Community Relations Class 2016:Outline Paper

My Community Relations class requires an outline on the dynamics between multicultural communities and law enforcement. A long list of options was provided and my choice of research is in the format below.

Heidi Huish

Outline for AJ 103

  1. Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Issues in Policing
  2. This outline will discuss the positive and negative relations between: transgender civilians with police departments and transgender law enforcement employees with management. Lastly, it will conclude with my opinion on this topic along with some personal experiences.
  3. Firstly, law enforcement officers in the past have not properly handled hate-crimes toward transgender civilians and are implementing laws to improve their procedures. Secondly, law enforcement employs people of transgender into a wide variety of positions. The challenges surrounding their employment need proper management and TCOPS is an organization supporting transgender to ensure a positive future.
    • An article on the FBI’s website, Law Enforcement and Transgender Communities, discusses law enforcement’s lack of appropriate treatment on cases with people of transgender. An example case was about Brandon, a transman (female transitioned to male) being assaulted and raped by acquaintances. Brandon reported the incident to local law enforcement and told them he was afraid the perpetrators would come after him again. The sheriff was crude and dehumanizing during Brandon’s report, didn’t provide him protection and the perpetrators went unpunished. In 1993 Brandon and two other people were murdered in his home by the same perpetrators. With the help of research, training, and community support, law enforcement procedures have improved regarding victims of sexual assault and people of transgender. A few written improvements are: U.S courts of appeals consider transgender discrimination to be “sex discrimination”. Directive 152 is implemented by the Philadelphia Police Department and requires their officers to use appropriate language, such as preferred pronouns, when talking with transgender individuals. This directive also allows transgender arrestees to be referred to by their preferred name and gender. Another improvement started in 2007, when Washington, D.C Metropolitan Police Department implemented the General Order PCA 501-02. This policy has extensive definitions and procedures, but one example is the requirement of transgender juvenile offenders to be granted medical attention, and allowed their hormone therapy.
    • When a transgender law enforcement employee is transitioning, it becomes a challenge for management. Thorough education and training is important to effectively equip them with the right skill-sets. Navigating work issues may encompass presumable contentious issues: name change on credentials and documents, addressing grooming standards and their presentation at work. Also, safe boundaries need clarified regarding restroom and locker room access. A peer support network identified as TCOPS (Transgender Community of Police and Sheriffs), consists of a variety of transgender law enforcement employees such as officers, detectives, forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, military etc. TCOPS’ plan is to integrate their network into a non-profit organization to help advance transgender’s employee rights.
  4. In conclusion, my opinion originates from personal experience and extends from legitimate online resources. I think it is best to respect all individuals and segments of society while not discriminating them from equal rights and opportunities. Throughout the last 20 years our society has improved the treatment towards members of the LGBT community and decreased hindering their rights.
    • While growing up in Utah, I had very little information about the LGBT community in the 80’s and early 90’s. Reasoning was partly due to time-period, culture, and my religion. I was part of the ‘hindering segment’ of society who needed to be educated and allow self-reflection. Since my senior year in high school I have been blessed with friends and co-workers who identify as gay or lesbian. My care for them motivates me to continue learning and lending my support through love. I have a trans-sister-in-law living in Seattle. She is in her 40’s and transitioning to female. My husband and I love and support her. We view her as a caring family member, a dedicated parent, a spiritual Hindu, and a person making positive contributions to society. When she came out as transgender to family, I was obsessed… or was it distressed? Either way, it motivated me to learn more about gender dysphoria. My research brought me closer to her and more certain to be an advocate. Many LGBT people experience negative hardships from different imposing factors that other segments of society aren’t faced with. It is easy to remain stagnant in helping their community when there is minimal personal connection. However, when LGBT people lack positive support, it may be the changing influence for them to act on suicide. As hard as life is, it is a gift and blessing; we need to do all we can to help individuals choose life. Currently Salt Lake City has a large LGBT community and improvements are implemented to support their rights.
    • As time proceeds, I foresee law enforcement continuing to make improvements in serving LGBT communities and building positive relationships. An incident happened on November 17, 2016 in the San Diego LGBT community that revealed how some members still distrust law enforcement officers. A transgender cop named Christine Garcia, helped plan and escorted the Transgender Day of Remembrance march. When the march was over, Marcia was denied entrance to the remainder festivities because she was in uniform. The incident created a platform where the two cultures came together to clarify how law enforcement has improved. Nicole Murray-Ramirez, the City Commissioner and LGBT activist, issued an apology and said law enforcement officers are always welcome into the community.

