Let’s talk about a Cuban referendum and party and policy….

Trans youth charity Mermaids responds to The Telegraph ‘investigation’ amid breast binder row

Again the right has to lie about medical facts, make up fake “investigations”, and lie about the safeguards the charity has for their trans kid subscribers all to drive as much hate as possible against trans.   Please notice that the famous well known TERF J.K Rowling is pushing the lies and myths hard as she does with anything atni-trans.    Hugs

Mermaids marches at Pride in London

Mermaids marches at Pride in London, 2019. (Barcroft Media via Getty/ Wiktor Szymanowicz)

Trans children’s charity Mermaids has responded to an “investigation” by The Telegraph which suggested the charity was putting children at risk.

On Sunday (25 September), The Telegraph ran a story headlined: “Trans charity Mermaids giving breast binders to children behind parents’ backs”.

The story largely relied on an unidentified adult masquerading as a 14-year-old child to access services from Mermaids, including the charity’s youth forum and web chat helpline.

 

The newspaper reported an email exchange between the charity and the adult – pretending to be a 14-year-old trans boy named “Kai” – in which staff agreed to provide them with a free binder after they had become “a member of the charity’s online Youth Forum for a month and posted three times”.

Mermaids also reportedly provided extensive information about safe binder wearing, and risks associated with binders, which can reduce dysphoria in some trans people.

The Telegraph expressed outrage that the charity did not grill the “child” on their mental health and require that they inform an adult, even though “Kai” had already described their family as unaccepting.

Although Mermaids refused to comment for The Telegraph’s “investigation”, the charity said in its own statement addressing the issues raised: “Some trans masculine, non-binary and gender diverse people experience bodily dysphoria, as a result of their chest, and binding, for some, helps alleviate that distress.

“Mermaids takes a harm reduction position with the understanding that providing a young person with a binder and comprehensive safety guidelines from an experienced member of staff is preferable to the likely alternative of unsafe practices and/or continued or increasing dysphoria.

 

“The risk is considered by Mermaids staff within the context of our safeguarding framework.”

Although Mermaids’ youth forums are designed to be a safe space for young people, The Telegraph also published information about the kind of conversations being had by teenagers, including on the topic of puberty blockers.

Researchers in 2020 found that puberty blockers can be “life-saving” for trans youth, drastically decreasing their chance of suicide, depression and anxiety, and the Endocrine Society describes hormone-blocking medication as a reversible treatment option to “give adolescents more time to explore their options”.

The newspaper tried to paint Mermaids’ forums as unsafe, including quotes from anti-trans campaigners like Transgender Trend founder Stephanie Davies-Arai, and MPs Joanna Cherry and Miriam Cates, who claimed the “investigation” raised “huge safeguarding red flags”.

But the charity clarified: “We have robust security and moderation processes in place to ensure our forums are a safe space for trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people and their families.

 

“In August 2022, an individual – possibly a journalist – tried to gain access to the youth forums by pretending to be a 14-year-old in need of support, seemingly with the aim of discrediting Mermaids.

“This person was caught in the moderation process and has since been blocked. Security of our platforms and safeguarding of young people is of the utmost importance to us and we will continue to regularly review our processes and procedures to make sure our forums remain safe and secure.”

The article from The Telegraph has spread like wildfire across social media, stoking unfounded accusations of safeguarding concerns at Mermaids, and was shared by JK Rowling.

In response, Carrie Lyell, head of communications at Mermaids, told Rowling: “I’d be happy to have a chat about what we actually do at Mermaids. But then, real life is never quite as interesting or salacious as fiction, is it?”

Rowling has not publicly taken up their offer.

 

 

Texas Paul REACTS to MAGA Lying about Man Indicted for TERRORIZING Planned Parenthood Patients

Radical MAGA Senator Mike Lee accused the Department of Justice of “overreach” after forced-birther Mark Houck was indicted. What he failed to mention was that the man had been terrorizing patients at a Planned Parenthood and physically assaulted a 72-year-old man who was escorting patients into the Planned Parenthood—twice. The Republican Party has become a lawless party of crime and never ending gaslighting. Texas Paul breaks it down.

