A BRCC and Dog Whistle encounter.

Dog Whistle (term): a coded message communicated through words or phrases commonly understood by a particular group of people, but not by others. – Merriam Webster

Yesterday was a long day, one that I won’t go into here but was very physically and emotionally exhausting for both Wolsey and myself. On our way home from a single day 250 mile round-trip we stopped at McDonalds, and we decided to sit inside to eat.

We had just heard about the horrific alt-right/Nazi/Trump Douchebag attacks in Virginia and were not in a great mood because of it. The area we were in was remarkably pro-Trump earlier in the day, with a god awful sign screaming about defunding Planned Parenthood, so I think I was extra vigilant (or maybe just so pissed about the day I was looking for a problem).

I will be the first to admit I was more aggressive then I probably should be, but the family stuff along with the Alt-Right douchebaggery had me rattled. However, I didn’t want to clean up what I say here because I wanted to share my emotion, and admit I probably could have handled this a little better.

We got in, got our burgers and were talking. I was incredibly thankful to have Wolsey with me, and we just started feeling a little better when in walked two young men, mid-twenties probably who came walking into the seating area and stumbled around for a minute or two. I noticed their shirts had the letters BRCC on them, some sort of coffee symbol and a crosshair (although I wasn’t sure at the time if that is what it was, because in each corner there was a symbol).

The symbol was similar to this, plus a coffee symbol

I couldn’t tell you what caught my attention, but they seemed uncertain of sitting near Wolsey and I so I kept watching. Eventually they sat one seat over behind Wolsey and were talking back and forth. They seemed a bit nervous, but the guy facing away from me seemed to forget I was there. I noticed along the back of his shirt it said Black Rifle Coffee Company.

Immediately I was sure the shirt was a dog whistle. Two white males, displaying a brand of coffee that loves its artwork about guns, on a day of alt-right violence. I had never heard of a BRCC coffee shop so I doubted it was a local coffee company and that they worked for them, and while I couldn’t be sure about the meaning of the company, I was sure it was an alt-right signal.

I noticed the guy kept watching me and Wolsey, and that brought my full stare at him, I didn’t look away even as I talked with Wolsey. Something about the guy bothered me, and while I didn’t say anything to him, I am fairly sure my staring at him caught him off guard. He kept half looking at us, but he wouldn’t meet my eyes.

I watched for a couple of minutes and then without looking away I reached over and lovingly patted Wolsey’s hand, in a gesture that established our relationship. The guy’s eyes shot up and he flinched a bit.

In my emotional state I was hoping he would say something. I was praying he said the “f” word even in passing. The last year and a half dealing with the passing of both parents was wound up pretty tight. However, they are both small to medium sized guys and I am pretty big and he said nothing. He just looked down.

By this time Wolsey noticed I was watching something and had a curious look. He knew I was bothered, but didn’t draw attention to it. He told me a little about the crash (we had just heard about the car attack) and I said loudly something about “Alt-Right Fucks” and the guy that still wouldn’t look at me directly flinched again.

I knew I was right about them at that moment. I was also slightly disappointed that evidently like the other alt-right people they were not willing to say something to someone on equal playing field.

It was then that Wolsey and I got up to leave. I think Wolsey knew the second he saw the guys what had my attention and why. As we walked out I wasn’t sure if they would say something, they douchebags had been super active all over the country so maybe these guys would say something.

I was hoping they would, but the one guy wouldn’t look at either of us, and I don’t think the second guy even knew what the situation was. He did seem taken aback as Wolsey and I walked out the door as I had hugged Wolsey as we walked away and was watching the two of them.

We did a quick google search after it about Black Rifle Coffee Company. They do supposedly hire veterans, and I am for that. However, they are based in Utah, they scream about the millennial attitudes, they are for retaking back what we originally where (a coded dog whistle), they are a coffee company that “makes coffee that conservatives can drink”. Their coffee cups even have weapons printed on them. They scream about immigrants and refugees, they were upset that Starbucks pledged to hire refugees and somehow made that an attack on veterans. There is more, but I don’t need to repeat all the shitty things they say.

Oh, I guess I do have to say one more thing, they support Donald Trump, if that isn’t a reason to call the company douchebags then I don’t know what is. Also a confirmation to me that wearing the shirt is a dog whistle.

Update: BRCC hiring veterans is not necessarily a “feel good” thing. There are definite advantages for tax credits and if you think BRCC doesn’t consider that as well then you aren’t thinking it through.

While Starbuck’s gets no tax credit for hiring refugees, BRCC is hiring veterans for PR and for tax bonus:

Businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans can take advantage of a Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). (This credit is also available to certain tax-exempt organizations.) After recent changes, The Returning Heroes Tax Credit now provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600. (source)

If you think for a second they are not doing it for a tax credit, I have a bridge to sell you.

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8/11/17 Background Radiation

Let’s take a look at the terrible news things this week.

In Transgender Military Ban news, we have a lot going on.

It looks like Trump is congratulating himself on the new policy he created banning transgender active duty soldiers form the military.

