Transgender Issues

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Transgender Issues

by Alexia

This blog is about my recent experience in the Family Court system. The Honorable Joseph P. Brannigan has imposed many restrictions. Some of which egregiously violate 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression. Judge Brannigan has prohibited me from discussing "transgender issues"


I am transgender!

I hesitated writing about my divorce and child custody case because I feel that family matters should be private, especially when children are involved. As with most court cases, there's TONS of paperwork. This is a brief summary of my experience...yeah, it's long! Inequality complicates things.

My ex-wife and I separated 3 years ago. We decided that it was best for the 3 of us if we have 2 happy homes.
Since then, we equally shared our son and life went on.  My ex-wife got a new partner and had 2 more kids. I started my MTF transition.  I have lived 2 lives (that's the 2-spirit part), as Alekxia and as a father.  My ex wife wanted me to disappear...I didn't and I won't. Our son has 2 parents.  My ex-wife prohibited me from discussing "transgender" anything. I complied.  During Proposition 8, she blurted out that I was transgender and that she supported Prop.8 - I didn't, of course. We then had a small talk and briefly mentioned that our lives would go on. I would continue to be a parent, once a parent - always a parent.

This Summer, things changed.

My son is now a teenager. I have not seen him since July 7, 2009. My ex-wife legally kidnapped him - there's no other way to describe it. It happens.

It's difficult to communicate my situation without getting sentimental.  I submitted my paperwork for divorce and child custody.  And waited patiently for my court date 2 long months later.  On my BIG day, I went to court (2 weeks ago) with high hopes that the status quo would be restored. Things didn't happen as they should have...

Since I wanted to continue our 3-year-old custody arrangement and she didn't, we went to mediation - the first step. I was confident that things would be ok.  My ex had accusations...I took notes and replied to her list. I was accused of giving my son diet which I replied that I have tried to teach him to eat healthy.  She ended this list by saying she was afraid that I, or my friends would molest him.   Then, she said "My son is handsome, he may lust him!"

Our son was interviewed a week later. By this time, she had already kidnapped him for 2 months.. My concern was that Parental Alienation and allegiance to his mother - out of fear of disappointing her..would result in biased testimony.  Although, I thought that his testimony would be influential, I knew that my testimony would prove that it was in the best interest of our son that things continue, as they had been. The demand to "cut your hair or lose custody" was ridiculous and the court would not waste it's time contemplating her demands.

The mediation report did not arrive in time.   And when it did, it contained various discrepancies and omissions.  When I got to the mediators heart sank - I could not breathe.

Today, I still can't find the words - I am speechless....that in 2009, in the land of the free, I have to defend my unalienable rights....the right to be a parent.

(Randy Pausch) I am using this video because I admire his glass-half-full attitude.  Once you see the video and read the "fictional" scenario, you will be able to imagine how someone can be broken. No, not blackmail! denying them their human rights, by limiting them in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

FULL lecture:

Mr Pausch was afflicted with a medical condition - Pancreatic Cancer.  Would he and his children continue to have "fun and live life" if a judge was inserted into the picture?   "Living Well" would come to a screeching halt, if that were to happen it happened to me.

Could you imagine Randy Pausch - removed from his family by a judge, because the judge thought that his children would be "clearly uncomfortable" with the thought that the father had terminal cancer.  NOT ONE judge, in their right mind, would rob Mr. Pausch of his dignity and force him to immediately disappear from his children's lives.

Nor would anyone expect a judge to say: Mr Pausch, you cannot see your children, You cannot talk about your "cancer" ...until your children and your wife feel comfortable with the subject. If ever.  In addition, ALL contact with your children MUST be in a therapeutic setting.  You must also hire a therapeutic counselor to oversee these visits.  After a while this counselor will report back to the court to see if you are fit to be a parent.  If your children cannot accept your terminal cancer condition, this court has no choice but protect them from the impending harm of your cancer.

Mr Pausch, you and your wife had known about this terminal cancer since three years ago.  Your children feel lied to and betrayed that you did not tell them of this medical condition. Your wife thinks that you look "homeless" that you have lost weight.  The court feels that it is NOT your decision to tell them in your own words, at the most appropriate time. The court feels that custody should be immediately awarded to the mother because your condition is harmful to the children.

95% custody is immediately awarded to the mother.

Mr Pausch, effective immediately, you CANNOT see your children, unless a COURT APPROVED therapist is present. (the list is small - and their NOT all cancer-friendly) These supervised visits in a cramped office will only be for maximum 2 hours.  In reality, you don't get 5%. Your 2 hours ONLY equal 1.118% of a whole week.  The therapist will then determine if it is healthy for the children to continue this relationship. These sessions will continue - for maximum profit...until you are broke.  Your cancer is widespread - death is imminent ...why give your children time with you?  It will only hurt them!I have NOT been diagnosed with cancer.
I am transgender. I have GID - that is my cancer.

With the help of hormone replacement therapy - I have the ability to live my life honestly and fully.

