Saturday, April 30, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

Highlights from The Brini Maxwell Show


Retro homemaking tips from the "other" side!

Here is a review from the IMDB:

My wife actually turned me onto this show. When she first described it as a transvestite doing homemaking tips, I pictured Divine in an apron. When I finally saw it, I realized it was a surreal-retro journey with quite a unique sense of humor. Brini Maxwell (aka Ben Sander)started this show on a New York public access channel which crosses Martha Stewart with John Waters, and even add a dash of Mr. Rodgers and gives us serious (and not so serious) homemaking tips to better our lifestyle. Each episode features a "theme" (making a home office, throwing a party, traveling, etc.) but the real magic happens when Brini makes a sort of "field trip" segment where she will interview someone relating to the topic of the episode. Most interviewees appear to be seriously holding back from just breaking down and laughing hysterically during the interview. Several times Brini will always add a certain humorous twist or comment and the inuendos start flying left and right. One of my favorites was when Brini was interviewing a drinks expert, in preperation for her (his?) party. The recipe called for the drink to be shaken so the woman bar-tending flipped the shaker and started going at it. In typical Brini fashion, Brini looks at the camera and comments "Ooh, how athletic!". Some of Brini's homemaking tips are piratical and useful, but some others are just whacked like making an art sculpture out of pills to display in your bathroom! I seriously think Brini is bound for stardom in the near future, so keep a lookout for her, err.. I mean him, errr.....WHATEVER!



Thursday, April 28, 2022

Gender-affirming Care, A "Crucial"' Process

For thousands of young people in America

(CNN)The Florida Department of Health now says a vital kind of medical care known as gender-affirming care should not be an option for children and teens, even though every major medical association recommends such care and says it can save lives.

Why Care is Necessary

the US Health and Human Services Department Office of Population Affairs says. Delaying care can exacerbate stressors and health problems for kids.

"For transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents, early gender-affirming care is crucial to overall health and well-being," 

The department's new guidelines suggest that children should be provided social support from peers and family and should seek counseling. But it says they should be denied treatments that can be a part of this care, including calling the child or teen by the name and pronoun they prefer and allowing them to wear clothing or hairstyles that match their gender identity.

Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, evidence-based care that uses a multidisciplinary approach to help a person transition from their assigned gender -- the one the person was designated at birth -- to their affirmed gender -- the gender by which one wants to be known.

By one estimate, more than 58,000 transgender youth 13 and older across the US are facing restricted access or proposals, and could soon lose access to gender-affirming care.

Those 58,000 live in 15 states that have enacted or are considering laws to restrict access by, in some cases, even penalizing health care providers and families who try to get such care, according to UCLA's Williams Institute, which conducts independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. These states are home to nearly a third of the nation's transgender youth.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate any instances of certain procedures used in such care, on the grounds that it is now considered child abuse according to an opinion issued by state Attorney General Ken Paxton. A Texas judge granted the ACLU's request for a temporary restraining order, preventing the state from enforcing the order for now.

Despite the legislative push to end this kind of treatment, gender-affirming care is a recommended practice for people who identify as transgender, meaning they identify with a gender that is different than the one assigned at birth, or gender-diverse, with a gender expression that doesn't strictly match society's traditional ideas about gender.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

How to Wear Jeans Like a French Girl

I make no secret about my obsession with the practically and great look of the right feminine jeans. My motto - "I am not wearing my  fathers Wranglers." They are my every day look even when at my retail job, market or Home Depot. 

Jeans with the right feminine top - a winner. 

I have several of the old style (made in USA) "Not-Your-Daughters-Jeans" (NYDJ) and back then the the style and cut was fantastic. They fit tight in all the right places and have a wonderful high rise to help with the tummy. I wish the new NYDJ versions were of similar style and quality.     

Here are some great suggestion from MY CHIC OBSESSION on "How to Wear Jeans Like a French Girl".  On the blog post there are some great inspiring photos. Enjoy.


Carolyn Arentson - December 30, 2019

And now, finally, onto the outfit ideas! Here are the top 3 ways that French girls are always wearing their jeans!

