Archives For Equal Rights

Some Inspiration

March 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Good evening my bitches. I just wanted to stop in a share a little inspiration with everyone tonight. I have found a new hero (or heroine): Sophie Labelle, author and artist of Assigned Male comics. I feel she is doing so much to aid and support the trans community. It’s what I hope to aspire to someday. Hopefully I’ll get her permission and can post or share some of her art as well. In the meantime, please check her page out and give her support and love as well.

Ciao,
denise

Next Steps

March 27, 2017 — Leave a comment

Well my bitches, the weekend is over. (For some of my not so gentle readers it probably already is Monday in fact).

The last year or so has been an exciting ride for sure. I may have acted like a little school girl at times (and probably will for some time now) as I’ve discovered and opened up to my authentic self. That said, now that I’m settling into living a female persona full-time, expect the tone of my posts to change a bit. Not to worry my bitches, there will still be the posts on make-up, clothes, and shopping, but I plan on working towards a more advocacy and support manner for those in the LBGTQ communities.

I will share articles on, particularly, struggles or issues with those who identify as trans. That means support for those fighting bathroom bills in less than open states (i.e. Texas and North Carolina), or to do what I can to educate people on what it really means to be trans.

I will also endeavor, and continue, to support feminism and to help point out behaviours and attitudes that are harmful or that continue to perpetuate a culture of privilege and expectation against women.

Well my bitches, time to get a bit political tonight. It seems the leader of our nation, or his administration, deems it appropriate to draft an executive order to broaden the definition of what defines religious organizations. As reported on MSN, the executive order would ‘broaden religious freedom protections to “any organization, including closely held for-profit corporations, operated for a religious purpose, even if its purpose is not exclusively religious.”‘

The draft states “Persons and organizations do not forfeit their religious freedom when providing social services, education, or healthcare; earning a living, seeking a job, or employing others; receiving government grants or contracts: or otherwise participating in the marketplace, the public square, or interfacing with Federal, State or local governments”. In short, a person, or business, could refuse service and claim they were following their religious beliefs. Based on the wording of the order not only could the person or business be able to do so, any person, or entity (including a city, state or government) that said you have to provide services to all people, then that person or entity would be in violation. Let’s take the Kim Davis story from last year after the Supreme Courts ruled that same-sex couples were afforded the same privileges as heterosexual couples. Even as a state employee, the order would protect Ms. Davis for upholding her religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, while denying the civil rights of the same sex couple wishing to seek a marriage license.

So, while I do agree that no single person can “forfeit their religious freedom”, meaning a person can choose to believe what they want, that doesn’t mean that freedom extends to the point that it denies the civil rights, or belief system, of another. In other words, I can be a Christian, and I can believe a god created the Earth and universe, but that doesn’t give me the right to force others to believe as I do. That, my bitches, is religious freedom: Everyone is free to believe in whomever, whatever, or even nothing.

I won’t go into more detail of the order and start a religious or political debate, but I want to throw out some potential unintended consequences of this order if signed. Will those same protections extend if, for example, a Muslim florist refuses to fulfill and order for a Christian wedding? Could a practitioner of Rastafari be prosecuted for use of cannabis?

It will be interesting to see where this leads over the next few days, and to see if the President, and his advisers, are considering the entire religious community in their order, or only Christians. If it’s the latter, and the order is signed, expect not only a strong and immediate backlash, but also more along the lines of the law of unintended consequences as non-Christians leverage this to their advantage.

Good night my bitches, until next time,
denise

A change for 2017

January 4, 2017 — Leave a comment

Today’s topic, bitches, is about change! It can be good, it can be neutral, or it can be bad. Those outcomes, however, are based on the perception of those experiencing that change.

To start with, I’m changing the look of my blog. For myself, I feel this is a good experience. From my perspective, the original WordPress theme was limiting. I honestly didn’t like that the widgets were in the footer. That mean that you, my (not-so) gentle readers, were forced to read to the bottom to find the like, follow, or comment buttons. From a user experience perspective, readers should have all the web or application controls and widgets needed to browse, comment, the like, nearby without having to scroll or look around for them. On that note, my bitches, let me know if, from your perspective, this change is good, neutral, or bad.

