Gov. Malloy talked with me one on one about his accomplishments over his two terms in office, responded to his critics and answered questions from viewers, one of which is: why don’t you just resign now? His answer? “Walk in my shoes” before he’ll consider that viewer’s advice. Malloy told another viewer inquiring about taxes, “Wake up!”
We’ll also look at the newest candidate to enter the competitive race to replace Malloy, former West Hartford mayor Jonathan Harris.
Also in this episode, Sarah McBride explains what motivated her to work in activism and told me what she hopes readers who aren’t LGBTQ will learn from her book, now on sale.
You’ll find links to help you learn more about the people and topics we cover in this episode by scrolling down below the video link! If you enjoy what you see, please like. share and subscribe:
If you’re looking to contact Gov. Dannel Malloy, here’s the linkto send him (or, more accurately, his staff) an email. They are very responsive! And if you have a specific problem or issue you want the governor and his staff to address, click hereto contact the Constituent Services Office.
Watch the governor’s final state of the state address hereand read the transcripthere.
You can read up on Connecticut politics by clicking here for the Hartford Courant’s section devoted to political news coverage.
Find out more about Jonathan Harris’s campaign for governor of Connecticut by clicking here.
Harris, of course, faces some stiff competition later this year in the state primary:
This episode’s special correspondent is Sarah McBride, the national press secretary for Human Rights Campaign(HRC) and the first out transgender person to ever address a national political convention. Sarah is the author ofTomorrow Will Be Different,her memoir which the cover explains is about love, loss, and the fight for trans equality.
Read about Sarah and find out how you can get a copy of her book byclicking here.
Click here to watch a short excerpt from Jennifer Finney Boylan’s powerful interview with Sarah at The Strand bookstore in New York City, on March 6th.
You can also order Sarah’s book on Amazon.com by clicking here.For information about Sarah’s book tour, you’ll find a list of cities and dateshere.
If you would like more information about Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford, reform Judaism or about the celebration of Purim and other Jewish holidays, visit CBI’s new and improved website for everything you ever wanted to know, but didn’t know who to ask! And expect to hear more in upcoming episodes about CBI’s 175th anniversary celebration!
This month on RiseUP with Dawn Ennis, meet a longtime lawmaker who is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ causes and her constituents here in Connecticut, as well as a new Air Force recruit, a country music lover, a man who races sailboats and a gay journalist who is helping raise awareness of long-hidden racism in his hometown.
Activism, advocacy, service, song, and sailing: they’re very different experiences, for sure.
But what each of these folks have in common is their passion.
My passion for 34 years has been storytelling. I’m at a crossroads right now as I post this, but I can honestly say that even if I were to never ever publish another word, I’ll still pour most of my passion into the most important work I’ve ever done: doing the job of mom and being a dad to my three motherless children.
One of them makes a cameo in this episode: singing is her passion. I hope you’ll watch and share!
In the new episode of RiseUP, my new talk show on West Hartford Community Television and YouTube, I’m fortunate to give you a look behind the scenes of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The national organization has started an effort called People Power to challenge the Trump Administration’s efforts to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., and other attacks on Americans’ civil rights. Learn more about how to get involved here.
Among the issues the Connecticut chapter is fighting for:
If you would like to know more about me, you can find the links here on lifeafterdawn.com including this overview of the key events of my transition and moment of fame, or infamy, depending on how you look at it.
Tonight, the first episode of my debut talk show airs on WHC-TV, West Hartford Community Television, as well as on YouTube. I’m so excited to share this with you!
The show is called Rise UP with Dawn Ennis and our first episode is “Forward March.” My goal is to focus on politics and culture, guiding viewers to stand up for ourselves, for our beliefs. I, myself, am a progressive, but I hope viewers of all backgrounds will find information of interest.
This blog that I have been writing for eight years now will serve as a resource for viewers, until I start a webpage dedicated solely to the program.
Below, you’ll find links to the events and groups I mention in the show, and to prior blog entries that expand upon my own story as I introduce viewers to my “Life After (becoming) Dawn.” Scroll down for these and other important links!
Here it is: episode one, shared with permission from WHC-TV’s YouTube Channel.
Due to time limitations and to keep from boring our viewers, I introduced you to part of my story — my child acting career — which was the subject of a lot of tabloid headlines in 2013 when I came out, because for almost five of the 12 years I worked as a model I worked as a girl. I was earning $100 a day when I “retired” from modeling in 1980, at the age of 16.
Here and here are two blog entries that expand upon that experience. And I’ll share more about my life in future episodes.
If you’re looking for information about the West Hartford Board of Education2017-2018 Budget, click here for the town site and here for details on proposed spending and cuts that could decimate the education our town provides our children.
And below are the dates of upcoming meetings, and note that at some of these, you can not just listen but also be heard.