1. jeans + blouse

Whether it’s a statement blouse or just a good ol’ pretty top, this outfit combo is one you can always fall back on. Not much is needed for accessories, besides your classic handbag and maybe some gold jewelry.

2. jeans + button-down

It’s classic and sophisticated. Casual Friday, anyone? Dress this look up or down! If you’re headed to work you could pair this outfit with ankle boots and if you’re going about your day you could pair it with sneakers or flats!

3. jeans + blazer

The look of an oversized blazer with jeans is a French girl go-to, so definitely tuck this outfit idea away for the days when you have no idea what to wear!

4 French Outfit Combos for Fall That Are Impossibly Chic

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Abby Stein


Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for what it means to be a woman in New York City, in the 21st century.


Abby Chava Stein

Abby Chava Stein (born October 1, 1991) is an American transgender author, activist blogger, model, speaker, and rabbi. She is the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community, and is a direct descendant of Hasidic Judaism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov. In 2015, she founded the first support group nationwide for trans people of Orthodox Jewish background.

Stein is also the first woman, and the first openly transgender woman, to have been ordained by an Orthodox Judaism institution, having received her rabbinical degree in 2011, before coming out as transgender. Though Stein did not work as a rabbi after leaving Orthodox Judaism until at least 2016, by 2020, she had re-embraced her title as rabbi, and currently works in many capacities as a rabbi.In 2018, she co-founded Sacred Space, a multi-faith project "which celebrates women and non-binary people of all faith traditions"

In November 2015, Stein made headlines when she came out on her blog as transgender, and started physical transition. She was featured in some major media outlets, including The New York Times, the New York Post, New York Magazine, NBC, the Daily Dot, and more. She has also appeared on CNN, Fox News, HuffPost Live, and Vice Canada. Stein also appeared on a number of international TV networks,[c] and in numerous international newspapers and magazines in over 20 different languages.

When Stein left her community in 2012 and came out as an atheist, her parents said that no matter Stein's choices in life, she would remain their child; however, after coming out as trans, her father told her that, "You should know that this means I might not be able to talk to you ever again." Since then, her parents have shunned her, and stopped talking to her altogether. She has also received some hate from her former community, though in an interview with Chasing News (a Fox News Short film company), Stein said that she received less hate than some people would have expected. She described her life post-transition as "better than I could have ever imagined".

Stein was featured in the 2016 Showtime Documentary series, Dark Net, in episode 8, "Revolt".

Read also the Glamour article: ‘I Was Raised a Hasidic Man. When I Came Out as a Woman, the Sexism Shocked Me’ 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Mercedes Club - Season Finally Dinner

Sunday evening my Mercedes club held a well-attended cocktail reception and dinner at my favorite West Palm Beach Restaurant. This was an event that I organized and it is the second year we have met at the Raindancer Steak House.

The food was outstanding, the service excellent and we were well-taken care of by the bar and serving staff. Everyone had a wonderful evening. Thank you Spiro and Niki for hosting our group again.

Many of our events are "car-related", visiting dealerships, touring vintage car collections, however, this and our Holiday party are just social.

There are many super interesting members and when we have the time, like Sunday evening, it is so much fun to get to know each other better. We had about 30 in attendance this evening.

The group elected me vice-president several years back and these "Escape" outings I really enjoy.

Florida events self-limit with many of our seasonal visitors returning north for the summer, so this was our social wrap-up for this season.

Despite the Covid lockdown/dangers, we managed to keep the group going the past two years. We look forward to next season.

A fun Sunday evening!

A Long Range Warning - Gov. Ron De Santis

 The assault on the Constitution has begun. The reason unbridled political gain. 

We Floridians now have a front-row-seat as to what a De Santis presidential reign would look like. De Santos is playing to a uneducated and unformed consticinary as to transgender rights / needs; simply to garner political points. He will do anything and say anything to further his political ambitions, constitution be damned. As voters we have just a little over two years to expose this Republican demagogue for what he is and protect the republic as we know it. He wants to be president.   