‘My son killed himself after circumcision’

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-47292307

I read this article earlier in the day, then did some other things, and then read it again.   I was not sure how to introduce it on my Playtime Site.   Why I decided I had to post it is because I have long thought that circumcision is wrong and is male genital mutilation.    This is the first article I have read that used that term and compared it to female genital mutilation.   Yes!  I agree whole heartly.   I have posted on my blogs about how wrong FGM is and how it ruins the pleasure of sex for women.   I think that is the reason religions call for it to be done is that it reduces the sexual pleasure for those that it is done to.  I think the old males in charge of these religions understood how much pleasure they were deprived of in their youth they would rebel then, but now in their older age they use it to discourage sexual exploration because it is not as fun.   So how do I know that it is harmful and reduces sensation greatly if you were circumcised as a kid.     Well I have dated and had sex with circumcised men, and I can tell you that circumcision lowers the sexual sensations, it reduces the pleasure of sexual acts with the penis, and it can increase the time to orgasm to the point where sometimes it is very hard for circumcised men to orgasm.   I have had sex with men in their prime who could only orgasm with a lot of stimulation and some sexual fun acts simply would be enough to get them to orgasm.   As the doctor in the article says your are taking a highly sensitive part of the body and removing all protection from it so it is constantly rubbed on clothing and other things.   I don’t know if it causes the brain to shut down the sensation or wears the nerves out or what but it is like having gloves on and trying to feel things with your fingers.      As someone who was highly sexualized in childhood and has been highly sexual all my life, I can understand how someone in their early twenties would think life not worth living if that part of their life were taken away from them.   It would have destroyed me also.    In case it is not clear I am NOT circumcised.  (yes for those worried about how much information about myself online I am poor and while my penis is very important to me it is not listed on my credit reports that I can find so it won’t help anyone to important me to gain money)   The read is long but very informative and I would ask you all to read the article and consider joining the ranks of the people trying to stop the routine sexual mutilation of baby boys.   For those worried that children are being given sexual surgery and it is harming them, well people here are the real child sexual surgeries that are happening that are harming little kids.    Hugs

By Caroline Lowbridge
BBC News

  • Published
 
Lesley Roberts and Alex Hardy in CanadaIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex Hardy sent his mum Lesley Roberts an email explaining his decision

“It quickly became apparent that what had just happened was a catastrophe… I died in 2015, not now.”

Lesley Roberts was stunned as she read the devastating final email from her beloved son Alex Hardy.

The email had been timed to arrive on 25 November 2017, 12 hours after he killed himself. Less than an hour before the email arrived, Lesley had opened her front door to find a police officer standing there, explaining her son was dead.

Alex was an intelligent and popular 23-year-old with no history of mental illness. Lesley could not understand why he would have wanted to take his own life.

His email explained how the foreskin of his penis had been surgically removed two years before. This is commonly known as circumcision, but Alex had come to believe it should be regarded as “male genital mutilation”.

He never mentioned this to his family or friends when he was alive. Lesley did not even know her son had been circumcised.

 

In the following months, she tried to find out more about circumcision. Why had it affected Alex so badly, and why did he feel killing himself was his only option?

Alex as a babyIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994
Presentational white space

Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons and had been very much longed for, having been conceived after fertility treatment.

Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994.

“He was everything I could have wished for,” she says. “Gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas who arrived following more treatment almost three years later.”

He also adored his baby brother James, who was born when Alex was 13. The walls and windowsills of Lesley’s home in Cheshire are covered in photos of all of them.

Alex sailed through his education and was particularly gifted at English, so much so that his old school established the Alex Hardy Creative Writing Award in his memory.

 

“Alex was passionate about history but as his English teacher I saw in him a true talent for writing,” says Jason Lowe, who is now head teacher at Tarporley High School.

Alex at schoolIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex was intelligent and sailed through school
Presentational white space

It was while on a school skiing trip to Canada, aged 14, that Alex fell in love with the country. He had enjoyed skiing as a child and the trip reignited his passion. So, when Alex reached 18, he decided to defer university and live in Canada for a year.

“He fell in love completely with Canada and made so many friends and got a promotion at work,” says Lesley.

“After one year he rang me and said ‘Mum, I’m deferring my place for university’. The same thing happened after year two.”

Two years turned into three, then four, and by the time of his death Alex had been living in Canada for five years and had obtained residency.

“He was known as the ‘super-smart Brit’ with impeccable manners,” says his mother. “The super-intelligent guy from the UK who helped people with their Canadian residency applications.”

 
Alex snowboardingIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex was a keen skier and snowboarder, but he found physical activity painful after being circumcised

Lesley visited her son several times, both alone and with his brothers and stepfather. They were a close family, but Alex did not tell any of them he was secretly suffering with a problem with his penis.

“I had issues with a tight foreskin,” he eventually wrote in his final email, “but from my late teens it created issues in the bedroom as it meant my foreskin would not retract over the glans as intended which caused some awkward moments.”

In 2015, still silently suffering, Alex consulted a doctor in Canada. He was given steroid cream to stretch his foreskin, but went back to the doctor after just a few weeks because he did not think the treatment was working.

The medical name for Alex’s problem is phimosis. It simply means his foreskin was too tight to pull back from the head of his penis, or the “glans” as Alex referred to it in his email. This is perfectly normal for boys in the early years of their life. As boys get older, their foreskin usually starts to separate from the head of the penis.

