "surgery."

Exclusive: Violence Against Women Act to offer support to LGBTQ survivors - Thank you! 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Video - Supporters of bills banning transgender athletes prove why the legislation is not needed

I simply have to give the Human Rights Campaign major props because this is a good video. It highlights a simple point about the anti-transgender athlete bills springing up around the country. For all of the lies, hysteria, and basic fear mongering going on about the issue, proponents of these bills can't answer a single direct question - why the bills are needed.

'Many major news outlets highlighted anti-trans voices in coverage of the Equality Act' & other Thur midday news briefs

Many major news outlets highlighted anti-trans voices in coverage of the Equality Act - This has been a major problem from day one and not just with the Equality Act. We know that Fox News bends over backwards to exclude us when talking about our issues. But the other members of the media has no excuses.

73 percent of people support trans kids in sports, new poll finds - This is why it's so important for us to get coverage. You just KNOW outlets like Fox News will ignore this. 

Elton John calls out Catholic Church over ‘Rocketman’ investment - The Catholic Church calls us sinners while making money off of our stories.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Transgender teen becomes star at Equality Act hearing while Republicans want to talk about penises

Stella Keating, a 16-year-old trans high school student, rocked during the Equality Act hearing on Wed and proved that the future of LGBTQ people are in good hands.

Wednesday was an interesting day in Congress as members of the Senate held a hearing on the Equality Act.  The conversation between members of the Senate and witnesses speaking for and against the Equality Act took many directions and embraced several different nuances. However, a few highlights stood out in terms of what this bill on comprehensive LGBTQ rights would actually do compared to how opponents are fear mongering about it.

Without question, the star of the hearing was Stella Keating, a 16-year-old transgender high school student from Washington State. While there were other witnesses for the Equality Act, Keating was easily the most memorable and compelling. She reminded the committee just what the Equality Act was about - fairness.


From The Advocate:

(Keating) is a founder of the GenderCool Project, aimed at advancing understanding of trans and nonbinary people, and wants to be a civil rights attorney and eventually run for public office. “What happens if I want to attend college in a state that doesn’t protect me?” she said. “Right now, I could be denied medical care or be evicted for simply being transgender in many states. How is that even right? How is that even American? “What if I’m offered a dream job in a state where I can be discriminated against? Even if my employer is supportive, I still have to live somewhere. Eat in restaurants. Have a doctor.” 
When the hearing ended after more than three hours, with a variety of witnesses having testified both for and against the bill, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, pronounced Keating the star of the proceedings, “certainly the 16-year-old star.” He pledged to her and the other witnesses that he would work to make equality a reality.

And in opposition to this, the Republicans on the committee offered up basic fear mongering about a false destruction of women's rights, safety and "religious liberty.  One of their chief witnesses was Abigail Shirer, a conservative journalist who has become known on the right for her opposition to the transgender community. Her book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters is as hysterical as the title makes it sound. 

'Marvel to introduce gay Captain America later this year' & other Wed midday news briefs

A gay Captain America? Why not?

Marvel to Introduce Gay Captain America Later This Year
 - Expect some comic book fans to begin whining ahead of time about "PC culture." And we all know conservatives will do what they usually do. Good. It may get them off of Dr. Seuss for a while.

Cop busted for attending hate group’s anti-LGBTQ protest under investigation - What the hell? It only takes one to make it more difficult for the rest.

Elliot Page Covers Time Magazine, Opens Up About Coming Out As Transgender - I have to give Elliot his props. He is being the voice for a lot of folks who don't have one.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Fort Lauderdale honoring anti-LGBTQ hate group and leader who endorsed nightmarishly homophobic booklet

Why is the Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners and its openly gay mayor honoring a hate group whose leader endorsed this extremely homophobic booklet?