I know that it's NOT easy for some people to accept this condition.  My immediate family is affected. I feel that to inject a foreign person - to decide what is best for my child, when I am FULLY robs me of my dignity, when ALL I want is equality.

My wife threatened me with restraining orders if I attempted to communicate.  I would not risk my livelihood and freedom....I sought the court to restore equality.

The Honorable Joseph P. Brannigan denied me Presumption of Joint Custody, as had been established for the past 3 years. I was SHOCKED to discover that I was in the hands of a draconian court! As the petitioner, I simply requested that the court step in and continue the status quo. Our arrangement was broken when my wife capriciously demanded that I cut my hair or lose custody.

Parental Alienation Syndrome exists. My wife convinced my son that it was/is acceptable to be embarrassed that I had long hair and that I looked feminine.  OK, fine - I'm an "embarrassment" That, however, is NOT a legal lose custody.NOTE to the court:

As Mr. Pausch stated, "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand"

Children live the life they are given, not the life they want.

Kids, especially teenagers, would NOT like parents who are too old, too strict, too poor, too foreign ....the list goes on.

Different, in their eyes, is embarrassing.

Should a court remove and censor an involved parent... just because they are different?

Judge Brannigan has allowed Parental Alienation Syndrome to continue to exist, unabated. He has abused his broad discretionary powers.  Being transgender and/or talking about my condition should NOT be restricted.

Do I need a lawyer to defend me at every step of my life, just because I decide to transition? I will not tolerate discrimination. I will SPEAK UP because I have learned from history.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied
in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."
-MLK Jr.


It is my opinion that, just as an attorney can screen a jury for perceived biases, I should have the same right to screen the trier-of-fact for impartiality. I am NOT a lawyer, but I do have enough life experience to know what is going on.

I can't generalize, of course, but these life circumstances in his record create substantial doubt that the existence of one or more may create impartiality.  I have friends and family members who are Catholic and/or Republican. I know their position on Prop8 and would NOT like them in a jury. As friends and family, we're fine. My concern is separation of Church and State.

(*1) Biased by his religious affiliation (Catholic college) Biased by his work experience. (FBI, prior to Exec. Order 13087)  Biased by his political affiliation (Republican donations)

Religious Affiliation:

- Education in Roman Catholic College - Saint Peters College - Class of 1972.  It seems like the Catholic Church doesn't like gays and transgender people.

It's not just Catholic, other religions have their discriminatory views. Here is an opinion piece on the North County Times(local paper) from a "nonprofit religious liberty"person. "Just the Facts on SB 777"

Work Experience

- FBI, prior to Executive Order 13087(sexual orientation), is in a discriminatory work environment. LGBT people, at that time, were seen by the FBI as targets for extortion, if their "secret" was let out. Prior to 1998, they were openly discriminated - Judge Joseph P. Brannigan worked there.  He knew of my employment history, as a federal contractor, in the same places that he has worked. In court, I also stated that because we had worked at the same agencies, it would not be appropriate that he preside over my case because it could create a perception of preferential treatment.

Political Affiliation:
- donated $250 to San Diego County Republican Party - Fed on May 13, 2003

Just google these 3 words. "gay republican oxymoron"

I will update this BLOG frequently.

What am I doing?

I could sit here...

...or I could speak up.

I choose the latter.

I will do my best to proceed in court  and in the court of public opinion.

I am in the process of submitting a COMPLAINT FORM for this California judge.

-getting the transcripts from the court reporter takes a while!


My ex just stopped by to pick-up a check.  I saw my son at the corner. He wouldn't acknowledge me.  He looked away, as if I was a stranger  ....while she cuzzed me out, insulted that I would get the same red light.

If the Honorable Joseph P. Brannigan had allowed me, my god-given right to be a parent....AND treated my ex and I EQUALLY (both with co-parenting classes).

How different would things be?  Very.

I would NOT be a Disenfranchised Parent I am now.


10/15/09 - Sent letter to U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division


10/15/09 - Mailing letter to California governor

IN ADDITION to all this...



I got served with a restraining order....because I saw my son on 10/11/09, when she came to pick up the check. She has made false accusations....and got free legal services in the domestic violence section of the court. The form was very lawyeresque.  Everything was described very creatively by the lawyer/paralegal, from her description of events.

This order prohibits me from working.  My work weapon has to be turned in.  I can't work without my weapon.
NOW my livelihood has been affected.



Went to the Sheriff's Dept. and complained that I was illegally served. I told the deputy that when there are 24-hour deadlines to comply, things have to be done right.

I wanted to file a complaint, so that in the future, notices are served legally; with time of delivery. The deputy then handed me back the packet and said "Here, you are served" He knew that I wanted things done right. My notice was amended. No complaint filed.

Now, that I have complied...with the judges orders, I CAN"T work.  Next court date is half-a-month away...



ONE week without work...and counting.
I told the judge that his strict orders have me confined to my home.
I can't work...I can't see my family...missed parent/teacher day.


Back to work. Thank goodness!

My request to comply with the court order was arbitrarily denied. I submitted a letter from a licensed therapist that is familiar with LBGT issues - since that is the concern of the court. Having to choose from a small-network of therapists NOT familiar with the subject doesn't make sense. Is the court in the business of referrals?