Lesley Roberts at home
Image caption,
Lesley says Alex was “intuitive, empathetic, gentle, kind, witty, quirky, unassuming and caring”

Phimosis does not always cause problems, but if it does, problems can include difficulty urinating and pain during sex. In England, the NHS advises topical steroids and stretching techniques – and circumcision as a last resort.

Over in Canada, where circumcision is more common, Alex was referred to a urologist.

“He immediately suggested circumcision,” Alex wrote. “I asked about stretching and he completely lied to my face and said it would not work for me.

“I was mostly trusting as I felt he was the expert who knew best in this regard so with a pinch of salt I accepted it.”

Lesley has since read online reviews of this urologist which have made her question his competence. One patient said she had been unable to work since having surgery for kidney problems, and he had “destroyed” her quality of life.

“I’m a mother of three young children who are scared every day I will die as they see me suffering in so much pain,” she wrote.

“I can see how he misdiagnosed others, botched surgeries, and ruined lives,” said another review. “He’s dangerously incompetent.”

Another review of Alex’s urologist read: “They left a surgical instrument in my bladder but I only got notified three months later. Run away before you get hurt!”

Alex Hardy in CanadaIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Lesley says she misses Alex’s “big sparkly eyes, his grin, his sense of humour, and his bear hugs”
Presentational white space

Lesley, who was “horrified” by these reviews, has asked for the urologist to be investigated. She has been told an inquiry is ongoing.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia told the BBC it “cannot disclose the existence of a complaint against a physician, and only may do so if the complaint leads to formal discipline”.

“I will wish with my last breath and with all of heart that my darling son had run away,” says Lesley.

Much to his regret, Alex was not able to research the urologist – or circumcision – properly at the time because his laptop was broken.

He had tried researching the topic in a public computer space but felt uncomfortable, and also felt it was “too much of a taboo” to discuss with friends.

So Alex booked what he believed was a minor procedure and had the surgery in 2015, at the age of 21.

Alex and his youngest brotherIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex “adored” his little brother
Presentational white space

In the email to his mother, Alex explained, in great detail, the physical problems he had suffered afterwards.

He described experiencing constant stimulation from the head of his penis, which was no longer protected by his foreskin.

“These ever-present stimulated sensations from clothing friction are torture within themselves; they have not subsided/normalised from years of exposure,” he wrote.

“Imagine what would happen to an eyeball if the eyelid was amputated?”

“He was in so much pain that it hurt to do normal physical activity,” says Lesley. “He was a keen skier and snowboarder so you can imagine the pain he was in.”

Male reproductive systemIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
The foreskin protects the head of the penis, known as the glans

Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, advises his patients that the head of their penis will be more sensitive after circumcision.

However, this sensitivity usually reduces.

“I always say to guys ‘it’s going to feel more sensitive to start with’ because all of a sudden you haven’t got this protection over the head of the penis and it will feel different,” says Mr Dorkin, who has carried out more than 1,000 circumcisions.

“But in the vast majority of the cases the man adjusts to that, the brain adjusts to that, it adjusts to the signals that are coming back through the nerves from the head of the penis.”

Alex also wrote about experiencing erectile dysfunction, and burning and itching sensations, particularly from a scar which sat where his frenulum was removed. The frenulum is a band of tissue where the foreskin attaches to the under surface of the penis. Some men refer to it as their “banjo string”.

“It’s one of the more erogenous zones so it’s thought to be important in sexual function,” says Mr Dorkin.

“The foreskin, the head of the penis and the frenulum is a very, very sensitive area.

“But again when you do circumcision sometimes the frenulum is not preserved and it doesn’t necessarily have an effect on overall sexual function and enjoyment.”

A circumcision protest outside the Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta, Georgia on 2 February 2019IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
A growing movement regards male circumcision as male genital mutilation

But Alex felt his frenulum had been important.

“Through its absence I can certainly verify it is the most erogenously sensitive area of the penis and male body overall,” he wrote.

“If someone were to amputate your clitoris you may begin to be able to understand how this feels.”

He wrote about experiencing cramps and contractions in his muscles and “uncomfortable” sensations which extended deep into his abdomen.

Lesley does not know whether or not Alex had sex after his circumcision.

“Where I once had a sexual organ I have now been left with a numb, botched stick,” he wrote. “My sexuality has been left in tatters.”

He asked: “Nature knows best – how can chopping off a section of healthy tissue improve nature’s evolved design?”

Foreskin ‘protects head of penis’

Like many people, Lesley admits she knew very little about the foreskin or circumcision before her son died.

“I didn’t know anything apart from I believed it was a very routine surgery,” she says.

The foreskin is sometimes dismissed as a “useless flap of skin”, but Mr Dorkin says it does have a purpose.