Just for the heck of it, here are some pics from our northwest trip back in 2002

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Washington DC: Election Week

The week in Washington DC was challenging because it took me out of my comfort zone, was physically exerting, and made me wish my IQ level was much higher.  Jake works in this amazing city every other week, so the girls and I worked it into our school schedules to come out with him. It just happened that the best week for us was election week. I am so glad for the “perfect timing”. Conquering an unfamiliar city with three young girls was daunting and invigorating. The first day the girls and I had a conversation about “getting lost”. They were concerned and nervous. Their past experiences with my navigational skills wasn’t giving them confidence, nor should it have. So I had to think about what I could give them for confidence and said something along the lines of, “I’ve been getting lost since I was Ivy’s age (2) and I’m still here and doing fine. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world. You work through it and make it in the end.” Getting lost has always been incorporated into my traveling methods….or lack of. I’m used to it, but my kids weren’t. Jake does extremely well with finding his way around, and I do hope my kids latch onto this strength of his. Ivy had major meltdowns several times in every day. But it was something to see her confidence grow as she rode the Metro, and did so much walking without a stroller. Ayzia and Eden helped with navigation and felt grown up  when they got to stand on the Metro, opposed to sitting. They were motivated explorers in a new territory. Elementary age is the perfect age to go to the DC! I am not going to go too much into my observations and personal feelings about election week. The Nations’ feelings are still raw and tender with the event being current. My girls haven’t spoken much about their opinions regarding the election and what they witnessed. But hopefully when they are older and can articulate their feelings better, I’d love to know how it shaped them. Within our tight-knit little family, we had both Donald and Hillary supporters. For viewer information it doesn’t matter what family member was with what presidential candidate. But our family had the discussion after we found out who won, that it’s important to always vote for who they feel is the best candidate, regardless of what their parents think. We can still be a family and be friends!  I guess there is one personal experience worth sharing. I got an impression that it was important to express concern and empathy about Hillary and sorry that she didn’t win. (I was sincere, and was able think about their feelings.) Next, I want to mention something, but not sure how to articulate it so  I’m just going to say it; I loved being around the local Americans that were black. Every where I went, there was a black person laughing and in good spirits. I don’t know how this will come across to the viewers reading this, but in the  moments surrounded by black Americans, I was keenly aware of how calm, safe, loved, and “right at home” I felt. The diversity there in creed and color felt good within my soul. We are all one America, God bless our great country!

Waiting For the Metro

20161111_160301704_ios 20161110_143013533_ios 20161110_143008008_ios 20161108_144055957_iosWalking Around the City

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This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him. My judgement was that he was a little deranged, but it turns out, he is legit. Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him.  Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

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Despite the advertising on the packaging, the girls didn’t understand what it was made out of…That was until after the purchase and the cashier informed them, “Now you can write on elephant poo!” Eden’s face was priceless and we left the employee in her apologetic laughter.

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I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. :( The emotional eating was worth it though.

I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. 😦 The emotional eating was worth it though.

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Good food! Ayzia loved the Thai Dumplings.

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Eden and Ivy had spaghetti, Ayzia had buttered noodles, I had the Alfredo, and Jake had a sea food dish(Lobster, scallop) It was okay, but we have had better.

 

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don't plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don’t plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

 

Family History

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My great grandparents lived here from 1929-1935 while my great grandpa studied law at George Washington University

My great grandparents lived here and started their family from 1929-1935 while my grandpa when to school.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won't be happening any time soon.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won’t be happening any time soon.