 Here is an informative article from Vox.com: 

Ron De Santis’ attack on Disney obviously violates the First Amendment

By Ian Millhiser  Apr 23, 2022

At the urging of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida legislature voted this week to punish one of the world’s biggest producers of entertainment and pop culture, because DeSantis and his fellow Florida Republicans disagreed with that producer’s First Amendment-protected speech. DeSantis signed the bill into law on Friday.

Florida’s decision to strip a government benefit from Disney because, in DeSantis’ words, Disney expressed “woke” opinions and “tried to attack me to advance their woke agenda,” is unconstitutional. And it’s not a close case.

On Wednesday 4/20/2022, he [DeSantis] sent a fundraising email to supporters where he denounced Disney for being “woke” and for criticizing him personally.  [His true motivation exposed.] 

The email was explicit that DeSantis wants to punish Disney for its political views and because the governor believes that Disney is too close to the opposition party. “Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer,” DeSantis said in his email. “If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.”

As the Supreme Court said in Hartman v. Moore (2006), “official reprisal for protected speech ‘offends the Constitution [because] it threatens to inhibit exercise of the protected right.’” Nor does it matter how the government retaliates against a person or business who expresses an opinion that the government does not like — any official retaliation against someone because they engaged in First Amendment-protected speech is unconstitutional.

The conflict between DeSantis and Disney arose after Disney denounced Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, an unconstitutional law which allows parents to sue their local school district if topics such as sexual orientation or gender identity are mentioned in the classroom. The law is unconstitutional because it is so vaguely drafted that teachers cannot determine what kinds of instruction are permitted and what kinds are forbidden — although it remains to be seen whether a federal judiciary dominated by Republican appointees will strike the law down.


Friday, April 22, 2022

First They Came...

And I did not speak...

First they came for the transgender kids 
And I did not speak out
Because I was no longer a kid

Next they outlawed transgender counseling
And I did not speak out
Because I did not need counseling

Then they outlawed all gender-affirming care
And I did not speak out
Because I did not need gender-affirming care

Then they outlawed cross gender presentation 
And I did not speak out
Because I did not go out in public 

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Rhonda Williams 

My adaptation of a poem by Martin Niemöller written in May 1952

Read about Martin Niemöller at Christian History 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

It is Not To Late - But First You Have To Get Mad

I am sure that my political views have angered some on the right and uncomfortably forced others to think. 

When I post on shoes, panties, or bras my views go through the roof; 1,000s per day. I post about the Republican right-wing zealots taking away transgender children's ability to seek counseling or Republican Governors silencing school counselors / teachers from discussing the subject "gay/gender", 139 views.      

Blacks became advocates. The Dixiecrats (now Republicans) lost the fight to keep blacks in the back-of-the-bus. Gays become advocates. The Republicans lost the fight to send gays back-to-the-closet (circa Anita Bryant). Drag queens became advocates and staged a six day riot / protest against police harassment. (Fifty years later, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill admits the police department enforced discriminatory laws. 

Now they have come for us. New target, same hate - Bully the transgenders. This one we can win. 

Do you see a pattern here.  We must became advocates.

The Republicans are now empowered by diluting your voting rights through redistricting, intimidation (threats of insurrection, voting police), and outright lies. Legislation has been blocked that would have protected voting rights.

There is such weakness in the current Democratic President and Vice-president that the Republicans (a minority party) will likely take control of all three branches of the government by 2024. Is it a democracy if a single party/ideology controls everything governmental?

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

There have been three [modern] historical forms of the single-party system: communist, fascist, and that found in less-developed countries [dictatorships]. 

This will happen so fast few will realize the long-term consequences. The far-right will be happy that their “hot buttons” issues are all taken care of; abortion outlawed, transgenders become invisible, repeal of the Civil Rights Act, delegitimize gay marriage. Most will not realize they have given up "The American Republic*" in the process. Much like the frog in the cooking pot by the time most understand what is happening – too late.

Read what a retired journalist and former Republican state legislator has to say: "Power-hungry party has lost its way".