“It covers the head of the penis,” he says. “In terms of what’s it for, it provides a bit of protection to the head of the penis. It’s thought to have some sort of immunological function perhaps.”

Circumcision rates vary a lot depending on where you are in the world and which culture you grew up in.

According to the World Health Organization, 95% of men are circumcised in Nigeria but only 8.5% of men in the UK are.

Table showing circumcision rates among men in a number of countries around the world. Source: WHO

Most of the men circumcised in the UK are either Muslim or Jewish, as circumcision is regarded as an important part of their religions.

According to the 2011 census, Muslims accounted for 4.8% of the population in England and Wales, while 0.5% were Jewish.

People who question circumcision are sometimes accused of being anti-Semitic or Islamophobic, but Lesley stresses her son was neither.

“For me, this has nothing to do with religion at all. I respect all people of faith or indeed no faith, as Alex did,” she says.

In Canada, where Alex had moved to, an estimated 32% of men are circumcised.

Alex felt male circumcision has been normalised to the extent that most people do not question it, while female circumcision has become known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and is now illegal in many countries.

Lesley, Alex and one of his younger brothers
Image caption,
Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons

He felt male circumcision should be known as “male genital mutilation” – a view shared by a growing anti-circumcision movement.

“If I were a female (in Western nations) this would have been illegal, the surgeon would be a criminal and this would never have been considered as an option by doctors,” Alex wrote.

“I do not believe in championing one gender over another but I feel strongly that gender equality should be achieved for all.”

Campaigners for “genital autonomy” believe it is wrong to circumcise a baby or child – whether they are male or female – because the patient cannot give consent, and these campaigners regard circumcision as a human rights issue.

Jewish baby about to be circumcisedIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
Campaigners for “genital autonomy” argue that circumcising a baby is wrong because an infant cannot consent

Having lived with an intact penis for 21 years, Alex believed men circumcised as babies or young children would “tragically never be able to fully comprehend what has been taken away”. He estimated he had been stripped of 75% of the sensitivity of his penis.

However, experiences of men circumcised as adults differ dramatically.

Some men actually prefer sex afterwards because they no longer have the pain of a tight or inflamed foreskin.

Some report a significant loss in sensitivity and greatly reduced sexual pleasure.

Some report being less sensitive but say there is no change in their overall enjoyment of sex.

Some are very happy with their decision to get circumcised.

Some, like Alex, deeply regret having it done.

Alex Roberts whale watching on his 21st birthdayIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex went whale watching with his mother for his 21st birthday

Alex sought further medical help following the circumcision as well as psychological help, but never shared his problems with his family or friends.

“I was with him during those two years and I think I would be lying if I said I didn’t think something wasn’t right,” says Lesley.

“I did say ‘Is something bothering you? Are you OK?’ and he would absolutely reassure me that he was.”

Lesley, who used to be a teacher, now hopes to go into schools and speak to young men about sharing their problems, even if they are very personal.

“I think we all know that men don’t particularly tend to talk about their problems in the same way that girls do but I think circumcision is very much a taboo subject,” she says.

“Alex was reserved. He certainly wouldn’t have said ‘I’ve got a tight foreskin and it really hurts’. And he didn’t. And I didn’t know.”

Only a week after Alex died, a friend opened up to Lesley about his own circumcision.

“He told me he wouldn’t normally have mentioned it but he had a circumcision as an older man, 10 years ago, and he was in constant daily pain,” says Lesley. “It just seems it’s more common than you think.”

Trevor Dorkin
Image caption,
Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, warns his patients of risks before circumcising them

Mr Dorkin says serious problems following a circumcision are rare, but not unheard of.

“You do hear of horror stories where a circumcision has been done poorly and there’s damage done to the head of the penis itself,” he says.

Sometimes too much skin is taken and this can result in what’s known as “burying” or shortening of the penis, where it gets pulled back into the body.

“Surgeons at the end of the day are human and there is potential for human error and technical error during any operation,” he says.

“One of my mentors told me every case is a tricky case, that’s got to be your approach to surgery. You never take anything for granted in surgery.”

** Scottie note, there is a video at the link above for here on circumcision in South Africa if you are interested. **

Media caption,

Circumcision in South Africa

There have been cases of children and men dying after being circumcised.

Four-week-old Goodluck Caubergs bled to death after a nurse circumcised him at his home in Manchester, while one-month-old Angelo Ofori-Mintah bled to death after being circumcised.

Since 1995 at least 1,100 boys have died in South Africa after ritual circumcisions. Some penises fall off after becoming infected and rotten, while some have to be amputated.

In Canada, where Alex was living, newborn baby Ryan Heydari bled to death after being circumcised by a doctor in Ontario.

Recently there have been reports of two babies dying within weeks of each other after home circumcisions in Italy, and a two-year-old boy died after being circumcised at a migrant centre in Italy.

