Mother discusses transgender son, Catholicism

first_imgMembers of the Saint Mary’s community gathered Monday night to listen to alumna Emily Garvey speak about her experience with her transgender son, entitled “A Theological Journey with My Transgender Son.” “She does what we want to prepare all our Saint Mary’s students to do: to take risks that matter,” Megan Zwart, professor of philosophy, said. “In this case, sharing a deeply personal experience. To see the value of reflection and critical engagement, not just in the classroom, not just in the world of work, but in the whole of her life.”Garvey said she feels Catholic Social Teaching and the Church place an emphasis on connecting with others, even those different from you. “It’s this relational aspect of the Catholic faith that I have always found nourishing,” Garvey said. “Particularly in the last few years I have been drawn to the accounts of how Jesus related to other people in ways that were thought to be unconventional, or irregular or unusual.” She found this to be helpful in her journey with her transgender son’s identity. When her first-born child was 18, Garvey said that she asked to begin seeing a counselor. Shortly thereafter, she asked to read a letter to Garvey during an appointment.“In that appointment, she said, ‘Mom, I am transgender. I am not a girl, I am a boy. I am now your second son, and I would like to be called James.’ And suddenly the path of life that I talked about felt really lonely, and scary and long,” Garvey said. This caused Garvey to begin a journey with coming to terms with both her transgender son and her faith, she said. “Both of these realities, I have a transgender son, I am Catholic, can be held together,” Garvey said. “Moreover, I believe that because I am Catholic I am able to accompany my son as he flourishes. And because I am Catholic, the past two years have led me to experience God’s mercy in new ways, and thereby have a more conscious connection with my brothers and sisters on the path of life.”Garvey said that through this journey, she saw three important factors emerge: bewilderment, gender and mercy. This began with the moment she told her transgender son she would support him in the journey. “I said, ‘Honey, thank you for telling me. That took a lot of courage. I don’t know what this means, and I am totally confused, but I know we can get through it together. Let’s walk this together,’” Garvey said. “So my first-born grabbed my hand, and she started crying, and the counselor teared up, and then I felt like I was trying to swallow an encyclopedia stuck in my throat … and I can say that in that moment, I realized that it was a moment filled with mercy.”Not only did this start a journey with God’s mercy, Garvey said, but her confusion with the concepts of gender and sexuality began a period of bewilderment as well. “I now see that prolonged period of bewilderment as a grace, because it was ultimately a portal for humility and subsequent growth,” Garvey said.This confusion about what gender meant stemmed from her previous understanding of gender as a binary, Garvey said. “If I’m being honest here, and it’s humbling to admit this, it made me uncomfortable,” Garvey said. “Just all of it made me uncomfortable. And because I was trying to fit it all within a Catholic understanding at the time of gender. How can it be that you formed within me and you were a girl, and now you’re a boy? How?”To work towards a better understanding, Garvey said she turned to her faith. “I started with the messages of mercy, love, radical inclusivity that we see in the gospels,” she said. “And, I believe my child’s desire to be whole was and continues to be holy.”Garvey said she feels that ultimately gender does not have an impact on the way one acts in the likeness of God. “Born in the image and likeness of God does not mean gender, for God is not gendered,” Garvey said. “But where we may image God is in our capacity to love, feel compassion, forgiveness and mercy.”[Editor’s Note: The Observer retained Garvey’s use of pronouns when referring to her son for clarity.]Tags: Catholic, gender identity, Transgenderlast_img read more