There is an ever-so-faint cry from the outreaches; "Re-elect no one", "term-limits". Although, this solution may be too late when elections are challenged or not accepted as real. 

In 2010 Florida passed (state-wide referendum) "Constitutional Amendment 6". It mandated that redistricting had to be along "feasible" and use "city, county and geographical boundaries". The Florida state legislature (republican majority) just completely ignored the amendment. The Republican majority State Supreme Court as well the Florida's Republican State Attorney General are ignoring the amendment. Sadly, this may be the future of the US Constitution.    See also - "Ron DeSantis is drawing Democrats out of the equation in Florida"

Do you care? Are you going quietly into the proverbial sunset, vicariously living your life through other bloggers' escapes, or are you going to live a real-life with no hiding / regrets?  A life where you are an advocate and speak truth to power. Our human rights are at stake!  All human rights are at stake! And, maybe save the republic in the process.  It is not to late.  

Are you at least, MAD? 

*“Well, Doctor [Franklin] what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  “A Republic, if you can keep it.” 1787

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022

Feminine Differential - Distressed Boyfriend Jeans

Can you dress up a really distressed pair of boyfriend jeans?

I say YES, absolutely! Just pick out a really girly top, a sparkly embellished belt, and some killer lace-up Shoes!!!  These jeans paired with these shoes, would also look cute just with a T-shirt. I think the most important thing when dressing them up, is the shoes!

Heels always, and when they’re light gray suede and have exaggerated lace-ups… I think they work perfectly.

But that’s just my opinion!!!!!!!  See also "Five Spring Must Haves" - her March 2022 post.   Also "Chic Over 50 – A Style Interview With Shauna" at 40+Style.


Shauna is based in St George, Utah and does not let age define her style.  I love her motto: CHIC OVER 50………be confident, be beautiful!!!!!

These were "Distressed Jeans"
 although they do not show up well in the photo. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Friday, April 15, 2022

A Spring/Summer Dress Outfit


On rare South Florida spring / summer occasions I need to dress nice for an event. Most seasonal events conclude by the end of April, waiting the return of the snow-birds in November. Although there is the occasional cocktail receptions or gallery openings most events here, off-season, are very casual.  When the occasion arises I love to be dressed for it. I have Lilly Pulitzer sundresses and wear them, but typically feel I should be dressed a little more, age-appropriate.  

For several fashion seasons I have seen the blazer / shorts combinations worn as a suit.  Mostly sold a sepretates, one piece or the other is typically sold out in my size by the time I have committed to the look.  Much of my shopping is in the sale after-season arena. 

In Macy's several weeks ago I did find the above Ralph Lauren Striped Linen-Blend Blazer, in my size. It fit beautifully.  So, the question - are there shorts? Yes online, dress Striped Pleated Linen-Blend Shorts.

This is a definite maybe purchase.  It must be justified as an investment item, not an impulse purchase.  Most of the other items in the fashion layout I have and I believe that heels will be a must for indoor and wedges for the outdoor garden parties.  

Maybe a cruise outfit for dinner?  

What do you think?  Is the blazer / shorts combo just a Florida phenomenon or is it something you would wear for summer?  I know, don't wait too long or it will be sold out.

Note today -  The Ralph Lauren site has the Blazer, Shorts, and cap top pumps 25% off with "friend-and-family" discount code.  


Thursday, April 14, 2022

Feminine Makeup Tips

by Ashlee Zlotnick (TheHairStyler.com)
Updated on May 31, 2020

  • Just because you want something to look feminine, does not mean that you need to only turn to pink colors. Pink does not always suit every skin color, so do not be afraid to try something new and bold.

  • A red lip always does the trick! If you are going out or have an important meeting, red lips will make you feel powerful and like you are on top of the world.

  • You can never go wrong with bold lashes! Lashes help you tell your inner most thoughts so if you are going bold, you would want to use false lashes, but if you want something more subtle and gentle, then use two layers of mascara on your own lashes. It will help you create volume with your own lashes.