The building where Jake works

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends McKay's lent us their stroller.

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends, the McKay’s, lent us their stroller.

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My great grandpa Stewart got his law degree at George Washington University

Arlington Cemetery

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World War ll Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran's day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran’s day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

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This wasn't planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a "pick-me-up" in their moral.

This wasn’t planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a “pick-me-up” in their moral.

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

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I would like to recreate my back yard to have this kind of atmosphere.

I would like to recreate my back yard to have the feel this courtyard’s atmosphere has.

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Writing in their journals while protesters come and go.

Writing in their journals while protesters come and go in front of the White House

The White House

The White House

Natural History Museum

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Ivy wanted to walk through this over and over. Having to leave it behind triggered a 45 minute meltdown and ended with an ice cream sandwich from McDonalds that was outside and around the corner.

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They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy's tatrums and walking around.

They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy’s meltdowns and walking around.

Native Indian Museum

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The architecture is most intriguing. Both Jake and I have architects in our family and love to admire the structures of buildings. This is definitely interesting to reading over.

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I haven’t quite figured out why, but this was my favorite quote. For me, it has something to do with, put in your best work while you are here on earth and having a fight for ‘life’ mentality.

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It was so cute. One of the days we were there, the day Ivy and I got ice cream at Cold Stone. In the elevator on the way back to our room, Ivy and I stood in between a tall, well-suited black man and a sharp looking black women. Ivy lifted her finger towards the woman to offer her a sticker on her finger, “Here you go sissy.” I wasn’t sure if the adults could understand her 2 year old language so I repeated, “Aw, are you calling her sissy?” Ivy claimed, “Yes.” Again she looks up in pure delight toward this woman. I didn’t want the two adults to misunderstand her definition of ‘sissy.’ so I ask Ivy, “Is she your sister?” Ivy says with a big smile, “Yeah!” The woman gladly excepted and the man chuckled under his breath. There was so much to learn and feel in that moment. -Children are certainly God’s blessed-

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“Seas the Day and Adjust the Sails”

The thought has been lingering well over a year to write on a particular matter. However, the matter touches every star in my little universe. It may also touch on one of your stars. My hesitations come from wanting to protect my privacy. I also don’t know how to write about this so it won’t come across as too self-indulgent and whiney. So it is what it is, let’s begin by talking broadly about a few of my blessings in life: Jake has a good job that allows me to stay home with my children, I attend Palomar College, I have three children and a dog, and I live in San Diego! Each of these bring me great joy and I like it just the way it is. These blessing are not here because of only myself. Everyone in my life has helped put me here. These blessing don’t come from one solitary choice and acted out only by me.

Blessings also come with heartaches and challenges. Jake travels every other week, leaving me to be a single parent. Learning my school material is harder because my brain isn’t as absorbent as it once was and I’m a lot busier. My children each have their challenges. My dog, well… she just causes a lot of unwanted hair all over the house. Living in San Diego, means I’m away from family and their possible help while Jake is out of town.

The other day was one of these challenging-blessed days. Often I feel there are so many different opposing sources being thrown into my life and I cannot keep up. During this reflection in a doctor’s waiting room, I looked up and saw these signs on the wall.

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My body settled down and attained a bit a stability. I cannot direct the wind, but I can adjust my sails. One of my sails is that Ayzia has ADHD and Autism. Some say these are disorders, and I find myself saying that as well. However, hear me loud and clear it is NOT. These are blessings in my life and just like any other blessing, it comes with challenges. I remain physically active because of my Ayzia, I keep my brain learning new things because of my Ayzia. But how do I really feel about the diagnoses? As Donald Trump would say, “The relief was HUGE!” But so was the self-inducing guilt. I was happy and blessed to have an ADHD, Autistic child and that all her beautiful and challenging eccentricities had a name. The guilt came from, “I had a feeling it was this all along and not until 8 ½ years old is she getting a diagnoses.” I am angry, frustrated and impatient! I am protective and defensive. I also feel refined individually and in my marriage. My impatience and frustration comes from this rough estimated time line:

  • January 2015: Scheduled an appointment with Rady’s Children Hospital at Autism Discovery Institute to be evaluated. They picked the date of the appointment and my job was to agree it’s timing, August 2015. Say What?? 8 months away!!
  • March 2015: Sitting down with her school and talked about getting her some extra help. We came up with a plan, but getting her an IEP was held off.
  • August 2015: Evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Wahoo! All things sail straight from here right? Nope.
  • April 2016: 1 year and 3 months, she finally started speech and behavioral therapy and the school is working on getting an IEP.

Around the time of Ayzia’s diagnoses, I was to restart school. Somehow I got the start time confused with my kids and missed the first two weeks of class. Consequently, I took fall semester off. Which proved useful because it allowed me more time and energy towards family and myself. Reading articles on learning disorders; many of the articles felt deeply familiar and I related to most of them on a personal level. It was then, I admitted to myself that I too, have a learning disorder. It may not be the same as Ayzia’s, but I have something, I just don’t know what exactly. I vowed to myself then, I would not leave Ayzia in the dark about this part of herself and this is why. My prior school years burned a self-belief in myself that “I was stupid.” I genuinely felt and knew I was stupid. Not because anybody told me I was, but that school and friendships were an extreme challenge. I didn’t understand most of my social interactions and friendships. I self-taught myself to read people’s mannerisms. To this day when people talk, I mostly read what their body and face are saying and little of what words they choose. I can look back and understand why, in high school, my friend was frustrated with me because I wouldn’t talk with her as we walked to our next class. During a math test, I couldn’t answer any of the questions because one of my guy friends was chomping on his bubble gum. Near the end of the period I blew up and yelled at him to stop “Smacking his gums!” I cried and laughed to my best friend all during lunch about how stupid I acted and confused I felt. If I would have known what was going on and why, if it had a name, maybe I would have had a stronger self-esteem. I couldn’t and didn’t know how to tell my parents. You may be thinking, what did her parents do? They didn’t know. Because like Ayzia, I didn’t tell them most things and unless you are watching every intricate detail in someone’s life…..it’s still nearly impossible to understand internal problems. For the most part, I look and act ‘normal’ and so does my girl. But if you want to have a conversation with us? Brace yourself because, it is going to take a lot longer than the typical. It is difficult to get thoughts out. I stuttered as a young child and as an adult, if it’s urgent and I have to talk fast the stutter comes back. Learning and dealing with Ayzia’s challenges forces me to deal with myself and my own learning problems. Now that Ayzia is getting therapy, she knows her autism and that I can relate to some degree. I’m helping her believe and feel she is beautiful and extremely smart. She is highly motivated in learning and has an amazing memory with scientific facts and creativity. Our family enforces we are here to help each other build our strengths and overcome our challenges and with this we have times of success and times of failures.

Learning is difficult for me and always will be. I am smart and dealing well with being a slow learner. Given the right topic and the right amount of studying time, I can do well. I received all A’s and 1 B in massage school. In the last 2 ½ years I’ve taken 7 college courses and achieved 6 A’s and 1 B. There are 2 supplements (Phosphatidylserine and Huperzine A) that I take every day that help me absorb new information, retain memory and help me verbally express my thoughts. I should add that my fibromyalgia causes brain-fog and these supplements help with this as well.

To those who come across this blog entry, may God bless your little universe and know that I am here with you striving to be the best kind of star in His big universe.

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After we had a heart-to-heart talk about some of her challenges, she was teary and a little upset. She didn't want to talk and wanted to be alone. She gave me this after some time passed. I truly cherish these gifts from her.

After we had a heart-to-heart talk about some of her challenges, she was teary and a little upset. She didn’t want to talk and wanted to be alone. She gave me this after some time passed. I truly cherish these gifts from her.

 

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