Budget Workshop #1 – March 15, Town Hall, 7 PM
Budget Workshop #2 – March 21, Town Hall, 7 PM
Council and Board of Education Forum – March 23, Charter Oak, 6 PM
Board Public Hearing – March 29, Town Hall, 7 PM
Budget Workshop #3 – March 29, After Public Hearing
Board Budget Adoption – April 4, Town Hall, 7 PM
Town Council Adoption – April 25, Town Hall, 7 PM
The BOE has also set up an email box for questions, suggestions and complaints related to the budget proposal and process. Send your sentiments to email@example.com
If you’re interested in Swing Left, the non-profit group working to take back the House of Representatives from Republican party control, then click here. Interested residents of West Hartford are being asked to focus on New York’s 19th Congressional District, stretching from the area east of Binghamton to just outside Albany and Schenectady. Information about that effort is here.
But as you can see from the map below, there are many, many other districts being targeted, more than 50, and if you’re invested in wresting control from the GOP, enter your zip code here and you’ll be linked to a district near you.
If you’re looking for a non-partisan organization that welcomes both Republicans and conservatives as well as Democrats and liberals (and Libertarians and Working Party members and LGBTQ Americans, and so on), then check out the League of Women Voters.
And no, you don’t have to be a woman.
West Hartford residents should click here for information about the Greater Hartford chapter, and here if you’d like more information about how to join. The membership application is here. And if you’re looking for one where you live, here’s a link to the national organization which will direct you to the chapter in your area.
Dues are nominal (just $45 for new members), and one of the issues the league is working hard to support is to change our process of electing a president and eliminate the electoral college.
Tonight’s guest, Sarah Hambrick, spoke about an issue she is personally invested in: the Aid in Dying movement. Six states currently have legalized this way of ending life when the quality of life is no longer viable: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Colorado and Vermont. You can learn more about those states here. If you’d like more information about this, click here for an overview from the University of Washington, and Connecticut residents should click here for a January article from the Hartford Courant that reported it’s unlikely to be presented for action by the state legislature this year.
And you can learn more about my special correspondent Hannah Simpson by checking out her website, her Facebook page and following her on Twitter: @hannsimp
Please “like” our page on Facebook and follow our Twitter account, @RiseUPwithDawn. Send questions for Sarah or future guests by tweeting them to us or adding a comment here or on Facebook, and we promise to answer each and every one.
Next episode: the head of the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union joins us to discuss what they are doing here in the Constitution state and across the nation to advance its cause, and give us some info on how you can become more involved.
As big, burly, ex-marine Max took me in his tattooed arms and pulled me close, nearly off my barstool and toward his liquored lips, I felt… something.
Not his hand, moving slowly, up my skirt, although that did distract me for a moment.
It was time. It didn’t slow down, as time does in the movies and the romance novels. Instead, it rewound, pulling my concentration away from my corner barstool in the little Irish pub where we nine widows met regularly for wine, cocktails, and conversation.
And more wine.
I could sense the presence of Jackie, the only one left after many, many rounds, turning her eyes, her whole body, away from Max and me, this hunk of a man who sidled up to two moms at the bar, to chat us up and maybe have a little fun. And as my mind rode a tilt-a-whirl of memories, I accepted that’s why I was after, too: an escape, a thrill ride, a temporary diversion from grief.
My thoughts got lost in the spinning sensation sparked by my lips making contact with other lips, the process of thinking slowing to a stop until I was living in the moment. Excitement got my juices flowing and ignited a warm fire that started down below, the flames reaching up and rekindling my heart, gone cold.
Ten months. It’s been that long since my life changed, losing the love of my life, my spouse of almost 20 years, to cancer. And not long after that loss, I found something I’d never had in all my years: genuine, goodhearted, girlfriends.
Jackie, Sam, Karen, Cait, Erynn, Michele, Debbie, Laura, Dani and me: the ten of us had met every other week at a local grief support group, some of us for months, some had been going for years. But it wasn’t long after I joined that we soon branched out, having emptied the tank of all our stories of struggle, crying through the many milestones together and lamenting why this was our cross to bear.
We felt as if we had graduated, and needed to find a venue that better fit our needs. Most but not all of us were weary of having to repeatedly reintroduce ourselves and retrigger our grief as new widows joined the group. Don’t get me wrong; I do think it is helpful to have those who’ve been around the block, so to speak, share their experience and guide those — like me — as they take their first steps into our horrible world.
Horrible because sooner or later, friends and family step back, unsure what to say or how to help, uncomfortable when we tell them, “yes, it’s still hard.” Hard because we are so used to having our other half to share the load, to make the memories and to hug away the hurt. And hurt, because there are holes in our hearts that will never, ever, be filled. Our job as single moms is to be everything to our kids, and show them how to learn to live with a hole in their hearts.
Not one widow’s story is like another’s, especially mine, I guess. We are each survivors of deadly accidents, fatal illnesses, suicides, overdoses and hearts that fail. But as much as wish to give back, there comes a time each of us has decided we need to practice self-care, and that includes going out.