  • When it comes to contouring and highlighting your face and neck area, you want it to be subtle during the day and more intense at night so that it can show up in pictures that you might be taking.

  • Feminine makeup is all about finding the facial features you love the most and bringing them to life. You can play around with makeup looks.

  • Keep in mind that you want to keep your makeup looks gentle. Nothing too harsh. Make sure that whatever lines you might be placing around your eye area are blended nicely to enhance the gentle approach that you are taking
  • BLEND, BLEND, BLEND! I cannot say this enough! Feminine makeup is all about making your makeup look like it was done with one stroke. No matter how many colors you might put around your eye area, you want to make sure that they are blended nicely. You do not want to see them as 3 colors but as 1 color that fades into 3 shades.

  • Your pink tone Blush during the day is great to use if you want to give your face some more color.

Some good advice from a hair styling site.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Disney Heir Blasts Ron DeSantis

Disney heir who works as a high school biology teacher comes out as [a] transgender man and blasts Ron DeSantis' so-called 'Don't Say Gay' law: Family makes $500,000 donation to LGBTQ advocacy group


  • Charlee Corra Disney
    Charlee Corra Disney, a 30-year-old teacher, came out as transgender to their family four years ago

  • Last week their father Roy P. Disney, grandson of the company's co-founder, and great-nephew to Walt, issued a statement confirming his son's identity

  • He announced that he and his wife Sheri were matching donations to the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, up to $500,000

  • Charlee told The Los Angeles Times that they felt they had not done enough in the past to speak up for LGBTQ causes, in particular the Florida bill

  • Ron DeSantis on March 28 signed into law the Don't Say Gay bill, which was condemned by LGBTQ activists and many Disney employees and executives

Charlee told The Los Angeles Times, in an interview published on Sunday, that they were dismayed at Florida governor Ron DeSantis's signing of the controversial 'Don't Say Gay' bill, which forbids the discussion of homosexuality or transgender issues in classrooms for children through third grade.

Charlee said the new bill would isolate young people and make them feel uncomfortable in their own skin.

'I had very few openly gay role models,' said Charlee, whose mother remembers Charlee aged two or three tugging her away from the little girls' shoe section, saying: 'But mom, I'm a boy on the inside.'

Charlee added: 'And I certainly didn't have any trans or nonbinary role models. 
'I didn't see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.'

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Graduation Address

Rhonda's Virginia Commonwealth University Presentation

February 2020 (pre-covid) I was invited to speak at my alma-mater's annual "Culture and Identity Reception". The reception's purpose is to recognize women's achievements in engineering. That day it was my honor to speak before a good size group.   

The group included the Engineering School's Dean, a good collection of professors and students. I was so pleased that there was a good representation of LGBTQ students in attendance.       

Just a few days ago, I receive an invitation to be the keynote speaker at VCU's 2022 Lavender Graduation. The Lavender Celebration is a ceremony that celebrates the achievement of LGBTQIA+ undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral candidates.  

I will be in Richmond, Virginia on Friday evening (5:00 pm), April 29 for the evening program.  If there are any blog reader that would like to attend I am sure that I can get invitations.  

Coming up in September I am being honored again as one of the this year's recipients of the "2022 VCU Alumni Star Award". I am hoping this will be another opportunity to further visibility / acceptance of those of us that are transgender.  More on this later.


Monday, April 11, 2022

Will Larkins - Inspired Young Person

Florida teen goes viral educating history teacher on Stonewall. Now the school is “investigating.”

Will Larkins

When 17-year-old Florida high school student Will Larkins asked their teacher if the Stonewall riots would be included in an upcoming curriculum on U.S. history of the ’60s and ’70s, the response they got was less than inspiring. The history teacher was unfamiliar with the events, which are widely considered to be the spark that ignited the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

So Larkins took matters into their own hands, delivering a powerpoint presentation about Stonewall’s significance to their U.S. history class (and teacher).