The second topic around change is much more serious. It’s regarding National Geographic’s January 2017 cover story on the Gender Revolution. The story, as reported by USA Today, features a 9-year old transgender girl, Avery, on their cover.

From my point of view, this is a good change. It is putting the topic of gender identity more into the public eye, and challenging many existing norms and stereotypes. As Robin Marantz Henig notes in one story from this issue

“Many of us learned in high school biology that sex chromosomes determine a baby’s sex, full stop: XX means it’s a girl; XY means it’s a boy. But on occasion, XX and XY don’t tell the whole story”

But what does this mean? It means that we, as a race, are just really beginning to unravel what makes us human. And, as the editor of National Geographic explains in a note on why they opted for this story “beliefs about gender are shifting rapidly and radically”.

For some, this type of change is not being perceived in a positive light. It is challenging their social, and religious, ideology. How can one rationalize a belief system that is binary in nature (good/evil, man/woman, male/female, etc) when presented with non-binary  types (intersex, transgender)?

As I discussed with my mother over Christmas, it’s not easy. I tried a thought experiment with her along these lines: If God created people in his image, didn’t he create intersex, and transgender people this way (I went on as well about gay, lesbian, etc). And if he created them, and since “science” is proving more and more that people are born this way, doesn’t that mean they are part of God, that God created them gay, lesbian, trans, as well and deserve love and compassion?

Her response sort of defied logic: “God created man and woman. If they are born gay, or trans, then Satan made them that way and they can pray, ask forgiveness, and return to how God created them”.

And that, my bitches, is why I applaud NatGeo for publishing this special issue: Let’s get these topics more out in the open so people can understand non-binary types. Let’s get the dialogue moving (hopefully) in a more positive light and acceptance.

One last favor to my readers. First off, be an ally to any LGBTQ friends or family you know. Let them know you support them. Secondly, please sound off on my blog with your thoughts and comments.

Signing off for tonight my lovelies,

Ciao,
denise

It wasn’t too long ago that the Boy Scouts of America found themselves embroiled in the sexual orientation political  maelstrom due to its policy banning members or leader who were gay. Over the course of about a year the council revised its stance and followed the course of the rest of the country in non-discrimination rights and practices. That is: the organization would not (and can’t) use sexual orientation to deny membership. And we all thought that was settled until this week. USA Today broke two stories: one a positive piece on National Geographic’s cover of a trans girl (and in-depth article on gender revolution) then secondly, their story yesterday on a trans boy’s removal from his Cub Scout pack.

As I read in a Facebook article yesterday, a young, transgender boy was removed from his Cub Scout pack because he was in fact born biologically female.

I took that first article with a grain of salt, not that I didn’t believe it, but more from the “it was on Facebook” perspective. Because, as we all know my lovelies, not everything on the Internet, much less Facebook, is true.

But today the story appeared on several new sites that are rather more reliable. I’m including a link to the story from USA Today as reported through MSN. However, tonight’s post isn’t as much about the story as it is the response.

I’ll have to admit that in some aspects I wasn’t surprise at the negative reaction. Many commenting on the article calling the parent’s abusive, saying that CPS should be brought in and remove the child, etc (back to this later). What was more surprising to me was the lack of religious fervor in the comments. I more than expected to see reactions like “God didn’t create these psychos”, quotes from Leviticus condemning gay people, and more. That aside, I’ll return to the common thread among the respondents.

I’ll be the first to admit that there is a lot of misleading information regarding gender identity, transgender, intersex people. And it can be confusing to filter fact from fiction. I myself can attest to that as I’m still trying to figure out where and what I am, and where I fall on the gender spectrum. But in the end, does it really matter? Why do we as a society feel that we have the right, or need, to judge people, and their actions or beliefs particularly when they are different?

Why can’t we as a society let people be free to live the lives they are comfortable with regardless of how they identify or express themselves? Why do we have to mock, tear down, and vilify those that aren’t the same as us?

If a person, as a parent, doesn’t understand transgender, or intersex issues, that’s one thing. But when their child is confused, seems to be acting out, or struggling with their identity, what is more supportive and helpful? Trying to understand and figure it out with their child, and being supportive of the child in their exploration? Or making them adopt the parent’s view-point, restricting their exploration and discovery?