Alex and his younger brotherIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
As a child Alex was “gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas”

“I’m not qualified to say that circumcision is always bad, because it isn’t,” says Lesley.

“It certainly was in my son’s case and I think we need more research. We need to look into the risks, what can really go wrong, and we need to be more aware of them.”

If a circumcision is necessary, Mr Dorkin says it is important to tell patients about potential complications.

“Particularly when you are doing the operation in a guy who is in his late teenage years or early adulthood, it’s a very sensitive area and sexual function is important, so you have to explain the risks to them,” he says.

Lesley with Alex as a babyIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex asked his mother to share his story after he died

“Alex said he was not made aware of all the risks,” says Lesley. “If he had, I feel sure he would not have had the surgery.

“Alex wasn’t alone. I now know he wasn’t the only one that this has happened to. And that can’t be right.”

The UK charity 15 Square, which tries to educate people about circumcision, says Alex is not the only man to have killed himself after being circumcised.

“It happens more frequently than people realise,” says chairman David Smith.

There are no statistics on men who have killed themselves after being circumcised. Alex died over a year ago but his story has not been told until now. An inquest into his death was held in the UK but it was not reported by the media.

Lesley, who is normally private and reserved like her son, only agreed to share Alex’s story because it was his dying wish.

“If the following information can benefit anybody then it has served its purpose,” he wrote.

“I did not feel comfortable raising the issue when I had a choice, so if my story can raise awareness to break this taboo within society regarding men’s health then I am happy for release of my words.

“Alex said in his letter ‘We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us’,” says Lesley.

“This is the last thing I’m doing for my precious son.”

For details of organisations which offer advice and support, go to BBC Action Line.

** Scotties note, at the link above is the links to these other circumcision articles.   The links were not correctly embedded in the post. **

Fox News COMPLAINS About a Problem THEY CREATED!!

Evelyn Rios Stafford made trans history in Arkansas. She’s not finished yet.

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/09/evelyn-rios-stafford-made-trans-history-arkansas-shes-not-finished-yet/

 
Evelyn Rios Stafford made trans history in Arkansas. She’s not finished yet.
Photo: Robert Stafford
 

In just a few short years in politics, Evelyn Rios Stafford has managed to make an impression at the highest levels of government, and at the most local, too.

The first transgender person to hold elected office in Arkansas, Rios Stafford serves as Justice of the Peace for her small district in Fayetteville. In her role, she’s officiated dozens of weddings for constituents. “That’s one of the highlights of this gig as Justice of the Peace. It always gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling to do that for people,” she told LGBTQ Nation.

Now, Rios Stafford is running for reelection to the post without serious opposition, a vote of confidence even before the election that constituents view her time in office as effective.

Rios Stafford’s first political involvement was getting a local civil rights ordinance passed in the late 2010’s. In 2020, she ran for an open seat on the local Quorum Court, the equivalent of a board of supervisors, and won. She represents about 16,000 people in her district.

At 49, with a broad smile and the easy, thoughtful cadence of a Texas native, Rios Stafford says being trans wasn’t a focus of her first campaign. “You know, I made one post…about it on National Coming Out Day during the campaign. But that was about it.” It wasn’t until after she was elected that “some folks got wind of the fact that I was a first of something.”

But her victory would become pivotal in the fight over trans rights in the state.

In 2021, the Arkansas legislature passed HB1570, also known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation or SAFE Act. Like similar legislation introduced in other red states, the bill would ban all gender-affirming care for minors, prohibit insurance from covering gender transition procedures, and criminalize those assisting minors in the process.

The bill was awaiting Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson’s signature when Rios Stafford was enlisted by an Arkansas legislator to help halt the bill’s march into law. From the “phone call to me to meeting the governor was probably, I’d say 24 hours.”

While Rios Stafford was trans, she hadn’t transitioned as a youth. “I knew that I needed to also make space for folks who had this experience and were directly impacted, because their voices are really the ones that have been left out of this whole thing,” she said. Rios Stafford brought 18 year-old Willow Breshears, who began transitioning at 16 with her family’s active support, to the ornate conference room table for her meeting with the governor.

“This was probably the first time that he had ever had a sit down, face-to-face discussion with a trans person before, or in this case two trans people. And, you know, he was kind of starting at zero in terms of knowledge.” A 15-minute appointment turned into half an hour and then 45 minutes. “He was just wanting to know more, basically.”

“I was on pins and needles walking out of that room, like, you know, almost on the verge of having a panic attack. I was replaying all of my answers in my head, like, did I say the right thing, did I screw this up completely?”

Not only did Hutchinson veto the bill, he wrote a Washington Post op-ed explaining why and also went on Tucker Carlson’s show to defend his decision. No matter, the Arkansas legislature overrode his veto, though the law remains tied up in court challenges.