History professor’s research provides insight into the COVID-19 crisis

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues to light in the media that otherwise lay hidden beneath the surface of current events. Leaders in business, education and other industries have turned to the work of historians to better respond to the effects of the coronavirus. Department of history professor Joshua Specht researched the history of environmental and economic impacts of the beef industry in the United States. Specht said his historical research has become more relevant with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on meat packing facilities and production work today, as the CDC reported 16,233 known cases in 239 meat and poultry processing facilities among 23 states as of July 10.Specht explained how meatpacking facilities are designed and how this has impacted the spread of COVID-19. “One of the main ways that we get basically affordable meat in large quantities is by designing slaughterhouses for maximum efficiency in terms of output,” Specht said. “If you imagine a factory that’s just making screws or something, everything is the same size and it makes it very easy to use machines. But in a slaughterhouse, you’re much more reliant on people, so there’s a lot less mechanization.” Specht said this layout means employees in meat processing facilities work in tight conditions that make them prone to the spread of COVID-19. “What I saw is that the [conditions] that provide cheap meat for us also make slaughterhouses centers of coronavirus risk,” he said.He also spoke to a number of workers in these meatpacking facilities in doing research. “Often, the employees in the meatpacking facilities are from so-called vulnerable groups, recent immigrants who might not have a good command of public resources and refugees,” he said.Specht said these groups are likely to continue working in extenuating circumstances like a pandemic because they are afraid to advocate for their rights. The application of Specht’s research to working conditions in meatpacking facilities during the coronavirus pandemic has led him to new topics to look into for his research.“My research has made me particularly interested in a place of agriculture in American history and also American politics,” Specht said. “The pandemic and situations with workers and risks of workers have definitely been something that I’m getting more and more interested in from a research perspective and want to keep in mind.”He said the dynamics of communities, particularly during the pandemic, also fascinate him from a research perspective. At this time, Specht does not have any undergraduate research assistants, yet he said he is looking forward to working with student research assistants in the future. In the future, he will teach a history of food class, along with a class on the history of the American West.Specht encouraged Notre Dame campus community members to remember that some of the people who are most vulnerable are staff members and employees. “To the extent that we’re all in it together –– the students, the faculty, the administration –– that’s also to protect people in the community and employees,” Specht said. Tags: COVID-19, Joshua Specht, meat packinglast_img read more

Drugmaker Mallinckrodt Reaches $1.6B Opioid Settlement

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Stock Photo: PixabayNEW YORK – The generic drugmaker Mallinckrodt has a tentative $1.6 billion deal to settle lawsuits over its role in the U.S. opioid crisis, it announced Tuesday.The deal is intended to end hundreds of lawsuits faced by the company over opioids.The company said that it had an agreement with a key committee of lawyers representing thousands of local governments suing various drug industry players over opioids — and that the deal has the support of the attorneys general of 47 states and territories.The company, based in Staines-Upon-Thames, England, was one of the highest-volume opioid producers in the U.S. at the height of the nation’s prescription drug crisis, shipping 2.3 billion pills from 2006 to 2014, according to federal data. In 2010 alone, Mallinckrodt’s SpecGX subsidiary, shipped 210 million doses of oxycodone to Florida, then the epicenter of the black market opioid trade. The company’s potent 30 milligram pills were especially sought after by people with addiction.Documents gathered as the company prepared for trial showed that a Mallinckrodt sales manager told a distributor in 2009 of the pills: “Just like Doritos; keep eating, we’ll make more.” A company spokesman later called the statement “outrageously callous.”The company argued in court filings that unlike makers of brand-name drugs, it did not promote opioids to doctors or understate the addiction risks. But plaintiffs in the cases said Mallinckrodt continued to ship suspicious orders without making sure the drugs weren’t going to be diverted to the black market.Under its agreement, Mallinckrodt is filing for bankruptcy. The plan calls for it to make payments for eight years after the company emerges from the protections. That route is similar to one OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is taking to settle opioid claims against it.For Mallinckrodt, there are business concerns, beyond the potential liability in opioid cases, that contributed to its seeking bankruptcy protection.“Reaching this agreement in principle for a global opioid resolution and the associated debt refinancing activities announced today are important steps toward resolving the uncertainties in our business,” Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement.Joe Rice, a lawyer on the executive committee of plaintiffs suing in federal court over opioids, said in an interview Tuesday that some details of the Mallinckrodt agreement still remain to be ironed out.Most of the money contributed by Mallinckrodt would go to a trust to pay for addiction treatment and other costs related to an opioid crisis that has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. Additionally, the trust would be able to buy Mallinckrodt stock at a fixed price; it could be sold to help the cause.State attorneys general praised the deal.“My focus is on not only accountability, but also obtaining the resources we need to get victims of this epidemic the help they deserve,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a written statement. “This agreement is a significant step in the right direction.”Mallinckrodt’s announcement comes weeks before a trial on the toll of opioids is scheduled to start in Central Islip, New York. The looming trial has been a factor in a ramped-up push for other drugmakers and distributors to settle, as well.There have been increasingly public tensions between attorneys general and the private lawyers for local governments over the biggest of the proposed settlements, which would involve at least the three biggest U.S. drug distribution companies. States have also been divided on whether to accept the deal, under which the distributors would pay a total of $18 billion over 18 years.last_img read more