In my opinion, it’s the former and the latter can only bring about more trauma, confusion, and, as can be seen in numerous articles, physical harm. Suicide rates among transgender people is high enough without the additional stigma and lack of support from family.

So help me, gentle readers. Become an ally, Show support for trans friends and family. Stand up with me and say to others that we’re all humans who just want to live happy lives.

Ciao,

denise

Good evening my lovelies, I hope everyone has recovered from their holiday festivities. As for me, well, it’s a process. My introverted nature is demanding a little respite (primarily from family). I’m tired, my lovelies, and my brain needs a break from people. But, true to my word, I’m working to keep this blog active and current.

On that note, I really don’t have much to share. I was too tired and slept until the last possible minute this morning. As such I barely had time to shower and dress much less don my “daily wear”. Not that I didn’t have the desire. It was more a matter of inertia and initiative.

I know there are some pressing news items on the political front with regard to LGBT issues but again, my brain is just not in a place to deal with them at the moment. Although, I did just read a story about a transgender boy being removed from his Cub Scout pack. I’ll do some research and follow-up my bitches.

For now though, ciao…

Denise

Whew! (Or heavy sigh, take your pick my lovelies).

Yes, they are over. I made it through! (Did you?) I had my last family obligations today and it went… Ok, I made it through.

I got over my trepidation and nervousness and decided for closer to my normal daily wear. That is (besides my foundation, concealer, and powder) I opted for eye liner (top and bottom) with a small cat eye corner, and dark grey shadow with my dark orange MAC blush powder as an accent color.

My sister was the first to notice which was not surprising. But it was a nonchalant “Oh, you’ve got make-up on today” type of thing. I gave her a quick “Yep, feeling festive” response and we moved on. My brother, the ultraconservative Christian, snickered and made a comment, but we soon moved on. I caught him snickering or giving me weird grins later on as if he were mocking me. But hey, I don’t do this for him or anyone else. He can keep his narrow minded opinion.

Then, about an hour and a half into lunch, he left and I swapped places so I could sit directly across from my sister and talk. We were having a good conversation when the first bomb dropped from my mom: “When did you turn away from God?” <Insert crickets chirping>

It had actually started a bit earlier when she gave me a Christian necklace with a Bible verse on it. I looked at it and thanked her. As I was putting it back in the box she asked if I would wear it. I ignored it and pretended I didn’t hear it. But when the question came up later about turning away from God, she brought it up again. “Are you going to wear it”?

Aside from the tackiness of asking if someone is going to wear something you bought them for a gift, how does one respond? I thought about asking her “If I bought you a pentagram, would you wear that”?

Fortunately I was spared from answering her as that’s when my brother decided to leave and I changed places. Not long afterward she brought it up again “Are you going to wear it”?

I was thinking about how to answer when she followed up with the “when did you turn from God question” among several others. At least these were easier questions to answer although awkward because of how she can’t fathom an atheist. I deflected this time with the standard “I thought it wasn’t polite to discuss religion or politics” statement.

By this time though, the full awkwardness has settled in like fog over London. I looked at my sister and said “we should talk later”. My mom took that as the hint that lunch was through and we began to wrap up and leave. That’s when she noticed my make-up and commented. At least it wasn’t a derogatory or malicious comment and I remarked that I just like to wear it and it allows me to be more artistic and express myself. She looked stunned and didn’t press any further.

Later, my sister and I met for drinks and a good, deep talk. She and I are in a good place and were able to be real, and honest with each other. We both respect each other and have similar beliefs about people and how we should treat those around us. Hint: It’s with respect for everyone’s lifestyle, views, and opinions.

So now I’m back at my hotel, drained emotionally, and tired. I got through it and my family obligations. And that, my lovelies, is why I prefer to spend time with the family I choose, over my biological family.

Ciao,

D

Here we are bitches, one day closer to Christmas. And Sandra Claus is coming to town!

Actually, I’m a bit toned down this weekend as I’m a bit outside my comfort zone. I’m in Texas to visit family and most of them have no clue about my life outside of their little bubble. However, it’s not my family I’m concerned about as the rest of the people I encounter. Why?