Still, Rios Stafford was satisfied to hear “echoes of some of the things we talked about” in Hutchinson’s defense of the veto.

“‘Traditionally, Republicans have held themselves up as champions of limited government,’” Rios Stafford told the governor. “‘In what way, shape or form is this limited government? Because this is big government. This is government getting in between the families and their doctors.’”

Evelyn Rios Stafford
Evelyn Rios Stafford © Dave Golden

Rios Stafford’s own gender awakening was pivotal to her work in her adopted home state. She majored in English at Rice University in Houston and was pursuing a career in journalism when she got a call from the ABC-TV affiliate in San Francisco asking her to come in for an interview. She got the job. She was young and bright and on the loose in Baghdad by the Bay.

“It was a great time to come there,” she recalled. “During the dot-com boom, the city was kind of going crazy, and it was a really fun time to be there in my 20s. And obviously San Francisco is a place where you can really explore your identity, as well.”

Born and raised in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, she grew up attending Catholic school, where she encountered the first signs of her conflicted gender identity.

“In Catholic school, I had a boyfriend when I was 15. A couple of our friends knew about it, but it definitely wasn’t something that we were out about. I knew that I wasn’t straight, exactly,” she remembers thinking, “but I didn’t really have the language or knowledge to have an understanding of exactly in what way.”

In college, she figured it out. It was “literally, when I was, like, doing research in the college library, that I came across the idea of transgender. And it was this lightbulb moment of like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s what’s been going on with me.’”

In San Francisco, she embraced her new reality. “Gradually, I became more and more out,” Rios Stafford recalled. “It was not a surprise for some people. It was a surprise for others.” While she was “bracing for the worst,” she was “really pleasantly surprised and so grateful for having such a positive experience.”

Evelyn Rios Stafford on her wedding day
Evelyn Rios Stafford on her wedding day Provided

“Back then, this was sort of like, this was new territory,” she said. “I think I was the first employee at an ABC owned-and-operated station to transition on the job.” The following year, Rios Stafford picked up two Emmys for her producing. “I feel like it was all tied together.”

The total package arrived shortly after she transitioned, when Rios Stafford met her future husband, Bob Stafford, an artist and graphic designer, online. She was “smitten from the beginning.” The two shared mutual friends in the arts scene South of Market in San Francisco, and Southern roots, as well. Soon after, the couple moved east to Stafford’s hometown of Fayetteville. They were married in 2016.

According to Rios Stafford, performing weddings in her job as Justice of the Peace is optional. “Not all the JPs do it. I have a feeling that one or two of them might not be on there because if they were on the list, they might have to do a same-sex wedding, and it’s against their personal beliefs or something? But I was like, ‘Sign me up! I’ll do anybody.’”

 

Transphobic post lands school board candidate Ladyman in hot water

https://www.queerty.com/transphobic-post-lands-school-board-candidate-ladyman-hot-water-20220924

 

In a test of the maturity of anyone who happens across this story, Rockman School Board candidate Craig Ladyman has been exposed for posting violently queerphobic and antisemitic imagery online.

Ladyman posted an image of four pride flags arranged to form a swastika pattern on Trump social media network Truth Social under the incredible username “@LadymanForLiberty”. The candidate writes, “Like my new Pride flag?” (very respectfully capitalizing the “P” in “Pride”, of course).

Appalled parents and voters sent the post along to Superintendent Steven Matthews, who says he shares in their outrage.

“It makes me feel angry,” he tells Fox WXMI. “Certainly, a symbol like that represents the and represents divisiveness. It’s a symbol that I don’t think represents who we are as a community, and anybody who would use it I don’t think represent who we are as a community.”

Related: This school district banned Pride flags, but the local Gay Mafia™ isn’t giving them up without a fight

In addition to the bastardization of the Pride flag, the invoking of nazi imagery is deeply unsettling to community members.

Rabbi David Krishef, a leader at the Ahavas Israel congregation in neighboring Grand Rapids, explains to WXMI the harm that sentiments like Ladyman’s pose.

“It cheapens the Holocaust, it cheapens the suffering,” he says. “It’s a misuse of the imagery, it’s a misuse of the language.

“No matter what’s going on in this country, whether you’re coming from the right wing being afraid of what the left wing are doing or vice versa, we are not rounding people up wholesale and consigning them to concentration camps and death camps. But that’s what the Nazi imagery evokes.”

Related: Wisconsin school board bans staff from listing their pronouns on emails

Not to psychoanalyze transphobes on main, but this candidate’s anti-trans rhetoric is particularly vehement and loud. His official school board candidacy poster reads, “Vote Craig Ladyman/Rockford School Board/He knows what a woman is!”