State Declares New Business Mandates, Other Measures Amid Virus Fight

first_imgImage by the New York State Governor’s Office / Flicker.com.ALBANY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday signed an executive order mandating businesses that rely on in-office personnel to decrease their in-office workforce by 75 percent.This follows the Governor’s directive yesterday that all businesses implement work-from-home policies.Exemptions will be made for essential service industries, including shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.The Governor also announced the Department of Financial Services has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes: Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;No negative reporting to credit bureaus;Grace period for loan modification;No late payment fees or online payment fees; andPostponing or suspending foreclosures.Additionally, the Governor has asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.“We know what we have to do to contain the spread of this virus – reduce density and person to person contact – and based on new facts we are getting every day, we’re taking further steps to keep more New Yorkers at home while keeping essential services running,” Governor Cuomo said. “At the same time, we know there is going to be an economic impact across the state and we are taking new actions to support the thousands of New Yorkers and small businesses who are suffering. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be disruptive, but we will get through this together.”The Governor also announced an executive order allowing the State Department of Health to identify space within existing hospitals to increase bed capacity. This builds on the Governor’s efforts to increase the state’s hospital surge capacity and help ensure our healthcare system can handle an influx of patients due to COVID-19.Furthermore, Governor announced new measures to free up staff and speed up the admission and discharge process at hospitals for 90 days. The Department of Financial Services will issue a directive to health insurers allowing scheduled surgeries and admissions without insurer preapproval and allowing inpatient hospital services without insurer approval.Image by the New York State Governor’s Office / Flicker.com.Under the measure, insurers will pay inpatient hospital services and emergency services without waiting to review for medical necessity. It will also allow the discharge of patients to a rehabilitation center or nursing after an inpatient hospital stay without insurer preapproval, and encourage self-funded plans to adopt these same provisions. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Global Demand For Crude Oil Projected To Reach Lowest Point Since 1995

first_imgCropped Photo: FutureAtlas.com / CC BY 2.0JAMESTOWN – AAA says the price of gas and the demand for it are still dropping.Believe it or not, the global crude oil demand is starting to look like it did in 1995.As of Monday, the national average price of gas is $1.81. and New York’s is $2.22. One year ago, those prices were $2.84 and $2.88, respectively.Buffalo and Batavia, where prices went down four cents since last week, both average at $2.27. Rochester is currently just five cents lower, on average. The coronavirus pandemic is prompting people to stay home. With refiners producing more gasoline than what’s needed, prices will continue to sink.AAA, citing a report by the International Energy Agency, says “global oil demand is projected to hit a 25-year low and fall by a record 9.3 million barrels per day this year.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Panama Man Charged After Throwing Party With ‘Several Hundred People’

first_imghttps://www.vperemen.com / Pixabay / CC BY 2.0 HARMONY – A Panama man is facing charges after the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to break up a party over the weekend where ‘several hundred people’ were in attendance.Deputies say they responded to a location on Goshen Road in the Town of Harmony Saturday at 9:30 p.m. where Eli Miller, 27, was hosting a party involving hundreds, including many under the age of 21.Miller is charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child and second-degree criminal nuisance.He was issued tickets and is scheduled to appear in the Town of Harmony Court at a later date. According to the New York State on PAUSE order, social gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed for area’s in phase four reopening.On Monday, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted a video criticizing a large concert downstate.The Governor saying the Department of Health will investigate the social distancing violation, and that, the state has no tolerance for the “illegal and reckless endangerment of public health.”Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled.The Department of Health will conduct an investigation.We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.pic.twitter.com/gf9kggdo8w— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020Those who violate the NY on PAUSE order could face a fine up to $1,000. The state has a webpage set up for the public to file complaints which are forwarded to local municipalities for investigation.Cuomo recently called on localities statewide to step up their COVID-19 enforcement efforts. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Kudos to Mr.Miller and friends for standing up for Constitutional rights. It appears more and more people are awakening to the fact; CV19 is a well orchestrated HOAX. Emperor Cuomo has no clothes..,Selfish, ignorant, un Christian, You will be punished by a vengeful God. Mend your ways or spend eternity in Hell.,Cuomo touts his opinion on the concert in ny. However, never said a word on the so called march,This was a Amish person. Unless the authorities can prove that they all were notified other than internet, or the news, how can they convict them. I’m not saying that underage drinking is alright because they are aware of that law but, the gatherings over 50 people they may have not had a knowledge of.,They know.last_img read more