It was in June at a noisy restaurant in Manchester, Connecticut, at my first-ever GNO — girls night out — that my cisgender (non-transgender) widow sisters finally felt comfortable to ask me about being transgender. And it was fine, we laughed, and they didn’t once make me uncomfortable. I hadn’t mentioned being trans that very first time I attended the widows group, for fear of being rejected.
“Sam had said to me, ‘there’s something different about her,’” Karen confessed. We laughed, but I made a confession, too: I had worried about how they might react.
Before I joined, one of the grief counseling leaders warned me that there might be resistance to me joining the group. And when I asked why, I was sure to look this woman in the eyes, so there’d be no mistaking how blown away I was, to suggest my grief might not hold the same value as other widows. “It’s just that, well, you said you two were separated, and that may not go over so well.”
Whew. Well at least it wasn’t “the trans thing.”
I paused, continuing to lock eyes with this usually kind, smiling soul who was going to stand between this group and I. Feeling determined, I decided a softer, quieter tone was what was required, even if I did want to scream.
“I am grieving. I loved as much as any one person can, and now I’m alone. No matter what else we are to one another, won’t that be something we can all relate to?”
My words resonated in just the way I had hoped, and so I began attending the group. We took turns telling our stories and truth be told we laughed more than we cried, but there were still plenty of tears. We bared our souls and found in our shared experience new friendships that evolved into GNO trips to comedy clubs, concerts, psychics and energy healers and drinking and dancing (and drinking) at our Irish pub in Plainville, Connecticut.
“Wowww,” said Max, pulling his face from mine, his stubble rubbing my smooth cheek in a way I’ve rarely felt before. The sensation knocked me back into reality. Meeting his eyes with mine, I whispered back. “Wow? Is that all you have to say?”
“Well, yeahhh,” said Max, quietly, looking at me with his beer goggles firmly affixed. “I guess it’s just that I’ve never kissed someone transgender before.”
“Oh? Really?” I said, straightening my back in my seat, using my body language to speak volumes that I dared not utter with my mouth. I restrained myself from making a scene but glared at Jackie to my left.
“So, uhhh,” Max leans back in from the right, to deliver his second stupid statement of the evening, er, morning. “You’ve had the surgery?”
And just like on that old episode of Grey’s Anatomy, when McDreamy died? I’m done.
“Baby,” I cooed, as I put both my hands on his unshaven cheeks. “Your hands already know the answer to that question. Besides, you didn’t hear me ask about your prostate exam, hmmm?”
Jackie laughed, and it slowly dawned on Max he should join in the laughter.
That’s when I stepped gently but deliberately from my stool, and I extricated my body from his hands and made some excuse about needing to use the ladies room.
In the film version, I imagine Jackie jumping off her seat, too, and huffing off as we make our way to the bathroom, our heads held high, widow sisters forever! Woot!
But this is reality, and Jackie was glued to her seat. Before I left for the ladies room I whispered in her ear, out of Max’s earshot, that I wanted to leave, and why. That question, oof! Couldn’t he have pretended a little longer that he hadn’t clocked me?
Whatever. I just wanted to pee and go, and to my surprise, Jackie wasn’t budging. We are widows after all, and my disentanglement presented an opportunity. “It’ll be fine,” she told me. “I could use a good fuck! I can handle him.”
“Okaaaay.” I had never had a wing woman before — nor lost one. So, I broke formation, took care of my business and made my exit, but not before asking the bartender to keep an eye on Mr. Grabby Hands as he made the moves on my friend.
As I sat in my car, I reflected on the night: I’d kissed a boy, made-out in public and in front of a friend, and had one too many drinks, but not too many that I couldn’t drive. I’d laughed, a lot. And I’d been clocked, in the worst way possible. I was about to drive off when I decided instead to wait for Jackie, just in case.
After all, that’s what a widow sister does.
This is a different version of an essay that first appeared in NewNowNext. Some names have been changed to protect privacy.
There was a lot of freelance writing drama today as I juggled four of my six part-time jobs all at once. And as I prepare for bed, I have two short stories (for which I shall not be paid) that I will share with you.
At one point earlier today I was fit to be tied, in an unshakably gloomy, angry and mostly just sad, sad mood. I was able to shield my daughter and others from incurring my wrath… but I am sure that, had I looked in a mirror, I might have seen that “OMG what is THAT about” resting bitch face I involuntarily show whenever trouble strikes. It’s at these times I remember never, ever to play poker.
But despite the feeling the world was at an end, something happened that turned my frown upside down: a song by “Weird Al” Yankovic played on the SiriusXM Radio. “Smells Like Nirvana.”
As I listened, the parody taking me back decades, I felt the stress fade away. I could not resist smiling and just enjoyed the silliness. “Weird Al” made me feel 1,000 times lighter. It was a welcome break for my troubled mind and soul.