It’s giving “graphic design is my passion”:

His campaign website boasts, “I promise to fight for parental rights and children’s rights in school. I will never go along with unconstitutional mandates, medical tyranny, or the woke agenda.”

We’re not saying that this man was so horribly bullied for his name growing up that gender stricture became deeply embedded in his psyche and is now his only personality trait. Not out loud, at least.

Tucker Carlson put out a potential hit list of hospital directors

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/09/tucker-carlson-put-potential-hit-list-hospital-directors/

 

 
Tucker Carlson put out a potential hit list of hospital directors
Tucker Carlson Photo: Screenshot
 

In a recent segment on his Fox News show, host Tucker Carlson shared the names and photos of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s board of directors while ranting against hospitals that provide gender-affirming care.

Gender-affirming care for both adolescents and adults has been endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and many other professional groups as necessary and frequently life-saving for transgender individuals. Yet Carlson falsely framed the issue as medical experimentation on children, accusing hospitals of profiting off “the mental anguish of children” in thrall to a supposed “fad.”

Carlson directed his outrage primarily at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Earlier this week, anti-LGBTQ commentator Matt Walsh targeted VUMC in a Twitter thread falsely claiming that the staff at the medical center’s Transgender Health Clinic “castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults, while apparently taking steps to hide this activity from the public view.” VUMC has since shut down the website for its Transgender Health Clinic and released a statement defending the work they do for trans patients and accusing Walsh of misrepresenting the facts.

On his show, Carlson took things a step further, showing the names and photos of VUMC’s board of directors onscreen while reading their names one-by-one, urging them to “do something to stop these crimes.”

The stunt has led social media users to wonder whether Calson’s rant could lead to violence against the hospital’s staff.

“Within the past few hours after Matt Walsh’s attack on Vanderbilt and Tucker Carlson’s coverage, users of 4chan and the Donald are calling for the outright murder of doctors. This is exactly what they want,” tweeted Harvard Law Cyberlaw clinical instructor Alejandra Caraballo.

Carlson went on to accuse Boston Children’s Hospital, which was forced to evacuate earlier this month due to a bomb threat following an online misinformation campaign about its Gender Multispecialty Service program, of “playing the victim.”

Earlier this month, Media Matters reported that Carlson had responded to the threats and harassment targeting BCH and other children’s hospitals by amplifying anti-trans misinformation. This week, in another anti-LGBTQ segment falsely accusing teachers and doctors of “sexualizing children,” Carlson went so far as to suggest that “neighborhood dads” should “mete out instant justice to anyone who even thought about sexualizing their kids.”

“No matter what the law says, your duty, your moral duty, is to defend your children,” he said. “This is an attack on your children and you should fight back.”

 

PA Republicans Rally For Extreme “Don’t Say Gay” Bill – JMG

This country is not a theocracy yet!  Why are these religious bigots crafting legislation to instill their religious beliefs into secular laws?   I am tired of these people insisting I live according to the limits of the people who lived 2,500 years ago.   Societies grow, they change, they improve, and the way we treat people shows that growth, unless you live by the regressive rules of a religion.   Hugs

Penn Live reports:

Pennsylvania GOP state lawmakers are pushing a bill to limit school instruction that is more expansive than the Florida legislation that has been described by its opponents as the “don’t say gay” law. During a rally at the Capitol, Republican lawmakers and supporters framed the legislation, House Bill 2813, as a way to guarantee parental oversight and control over the availability of school materials that they portrayed as increasingly obscene.

“It is patterned after the Florida bill, but mine goes further,” said Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, R-Clinton/Centre, the bill’s prime sponsor. “It really needs to be protected up through 12th grade, we need to go all the way,” she told reporters. The GOP gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Adams/Franklin, appeared briefly at the event to voice full-throated support for such measures.

Read the full article.

Borowicz last appeared on JMG in March 2020 when she introduced a resolution calling for prayer because the COVID pandemic was God’s punishment for sin. Her first appearance here came in March 2019 when she held widely-criticized floor prayer for conversions to Christianity moments before the swearing-in of a Muslim rep.

crewman Ann Kah • 7 minutes ago

The absence of talking about LGBTx people communicates a lot — it says we’re “controversial”, tainted in some way, not to be discussed in general public… it teaches shame. Which is 100% everything the Christian agenda wants to teach about us.

ChrisInKansas • 34 minutes ago

How soon before we go back to 1976 and they try to ban gay teachers?

Elagabalus ChrisInKansas • 25 minutes ago

It’s funny you should mention 1976. I remember that year vividly. I was a junior in high school who had just come out to myself (albeit to no one else) and I can remember reading an article that year in Newsweek magazine about the happy homosexuals who were making a community for themselves in San Francisco. Back then, it seemed like the world was young and new and that all things were possible. Little did I know the fierce backlash that would result from those happy homosexuals who were just trying to live their lives with happiness and some degree of integrity. But I would soon find out. Anita Bryant appeared with her crusade the very next year and it wasn’t long afterwards that Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed appeared on the scene to turn the clock backwards.