See Carly Rae Jepsen Decked Out in Radiant Royal Gems Before She Steps Into Cinderella’s Slippers

first_imgA few of us around the Broadway.com office still haven’t calmed down over the news that “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen will make her Broadway debut in the title role of Cinderella, alongside Emmy nominee Fran Drescher (as Madame). Obviously, we love love love Tony nominee Laura Osnes, but we still can’t wait to see the Grammy nominee get dressed up in Cinderella’s gorgeous gown and glitzy glass slippers. The always-classy Osnes even addressed the Carly Rae haters on December 29 when she tweeted, “Have we learned nothing from Ella about charity, generosity, and kindness?” Jepsen responded with “Dear @LauraOsnes I think you are truly lovely. Big shoes to fill! It’s an honor to try on the Cindy shoes! Xoxox.” Has there ever been a more perfect pair of princesses? Nope. Now, Jepsen has given us a tiny preview of what she’ll look like when she becomes Broadway’s reigning princess by Instagramming a photo of herself bedazzled in snazzy jewelry. Jepsen captioned the photo: “Family breaky before I fly to NYC—they decked me out in Cinderella gear. I don’t think they expected me to wear it all morning! Haha.” Call us biased, but we think she looks downright aristocratic in her treasures. Savor Jepsen’s fab photo and then catch her in Cinderella at the Broadway Theatre beginning February 4! Cinderella Related Shows Laura Osnes View Commentscenter_img Carly Rae Jepsen Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 4, 2015last_img read more

Boy George & Rosie O’Donnell Take in Taboo…Separately!

first_imgBoth Rosie O’Donnell and Boy George reunited with the cast of their Broadway-flop-we-love Taboo at 54 Below this weekend, but, like divorced parents splitting up time with their kids, they never actually appeared together. Instead, the duo arrived separately for the electrifying four-performance run, Taboo producer O’Donnell taking in the first show on February 7 and a goateed George, whose life and music give the show its beat and heart, popping in on February 8. The two mega-talents famously clashed during the difficult birth of the musical, but O’Donnell has recently spoken well of the pop icon, who reportedly cleaned up a nasty drug habit that made him a miserable collaborator at the time. Happily, Broadway.com photographer Bruce Glikas was on hand to capture both family portraits. Check back on Monday for more photo coverage of Taboo: 10 Years Later.  View Commentslast_img read more

Watch First Trailer of Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

first_img View Comments It looks like Tony and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will need to make room on his bookshelf for more shining statuettes! Check out the below trailer for his latest movie, The Danish Girl, which has all the hallmarks of yet another extraordinary performance. The biopic follows Einar Wegener (Redmayne), who was one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery, becoming a woman called Lili Elbe. Helmed by The King’s Speech and Les Miserables director Tom Hooper, the film also stars the Broadway-bound Ben Whishaw, along with Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard and Matthias Schoenaerts. The Danish Girl hits movie theaters on November 27 and we’ll most definitely be there.last_img

Dean John-Wilson & Jade Ewen Will Star in London’s Aladdin

first_img View Comments The rumors were true and it’s been confirmed that West End alum Dean John-Wilson and former Sugababes singer Jade Ewen will star in London’s Aladdin as the titular character and Princess Jasmine, respectively. They are set to join the previously announced Trevor Dion Nicholas as the genie in the production, which is scheduled to begin performances on May 27, 2016. The opening night has been pushed back to June 15 (from June 9) at the Prince Edward Theatre, which currently plays host to the Broadway-bound Miss Saigon.Wilson was most recently seen in the U.K. National Theatre’s production of off-Broadway smash hit Here Lies Love; additional stage credits include From Here to Eternity. Ewen is best known for her work with British pop group the Sugababes; a former protege of Andrew Lloyd Webber, she is currently appearing in the London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights.Adapted from the 1992 Disney animated film, Aladdin is the story of a street urchin who uses the help of a magic Genie to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, the production features a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Beguelin, Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman.The London company will also include Don Gallagher as Jafar, Peter Howe as Iago, Irvine Iqbal as the Sultan, Nathan Amzi as Babkak, Stephen Rahman-Hughes as Kassim and Rachid Sabitri as Omar, along with Arran Anzani-Jones, Miles Barrow, Albey Brookes, Lauren Chia, Bianca Cordice, Leon Craig, Daniel de Bourg, Seng Henk Goh, Melanie Elizabeth, Kade Ferraiolo, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Fred Johanson, Mitch Leow, Oliver Lidert, Thierry Picaut, Alex Pinder, Briony Scarlett, Kyle Seeley, Sadie-Jean Shirley, Ricardo Spriggs, Katie Singh, Dawnita Smith, Marsha Songcome, Kayleigh Thadani and Jermaine Woods.Aladdin continues to run on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The production officially opened on March 20, 2014, starring Adam Jacobs as Aladdin, Courtney Reed as Jasmine, James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie and Jonathan Freeman as Jafar.last_img read more