This court baffles me! Time is of the essence...I don't want to drag this along. I'm going to submit paperwork about this incident. Question is to who?



"From being an art of unbearable sensations, punishment has become an economy of suspended rights"
-Michel Foucault-

...suspended rights are still unbearable!

Today, I updated the school - I am now allowed to talk to my son's teachers.  Last week, I wasn't allowed at school or anywhere near it.  I was jealous of these parents.  Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to schedule something.

....I still can't see my son. Judge Brannigan said that if I see him on the street, I'm NOT supposed to acknowledge it. I can only see him in a "therapeutic setting". There will be "consequences", if I do.

He didn't remove the draconian "temporary orders" - He could have...


- Like A Ghost
Since the last update, I have met with my son's teachers. They all know what's going on with the court. I feel like a ghost; invisible - I can't be seen or heard.

Last week, I got a letter from the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.
They told me that I should try the EEOC.

My reply:

October 31, 2009

Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

SUBJECT: Transgender Discrimination - Freedom of Association & Free Speech
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, 18 U.S.C. § 242.

Dear Mr. Perez,

Thank you for your reply. I'm writing to you, once again, because the main issue has NOT been addressed. I feel that Mr. John M. Gadzichowski's reply is simply passing the buck. I whole-heartedly disagree with the conclusion that "the Department has no authority to take any action on this allegation." That is not acceptable. As President Truman famously stated; "The Buck Stops Here."

The job situation was consequential. The main problem is that Joseph Patrick Brannigan prohibited "transgender issues" speech and association. His "temporary" suspension of my constitutional rights is punishment. He cannot use "Color of Authority" to deny basic civil rights. To further examine his actions, one will clearly see that the system has failed in the "justice for all."

His religious and/or political affiliations should not dictate what rights he thinks I deserve. I am not a lawyer, but I know that I have been wronged....that is why I'm asking for your help. I don't want what has happened to me to happen to anyone else. The fact that he is a former federal prosecutor should not make him untouchable. As a federal contractor, I am aware of the following:

Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, 18 U.S.C. § 242. This provision makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

Last week, he had an opportunity to remove his "temporary" draconian restrictions while I was in court. He did not. Amazingly, he continued to trample my rights. He arbitrarily denied the licensed therapist with substantial LGBT experience that I had sought, to comply with his orders. I am being treated like a sexual predator! I cannot see my own son. Should I see him on the street, I have to go the other way ....or there will be consequences. That is extreme - certainly, NOT the way he would want to be treated.
His behavior shocks the conscience. He cannot be "Judge, jury and executioner." In the setting of essentials, no particular doctrine should set or determine constitutional essentials.

I can further argue, that he has interfered with my son's schooling. " Last week, I went to parent/teacher night only when I knew that my son wasn't there.
I cannot see my son, I cannot pick-him up, drop him off or attend school with my son because it is not a "therapeutic setting." He is depriving my involvement, as a parent, with the threat of arrest if I disobey him. My son desperately needs my help in Algebra.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 245 Federally Protected Activities
1) This statute prohibits willful injury, intimidation, or interference, or attempt to do so, by force or threat of force of any person or class of persons because of their activity as:
a) A voter, or person qualifying to vote...;
b) a participant in any benefit, service, privilege, program, facility, or activity provided or administered by the United States;

I value my privacy - but if necessary, I will step onto the national public arena with this....using ALL of my skills and experience to defend my rights.

Please, take a moment to investigate this.



Thanks for sharing your experiences here. I am going through a divorce and recently came out as transgender. I am luckily the one who gave birth so I hope not to deal with such tragic custody issues as you but I have been getting flak from my family that I should be more closted so that being transgender isn't used against me.

Phoenix Loomis 02/07/2010 21:43

Maybe to some you are invisible, and that is very wrong. But to me you are not. Keep fighting! Have you tried contacting Lambda Legal?

DemonicAuthor 04/16/2010 09:19

This is really good advice. I am a transgendered teen and even though i have all the confidence in the world, it pisses me off that some people are so closed minded.

Ms Tokyo 10/23/2010 23:30

Alexia, you are neither invisible, nor a ghost! You are a beautiful strong woman with a loving heart. I wish I had more than words to offer from the other side of the world, but please know that you are not alone. You GO, girl!

Jaime Bengzon 12/13/2010 08:01

What has happened to you is horrifying for me. I am a polyamorous female, and while I am still young, my "what I want to be when I grow up" picture involves having children with two mothers and a father. To do this I've considered that I may have to try to get legislation that allows me and my partners to marry more than one person, so that we may all be married to each other, but until now I had not even considered that my government may attempt to take my children away from me simply because my family life is not standard. I even live in a state where same sex marriage is legal, so that would not have been a hurdle I need to jump. This gives me much to think on. I wish you all the luck retrieving your right to parenthood. Know that I am sending you love, and positive energy. I hope to help give you as much strength and support as I can.

Ariel B 12/10/2012 11:13

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