Trans Ban, Chelsea Manning, 2020 and Supermarket Strike

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This week in Episode 19: Chardonnay Merlot and Dawn Ennis discuss the transgender military ban going into effect, the arrest of Julian Assange sheds new light on the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning, the 19 Democrats and 2 Republicans running for president and a strike impacting 30-thousand union workers at supermarkets throughout New England.

For more information on the transgender military ban, check out these reports from NBC News, Axios and The Advocate. 

To read about Chelsea Manning’s connection to the Julian Assange arrest, click here.

Here are all the candidates currently running for president in 2020. When you go to the Ballotpedia link, click on any name to learn about that candidate.

And here are reports by the Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Post about the ongoing Stop & Shop Strike. Before the War supports the workers and click here to read how you can support striking workers.

We’ll be back Tuesday with another episode: our 20th!

 

 

 

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Dance, TDOV, Politics and Brexit

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We’re back after Spring Break with a new episode, #18, featuring a very personal and critically-lauded emotional interpretive dance by Chardonnay, Dawn’s coverage of International Transgender Day of Visibility for Outsports, and we cover a range of topics from the Barr Report about the Mueller Report, Mayor Pete of South Bend, Indiana (he’s the out gay man running for president) and Brexit.

You’ll find links to issues and topics we discussed, after the episode! Just scroll down.

Here are some photos from Chardonnay’s “Trans Body: An Exploration” performance at the New Haven Pride Center on Saturday, along with her Facebook post.

I sit right now in tears…I’m proud of myself.
Saturday was Trans Body: An Exploration of embodied history and corporeality through dance

It was beautiful to help build it, and it was an experience that will cherish forever!

I loved that people showed up. I loved building a connection with those who attended. I was overwhelmed with the tears of some afterward who took a minute to see and hear what I and Kellie Ann Lynch, a excellent choreographer, put together (THANKS KELLIE!!!!!)

I’m still processing telling my story and using my body to do it in ways I didn’t think I could. I’m still processing my tears afterward…and my tears now.

I’m still processing seeing someone come up to me afterward…in tears like me, giving me a hug and telling me how moved they were.

A person who is like me, trying to learn themselves, striving to love themselves.

Trans like me. Searching like me. Just trying to live like me.

To all those who are on this ride with me. Just know that I love you all, respect you all, and you have enriched my life.

I know that at times some of you will think, “You always say that.” Yeah, I may say that a lot….BUT KNOW THAT I MEAN EVERY WORD OF IT!

I’ve always believed, and always will believe, that we must let people know what they mean to us when they are still among us to hear it, see it and feel it. The worst regret to me is standing over someone casket thinking, “I wish I could have told them how much they meant to me when they were alive.”

Today is Trans Day of Visibility. Let’s make it a goal today to make our gratitude, love, and friendship for each other as visible as our physical presence.

Today, go up to someone who may not know that you see you them and say, “I see you, friend.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you notice what they do and how it inspires you and say, “I see your example, and it pushes me to do better.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you are seeing their struggle and say, “I see you fighting, and I have your back.”

Go up to someone who may not know that you see their allyship and say, “I see you. Keep doing the work.”

Go up to someone who may need some kindness, and be kind to our fellow trans person.

WE’RE ALL WE GOT. WE’RE ALL WE NEED!!!!!!

 

Read about the Transgender Day of Visibility here and here’s my own article on Outsports. 

Incidentally, reports in conservative media that trans flags replaced POW flags outside the Capitol Hill offices of Democrats is bullshit. Here’s the proof:

I’m not going to provide links and give these assholes clicks. You can Google “trans POW flag” and see for yourself if you’re interested.

Here’s the latest on the Mueller Report, which is being prepared for release by Attorney General and President Trump’s Chief Cover-Upper Bill Barr.

Also this week, we discuss the future for Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, potential 2020 presidential candidate. Need help pronouncing his last name? Click here. I just call him “Mayor Pete,” as do a lot of people. Here’s an article on his strategy (take down Pence as well as Trump), and here’s the one thing he said he cannot live without. 

Brexit is a bloody mess. Read all about it here.

We plan to return next week. Thanks for listening and reading!

Bolsonaro, Socialism, Shame and Transgender Inclusion

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This week, Chardonnay and Dawn discuss the controversial meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro; Chardonnay’s trip to protest American policy toward Venezuela; reaction here in Connecticut to the massacre at two New Zealand mosques, and President Trump’s inability to condemn white supremacy; “The Shame List” that names 150 colleges and universities which practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination; and a letter three British sports legends are sending the International Olympic Committee.

