I think this is Costa Rican Sage. I have a very soft spot for it, and not just because of the gorgeous deep blue blooms. I had a Costa Rican girlfriend who was a great love. I tracked her down on the itnernet and found some photos of her at a poetry festival in Madrid. She's better-looking now than she was 25 years ago. Not fair!
TRASH CAN UPDATE
I was very happy to see this "Soft Square" trash can downtown, cheerily decorated with lots of little bicyclers. Actually, it looks a bit smearily decorated too. But I say it's a fine attempt to bring more art to Market Street, which already has a lot and needs even more. I certainly would never have noticed the foot pedal if I hadn't read about it, but I DID know and I used it to easily access the opening -- which was DISGUSTING -- see below.
To force all the garbage through such a narrow slot is obviously a giant engineering error. Gross gross gross!
Is there a truly clean city in this country? I'm just wondering. Yes, a city has to pay a lot of people to go around picking up and scrubbing and
wiping. That is certainly honorable work -- as honorable as cleaning someone else's house.
I just looked up and notice part of my thumb in the bluenie photo. Who am I to judge a whole city? I cannot keep one blog tidy.
MULE FOR SALE or THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Yesterday I was burrowing through my photos and posters and paintings, doing some winnowing.
I came across the above piece of paper. I had made an enlarged photocopy of this ad because I was obsessed with the mule described therein.
I am a long-time subscriber
to MAIZE, the Country Dyke's magazine. This classified ad appeared in its pages years ago -- 2008 or 2009. I just fell in love with Hansum the mule. (This is not a photo of Hansum but of an anonymous and beautiful sorrel mule from the internet.)
I dare you to read that ad and not fall in love with Hansum too! Doesn't he sound like the most wonderful animal companion you could ever have?
I showed the ad to Carolyn, told her I knew that my life would be transformed if I only had Hansum. I dreamed of being the "mule-lovin, wimmin-lovin womoon/wimmin" that Kali, Hansum's owner, was seeking.
Could I buy Hansum, move to a farm where I could keep him and start a new life? Well, yes, in theory I COULD. But WOULD I? I'm a city girl from top to toes. Have been ever since I lived in Manhattan when I was 17.
I was in a quandary -- On the one hand, a daily cappuccino made by an expert, was necessary for my happiness. On the other hand, the most wonderful mule in the world was available -- and at a reduced price for a mule-lovin wimmin-lovin womoon/wimmin, which I actually was! Although I'm not familiar with the mule market, I think we can all agree that $3500 is a bargain for such a magnificent and useful being. What to do, what do to?
Well, the truth is for me to have any chance at happiness, I have to live, not just near, but easy walking distance from a cafe -- 5 blocks max. Do you know of any farms with cafes within five blocks? I don't think so! So I settled for staying in San Francisco and babbling endlessly to Carolyn about Hansum.
HANSUM ADDENDUM 1: At the Michigan Women's Music Festival that year, I won a raffle prize, which was leather spats made by Pam, one of the craftswomen selling her wares there. I went to be measured by her for the spats. Pam and I really hit it off, and had a great time talking. She was an actual country dyke. My main connection to the country was MAIZE Magazine, and I mentioned the ad about Hansum. And it turned out SHE had read the ad and was in love with Hansum too!
Can you believe it? What are the odds that I would ever run into another woman who had fallen for Hansum? Even at the Michigan Women's Music Festival, there must have been very few. Shoemaker Pam and i were deeply bonding until her girlfriend showed up. My new soul sister said, "Honey, meet Terry! She fell in love with Hansum too!" Honey looked at both of us in disgust. "I can't believe you found another total fool for that animal. I told you we need that money for a tractor!" Pam and I felt rather sheepish as Honey glared at us. We'd lost that good mule-lovin feelin.
HANSUM ADDENDUM 2:When I found the ad yesterday, I phoned and emailed Hansum's Kali to get an update on what had happened to him. So far, I haven't heard anything. I debated tossing the paper with the ad, but I just could not bring myself to do it. I'll probably discover it again in a decade, and text Carolyn again, "Remember Hansum?" And she will.
Dear Bloggellinis: So many incredibly important things are happening in the world every single day! I am inundated with events and my opinions about these events! But sometimes it's good to take a break from world-changing things and focus on blue flowers or mules gone by. Love, Terry
IT IS COMMON MEDICAL PRACTICE IN THE U.S. FOR CHILDREN TO RECEIVE POWERFUL HORMONES FOR WHAT IS CALLED "GENDER DYSPHORIA."
Gender dysphoria is defined as "the condition of feeling one's emotional and psychological identity to be at variance with one's birth sex." That's a pretty broad definition, wouldn't you say? It would certainly include ME at various points in my childhood and probably would include the majority of people who grow up to be attracted to their own sex. I tried to find a narrower definition but could not.