Thank you, “Weird Al,” or being my first savior of the day.
As for the second one, Tilesha Brown knows all too well my obsession with saving my copy, and often, to avoid what we each have experienced in losing EVERYTHING. This is the story of why I was in that foul, foul mood.
Well, after dutifully and repeatedly saving a 1,000+word piece I had been writing this week for NBC News, I closed the tab, and then could not for the life of me find the article on my Mac. It was gone, poof, as if I had never written a single character. I was simultaneously writing another story for another outlet and also on the phone conducting an interview with a highly-placed transgender advocate, all at the same time, so I had to stifle my scream and just let it go for awhile.
After the interview (IT WAS STILL MISSING, WHERE DID IT GO?!?!?) I ran to fetch my daughter from her school on a snowy day — “oh, hey, can you please give my friend a ride home too?” — then, I drove her to get her flu shot, which was, thankfully, the fastest appointment in the history of pediatric medicine. Somewhere in between I emailed the editor with my sob story. Tears streaming down my face, I wrote that I was determined to find the missing article, and if not, type it all over again from memory.
At first, I tried using AppleCare’s chat function. Chandra was the very kind, patient woman on the other side of the screen, as I typed in panic mode and explained my desperate situation. I told her I hadn’t trashed anything but checked it anyway, and had already tried the usual search tools.
Me: “I’ve used Spotlight and searched the ‘My Mac’ box and the ‘All My Files’ box.”
Chandra: “Ok, that is what I would suggest. You could not find the document through those means?”
Me: “I’m sorry, do you think I’d be in this chat if I could?”
I thanked her and disconnected. With my MacBookPro in hand (or, well, in tote bag), I dashed to the mall where I met with Chris at the Microsoft store. This was, after all, a Microsoft Word issue.
Tall, stocky, friendly Chris clapped his hands loudly like he was about to head center court. “Okay! Let’s do this!” he said, apparently to me. “Okay!” I said in response, cheered by his enthusiasm.
Sadly, Chris is from BillGatesGeektown, where the only computers in the world are Windows PCs. He cleaned my screen, gave me a free Pepsi, and then told me he had no clue where to begin. It was as if I had brought a 12th century monk a cellphone and asked him to show me how to place a call. The good news: the Pepsi was cold. And my screen was clean, yay! But still no article. So off to the Apple Store I went.
While the Microsoft store was virtually empty, there were dozens and dozens of people ahead of me waiting to see a genius at the Apple Store. A very friendly young woman informed me my walk-in appointment would occur sometime “between 47 minutes and 57 minutes.”
I just stared at her for a moment, not sure what to say next.
“So… like, 45 minutes to an hour?” I asked.
“Close enough,” she said. Okaaaay. I dashed back to the car, fetched the youngest from chess club and dropped him off at home to do his homework and navigated the slushy, slippery streets… just a little better than the pilot of Mike Pence’s plane.
I made it back to the Apple Store with 5.214 minutes to spare (according to the blue-shirted employee who directed me to a stool). So, I got back to work, writing other stories for my other employers, answering emails from still others and trading instant messages with even more. Simultaneously, my cellphone dinged me with messages from my widow sisters — a group of nine who I adore who are my number one support system and friends and allies and great ladies who spend a lot of time texting one another in the group chat — and my eldest son who was on a field trip to the United Nations.
I read the texts from the widows but texted only a few messages, focusing mostly on sending my son short bursts of parental love.
“Does your car have snowbrush?”
And as I put the finishing touches on another article for another outlet and hit “publish,” into my life walked Rud.
Yes, his name is Rud. Standing six-two, sporting a thick red beard, with a lovely smile and calm voice, cool green eyes and those earrings that make your earlobes really huge. Rud is an Apple Genius.
He had read the notes, understood not only the workings of my MacBookPro but also knew a thing or two about Microsoft Word.
I showed him how my computer had saved a test document and together we traced where it had hidden my article: in a file that does not show up in “Search My Mac” or “Search All Files” or even in Spotlight.
It’s called Office 2011 AutoRecovery. There, with other documents that automatically are saved by Word every ten minutes, was (angels sing, trumpets sound) my missing article. Along with a LOT of other crap. It looked similar to this:
I literally burst into happy tears and said something I’ve never said to any man, ever.
“Oh my God, I love you!”
Where on earth that came from, I have no idea. His response: “Cool. Any other issues I can help you with?”
“No, no, thank you! Thank you!”
In hindsight, my Mac superuser friend Maia probably could have solved this in half the time it took me waiting on Rud the Apple Genius. But I was determined to resolve this without having to bother my friends.
When you’re a widow working six part-time jobs to earn enough money to feed three growing kids and pay bills and keep the lights and heat on, you put your head down and plow ahead full-speed. It’s hard to comprehend how a simple thing like losing a Word document has taken on so much greater significance.