“LGBTQ American history is not taught in Floridas public schools, so I took it upon myself to explain the events of the Stonewall Uprising to my 4th period US history class,” Larkins captioned a video of their presentation on Twitter that has since gone viral. “#SayGayAnyway,” they added, referencing Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which was recently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The law forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, but also includes ambiguous language that could allow for parents of older students to sue over perceived violations.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, Larkins wrote that “under threat of lawsuits, districts, schools and teachers may be hesitant to talk at all with students about gender identity and sexuality, even if the conversation is ‘age-appropriate.'”

“When I look back to elementary school,” they continued, “I wonder how different my childhood would have been had my classmates and I known that I wasn’t some tragic anomaly, a strange fluke that needed to be fixed. People in support of the bill always ask, ‘Why do these subjects need to be taught in schools?’ To them I would say that if we understand ourselves, and those around us understand us, so many lives will be saved.”

Larkins, like so many others, think that education is the key to stopping hate and ignorance.

I have come to realize that those who have been so openly hateful toward me often knew little about the queer community — they thought being LGBTQ was a conscious choice. Education didn’t just give me a sense of self worth but also the knowledge of a community and lifeline there for countless young people.” WHERE DID THEY SAY THIS?

Larkins told the Washington Post that their fight is just starting. They’re now working on voter registration for the November elections.

“We’re not going to stop fighting,” they explained WaPo. “As horrible as this all is, it’s inspired young people to get involved.”

Thanks Velma for this link.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Rhonda's Political Week In Review 4-10-2022



Sean Hannity asked Caitlyn Jenner to agree with Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill. She obliged.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Friday, April 8, 2022

Gender Self-Identification

This is a bit of a followup to the oblique question posed to Supreme Court nominee Jackson.  Question: “Can you define the word woman?”  The question was an effort to trap the nominee into undermining gender self-identification. It is my opinion that gender self-identification is a human right. Similar to one declaring oneself to to be democratic/republican, religious/atheistic or declaring one's sexual orientation.

Embracing our individuality is essential for personal happiness. Trying to hide or change who we are to fit someone else’s ideals lessens our sense of self-worth, causing self-esteem to plummet and insecurities to soar.

From Wikipedia: 

Gender self-identification is the concept that a person's legal sex or gender should be determined by their gender identity without any medical requirements, such as via statutory declaration.

It is a major goal of the transgender rights movement. Advocates of self-identification say that medical requirements could force trans people into undergoing surgery, are intrusive and humiliating gatekeeping, and that self-identification would make it easier for transgender people to live day-to-day without prejudice. Advocates also argue that there is no evidence that such laws have caused problems in countries where they have been introduced, such as in Ireland, where it was introduced in 2015. Self-identification is opposed by some feminists, who consider safety in places like refuges and prisons, and fairness in sports, to be adversely affected, Opponents also consider affirmation of self-identification in children with gender dysphoria to set them on a path of medical gender transition.

As of January 2022, gender self-identification is part of the law in 17 countries, including Brazil, India, France, Ireland, 6 other countries in the European Union, and several jurisdictions in Latin America. Proposals to introduce it have proved controversial in some countries, such as Spain and the United Kingdom. Within countries organised as federations, such as Canada and Mexico, legal gender recognition may principally fall under sub-national jurisdiction, and so may vary from province to province. Within a single jurisdiction, legal gender recognition procedures can be different for different documents, such as birth certificates or passports, and is not always the sole determinant of gender recognition in day-to-day life, such as in healthcare, access to facilities, or in personal relations.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

What Is A Woman?

Last week during the public hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee, Republicans mocked Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson for refusing to define the word “woman” during her Senate confirmation hearing.

What was the purpose of that question and how was it meant to trap nominee Jackson and further erode our (transgender) rights?

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)  question was almost certainly to try to corner Jackson on the issue of transgender women participating in women’s sports ― part of a broader, ugly GOP attack on LGBTQ people heading into the 2022 elections.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is pushing for child abuse investigations of parents whose children seek gender-affirming medical care. 

Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law prevents teachers from talking about sexual orientation or gender identity to students younger than fourth graders. The Human Rights Campaign, meanwhile, is tracking more than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country.

