Trump and the LGBTQ Community

Months ago, Donald Trump decided transgender children will no longer be protected under federal law. They will no longer be allowed to choose the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Instead, they will be forced to use the bathroom that matches the sex they were born. Even though with all their souls, and everything they believe in, these children feel they were born in the wrong body.

I’ve heard the argument that not allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice is to protect children, even though there has never been a record of a pattern of child sexual abuse by transgender people. Too bad the same can’t be said for Catholic priests, yet no one has ever suggested banning them from public restrooms.

Now Trump wants to ban transgender people from the military. A five-time draft dodger, who once claimed Sen. John McCain wasn’t a war hero because McCain was captured, and Trump likes war heroes who weren’t captured, wants to prevent a group of people, who are ready, willing, and able to fight for their country, from serving their country.

How poetic.

I say anyone who supports banning a capable person from the military better put on a uniform and take their place. If you’re too old, then offer your children.

It’s disappointing when people you know exert what you think are bigoted sentiments. Before the presidential election last year, I had a conversation with a woman I’d known for years. She had always seemed pretty liberal, but that day she was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat, while attempting to reassure me that Donald Trump had no plans to take away the rights of the LGBTQ community.

If there is such a thing as white privilege (and there is), then there is such a thing as straight privilege because this woman very casually urged me not to worry because Trump didn’t want to take away the right for gay people to marry, he just wanted to leave it up to the states to decide.

“But we live in a blue state,” she said. “People here won’t vote against it.”

I’m not a selfish person. Whatever rights I have as a gay person in my state, I want my gay counterparts in every state to have those same rights. Whether you live in Kentucky, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, or California, gay people should be protected by the same equal rights. Marriage Equality gave every gay person in this country the federal right to marry, despite any prejudice ideology that may be popular in certain states.

The ease at which my friend had suggested I should be okay with putting my rights on a ballot for any Joe Schmo to vote on, displayed a privilege she seems to take for granted. I am certain she wouldn’t be okay with strangers making decisions about anything regarding her personal life, especially one that involves who she chooses to love, but yet, she expected me to accept it.

If my friend ever considered adopting or fostering a child, I am sure she never worried about being denied because of who she loves. Straight people don’t have to concern themselves with things like that.

According to her, if gay and transgender people want rights, we simply need to cross our fingers and hope we live in a tolerant state.

 

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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Election 2016 – Let’s Make Herstory

 

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So this is the day the past year has been leading me to. From the moment I watched the first (out of way too many) Republican primary debate, to the Hillary and Bernie showdown, through Hillary’s emails and every racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and otherwise completely insane statements that spewed from Trump’s mouth. Through all of that, here we are.

Call it Judgement Day.

Call it the Day of Reckoning.

In America, we call it Election Day.

And thank God it’s almost over because my jeans can’t take anymore of the anxiety-fueled binge-eating episodes triggered by the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency.  For a while, I was cool about the election, thinking no way could Trump ever win, but then the numbers coming in suggesting a close race. And it’s hard to keep one’s sanity when a man who puts down a former POW for getting caught, stereotypes an entire ethnic group as rapists, brags about sexually assaulting women, fights with a Gold Star family while he had been granted five deferments during the Vietnam War, promises to implement a ban on Muslims, if elected, and mocks a disabled reporter, is in a close race for the US Presidency.

The first of U.S voting centers will be closing in approximately less than four hours. The early polls solidly show Hillary Clinton has the lead, as well as more paths to the needed 270 electoral votes needed to win than her opposition does. I’m anxious to hear the results, as most Americans probably are, but I’m not binge-eating today. I am confident, but not cocky, that my candidate, Hillary Clinton, will be voted as the first woman U.S President.

I live in a divided house. The sooner this election is over, the better.  But the hope that the end results of this crazy election will bring a peaceful transition to this country, with Donald Trump gracefully conceding the race(if he should lose), is a long-shot.

I’m going to do some yoga, with a concentration on deep breathing, before I plant myself in front of my TV to watch the coverage of the intense election. Hopefully, Hillary Clinton gets an early victory because I can’t take much more of this anticipation.

 

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Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

 

This Election is Different

I drove to the ballot boxes yesterday to cast my early vote. My mother beside me. Her for Trump, me reciting out loud the words “Madame President.” The car ride lasted about ten minutes, with each of us making our last arguments. Neither did it to try to change the mind of the other, we’ve both come too far for that.  Rather, I suppose, just to get under the other’s skin a bit. A little heckling before the big game.

I know that’s the reason I ran my mouth, because ever since I was a little girl, nothing amused me more than to aggravate my mother enough to get her to drop the F-bomb. And she did.

Mission accomplished.