Rhonda Sand Ṭïts • 30 minutes ago

“Borowicz’s bill also contains requirements for parents to be notified about health services provided through schools,”
So if a school nurse found too many bruises on the kid, the school would have to give the abusive parents a heads-up? Yikes!

🔄arithrianos🔄 Rhonda Sand Ṭïts • 25 minutes ago

Yep, to these hateful higots children have no rights, they are just pieces of property so when property gets damaged the slave owner should be notified

clay MamaKath • 21 minutes ago • edited

Her district is smack-dab in the middle of the state, but avoiding Penn State University and its bedroom communities. She’s a stay at home mom and appears to believe that’s the only acceptable role for women– probably hates women who work for wages (including single parents . . . especially single parents).

Elagabalus • 30 minutes ago

These people think that if their children never hear the word “gay” they won’t be gay. In the words of the old commercial:

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clay Ecce Homo • 18 minutes ago

Her (home schooled?) kids are more likely to have their “gay” education limited to insults.

Ann Kah Ecce Homo • 34 minutes ago

In school? They’re supposed to get their sex education the traditional way, from the older kids out behind the bike shed.

Gustav2 • 37 minutes ago • edited

from the article:

Although the plain text of the Pennsylvania bill would include a ban on any instruction regarding sexual identity – even heterosexuality – the rhetoric around such laws has clearly targeted LGBTQ people, Pick said.

There should be lawsuits if any heterosexuality is mentioned in any way. Any relationships mentioned illustrating heterosexual relationships like James Madison and Dolly Madison.

Gustav2 another_steve • 34 minutes ago • edited

Only when they say the schools are “grooming” you kids to be gay or trans.

They really want erasure of anything LGBT. Right now there is a big uproar in Sarasota FL because a teacher had to revise her teaching material so it didn’t mention Sally Ride was a lesbian or had a long term partner.

Amazing teacher goes viral for passionate speech calling out policy to out transgender students

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/09/amazing-teacher-goes-viral-passionate-speech-calling-policy-transgender-students/

 

 
Dawn Riggs, Ohio Board of Education Speech
Dawn Riggs, Ohio Board of Education Speech Photo: Screenshot
 

A teacher is making waves on Twitter for her impassioned speech before the Ohio State Board of Education in support of trans students.

Dawn Riggs, a teacher of 33 years, was testifying against a resolution that would require Ohio schools to out trans and nonbinary students to their parents, allow teachers the right to refuse to use a student’s preferred name and pronouns, and require students to participate on sports teams based on their sex assigned at birth, effectively excluding trans girls from school sports.

The “Resolution to Support Parents, Schools, and Districts in Rejecting Harmful, Coercive, and Burdensome Gender Identity Policies” was introduced by Board member Brendan Shea as a reaction to new federal Title IX rules that expand protections for LGBTQ students. 

Riggs spoke before the board about the difference it makes to support trans students.

“I have many trans and nonbinary students in my classes. My experience with transgender individuals spans my entire career. I am still in touch with some of those folks. Every single former student has told me how much knowing they had a safe space to be their authentic selves has meant to them”

Riggs said students have opened up to her about their trauma and suicidal thoughts, and their “wish to disappear.”

“The fact that they could walk into my classroom, be called the name they chose, and be called by the pronouns that reflect their lived experience made a difference. Even if no other adult in their life affirmed their identity, they knew they would be safe for at least a little while each day.”

She added, “It is no burden to use a name that we are asked to use. It is no burden to use the pronouns that are shared with us. If your friend William asked you to call him Billy, you don’t blink an eye.”

She also lambasted the board for considering allowing schools to out students to their parents.

“Our students must be able to choose the time and the manner in which they share their transness and with whom. It is not our place to force them to do so. I urge you to oppose this hateful and misguided rhetoric.”

On Twitter, people praised Riggs for her words and actions.

“She saved lives, 100% certain.” one user wrote.

“If more people had her attitude and kindness there would be a lot more happier trans and non binary people in the world,” said another.

Three members of the Board of Education also released an official statement against Shea’s resolution, writing that they “are embarrassed that our time as a board will be spent discussing an issue that so egregiously works to bully children and threaten adults.”

“Shea not only presented a resolution full of factual errors and based in religious pedagogy,” the statement continued, “but he also submitted a resolution that works to detract our body from the work many of us were elected to do.”

Editor’s note: This article mentions suicide. If you need to talk to someone now, call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860. It’s staffed by trans people, for trans people. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for LGBTQ youth at 1-866-488-7386. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
 
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