Thankfully, all is well tonight, and off I go, to bed, where I shall sleep with a smile as I dream of Rud and Al, knowing that I shall have more stories to tell tomorrow.
OPENS with music: PUSSY PEOPLE (Been Disgusting So Long)
Adapted from lyrics by David Bowie (hoping to obtain actual permission)
See your face so orange
Feels like it’s been a thousand days
Creepier than Ted Cruz
And you think your dick is so long
Feel our blood enraged
It’s just the fear of electing you Don’t want to say your name Wish you would say, “so long”
And you’ve been putting out fire with gasoline
See your hair so… Red? Red like the flow from our… wherever From the pussy you grab (no! Never!)
Fool the bigots and wash their minds
They don’t see you’re so wrong
Scarier still is Mike Pence
Knowing he could be prez in a heartbeat
Don’t say “sorry” to us We just can’t believe what we’ve been through
Think your fingers are so long? Well, they’re not so long
And you’ve been putting out the fire with gasoline Putting out the fire With gasoline
See the money so green
Your heart’s three sizes too small, like the Grinch
Taxes you never paid, so mean!
And you think we’d suck your angry inch?
See your tweets so petty We can’t stand your thousands of lies Just be quiet already We can’t believe what Melania’s been through You’ve been lying so long
You’ve been disgusting so long
And you’ve been putting out the fire with gasoline Putting out fire with gasoline
Disgusting so long
Predator so long
Well, it’s been so long
Lying so long
I’ve been putting out fire
Fingers not long
Well, it’s been so long
Running so long
Been putting out fire
Say so long
It’s been so long
Say so long
Been putting out fire
Say so long
Say so long, so long, so long
Say so long, so long, so long
Been putting out fire
Say so long, so long, so long
Been putting out fire
Say so long, so long, so long
I bet you’re worried. I was worried. That’s why I began this project.
I was worried about Donald Trump. I was worried what we think about Donald Trump. And I was even more worried that we don’t think about him.
I was worried about pussies. They need protection. And a parody song. A parody play. A community and cultural response from women with pussies and also those without.
There is so much darkness surrounding Donald Trump’s treatment of women. In the first place, it’s nearly impossible to avoid Donald Trump these days.
Women have gone days, weeks, months, and no matter how much they try, they cannot avoid him. I chatted online with a high-powered businesswoman and she told me she doesn’t have time to protect her pussy.
Avoiding him is a full day’s work, she says. “You’ve got to shut down all your social media, turn off the TV and radio, avert all glances at newspapers and magazines, and of course avoid the gold-plated building on Fifth Avenue between East 57th and East 56th Streets in Manhattan. Trump Tower. And you can’t look directly at it.”
Since she was too busy, she risks going unprotected.
But I was undeterred and decided even without her help, I needed to do this project. It was Time for thePussy to Grab Back. It started with a casual suggestion on Facebook. And it turned into The Trump Monologues.
I enlisted the help of other women: young women, older women, married women, pregnant women, women who are moms, lesbians, queers, transgender women, single women, college professors, corporate professionals, actors, sex workers, African-American women, Asian-American women, Hispanic women, Latinas, Native-American women, Caucasian women, Jewish women, Christian women and atheist women.
Not one woman was reluctant to talk about Donald Trump. Women love to talk about Donald Trump. They do. They really do. Mainly because we’ve been talking about him for more than a year and now people are finally paying attention.
Let’s just start with the most horrific thing he’s said — that we know of — so far:
“Grab them by the pussy.”
Them, being us. Women.
The Vulgar Video
A presentation requiring two voices, as presented by NBC and the Washington Post
DONALD TRUMP: “I moved on her. Actually, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married.”
BILLY BUSH: “That’s huge news!”
TRUMP: “Nancy, no this was… and I moved on her. Very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture’. I took her… I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn’t get there and she was married. And all of a sudden I see her. She’s now got the big phoney tits and she’s totally changed her look.”
BUSH: “Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit. In the purple.”
TRUMP: “Whoa! Yes! Whoa!”
BUSH: “Yes! The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!”
BUSH: ” It better not be the publicist. No it’s her, it’s…”
TRUMP: “Yeah that’s her in the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful… I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
BUSH: “Whatever you want.”
TRUMP: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
(More than) 23 Things Donald Trump Said About Women
As reported by Cosmopolitan and the Telegraph
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she’s got to be young and beautiful.”
To a female lawyer who asked for a medical break during a deposition, to pump breast milk for her 3-month-old daughter: “You’re disgusting.”
“Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again — just watch. He can do much better!”
About Megan Kelly of Fox News: “ “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” And “Fox viewers give low marks to bimbo Megan Kelly will consider other programs!”
Later, he asked her: “Did I say that? Excuse me.” Then followed with “you’ve been called a lot worse, wouldn’t you say?”