“I have great respect for the community… I think I’ve had great support, or I’ve had great support from that community. I got a lot of votes. But the transgender the military‘s working on it now… It’s been a very difficult situation and I think I’m doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it. As you know, it’s been a very complicated issue for the military, it’s been a very confusing issue for the military, and I think I’m doing the military a great favor.”

We’ve learned his own lawyers counseled him against the policy, and more than 50 members of congress sent a letter asking the Department of Defense to defy the ban.

It looks like the US Navy Secretary might take them up on it. He’s doing some typical DoD language here. He’s saying he’ll follow policy if the Pentagon puts it out. That’s some serious if’s when there are arguments that it’s probably not constitutional. He also made it clear that transgender people should be allowed to serve by saying,

“any patriot that wants to serve and meets all the requirements should be able to serve in our military.”

There is a new study that says it will cost around $960 million to dump all active duty transgender soldiers out of the military.

Five active duty service members are suing over the ban on transgender folks in the military.

Here’s an op-ed with Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, elaborating on his refusal to “break faith” with transgender service members under his command.

In other infuriating news, we have a story that a transgender woman, and her husband had their breaks cut in an attempted murder event while working at Amazon. They were subjected to all sorts of harassment over her being trans. They are suing for workplace discrimination.

A man in Florida was shot, and killed, defending his gay friends. The murderer was let out without bond. . . That is horrific.

The Duggar’s are continuing their anti-transgender agenda. 28-year-old Derick Dillard, married to one of the Duggar daughters, and with their own reality TV show. Because we need more reality TV about these people? He’s been attacking 16-year-old Jazz Jennings about being transgender. He’s a grown ass man attacking a kid. Nice Christian ethics there. There is no reference to being transgender in the bibles, and I don’t remember a sermon where Jesus told his followers to go attack children.

Lastly, to close I’d like to link to a good article that discusses how toxic masculinity fuels transgender victimization. If you have a few minutes, it’s a really good read.

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The book and a guide for spouses of transitioning partners (especially FTM)

This week has been a quiet one, although we did finish our book though, sent it in and hopefully will hear back soon. We had it done last February, but the publisher couldn’t review it until the end of May. The publisher heard the surgery was happening and asked if we could extend it to include that, so we did.

However, writing the book made me realize something about my blog entries. Most of my posts now and in the future I am sure, are made usually as things happen. Full on emotional highlights (or maybe stonewalling those emotions) but they are excellent for showing how I felt and was thinking at the time. Even if they sometimes bounce around randomly.

When I went back to write a followup  for the book, I realized how much I had either left out, or how things had either changed or perhaps I was more on target with the post then I realized. I am thinking I might start writing up in general a guide of how things actually work (after the fact) once major events have passed.

This is coupled with the fact I have gotten a remarkable number of general questions on how things work, or how I handled things. When I look at my posts I find that I don’t necessarily address overall questions in them, so there isn’t any one place I can refer people to (or that I can refer to so I can answer a question).

Take for example I don’t think I am far enough away from Wolsey’s first bottom surgery to be able to give a factual review or guidance on what it was like for me as a supporting spouse and what I had to do, at least not for another six months or more. I am still in the middle of it. However, I think I can talk to how to handle it when your spouse comes out, how family reacts, top surgery, relationship issues, etc.

Not a repeat of posts that have occurred, but sort of a guide on how things happen (at least in my relationship) the pitfalls and great things that occur. With the benefit of hindsight. Also since a lot of these events occurred I have subsequently found either resources, or other things that help with that situation and I want to share those.

Just wanted to let you know why I may bring up general subjects now, that I talked about two or three years ago. Feedback is great, and if it seems to redundant please tell me.

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Ads?

I am using Chrome for the first time in awhile and I just realized there are ads on the website (I have all the ad blockers on my old Safari browser and never noticed them). There should NEVER be ads on this website, that is why I paid for the business plan.

The control panel now tells me that the ads are gone (I found the box and clicked it). It appears so when I look at the site. However, please tell me if you ever see ads. I do not want myself or wordpress to make money off this website, and I definitely hate ads myself.

This is to help others (and myself by letting me vent into a place regularly). This is not meant to make me or anyone else money.

I apologize the ads have been on, that is my bad.

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Surgery Trip #1 Video

I finally got around putting some of the surgery trip pictures into a small video for my personal blog. I figured they deserved to be here too :).

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8/4/2017 Background Radiation

Let’s see what kind of caustic hateful Background Radiation has my dander up this week.

First, before I get into anything else, we’ve had another death in the transgender community. Pink News reports: Black trans woman killed in the US is the 16th recorded this year. That’s more than two murders a month. Her name was TeeTee Dangerfield, and she was murdered in Atlanta, GA. We have this happen so much, I have no idea, anymore, how to even say my thoughts are with her family and friends, and I hope they find justice for her. I never stop being horrified at the sheer number of deaths and attacks on the community.

In the brighter side of the news, the backlash against Trump’s anti-transgender tweets are still coming in.

Reuters had a poll that showed the 58% of Americans opposed the exclusion of transgender people in the military: Majority of Americans support transgender military service. This article really breaks it down by demographic. Conservatives are split on this one, I guess individually they have to ask themselves if they support active duty soldiers more than they hate transgender people.