Thirteen hours into the first day of Jackson’s hearing last month, the Tennessee Republican tossed out the question: “Can you define the word ‘woman’?”Jackson said, appearing confused:

Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t. I’m not a biologist.”

Read the whole article at huffington post: What's A Woman? GOP Senators Stumble On Their Own Question To Ketanji Brown Jackson.


There is a campaign of exclusion, discrimination and bigotry happening before our eyes.  

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

I Love A Success Story - Bridgette and Tiffany

They fell in love on a Greyhound Bus 35 years ago. They've been together ever since.

Bridgette and Tiffany

Francesca Street
CNN 31st March 2022

It was February 1987 and Tiffany was 23. She'd got married two years previously. Now her marriage was on the rocks and divorce seemed imminent. Tiffany was training to become a police officer, but her heart wasn't in it.

Tiffany, who is trans, had also yet to come out. For much of her life up to that point, she had tried to quash her identity.

Tiffany wasn't sure where she was heading next. For now, she was simply focused on lining up at Sacramento Bus Station to catch the Greyhound bus back home to San Francisco.

Travelers were starting to deposit their bags in the bus hold. Tiffany wasn't paying attention, but then a young woman further up the line reached over to hand Tiffany a luggage tag.

"You're going to need one of these to check your bag in," said the stranger, smiling.

"Oh thanks," said Tiffany, breaking out of her reverie.

The woman with the extra luggage tag was Bridgette. Then 18, she was living and working in San Francisco, and on her way back there after a weekend visiting her parents in Sacramento.

Bridgette and Tiffany started chatting -- first about the luggage tags, then about the journey ahead.

The person in between them, sensing this conversation wasn't going to come to an end anytime soon, asked if they'd like to switch places so they could stand together. Why not, figured Tiffany and Bridgette, and they switched.

"We were just talking back and forth. And we were waiting for a long time in that line," Bridgette, who has asked only to be referred to by her first name for personal reasons, tells CNN Travel.

The two were enjoying each other's company. When they eventually boarded the bus, sitting together seemed the obvious next step.

Journeying from Sacramento to San Francisco by car usually takes around an hour and a half. But with the Greyhound's multiple stops, and the inevitable traffic, the bus was on the road for several hours.

Tiffany and Bridgette talked the whole way.

Tiffany describes the interaction as one of "those conversations where you meet a stranger and you spend several hours with the stranger as if you've known them your whole life -- and you also assume you're never going to see them again, so your defenses are down."

The two talked about everything, but also kept some things private. Tiffany didn't mention she was still married. Bridgette added a few years to her age, telling Tiffany she was 21.

A couple of hours into the journey, a woman sat across from the pair, charmed by their obvious connection, cut in with a question:

"How long have you two been together?" she asked.

Not long after their first meeting,
Tiffany and Bridgette were inseparable.
Tiffany and Bridgette turned to one another and laughed. Then Tiffany turned back to the woman, and told her they'd been together since kindergarten. Without skipping a beat, Bridgette named the fictitious teacher who'd taught the imaginary class where they'd supposedly met.

"We just started playing off each other like we had been together since kindergarten," recalls Tiffany. "I guess we just had that chemistry."


But the unconditional, supportive relationship she had with Bridgette allowed her to reevaluate. Together, Tiffany and Bridgette started looking into how Tiffany could be herself.

"If you don't figure out your gender identity and your issues in a healthy way and start to build a healthy foundation, then it's always going to be a struggle," says Tiffany now.


Today, whenever they see a Greyhound bus on the road, the two think of their serendipitous meeting. They've not been on a Greyhound together since, but they enjoy road trips together from time to time.

Tiffany and Bridgette say they're both proud of where they are today, and how they've grown together over their 35 year relationship.

"Anything is possible, you just have to believe you can make things work," says Bridgette.

"Don't be afraid to take chances," agrees Tiffany. "I think we all meet each other for a reason, things happen for a reason. And we may not understand what the reason is, but be open to them. And don't let fear hold you back."


I have only given you excerpts of this story.  Do read the whole beautiful love story at CNN Travel