Texas is one of the few “bathroom bill” states. A state where if a person isn’t straight, white, and married then you must be a pervert, deranged, mentally unfit, or just “gay” (you know, that derogatory “That’s just gay” attitude).

In general, I honestly don’t care what people think. Everyone has a right to their beliefs and opinions. But in Texas it seems like people who believe and live differently than your’s truly here, not only do not share the “live and let live” philosophy, but

  1. Want to force people to believe that their thought’s, belief’s, opinion’s are correct
  2. Think that anyone outside their belief system is “sick”, or “needs Jesus”, or is “going to hell”

Thus laws like bathroom bills (thankfully voted down). In this forward thinking state the bill would have required people to use bathrooms associated with the gender on their birth certificate. Besides being (in this writer’s personal opinion) a bit backwards, it’s also a bit creepy. For example, how were they to enforce it? Would the state or local municipalities hire extra personnel to check birth certificates and have people pull down their unmentionables to check genitalia? “I’m sorry ma’am, even though you appear to be female and have what appears to be a vagina, your birth certificate says male. Therefore, you’re in violation and are under immediate arrest”.

There have been actual elected officials (mayors, senators, sheriffs to name a few) who have publicly stated they would “beat up”, “shoot”, “kill” any “pervert attempting to use the wrong bathroom”.

Thus my trepidation my (not-so) gentle readers. 20161224_164455I’ve toned down my make-up to just basic daily wear: That is foundation, concealer, powder, and a nude, natural lipstick. (FYI, it’s Revlon’s Champagne on Ice, 205).

More importantly, it’s my nails. I go with my girlfriend every few weeks or so for manis and pedis. Since I am a bit hard on nails and chip the crap out of them just by looking I’ve switched to shellac’s. And this week I went with a heat sensitive, color changing shellac so it’s quite obvious.

20161224_165909

Warm color

20161224_164534

Cold color

Overall, I just go about my business and act natural. I feel like if a person is self conscious, draws attention with their nervousness, that it actually attracts more attention.But, I am on-guard end keep my eyes and ears peeled just in case.

Enough for now my lovelies! Happy Christmas Eve, Happy first day of Hanukkah my lovelies.

Ciao, denise

Hello my lovelies, so sorry that I haven’t written in awhile. My world has gotten just a tad busy. (That’s not to say that I’m not still working my “girlish figure” and experimenting daily, I just haven’t had much time to write). But, this week’s news regarding Target and their decision to remove gender labeling in the toy aisles has had me perplexed. Not because of Target’s decision, but more the outcry from it.
LegoStarWars

My Facebook page feed has been a mixed bag of those showing support for the decision, and those adamantly against it. One friend posted “Not shopping at Target anymore, God made men and women. We’re different, so why do we need to change that”?

Hmmm, I’m perplexed. In my opinion that’s a non sequitur. So, God made men and women. If that’s what you believe fine. But, and this is big folks, men and women made the toys. And, again this is a big point folks, as the consumer YOU have the choice what to buy or not buy for your children. If your daughter wants the Meccano (r) Lego set will you tell her “No, that’s for boys”? Or is she wants the Star Wars (r) set will you say “Let’s find Princess Leia” Maybe your son wants the Lego Super Friends(r) set with Wonder Woman. Will you turn him down and steer him towards the Batman(r) because “it’s for boys?” (FYI… Look at these pictures. Do they say “For boys 8-14” or “For Girls 6-12”?)
LegoPrincess

Why stifle your child’s creativity and expression?

Another absurd comment I heard was “If Target removes gender labeling from these toys, how can I find what I’m looking for?” Seriously, “Boys Building Sets” and “Girls Building Sets” are now “Building Sets”. What are you looking for? That Star Wars(r) set for your son? Can’t find it in “Building Sets”? Maybe there are deeper issues. Looking for a girl’s bike? Can’t find it because there’s no “Girl’s Bicycles” aisle? Maybe, and this is just me, but could it be on the “Bicycles” aisle? Or, are there just too many options that would be confusing? To borrow a quote from comedian Bill Engvall: “Here’s your sign”.

Now people, let’s try worrying about something real.

Ciao my lovelies,
Denise

Marriage Equality!

June 26, 2015 — Leave a comment

Just a quick shout out to say “Hooray” for the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. #LoveWins!