Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Man Was A King.

A poem by Sabrina Samone

I didn't say yes to a man. I said, yes I will, to a king amongst men.
Now don't let his biology for one second give any doubt to his hetero sexuality, he was a man through and through.
Even through the 15 foot wall he had to carry around him, to protect the delicacies of his 5'4 frame, he was anything but delicate.
He was a man through and through.
He was The Honey Mooners meets Red Foxx,  with a dash of Andy Griffin,  a sprinkle or two of John Wayne and a whole lot of Stanley; from Street Car Named Desire.
He was a man through and through.
With Popeye arms, tattoos, and the occasional T rage, I would find myself smiling so in love as he flexed, grunted and posed.
He was a man through and through.
He relished in it. That masculinity I had fled like the final Armageddon; he swam it, drunk in every ounce, and surrendered to it with such ease.
He was a man through and through.
His 1950's traditionalism often clashed with my feminism, as misogyny sometimes to me,
but I knew I was his Queen, and felt the value of what that means,
cause he was a man through and through.
While most men lazily discard their masculinity he fought and fought for his like a Roman  warrior. Still this world wouldn't always see my man through and through.
From his earliest days he heard he was not enough,  the mirror lied, and the pain of once not being him, he no matter what,  could never hide.
I bet you don't know,  that there was nothing he couldn't do. Nothing he couldn't fix, couldn't learn, couldn't focus on.
All the things you were told of what makes a  man,  it was effortless for him.
Yet, the world would never see my man through and through.
If I'm the pink cloud and he the blue, the enemy was the white chasm we could not get society to let us through.
The hate killed his soul, with every troubling 'not enough ' thought,
of every sip of not good enough,
with every let down that screamed to him not man enough.
This world wouldn't see my man through and through.
While I carried a small banner of my people and worked like many in the revolution,
your world was his revolution.
To take him as the man he was,
respect him just as a man,
was the revolution he quietly fought.
As I, his only support and connection to the cause, he was all yours world while I watched.
Watching you never seeing my man through and through.
Why was it so hard world, to let a man be the king he was always meant to be.
Why take from a queen the only connection to her own soul she would ever know.
How I wish,  you could have saw my man, for the man he was through and through.
Thanks to you world, I will wonder the rest of my days just wishing it had been so.

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Boy Scouts of America Says Trans Boys Are Boys and Can Join

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

While we watch the new #notourpresident attack one group after the next through his Executive Orders, we have at least some good major news so far this year.  Boy Scouts of America says it will begin accepting members based on their gender identity, opening the door for transgender boys to join.

Under the new policy, which takes effect immediately, membership in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts will be based on the gender indicated on an application. Previously, the organization had relied on an individuals birth certificate to determine eligibility for it's single gender programs.

This is welcome news to the growing number of trans kids with supportive families, that are fortunate to live their authentic selves. According to recent Federal data by the Williams Institute, nearly 1.4 million Americans openly identify as transgender. The data estimates that there are 150,000 trans youth between the ages of 13-17 years of age. Unfortunately there is not an official count of younger trans kids for various reasons. Primarily due to the fact, Pediatricians generally do not ask patients about their gender identity, and if they do, they do not usually report findings in a national health registry.

The CDC, which analyze much of our behavioral health data, has tested ways for students to identify themselves as transgender. But it has not yet settled on a satisfactory method, and it does not expect to include such question in its Adolescent Health Survey before 2019.  Yet we do know that the medical community has reported a rise internationally, of transgender children seeking approval for transitional health care.

The shift is a significant one for the Boy Scouts, which ended a ban on gay scouts in 2013. In 2015, the organization decided to allow gay scout leaders, a decision that came months after a council in New York defied policy and hired an openly gay scout leader. Zack Wahls, the co-founder of Scouts for Equality said, "This is another historic day for the Boy Scouts of America. The decision to allow transgender boys to participate in the Cub Scouts and the Boy scouts is an important step forward for this American institution."

Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh said in a video message about today's announcement. "We realized that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient. Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently than society did in the past. These new laws vary widely from state to state." He went on to say in reference to the policy taking effect immediately, "Our organizations local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child."

This is good news for young trans boys like  eight  year old, Joe Maldonado, who was recently kicked out his troop in New Jersey for being trans. He told The Record Newspaper, "it made me mad. I had a sad face, but I wasn't crying. I'm way more angry than sad. My identity is a boy. If I  was them, I would let every person in the world go in. It's right to do."

Back in 2012, The Girl Scouts of America went on record to accept a 7 year old transgender girl in, and later gained attention and love from the trans community, when they turned down a 100,000$ anti-trans donation.

The change now brings the Boy Scouts in line with the Girls Scouts, that have created transgender-friendly membership policies in recent years.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Trans Lives Continue to Matter at The SAG AWARDS: Orange Is The New Black Wins Again

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

For the third year in a row, 'Orange is the New Black', won for Best Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series , earlier at the 23 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Taylor Shilling delivered an emotional speech that brought everyone to their feet.