Photos from Chardonnay’s trip and links to topics we discussed are below the podcast.

Essential reading on Bolsonaro’s visit to the White House is at these sites: Politico, The Washington Postand ThinkProgressYou can also read about an investigation into one of Bolsonaro’s sons here. 

Here’s a link to an independent report on the weekend protests against U.S. policy toward Venezuela, and it includes video. And here are photos Chardonnay took:

 

 

Read about President Trump’s response to the New Zealand massacre here. 

Here’s a report from the Hartford Courant and one from the Connecticut Mirror about Sunday’s event at the Berlin Mosque, which is also home to the Islamic Association for Greater Hartford. Below, a video from CAIR Connecticut, via Facebook user Arig Wageeh Elhamouly.

I was in attendance (wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day), as you can see from the above video and this photo:

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Photo by MARK PAZNIOKAS, CTMIRROR.ORG

Find out more about our Muslim neighbors by going to the website of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut. 

This week, Dawn and Chardonnay gave a shoutout to two icons in the LGBTQ sports community, one relatively new and one who’s been making headlines ever since she won a world cycling championship.

Jaimi Salone of Stanford University is the first one getting a shout-out. Salone is a discus thrower, genderqueer and proud of it! Read all about her in Outsports!

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The other is Rachel McKinnon, a transgender woman athlete who won a Masters Track Cycling World Championship in the women’s 35-44 sprint event last year. She also briefly held the world record in the 200-meter sprint qualifying event, although it was broken by the final rider a mere 10 minutes later. She’s not just someone who has written for Outsports, among other media outletsbut she has a PhD. in philosophy and teaches at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and is also a fierce advocate online. Her paper, Including Trans Women Athletes in Competitive Sport: Analyzing the Science, Law and Principles and Policies of Fairness in Competition, is a must read. Follow her @rachelvmcinnon or find her at her website. 

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Incidentally, while recording this podcast, Dawn didn’t notice McKinnon tweeted that she was upset after seeing she was quoted in an article on Outsports, saying something she didn’t want to be quoted saying. Oops! This is why it’s always best practice to say “off the record,” or “don’t quote me on this” when speaking to a reporter. The back story is that McKinnon was asked in a DM conversation if she wanted to comment, said no, but then she wrote something else, which appeared to be a statement. It looked to Dawn as though McKinnon had changed her mind. It was our mistake, and Dawn deleted the comment at McKinnon’s request. Dawn regrets the misunderstanding and that McKinnon got upset. Read more about speaking to reporters in this excellent primer from Rethink Media. 

Dawn published two stories at Outsports.com on Tuesday: “The Shame List” compiled by Campus Pride to shine a light on 150 colleges and universities that practice anti-LGBTQ discrimination, and a letter three British sports legends are writing to the IOC about transgender inclusion in Olympic sports competition.

If you want to read the entire “Shame List,” click here. 

Read about the letter British sports icons Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe and Sharron Davies are writing to the International Olympic Committee, click here.

To send your own message to the IOC, here’s the snail mail address, email and phone numbers:

Contact Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee by writing to:

Olympic Studies Centre

Villa du Centenaire

Quai d’Ouchy 1

1006 Lausanne

Switzerland

You can also call the IOC at 41 21 621 6611 or fax the IOC at 41 21 621 6718

Or email the IOC at studies.centre@olympic.org

Finally: Congratulations to Dawn’s daughter Sophie for getting inducted into the National Honor Society this week! Dawn is herself being honored by the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists at their annual Headlines and Headliners fundraiser event in Manhattan.

We’ll be back next week!

Transgender Military Ban, Calling Trans Athletes “Cheaters,” Sharron Davies vs. Rachel McKinnon, and Chelsea Manning

 

BTWPThis week, we’re back after a week away with the latest on the transgender military ban, now set to go into effect April 12th, and a poll that says a large majority of British adults believe transgender athletes are “cheaters,” as Martina Navratilova said and then said she was sorry for using that word. We also discuss the twitter feud between Dr. Rachel McKinnon and former Olympian Sharron Davies, and the re-incarceration of Chelsea Manning. 

Links can be found below the soundcloud link.

To read the poll, click here to go to Outsports, and for more information about the poll, here’s a link to the survey company. 

To read the latest on the transgender military ban, now set to go into effect April 12th, click here.

To watch the award-winning documentary about trans military service, click here for more information,and you can find it on iTunes by clicking here. 

