The Pump don't work...

...cause the vandals stole the handle.

A group of graffiti artists (BlakCollectiv), led by Kalkidan Assefa, created an impressive, and legal, mural during Ottawa's Pride Week honoring transgender women of color who had been murdered during the past year.

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On Wednesday night an unknown person or group who were offended by the memorial spray painted over much of the mural and added these sentiments:


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Parents traffic their child to India as attempted cure for the trans

Ironic. Yesterday I wrote an essay about some enlightened parents. Today, I am horrified by some parental behavior.

 photo shivy_zpsd9lslqgi.jpgShivy is not currently using a last name. He probably did use when when he was a student at Cal Berkeley. But it is common in India for people to use only one name.

Anyway Shivy was born in India but has lived in the US since he was three.Thus he had an Indian passport and a green card. Emphasis on the "had."

Shivy's family has made a habit out of traveling to India to visit with family during the summer. They did so again this year, but had to trick Shivy into joining them. They told him his grandmother was very ill.

What started this whole thing seems to be that Shivy cut his hair. This freaked out his mother and caused a huge argument.

OT - "I don't care what they say

I won't live is a world without love." What a week! Like every other week in this new 'World as we find it'. How do we find it? Well ....the global war on terra is no longer a war on terra but a massive killing ground in the ME, and all kinds of the bloody nasty everywhere else. A justification for going full bore Orwell, Kafka, Huxley or any other Sci-Fi writer's, artists, flights of fancy. It just keeps turning, winding ever tighter and yet it's setting the world on fire.

How we got here, and how to prevent it from happening again

On June 24, 1982, four bank examiners from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City walked into the rear of a small shopping mall in Oklahoma City.
This unlikely location marks the start of a series of events that nearly brought us to the brink of a global economic collapse and a second Great Depression.

Teachable moment gone viral

 photo livhnilicka_zpsowj8weci.jpgLiv Hnilicka is a Minneapolis waitress. She shared a story on Facebook on Sunday that has gone viral.

This afternoon I was at my waitressing job on a beautiful early fall afternoon. Two parents and their young daughter came in; the tall burly dad adorably scratching his back on the door as they walked in. As I was filling the water station, he came up to me and said, "My daughter just asked if you were a boy or a girl. I didn't want to speak for you so would you like to talk to her?" I nervously said yes and walked to their table. "Hi, I like your hair ribbon," I said. "I heard you asked if I was a boy or girl. I think the important thing to remember is that everyone can be anything they want to be in this world. And it's also important to try to be the best selves we can be for our family and friends. And even to strangers. So to answer your question, I was told that I was a boy when I was little and now I live my adult life as a girl. It sounds complicated but it's actually pretty simple. Do you have any questions for me?" She looked at me smiling and simply said, "Nope!"

I walked away from the table feeling really good about parents intentionally engaging their children about possibly difficult topics. And showing that giving people the power to voice their truths in this complicated world is beautiful and healing.

Way to go, mom and dads out there making space for transfolks/gnc people like me. ❤

(Also I made this post public in case you want to share it with parents you may know.)

--Liv Hnilicka

Open Thread - Wednesday September 23, 2015

Unfortunately, I may not have much time to interact with comments on today's Open Thread as the first of my back to back company will be arriving today. When it rains, it pours. My MIL and SIL are coming today and leaving on Thursday. That gives me just enough time to wash sheets and towels for company that is arriving on Friday. I feel like I am running a bed and breakfast. The two visits are unrelated, but just happened to come back to back.

The Pope and the Guest List

Now that Pope Francis is on American soil (question: Is the Popemobile considered baggage?), we can turn our attention to the exploding heads on the right (both Vatican and American, from all indications, over the guest list for tomorrow's White House visit.

To put everything in proper context, we should note that there are about 15,000 names on that guest list, so it's not like any one of them is going to spend significant time alone with Francis...or even get close to him, let alone speak to him.

But that's not stopping folks like Mike Huckabee from tweeting:

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Classless decision by @POTUS to transform @Pontifex visit into a politicized cattle call is an insult to millions of Catholics.

The man who has asserted that he would have been a pervert if transgender people around when he was young, is especially concerned about the invitations to Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, transgender activist Mateo Williamson, and former Nun on the Bus, Sister Simone Campbell.

My attention, of course, is on Mateo Williamson, a former leader of the transgender caucus within Dignity USA.

The Vatican’s disapproval of my presence at the ceremony speaks to the necessity for continued dialogue between transgender Catholics and the church hierarchy.

This is really not so much of a political statement as it is the reality that there are so many LGBT Catholics and family members of LGBT people who would really benefit from this message coming from the White House.