According to The New Civil Rights Movement:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s City Commissioners Tuesday evening will honor Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Westminster Academy. Included in those proclamations is the church’s founder, Dr. D. James Kennedy, whose D. James Kennedy Ministries appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.  Fort Lauderdale’s mayor, who is also its first gay mayor, Dean Trantalis, will sign the proclamations making March 21, 2021 Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Day and Westminster Academy Day, as South Florida Gay News reports. 

  . . . A search of the D. James Kennedy Ministries website shows hundreds of articles on homosexuality. Some of them include “Freedom from Homosexuality through the Gospel,” “Brazen Attacks on Marriage,” and “Sexual Anarchy Puts Religious Liberty at Risk.” Truth Wins Out, an LGBT equality non-profit, calls the proclamations “no different than honoring the KKK.” “It’s outrageous to honor Coral Ridge. It is no different than honoring the KKK. This church lied about LGBT people, produced hate propaganda and perpetuated the “ex-gay” hoax. They have NEVER apologized for ruining lives. Stop this madness!”

Now no doubt our opposition will pull the "religious liberty" card along with the "gays should show tolerance for religious opinions" card, thus attempting to lead us into an annoying back and forth which will serve to yet again elevate the false gay vs. religion narrative. But allow me to add something to the mix which I hope will blow away that narrative. 

When it comes to the late James Kennedy and the Coral Ridge Ministries, we are not talking about entities who have "simple religious opposition" to homosexuality. Kennedy and his ministry targeted LGBTQ people without restraint or apology. They may have given the standard phony claim of having "compassion for homosexuals," but they were guided by pure animus and hate.

Naturally,  I have the receipts. So to speak.

'Winners and losers in LGBTQ sports one year into the pandemic' & other Tue midday news briefs

Winners and losers in LGBTQ sports one year into the pandemic - A little change of pace for this blog.

Trans Republican brutally smacked down by fellow conservative in panel discussion - I feel sorry for her. She learned a very hard lesson but I doubt that it will register.

School Districts in Two States Say Perfectly Appropriate Picture Book About a Transgender Boy Is Inappropriate - Meanwhile, all of those violent fairy tales you read as a child were unharmed. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Father's impassioned defense of transgender daughter in front of Missouri lawmakers goes viral

Brandon Boulware's defense of his transgender daughter breaks the issue down as it should be.

This clip of Brandon Boulware, the father of a transgender daughter, speaking in front of the Missouri legislature is probably the simple but most powerful video you will see in a long time. 

Unfortunately there have been some on our side of the spectrum making a point that Mr. Boulware wouldn't have cared about trans children if his family weren't personally affected. Instead of taking such a pretentious point of view, we should honestly ask ourselves would some of us actually care about LGBTQ  issues if we weren't members of the community. The point is let's cease with the negative judgements.  Instead, let's recognize and celebrate that positive change comes for our community when people embrace how they are personally affected by it.

'Ex-gay' pastor loses lawsuit against Vimeo for taking down videos' & other Mon midday news briefs

South Carolina legislators showcase the ignorance exploited by bills targeting transgender children

Cezar McKnight (top photo) and Chris Wooten (bottom photo) are two SC legislators who supporting bills which would negatively target transgender youth.

Recent comments by SC state legislators supporting bills which would target transgender children underscored just how much neither legislator know about transgender health care. 

South Carolina is one of many states across America which are either attempting to ban transgender youth from competing in athletics or making it against the law to provide them with adequate health care (such as providing them with puberty blockers). The proponents of these bills claim that they are necessary to keep female athletes from being cheated out of victories and to also keep children safe from making supposed "life altering" decisions. 

What's happening here has to do with bad assumptions exploited by outside parties whose brand is to undermine LGBTQ rights and safety wherever they find it.  When it comes to athletics, there is no proof that transgender female athletes have an advantage over cis female athletes.  With regards to denying trans children adequate healthcare, the assumptions are even more insidiously inaccurate. 