I have been curious to know if there were scientific studies of the side effects of what is commonly known as the puberty blocker, GnRH Agonist. So I was very glad to read the review done by Lesbians United that summarizes the evidence in over 300 scientific studies of the side effects of GnRH agonists. The review was published on August 21 and is titled:
First, the review describes the chemical process of normal puberty.
WHAT HAPPENS NORMALLY IN CHILDREN -- THAT IS, WITHOUT PUBERTY-BLOCKERS?
This is how the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) works normally in the body of someone coming into puberty:
GnRH is produced by the hypothalamus in the brain. It is not produced steadily, but in pulses.
GnRH is sent to the pituitary gland, which has receptors for it.
The pituitary gland then produces lutenizing hormone, or LH, which it sends to the gonads.
The gonads, upon receiving LH, produce estrogen (for girls) or testosterone (for boys).
Quite roundabout, isn't it? I have no idea why the hypothalamus cannot send signals directly to the gonads. But this is the wisdom of evolution. This is Standard Operating Procedure for the human body.
Then the review describes how puberty blockers STOP normal puberty.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH PUBERTY BLOCKERS?
The child is given frequent injections of GnRH agonist, an artificial form of GnRH.
GnRH agonist, unlike the natural GnRH, is not produced in pulses but signals the pituitary gland constantly. It overloads the pituitary receptors, which shut down.
No LH or leutinizing hormone is produced.
Nothing signals the gonads to produce estrogen or testosterone.
Puberty is suppressed. Girls don't develop breasts or start to menstruate, boys don't get facial hair or lower voices.
THE POINT OF SUPPRESSING PUBERTY IS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR THESE CHILDREN, WHEN THEY BECOME ADULTS, TO LIVE MORE COMFORTABLY AS THE OPPOSITE SEX.
But these are children! Many of them, even if they think at this moment that they want to live as the opposite sex, will change their minds down the road! Meanwhile, their bodies are being subjected to a powerful drug.
GnRH AGONISTS WERE NOT DEVELOPED TO SUPPRESS PUBERTY.
They were developed to treat men with advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a disease of older men. It's understandable that men in that situation would not be terribly concerned about the side effects of GnRH agonists. The drug gives them a chance for survival. Taking GnRH Agonist is a reasonable choice for men with advanced prostate cancer, no matter what the side effects.
TAKING GnRH AGONISTS HAS MANY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS.
According to the 300 scientific studies surveyed in PUBERTY SUPPRESSION: Medicine or Malpractice?, existing research shows:
loss of bone mineral density
Increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis
increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
weight gain and increased percentage of body fat
impaired thyroid function
hot flashes & migraines
lowered intelligence and IQ
increased risk of dementia
depression, anxiety, insomnia, and increased risk of suicide
potentially irreversible infertility
increased risk of autoimmune disease
.... and more.
Some of these side effects are reversible when the drug is stopped, but many are not.
SAYS WHO, YOU MAY WELL ASK.
As they say, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Perhaps this report is based on studies done by people who started out being biased against transgender people, right? But these are peer-reviewed studies, mostly on adults, that have been published in places like the Journal of Endocrinology, the Journal of Urology, and Clinical Rheumatology. And all 300 studies are meticulously listed, so you can actually check them out yourself. PUBERTY SUPPRESSION: Medicine or Malpractice? is 19 pages long and is followed by a 12- page bibliography. CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOLE REPORT.
If you're concerned that the researchers for Lesbians United were biased about which studies they chose to include, please watch this 17-minute introductory video that explains how they evaluated the studies. It's really very interesting to learn how to evaluate whether a scientific study is based solidly on evidence or not. Click anywhere on the rectangle below to watch the video.
MANY COUNTRIES ARE ALREADY BACKING AWAY FROM GnRH AGONISTS -- BUT NOT THE U.S.
In 2020, Finland began recommending psychotherapy instead of GnRH agonists for children with "gender dysphoria." In 2021, Sweden issued new guidelines forbidding the use of GnRH agonists on children except in clinical trials with strict oversight. In 2022, France urged "great medical caution" in using GnRH agonists on children.
When Alabama passed a law forcing sex offenders to take GnRH as a form of chemical castration, medical experts called the requirement "impermissibly cruel." And yet this same drug is given to children.
Bloggelinis: I believe that children are too young to make choices as life-altering as changing their sex. Who among us has NOT felt like a misfit while we were growing up? Not many, I'll bet. And often it was because we did not fit the stereotype of what girls or boys are supposed to be.
The same parents who go out of their way to buy organic food to insure their children's health are are willing to subject their children to big doses of powerful hormones every day. This is incomprehensible to me. If you agree with me, please forward this blog to others. Terry
Lilith Women's Theater | 547 Douglass St., San Francisco, CA 94114