Most of the large cast took to the stage to accept the award, and Schilling used the opportunity to speak proudly of the diversity of the show. She and many other entertainers, continued to speak against the recent actions of #notmypresident's executive order, that temporarily bans all refugees from entering the United States.

"We stand up here representing a diverse group of people, representing gendations of families that have sought better life here; Nigeria, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ireland, and we know that its going to be up to us, and all of you probably too...to show that what unites is stronger than the forces trying to divide us," she said to a roaring crowd.
Diversity was a recurring theme at last night's awards, and OTNB its crown jewel.

Season 5 is becoming the most talk about season thus far for the Netflix series. Thirteen episodes of the new season will be filmed in a course of 3 days. Anticipation is growing to if the show will pick up exactly where it left off, or is a usual small time lapse expected. Regardless, cast member Danielle Brooks says, "Season 5 is done over the course of three days. You will watch 13 episodes and find out what happens in the course of three days, so it will be very detailed, very intense, and you better get ready, get your popcorn, your tissues, everything, for...I don't know when it's coming out because they never tell us, but sometime this summer."


Popcorn, extra pillows for the couch, more junk food, and cuddle bunny ordered for Season 5 of OTNB.


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Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Domestic Violence Call Results in the Killing of Transgender Man By Police


By Sabrina Samone, TMP


A Trans man in  Sharon, Pennsylvania, was shot by police Friday night, after officer responded to a domestic violence call.

Sean Hake, 23, was killed in the home where he lived. Police has released few details except to confirm that the shooting was officer involved, and that the officer who shot Hake has been placed on administrative leave, until the investigation is complete.

The police did not say what role, or any that Hake may have had in the domestic assault that the officers responded too. Sean had been previously arrested for violating an order as recently as March 2016, according to the local news outlet, WKBN.

"He had a genuinely good heart, and he had struggled with his problems, but he always made sure that he was there for other people," said a friend.

Early media reports had mis-gendered Sean Hake, but a friend came forward to confirm to the news station that the victim was a transgender man.

Sadly, one of his last post on his Facebook page read, "This has been such a great fuckin day. First with the consult in 2 weeks, and now I just got a call from a very excited April telling me she got called to get her green sheet tomorrow. She's coming home!
God has blessed me something fierce today."

Hake is the third transgender person reported killed in the United States so far in 2017. Even though the motive that led to the death of Sean Hake has not been determined by SLED, he remains a trans person killed.

Mesa Caldwell became the first known transgender person killed this year in Mississippi. Only days later, the murder of 28 year old, Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, from Sioux Falls SD, would follow. Our community has been heightened by the fear of bigotry following the election of Trump, and the record year of deaths in 2016.






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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Trans Man Wins Possible First Discrimination Case in China



By Sabrina Samone, TMP



Last year young Chen, filed a complaint with a labor arbitration committee in Guiyang, in the southwestern Chinese province of Guizhou; attributing his firing to bias against transgender individuals.

It is being described as the first case in China involving transgender discrimination in the workplace. Remarkable in a country that ass zero protections against LGBT discrimination. "We found this a little bit of a shame," Huang Sha,  said the lawyer for the 28 year old trans masculine identified plaintiff. The Plaintiff Chen, said in an interview last year that the company's human resources manager had complained that he dressed like a gay man and looked too "unhealthy" to be an employee for a health checkup company.

The company was ordered to pay Chen nearly sixty one dollars(402 renimibi), for the probation
Mr. C center, with legal team
period, but rejected his demand for an additional month's pay of 2,000 renminbi and an apology. As a result, he and his lawyer went to court.

The court held its first hearing in June but adjourned when Mr. Huang demanded an examination of two documents that the company had submitted as evidence that Chen had been fired for poor performance, failing to dress according to company standards and missing work.

The case resumed in December, after court-appointed experts from Center of Forensic Science at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law concluded, there was no way to authenticate the two documents. The court's ruling was issued on December 30th.

Mr. Huang said the court concluded that the company had failed to prove that it had fired him for reasons permitted as grounds for dismissal under labor law, and ordered the company to pay Mr. C, the 2,000 renminbi in compensation. The court however, also said there was no proof that Chen's termination had resulted from the company's discriminatory  attitude toward transgender people, and did not grant him an apology.

"This has demonstrated how low the cost of breaking the law is for employers," the lawyer said, referring to the amount of compensation. "This is why the current job discrimination situation is so grim."

"This case also highlights the problem of 'invisible discrimination,' because employers can always claim they fired people for reasons other than the one they're accused of," he continued to say.



While we have witnessed many lawsuits in the U.S over the past eight years, and this is China's first, the lawyer does bring up a valid point about invisible discrimination. Many states, including mine of South Carolina are 'Right To Work' states. There is a lot of legal rambling in the law, and it is said to prevent the growth, and power of Unions, but the fact remains it also gives employers the right to fire without cause. This is where the problem with invisible discrimination comes into play, even in good old USofA.


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