Get educated on the debate on trans inclusion in sports by following Dr. Rachel McKinnon on Twitter and reading the research she’s done on this topic by clicking here. 

If you dare, here’s a link to British coverage of McKinnon’s feud with former Olympian Sharron Davies.

To read more about why Chelsea Manning is back behind bars, click here. And here is how you can write to her:

We’ll be back next week with Chardonnay’s report on the protest she plans to attend in Washington, D.C., my report on my musical directing debut, and, (sigh) we’ll once again rehash the Venezuela debate.

Be well!

Trans Inclusion, Billy Porter, & Vaginas!

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This week Chardonnay and Dawn discuss transgender inclusion in sports, particularly at the high school and college student level, as well as the Oscar winners and Chardonnay’s return to the stage for this year’s Vagina Monologues at the University of Hartford.

Links we’ve mentioned and photos can be found by scrolling down below the podcast!

Here are my Outsports reports on South Dakota’s narrow vote to not discriminate against transgender student athletes, like Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller

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…and here’s my report on CeCe Telfer’s achievement in track that earned the ire of Donald Trump, Jr.

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Did you miss actor Billy Porter of Pose win the red carpet at the Academy Awards? Here it is!

The complete official list of Oscar winners is here.

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Here’s how Deadline reported on Spike Lee’s reaction to Green Book’s win for best picture. Why is the movie so controversial? Read this article in People Magazine

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The dude who won best original score for Black Panther is Ludwig Goransson. And…. Wow: he’s white! Read about him here.

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Watch Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform “Shallow” at the Oscars.

And here are photos of Chardonnay and the cast of Dramatis Personae at the University of Hartford performing the Vagina Monologues, and taking their bows.

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If you missed their incredible renditions of My Short Skirt or They Beat the Girl Out of My Boy, or The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could, we recommend you watch these videos or find out more about The Vagina Monologues and creator Eve Ensler here.

Please join us next week for another episode of Before The War!

 

 

 

 

 

Transphobes v. Trans Allies

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This week Dawn and Chardonnay discuss the transphobic screed by tennis icon Martina Navratilova, the silent but strong message sent by transgender ally and “Avengers” actor Don Cheadle, a disturbing “prank date” video aimed at reinforcing dangerous and erroneous tropes about trans women — that we are trying to trick straight men into gay sex — plus, Chardonnay gives us a preview of her upcoming Vagina Monologues event this weekend at the University of Hartford.

Find links below the clip!

Read Dawn’s report on Martina Navratilova in Outsports here. 

Advocate, statistician and former Navy pilot Brynn Tannehill wrote this excellent article on this topic. In addition, we highly recommend you purchase her recently published book: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trans* But Were Afraid To Ask. Click here to get your copy. 

Read a review of scientific studies investigating “Do Transitioned Athletes Compete at an Advantage or Disadvantage as compared with Physically Born Men and Women” here.

Check out this report on Sport and Transgender People.

Watch Dr. Rachel McKinnon’s video about this issue here.

Here’s the NCAA policy on trans athletes as well as the International Olympic Committee policy.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has its own guidelines.

Our friend Timothy Rawles of San Diego Gay & Lesbian News interviewed Chardonnay and Dawn as well as legendary trans journalist Gwen Smith for this report on a disturbing video in which a straight man is set up on a blind date with a woman who turns out to be trans… only she’s not a woman, it’s a man in a very transphobic skit that has gone viral on the internet. Click here to read Timothy’s report and if you really want to watch that video, Google “The Read Dumbass World.”

Read about actor Don Cheadle’s awesome endorsement of transgender children here. 

And click here to read all about the Vagina Monologues performance coming up this weekend at the University of Hartford, which features Chardonnay in the cast! The shows are February 22nd and 23rd at 7:30pm. All proceeds go to several women’s charities. Tickets will be sold at the door before the show in Hillyer 125, Auerbach Auditorium: $5 for students, $8 general admission.

PrideMedia, Grammys, Shutdown Talks

 

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This week we talk about a publishing company that owes its freelancers a bundle of money but found enough to pay transgender icon Janet Mock to guest edit their March issue, could it be the end of the government shutdown threat, and the Grammys.

Read about the PrideMedia mess here. 

If you want to help, tweet #OutOwes or RT Dawn’s tweet here. 

The latest on the shutdown talks is here. 

Here is the official, full list of who won what at The Grammy Awards. 

Apologies for some audio pops this week; this was one we had to do on the fly due to time constraints!