About Arianna Huffington: “Ariana is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left for a man — he made a good decision.”
He repeated the attack three years later: How much money is the extremely unattractive (both inside and out) Arianna Huffington paying her poor ex-hubby for the use of his name?”
To New York Times columnist Gail Collins he sent a copy of one of her columns with her picture circled and a note that read: “The Face of a Dog.”
“Sarah Jessica Parker voted ‘unsexiest woman alive” — I agree.”
To Celebrity Apprentice contestant and former Playboy playmate Brande Roderick: “It must be a pretty picture. You dropping to your knees.”
“Bette Midler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.”
And of course, then there’s Rosie O’Donnell:
“Rosie is crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb — other than that I like her very much!” He followed up by saying she deserved those insults “and everyone would agree and she deserves it” because of how “vicious” she’s been to him.
“Rosie O’Donnell is disgusting, both inside and out. If you take a look at her, she’s a slob. How does she even get on television? If I were running The View, I’d fire Rosie. I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers and say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’
“We’re all a little chubby but Rosie’s just worse than most of us. But it’s not the chubbiness – Rosie is a very unattractive person, both inside and out.”
“Rosie’s a person who’s very lucky to have her girlfriend. And she better be careful or I’ll send one of my friends over to pick up her girlfriend, why would she stay with Rosie if she had another choice?”
In 2013, he replied to a tweet asking him how much he’d want to make-out with O’Donnell: “One trillion, at least!”
About wives who expected their husbands to change baby diapers: “There’s a lot of women out there that demand that the husband act like the wife and you know there’s a lot of husbands that listen to that. So you know, they go for it.”
About Gold Star grieving mom, Ghazala Khan: “Look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card.”
What should Ivanka Trump do if she faced sexual harassment on the job? “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case.”
On women seeking abortions: “There has to be some form of punishment.”
Trump called NBC campaign reporter Katy Tur “Little Katy” and a “Third-Rate reporter,” and tweeted that she “should be fired.”
When Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields filed a criminal report against a Trump aide alleging assault, Trump said she had “a larger pattern of exaggerating incidents,” called her “terrible” and told Fox News host Geraldo Rivera “Maybe I should file a report, she was grabbing me.”
Heidi Cruz was his target when Trump tweeted that “Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” And he retweeted an unflattering photo of their wives side by side.
Trump called Sen. Elizabeth Warren a “fraud,” “goofy” and “Pocahontas:” “Pocahontas is not happy, she’s not happy. She’s the worst. You know, Pocahontas —I’m doing such a disservice to Pocahontas, it’s so unfair to Pocahontas — but this Elizabeth Warren, I call her ‘goofy,’ Elizabeth Warren, she’s one of the worst senators in the entire United States Senate.”
When Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called Trump a “faker,” he tweeted “Justice Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court has embarrassed all by making very dumb political statements about me. Her mind is shot — resign!”
About Mika Brzezinski, he tweeted she “is off the wall, a neurotic and not very bright mess” and suggested she is dating co-host Joe Scarborough, calling her “his very insecure long-time girlfriend.” He also called them “Two clowns.”
Trump used “neurotic” to describe the DNC’s former chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, too: “The highly neurotic Debbie Wasserman Schultz is angry that, after stealing and cheating her way to a Crooked Hillary victory, she’s out!”
About Kim Kardashian, Trump said “she’s gotten a little large” during her last pregnancy and “I don’t think you should dress like you’re 125 pounds,” then blessed her clothing choices when prodded by an interviewer: “Well, I think that’s great. If she feels good about herself, A.J., do it Kim.”
Trump Through the Decades
from The Telegraph
1990: “I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”
1997: “There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else. The other is the calculating woman who refuses to sign the prenuptial agreement because she is expecting to take advantage of the poor, unsuspecting sucker she’s got in her grasp. There is also the woman who will openly and quickly sign a prenuptial agreement in order to make a quick hit and take the money given to her.”
2004: “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
2005: According to one woman who appeared on the show, Trump told her: “I bet you make a great wife.” That soundbite never aired. Hmm, I wonder why?
2006: “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
2007: “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
About Angelina Jolie: “I really understand beauty. And I will tell you, she’s not – I do own Miss Universe. I do own Miss USA. I mean I own a lot of different things. I do understand beauty, and she’s not.”
Trump pitched a new reality show that was never produced, called “Lady or a Tramp” in which ‘”out of control” party girls would be sent to charm school to learn some manners. Because as the Telegraph reported, “God forbid a woman should be anything but demure.”
2008: Trump speaking of Anne Hathaway: “So when he had plenty of money, she liked him. But then after that, not as good, right?”
In 2009, Beauty queen Carrie Prejean revealed the ‘Trump rule’ at the Miss USA pageant, which required the women to parade in front of him so he could separate those he found attractive from those he didn’t: “Many of the girls found this exercise humiliating. Some of the girls were sobbing backstage after [he] left, devastated to have failed even before the competition really began,” she wrote in her book. “It was as though we had been stripped bare.”