Flashback four years ago. My mother and I were having a very different kind of car ride. We were driving to one of my niece’s softball games. The election between President Obama and Mitt Romney was fast approaching. My mother is mostly conservative. She had spent most of that campaign talking up Romney and regurgitating every email and posts her like-minded Republican friends shared on Facebook.

If you recall, it was that election when the president came out in support of gay marriage. I’m gay. My mother knows this.

So four years ago, I was driving with my mother when she turned to me and said, “I want you to have equal rights. I want the law to protect you as much as it protects me. So, for you, I’m voting for Obama…but don’t tell anyone.”

And with that I almost drove the car into someone’s front lawn.

It was wonderful to have had my mother’s support. I know I still do today, just not in her vote because this is a different election.

Way different.

I can’t say for sure that if Trump’s campaign promised to not only take away all gay rights, but to chop off the feet of every gay person in the process, just because, would be enough for my mother to select the X beside Hillary Clinton’s name.

“Rights are over-rated,” she’d say. “And they do such wonders with prosthetics these days. You’ll be fine.”

Not to mention that the Vice President candidate on Trump’s ticket, Mike Pence, signed a bill last year as Governor of Indiana that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay people based on “religious” convictions.

“It’s a nice day out,” my mother would say. “It won’t hurt you to eat in the car.”

Yep. This election is way different.

It’s uglier. And talks of election day violence should Hillary win (which seems likely) brings out the worst of this country.

The world is watching.

Vote this election. But vote in peace.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The Fraud Behind the Cry of Voter Fraud

 

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During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Pennsylvania Republican Majority Leader Mike Turzai was caught on tape speaking to committee members lauding the accomplishments of his Republican-led legislature. “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Thankfully, Romney didn’t win Pennsylvania. But it is clear that a certain political party (Republican) is dead set on passing laws, ostensibly to stop voter fraud, but the law’s real objective is to prevent a specific demographic (poor minorities) from exercising their Constitutional right to vote, as was clearly stated by Turzai. And why? Because statistically poor minorities tend to vote Democratic.

The Republican party, without contrition, is attempting to rig the election in their favor by oppressing the votes of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens.

When I recently voted in my State’s primary, I didn’t need to show any ID. I gave my name and was given a form with a copy of my signature on the bottom that had been signed by me when I registered to vote. I was then told to sign my name to match the signature already on the page. The process took less than thirty seconds. My signature matched completely. There was no doubt I was the person stated on that piece of paper.

The idea that it is easy to  duplicate someone else’s John Hancock baffles me. I have two nephews whose dream it is to play in the Major League. They’ve been scribbling their signatures for years all over my notebooks and notepads, practicing their autograph for when they are famous ball players. I recently attempted to copy their signatures and sign their name perfectly to match their own. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t even come close, even though they were signatures that I’ve become very familiar with through the years.

Some people may think being required to show ID to vote is reasonable, but being elderly or too unwell to drive, thus not needing a driver’s licence, should not be a crime in this country. Being disabled or handicapped , thus not able to go to the DMV for a photo ID, should not be a crime in this country. Being too poor to afford a ride, or to pay for a photo ID, should not be a crime in this country.

The right for disabled people, including our veterans and elderly, without an ID should not be taken away.

If it is agreed that these circumstances should not be crimes, then let’s not treat this demographic as criminals, and take away their right to vote.  If there were any verity behind the claims of voter fraud, I may reconsider my stance. But because we know the over-zealous cries from Republican lawmakers about the veracity of election fraud is mendacious, I stand by my opinion that no state should force their constituents to present ID’s  when casting their vote, a Constitutional right.

According to voterfraudfacts.com, between 2000 and 2010 there were “649 million votes cast in general election, 47,000 UFO sightings, 441 Americans killed by lightening, [and] 13 credible cases of in-person voter impersonation.”

Thirteen credible cases of in-person voter fraud. Thirteen! In ten years! And Republicans are so scared, acting like drama queens, over 13 possible voter fraud cases in ten years that they are willing to prevent hundreds of thousand Americans from exercising their Constitutional right?

Oh wait…that’s right…It’s not about the 13 cases of fraud. Even if there were 13,000 cases of fraud, their objective wouldn’t be about those either. The Republican party’s ambition – intention- is to institute voter ID laws to disenfranchise a demographic of people, who generally don’t vote for them, from casting a vote because they know their party can’t win without cheating.

Kinda like Florida in 2000.

God Bless America. Cuz we’re gonna need many blessings if the Republicans get in the White House.

 

 

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* Another interesting statistic: Between 2002 and 2005, 197 million votes were cast for federal candidates, and 26 cases (both in-person and absentee ballot) were convicted of voter fraud. That comes to .00000013 percent of the vote.

Please get out there and vote, and help those who may need assistance in getting to the polls.

Thank you!!

 

Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net