The supporters of these particular bills seem to be motivated by the belief (no doubt spurred on by outside parties) that trans children are having physically altering surgeries or being fed a host of dangerous drugs which will have negative repercussions on their physical and mental health.  This belief was echoed by two SC legislators in interviews to a local news station :

“To be making a decision like that with lifelong consequences between the ages of say 12 and 18 is just something I don’t think is prudent,” said Rep Cezar McKnight, D-Kingstree. “I don’t care what adults do as long as it’s not harming someone else.” 

 His colleagues said all these bills together aren’t targeting anyone as some critics say it is. “If you ask for something and get a reply it’s called an answer not a target,” said Rep. Chris Wooten, R-Lexington. “We wouldn’t be having this issue if someone had not asked to be involved as a male in women’s sports or a transgender in sports. We wouldn’t be having these conversations if people weren’t getting surgery before the age of 18.”

 But this belief is simply not true. A June 28, 2018 article from Live Science online magazine featured several pediatricians who provided care for trans children. They said the following:

A lot of scaremongering about health care for trans kids falsely suggests that doctors push kids into making permanent changes to their bodies. Every pediatrician who spoke with Live Science for this story emphasized that this isn't true and that they don't know of any doctors who would do that. Kids who haven't yet reached the stage of puberty in which physical changes begin don't receive medication of any kind,  ( Dr. Andrew) Cronyn said. 

For kids who want them, those treatments don't begin until puberty begins in earnest. And the first stage of treatment isn't hormones. Instead, doctors prescribe kids puberty blockers, which can safely put those changes on "pause." That's the standard of care endorsed by both the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). (A representative for the American Academy of Pediatrics told Live Science that it has an official policy statement on the subject in the works, which it will publish later this year.)

 There is some limited evidence that puberty blockers can impact height and bone density, but Cronyn said those risks are low enough that he's never encountered issues in his practice. More recent research has cast doubt on the idea of bone density issues.

And with regards to puberty blockers, studies have shown that their usage have a positive effect on the mental health of trans children. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, they simply pause puberty but have no long term effect on a trans child.

The real danger of these bills have nothing to do with nonexistent surgeries or the false dangers of puberty blockers. They have nothing to do with athletics, either. 

Transgender children are at risk for depression and suicide at a high rate,  but it has nothing to do with who they are. It has everything to do with the messages they are receiving. And the messages these bills are sending them are harmful ones.  These bills make transgender children feel as if they are targets. They are telling these children that they are unloved and unwanted. 

Is that what you want, Reps  McKnight and Wooten?

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Amazon removing books which imply that the LGBTQ identity is a mental illness

From The Hill:

 Amazon has made the decision recently to remove books from its catalog that frame transgender and other LGBTQ identities as mental illnesses, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. 

 The move came after four Republicans — Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) — sent a letter on Feb. 24 to chief executive Jeff Bezos questioning why “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment” was no longer available on Amazon platforms, including Kindle and Audible. 

 “As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” Amazon said in the letter to the senators, obtained by the outlet. Amazon’s vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, wrote in the letter that the company had changed its content guidelines for books since 2018 but did not elaborate on how. Amazon said it provides its customers “with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable.”

 "That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content,” Huseman wrote. “All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, as do we.” It is unclear how many books Amazon has or will remove under the new standard. The Hill has reached out to the company for comment. 

“When Harry Became Sally,” published in 2019, was written by conservative scholar Ryan T. Anderson and discusses several issues including gender identity. “This book exposes the contrast between the media’s sunny depiction of gender fluidity and the often sad reality of living with gender dysphoria,” according to its description online. “It gives a voice to people who tried to ‘transition’ by changing their bodies, and found themselves no better off. Especially troubling are the stories told by adults who were encouraged to transition as children but later regretted subjecting themselves to those drastic procedures.”

Anderson's book was widely condemned for inaccuracies and taking studies out of context. Zack Ford, a former writer from ThinkProgress, wrote several posts calling the book out for its errors and basic transphobia. It was even blasted in a New York Times opinion piece.

Editor's note - this is merely a post talking about a practice of Amazon as relating to LGBTQ people. It should not be taken a general defense of the company in any form.