2010: Contestant Mahsa Saeidi-Azcuy claimed that during taping of The Apprentice: “So much of the boardroom discussion concerned the appearance of the female contestant – discussing the female contestants’ looks – who he found to be hot.
“He asked the men to rate the women – he went down the line and asked the guys, ‘Who’s the most beautiful on the women’s team?’”
Financial adviser Gene Folkes said: “I think it was most uncomfortable when he had one contestant come around the board table and twirl around.”
2012: The Miss Universe pageant kicked out contestant Jenna Talackova for not declared she is transgender. Attorney Gloria Allred declared that no one had asked Trump to “prove” he was a man by showing his anatomy. In response, Trump told TMZ Live that when it comes to his penis: “I think Gloria would be very impressed.”
He attacked Cher on Twitter after she accused him of wearing a “rug.” “Cher, I don’t wear a ‘rug’ — it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.”
2013: Trump reveals he knows why there are so many victims of sex crimes in the military: “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military — only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
2015: Someone handling Trump’s Twitter account tweeted “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
Trump told The New York Times: “ “Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
Trump insulted fellow Republican candidate for president Carly Fiorina about her looks: “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?
“Can you imagine that, the face of our next next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
And: “Why does she keep interrupting everybody?”
About Hillary Clinton,this year: “Bill Clinton was the worst in history and I have to listen to her talking about it? Just remember this: She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler.
“And what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful. So put that in her bonnet and let’s see what happens.”
“She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina.”
Of former Miss Universe winner, Alicia Machado, whom he called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” Trump tweeted: “Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?” The Republican presidential nominee told Americans they should check out a sex tape, which does not actually exist.
He did, however, admit to watching Paris Hilton’s sex tape, in an interview with Howard Stern unearthed this year: “Now, somebody who a lot of people don’t give credit to but in actuality is really beautiful is Paris Hilton. I’ve known Paris Hilton from the time she’s 12, her parents are friends of mine, and the first time I saw her she walked into the room and I said, ‘Who the hell is that?’”
Stern asked him: “Did you wanna bang her?”
Trump replied: “Well, at 12, I wasn’t interested. I’ve never been into that … but she was beautiful.”
Apprentice Producer Katherine Walker told the Associated Press Trump frequently talked about women’s bodies and said he speculated about which female contestant would be “a tiger in bed”. While a crew member who asked not to be identified, recalled: “We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, ‘You’d fuck her, wouldn’t you? I’d fuck her. C’mon, wouldn’t you?'”
That revelation came out the Monday before the release of the video of Trump’s vulgar remarks about former Access Hollywood host Nancy O’Dell, who now hosts Entertainment Tonight. O’Dell summed up how many American women feel:
“Politics aside, I’m saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all. When I heard the comments yesterday, it was disappointing to hear such objectification of women. The conversation needs to change because no female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling. Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender. As a woman who has worked very hard to establish her career, and as a mom, I feel I must speak out with the hope that as a society we will always strive to be better.”
4. Not All Guys
By Jennell Jaquays
In the past, I was able to work stealth in all-male environments in the entertainment industry that might as well have been those boys clubs, those “locker rooms” used as excuses for Trump’s talk and actions (and I’ve been stealth in some locker rooms as well). Some men did talk in private like Trump does. More, actually many more did not.
It was always uncomfortable to be around such decidedly unprofessional conduct with the ones who did. It makes me sad to even think about my daughter or step daughters having to work with, or work for, or even date men like this.
So I’d like to finish with a quote that came into my feed by way of Rebecca Wald “If you have a male friend explaining right now that ‘all guys are like that in private,’ he’s telling you something important about himself. Believe him.”
Now it’s your turn!Add your own monologue in the comments below, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, trying to keep it to 200-500 words each. Focus on what Trump’s comments about women mean to you. ALL feminine-identified people are invited to participate! Thank you!
A trust has been established by Wendy’s brother, Robert Lachs, to assist with furthering the education of the Ennis children. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may send a check, payable to “Ennis Family Scholarship Fund Trust” by clicking here to donate via GoFundMe.
A conversation I recently had with a woman who is a prominent author and, to me, a mentor as well as friend, turned from politics to our families to what is widely referred to as “the transgender community.”
I revealed to her something I told her would cause the earth to stop spinning on its axis, something I’ve never said publicly or written about. It’s not a confession, and it’s not something I am ashamed to say. I am expecting, however, I will be excoriated for this. So why say it? Because it’s necessary, now more than ever.
Ultra conservative bigots and zealots have forced my hand. So, too, have the internet trolls who envy my meager accomplishments to the point where criticism crosses the line into jealous rage and unjustifiable attacks. Gays and lesbians who see our fight for transgender civil rights as expendable, as unworthy of their investment, as someone else’s fight, have led me to redefine something that took me years to say to myself, and then to the world.
