Connecticut Protects Transgender Students

Connecticut Protects Transgender Students

The day after President Donald Trump rescinded federal protections for transgender students in public schools, Governor Dannel P. Malloy strengthened Connecticut’s protection for these students.

Governor Malloy signed an executive order to protect Connecticut transgender students in public schools to use a public bathroom associated with their gender identity. “Discrimination of this kind is outrageous and has no place in our society,” Malloy said in a statement. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue, the President’s regressive action must be rejected by all compassionate people, regardless of party affiliation.”

But several transgender students and advocates in Connecticut feel that even with state protections, they are worried and angry about Trump’s action.

Owen Schwartz, a Hebron, Connecticut teenager who is transgender, arrived home after Trump’s action and told his mother “Donald Trump hates me.” Schwartz said the president’s decision makes him feel less accepted, less respected and more fearful. “If the president doesn’t support who I am,” Owen said, “it’s kind of hard to go on with my daily life because it’s like the White House is against me. It’s a big deal.”

Robin McHaelen, Executive Director of True Colors, Inc., which provides support and services to LGBT students, said that transgender youth are among “the most vulnerable of the children that we serve” with the highest rates of suicide and the highest rates of “self-medication through substance abuse. For the federal government to send a message that they don’t matter is, in my opinion, absolutely unconscionable,” she said.

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A Forever Home

A Forever Home

November was National Adoption Month. Every year in Connecticut, The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Judicial Branch finalize hundreds of adoptions, typically 400 to 500 a year.

Connecticut’s DCF Commissioner Joette Katz said the recruitment of families has been re-designed to move away from a general message about the need for adoptive and foster families to one that focuses on a specific child who needs a home. “All around the country, states and counties struggle to achieve results through the conventional marketing recruitment methods that child welfare agencies have always used,” Katz said in a statement. “But when we focus on finding a family for one child at a time, it really brings a spotlight on the joys and rewards of adopting. The pictures and stories of the individual kids are that compelling.”

One of those adoptions provided a young girl named Indigo a forever home. Michael Brinckerhoff had met Indigo’s mother at a support group sixteen years ago and had only met Indigo twice. He received a call that a five-year-old’s mother had told DCF that she wanted her daughter to live with him.

Twenty-six hours after that call, Brinckerhoff and his partner, now fiance, Troy Saunders, went to pick up Indigo at a home in Danbury. Brinckerhoff said that he and Saunders were not thinking of having children of their own but after being with Indigo for 2 weeks, he told Saunders “She’s staying here; we’re going to figure this out.”

DCF’s initial goal, had been to reunite Indigo with her mother, but when that couldn’t happen, the couple began the adoption process. On April 4th, the adoption was official.

Brinckerhoff says that one night after putting Indigo to bed, she asked him to turn the light back on. “She looked at me and said, ‘Thank you for taking care of me, I love you.’”

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You Deserve a Beautiful Smile

You Deserve a Beautiful Smile

If you have visited the Hartford page on Hayden’s List then you know that “You deserve a beautiful smile.”  East Cedar Dental Inc. and Dr. Aaron Farrokh have been a supportive part of Hayden’s List as one of the first companies to advertise with us.  They also have a perfect 10 review for being welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Farrokh about his background, his passion for providing a beautiful smile, how East Cedar Dental Inc is a leader in helping to solve sleep apnea and the importance of Hayden’s List.

Dr. Farrokh knew from a young age that he wanted to work in healthcare and own his own business. His father was a primary care physician. Dr. Farrokh saw the long hours that his father worked and craved a different kind of lifestyle.  A friend in college brought dentistry to his attention. Dr. Farrokh shadowed a dentist and he liked the mix of healthcare, working with people and working with his hands.  When Dr. Farrokh was looking to set up his own practice in the Greater Hartford area, he took over an established practice in Newington and East Cedar Dental Inc. was born.

Dr. Farrokh stands by his slogan that “You deserve a beautiful smile.”  His favorite part of dentistry is the aesthetic and restorative procedures that improve people’s smiles.  Some of the most popular procedures at East Cedar Dental Inc are teeth whitening, crowns, bridges and veneers.

Dr. Farrokh has expanded into improving patient’s sleep.  East Cedar Dental has joined the twenty percent of dentists now fitting patients for the Hearst Appliance or oral appliance for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Individuals with sleep apnea have a collapsing airway which leads to choking and gasping for breathe during sleep and therefore an interrupted sleep cycle. The medical treatment is a Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) machine. However fifty of people prescribed the PAP machine are intolerant.  Dr. Farrokh has begun providing the alternative OSA device. The OSA is custom fitted to the patient through measurements and impressions.  The OSA works by moving the lower jaw forward to open up the airway for continual airflow and uninterrupted sleep.

Patients are loving the OSA option for sleep apnea.  First, the patient can do a take home sleep study test instead of going to a lab.  A lab test costs around $1000 compared to the take home test cost of $150-200.  The take home test is much more comfortable than the lab test also.  The patient doesn’t need to be hooked up to a bunch of wires with the take home test.  Second, the OSA is more comfortable during sleep for the patient.  There is no noise, tubing, and easy to remove.  The patient’s partner is also not disturbed during sleep with the lack of noise.  The OSA is less cumbersome and can be easily packed for travelling. “Ergonomically it’s better” said Dr. Farrokh.

Dr. Farrokh learned about Hayden’s List when a patient put a positive review on the site.  “As a member of the LGBT community, I recommend Dr. Farrokh and his staff.  Dr. Farrokh is friendly and funny and an excellent dentist!” says the review.

Dr. Farrokh visited the site and wanted to be one of the first to advertise with us.  “People shouldn’t be discriminated against for their religion, race, gender or sexual orientation,” he says.  Dr. Farrokh wants EVERYONE to feel welcome when they visit East Cedar Dental Inc.

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New on “The List:” Zerios Old World Restaurant and Catering

hartford circle

A Middletown reviewer gave us the scoop on a great restaurant and catering contact:

“They get to know their customers on a first name basis and on a personal level. They like to “know” their customers and do whatever it takes to ensure their customers are happy and enjoy the food. Hands down, one of the best places for a quick lunch or something more specific for a special occasion.”

Wanna go check them out for yourself? You can find this review in the Restaurants category of our Hartford page.

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Pride in New Haven

new haven prideIn honor of the “coming out” of our most recent city, New Haven, Connecticut, we want to share our intern, Billy Holt’s, first “pride” experience.  Thanks to all who helped New Haven get on The List.  Keep the reviews coming.  And a special thanks to Billy for writing his thoughts about last month’s event.

New Haven Pride Experience

As I parked my car on Saturday evening in downtown New Haven I could hear the echoing of music blaring, people singing, and saw the pink lights in the sky from a block away. Crown Street, where the pride event was being held, was an array of rainbow. I didn’t know what to look at first: the exotic dancers, the moon bounce clustered with tipsy people, or the drag queens mingling throughout the crowd. A broad spectrum of people made up the crowd from intoxicated straight housewives to leather daddies to families. Everyone at the event was young, old or in-between, which made for an interesting clientele. After ten the party continued inside the club Empire where drinks were flowing, music was pumping and people were dancing. Strippers lined the bar top swinging from the chandeliers while drag queens on stage lip-synced for their lives. Not one person in the club was sitting still. Everyone was either dancing, singing, drinking or taking body shots off the male dancers. No one was uptight or judgmental; the freak flag flew and only the “normal” were the ones who would feel out of place. Never before have I been in such an accepting crowd who welcomed anyone and everyone. It was a place where I felt I belonged, a place where my only worry was to let loose and enjoy.




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