Even gay conservatives are jumping off that sinking ship. Gay candidate for Trump administration post withdraws over trans military ban. John Fluharty, who is gay and Republican, withdrew himself from consideration for a senior position in the Department of Homeland Security. He then made a nice statement about it being because of the anti-transgender tweets the President sent out. I may not understand LGBT folks that are conservative politically, but it’s nice they have my back.

45 Senators Pen Letter Urging Defense Secretary Not to Implement Trans Ban. A bipartisan group of 45 senators wrote a letter urging James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense not to implement the transgender ban. I found it noteworthy that it was bipartisan. It seems attacking active duty service members might have split the GOP quite a bit.

Even the Military Times is getting into the act by pointing out that the $8 million estimate that they are using for transgender care (which wrongly assumes all are on HRT, and need maximum surgery options) is completely dwarfed by the $294 million in erectile dysfunction drugs. See the article titled: The military spends more on giving retirees erections than on transgender troops. You know shit is getting real when the Military Times is pointing to the President’s bullshit.

Fifty-Six Retired Generals and Admirals Warn That President Trump’s Anti-Transgender Tweets, If Implemented, Would Degrade Military Readiness. I’m not sure if any of these people have ever really thought about transgender rights in their lives, but they do know unfair and ridiculous when they see it.

Finally, 19 attorneys general sent Congress a letter opposing the ban on trans soldiers. The states involved are: Hawaii, New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Washington D.C.

Back to the bad side of the news. . . Texas.

If you hadn’t heard, Texas ran headfirst into a wall, and decided to implement their own bathroom bill. This was despite some valiant efforts: Despite hours of testimony against the Texas bathroom bill, it passes. Also, Texas Senate passes bathroom bill despite overwhelming police opposition.

Additionally, a lot of businesses stepped up. The Dallas News has two articles:
Oil and gas companies — including Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil — come out against Texas bathroom bill
See the letter here without their annoying pop-ups
CEOs from AT&T, American Airlines, TI and BNSF join the chorus against a ‘bathroom bill’

Dallas News has some really annoying pop ups, so here is a quote regarding the businesses that did step up:

CEOs from 14 leading employers in the Dallas area, including AT&T, American Airlines and Texas Instruments, are taking a public stand against a “bathroom bill” that would discriminate against transgender people in Texas.

There is a lot of bad things happening out there, but this is the first time I can really see mainstream people coming out to defend us. Whether they are fighting Trump’s anti-transgender tweets, or Texas’ bathroom bill. It’s nice to see.

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Under Fire

This week was comical in a lot of ways, not in a good comical way, but rather a devastating array of issues. I am starting to grow weary of feeling attacked constantly, and especially with the increased pace that it has happened lately.

The first issue was the medical fight over transgender medical care in the DoD. This is a serious problem in general, no one should be denied transgender medical care. This is also a very serious issue with us in particular. Since the DoD is the one that supplies Wolsey his medical care it was a direct attack on us.

House Rejects Effort To Roll Back Rights For Transgender Members Of The US Military

Fortunately, it did not pass and that vote included GOP members. I suspect it might have been a different direction if it wasn’t DoD based, but our country’s worship of the military actually worked for us, and I am thankful for that.

The second issue was Trump’s actual tweets about denying access for any transgender person to serve in the military in any capacity. Once again this doesn’t effect us directly, as civilian workers, at least at this point, we weren’t in any danger. I would talk more about it, but Wolsey does a much better job here:

7/28/2017 Background Radiation

The third and I think most damaging possibility, yet the least talked about (once again our worship of all things military eclipsed this, along with the healthcare vote) was Session’s directing the Department of Justice to weigh in, using an amicus brief, on a private lawsuit.

“Amicus briefs are legal documents filed in appellate court cases by non-litigants with a strong interest in the subject matter. The briefs advise the court of relevant, additional information or arguments that the court might wish to consider.” (thank you Public Health Law Center for that definition).

Justice Department Says Rights Law Doesn’t Protect Gays

The basic reason of the lawsuit, a skydiving instructor was fired for being gay. The clients that hired him found out his orientation and complained and the company fired him. He in turn filed a lawsuit against them.

The reason the DoJ is filing this brief is as the largest employer in the country. The meaning comes down to the fact that they want to use this as a way to undo protections in their own workforce (e.g. Wolsey and myself and thousands of other federal employees) along with the revoking the LGBTQ protections most of us can use to protect against employment, living conditions, and pretty much every other aspect of our life in this country.

The frustrating part is I have not seen this on the television other than a quick ten second mention. This I find even more drastic, draconian and dangerous than any of the transgender issues (and I find those horrific as well).

In addition a lot of straight people I have talked to don’t understand the danger. They have asked me why I cared, it didn’t effect me. I have had to repeat over a half a dozen times in just a few days why it matters. I just hope to god I was never this way when I still thought I was only a straight ally.

I haven’t delved into this more, I want to do some research on the case, and figure it out so I can talk more. However, I couldn’t avoid posting about it, it has been on my mind all week. I just wonder when we will no longer be under fire like this.

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