And most of all, an Olympian who turned her transition into a television spectacle, then found her harshest critics to be people like her — once they learned she was nothing like them — inadvertently inspired me to shout this from the virtual mountaintop, following our headline-generating face to face meeting high above Xanadu, I mean, Malibu.
She told me what she was doing was what made her happy and what helped the transgender community. And she made it clear, she meant to say that it in that order.
So, here it is what I have to say:
I no longer consider myself transgender.
I am a woman.
I’m not a woman in the same way a woman who lived her whole life seen as female, who experienced all the physical ramifications of being raised and growing up and living and loving and everything else female. Instead, I’m a woman in the way that I am. And that’s good enough for me.
I live and have lived every day as the woman I am. I care for my children, I mourn my spouse, I do my job, I clean my house, I buy and wear my clothes and shop for things and pay my bills and walk and talk and eat and even use the bathroom as the woman I am.
I work out, shower and change in the ladies locker room. My legal documents and medical records all carry an F for female. Those records include a decade of mammograms and visits to a gynecologist. I’ve lactated and I’ve nursed. I’ve been intimate with a man.
I did not do any of those things as someone transgender; I’m a woman. Can’t you hear me roar?
My voice is actually one of my least favorite qualities, but what matters, truly, is not what’s physical but what’s mental. Our brain is where our gender is, not between our legs.
Of course, you have every right to call me trans, even to say, “she’s no woman!” I would prefer you respect my choice of feminine pronouns if you’re going to deliberately misidentify me, please. But even that is beyond my control. And as my friend Cristan Williams of Transadvocate.comreminded me, despite my preference, I can’t escape being part of the trans political class whether I like it or not.
The only control I have is over how I present to the world who I am. And I’ve come to the realization that calling myself “transgender” isn’t accurate in the same way I don’t refer to myself as “former college student” or “former child model.” Both are true, but seldom relevant to my everyday existence.
I do recognize that to many, maybe even you, I’m still transgender, and the word “formerly” just doesn’t fit. Well, I do recognize that thanks to Google and the tabloids, the word “transgender” will forever be linked to my name, as well as the name I was given at birth. Yes, I transitioned from presenting in the male gender to my authentic gender, female. That doesn’t mean I must carry some kind of Trans ID card. If I had such a thing, I’d turn it in.
My recent work for The Advocate, where I was the first transgender editor on staff, reinforced in my mind on a daily basis that I was trans. It wasn’t ordered, but I felt it was akin to a job requirement to represent the transgender voice in our work. Thankfully, I was hardly alone in providing that perspective. Yet it was impossible to separate myself as I have, ever since beginning life as a work-from-home mom whose kids call her “Dad.”
Now, I’m living a totally different reality. I am Mrs. Ennis, the woman of the house, a widow raising three children all alone. I earn next to nothing, but thanks to generous friends and neighbors, state assistance as well as a few odd jobs and part-time work from The Advocate, we aren’t starving. And I’ve made finding a new full-time job my new full-time job.
But every time I fill out a new job application, trust me when I say there’s no space to enter “transgender,” and I would not if there were. Because that’s not how I feel about me. And perhaps if more of us were to say to those who oppose our civil rights, “You can’t oppress me, I’m a woman!” Or conversely, “I’m a man!” it would then change the dialogue from “religious freedom” to discriminate to a matter of self-determination.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And all women, as guaranteed by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Just as women like Susan B. Anthony and so many others fought for suffrage, I demand my equal rights. Not special rights, nor tolerance, is what I’m after. I expect nothing short of acceptance, and equality, in hiring, housing, and all matters of business and public accommodations. I don’t want separate bathrooms any more than Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King or Malcolm X favored rest rooms, drinking fountains and lunch counters for “colored people.” Don’t mistake my analogy as equating the civil rights battles for people of color with the oppressed members of the LGBT community; they are separate and while analogous, very different struggles that need to be respected on their own merits.
What I wish would happen, though, is that more Americans would see that discriminating against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender men and women and gender non-conforming individuals is just as wrong as that terrible time in which skin color determined destiny. Sad to say, we haven’t even truly escaped that time. Sadder still, women earn only a percentage of what a man makes in 2016 America. And statistics on domestic violence show one in three women are victims of some sort of physical violence: an American woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds.
With those kinds of stats, why would anyone want to be a woman? Well, I didn’t decide to become one; I decided to stop pretending I wasn’t one. And you’ll have to take my word that finally living as the woman I am is a superior existence to a lifetime pretending to be a man.
Today I stand proudly as a woman, even if I am one who was assigned male at birth, and I don’t ask that you recognize me as one.
Because I am, and that is enough.
A trust has been established by Wendy’s brother, Robert Lachs, to assist with furthering the education of the Ennis children. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund may click here to donate via GoFundMe.