Author's posts

Oct 10

How to keep trans people alive

Of course the first part of this is…or should be…quite obvious.  How about people stop murdering trans women of color?

It’s time to do more than just solve each homicide as they happen.  It’s time to do more than just arrest these horrific people who commit these violent crimes.  It’s time to do the work beforehand.

–Nellie Fitzpatrick, mayor’s liaison to the LGBT community in Philadelphia

It is not enough to light candles.

–Suffok, MA, District Attorney DanConley

Of course being murdered is only one of the leading causes of our demise.  Another one is suicide.

Oct 03

First do no harm

An article published Monday in the Journal of Emergency Nursing will hopefully change the treatment of transgender people in hospital emergency rooms.  The article was submitted by Ethan Collin Cicero, BSN, RN and Beth Perry Black, PhD, RN, from Chapel Hill, NC and was entitled, I was a Spectacle…A Freak Show at the Circus: A transgender Person’s ED Experience and Implications for Nursing Practice

The article offers a case study for Brandon James (not his real name), a transgender man who visited an Emergency Department in the southeastern US a few years ago, expecting to be treated like any other patient.

Instead, he was treated like a “freak show at the circus” by hospital staff when the female marker on his driver’s license and medical record did not match up with his masculine appearance and preference to go by male pronouns.

The authors point to one recent study, which found that about 19 percent of transgender patients reported having been refused care because of their gender status, and 28 percent said they experienced harassment in a medical setting.

Unfortunately, this is fairly common.  From a nursing perspective, those are very alarming numbers to learn about, so that’s why we wanted to look a little more closely into this community’s health care experiences.

–Cicero, a doctoral student at the Duke University School of Nursing

Sep 26

The Pump don’t work…

…cause the vandals stole the handle.

A group of graffiti artists (BlakCollectiv), led by Kalkidan Assefa, created an impressive, and legal, mural during Ottawa’s Pride Week honoring transgender women of color who had been murdered during the past year.

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On Wednesday night an unknown person or group who were offended by the memorial spray painted over much of the mural and added these sentiments:

RACIST BULLS–T

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ALL COLORS MATTER

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ALL LIVES/NO DOUBLE STANDARD/YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

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Sep 19

AIDS Conference Interruptus

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The 2015 US Conference on AIDS was held September 10-13 in Washington, DC.  On the opening day dozens of transgender and gender-nonconforming people seized the stage at the lunchtime plenary session to draw attention to HIV+ gender-variant people.

The group was chanting, We are not gay men! to protest the inclusion of trans women in gay male research and statistics.

Sep 12

Making a new plan, Stan

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has a new plan.

Under a new policy announced yesterday Sheriff Mirkarimi intends to house all inmates in San Francisco County’s jails by their gender identity.

He hopes to have transgender inmates living with their preferred population before 2016.

But transgender inmates who choose to remain in segregated housing or to continue living with other inmates who share the their birth sex can do so, according to Kenya Briggs, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

I carry the perspective forward that the transgender population is marginalized on the streets of America.  Consider how magnified that treatment is inside prisons and jails.

–Mirkarimi

Sep 05

9th Circuit: Convention Against Torture applies to transgender deportees

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has overruled an immigration judge and the US Board of Immigration Appeals in the case of transgender woman Edin (Carey) Avendano-Hernandez’s deportation.

Born in a small town in southern Mexico, Avendano-Hernandez started identifying herself as female at age 5 or 6 and was beaten by her father and schoolmates, and raped by her older brothers and cousins, the court said. She dropped out of high school at 16 and moved to Mexico City, where she was harassed by customers of a nightclub where she worked. After she returned home to care for her dying mother, an older brother threatened her with death.

Aug 29

Trans woman raped by corrections officer at Rikers, files federal lawsuit

A transgender woman, identified only as M.T., who is a former inmate at Rikers Island has filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court claiming she was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a corrections officer at the Robert N. Davoren Complex after having been harassed for months by the officer.

M. T. claims she was raped by Officer L. Galan on Dec. 2, 2012.  

Galan stated that Plaintiff ‘could do this the easy way or the hard way,’ Plaintiff did not feel that (she) could walk away or call out for help.

–the lawsuit

Aug 22

Actors play trans in search of Oscars

Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything, will try to make it two in a row by portraying pioneer transgender woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl.

Aug 15

The low cost of transgender troops

The New England Journal of Medicine’s current issue includes an analysis by Aaron Belkin, Ph. D., director of the Palm Center and political science professor at San Francisco State University:  Caring for Our Transgender Troops –The Negligible Cost of Transition-Related Care.

With Mike Huckabee basically decrying the potential medical cost of having transgender troops serve this country, Belkin decided to estimate how much we were talking about.  Being a retired math professor, I couldn’t resist double-checking Belkin’s calculations.

Aug 08

Whitewashing and Cisplaining…the movie

I began my transition in 1992.  Part of what came with that was the meed for a hair stylist.  I found mine at the Pink House in Conway, Arkansas.  It was owned by John Schenck and Robert Lloyd,  Their story is here at Freedom to Marry.

 photo Marsha_P_Johnson-650x500_zpsbnwbrgag.jpgJohn used to tell me stories from the old days.  He was well positioned to do so since he worked as a bar back (i.e. bartending assistant) at the Stonewall back in the day.  He told me about the night of June 28, 1969, when the police raided (not such a common occurrence at the Stonewall since there were payoffs) and especially began to hassle a Puerto Rican drag queen John only knew as Jos├ę.

On that night there was a private party going on at the Stonewall.  Regular patron Marsha P. (Pay it No Mind) Johnson was turning 25.  Guests included other drag queens and some “girls who were serious” (in John’s terminology; he means “transgender women”)  Some of the transwomen also did drag in order to make a buck…like Ms. Johnson.

Aug 01

At the crosswalk of haters and hate

Stephen E. Thompson is a 45 year-old man who was working as a DJ at a party thrown at Down Under Lounge in Omaha.  His attire for the evening consisted of what has been called priestly garb: (a black Catholic shirt with priest collar and skinny skeleton jeans.

 photo barone_zps14zw6rq6.jpgKara Jeslyn Barone, 27, and a friend, both transgender women, needed to use the women’s restroom that night.  It turned out that Thompson’s girlfriend, Dahlia Strange, needed to use the restroom at the same time.

These things happen…especially at bars.

Thompson went berserk.  He began kicking at the door and tried to force his way in.  Barone pushed him out and locked the door in order to keep him out. Strange finished her business and opened the door to leave.  Thompson took the opportunity to punch Barone in the face…while calling her a “faggot” and other anti-gay slurs.

Jul 25

Guidelines issued to New York schools

Last month I wrote a couple of diaries about New York’s struggles with its own Dignity for All Students Act:

Indignity in New York, one of my least successful diaries ever, concerned an NYCLU report on the status of transgender students in the state

Outraged focused on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Angry Letter to Acting Education Commissioner Elizabeth Berlin demanding action to ameliorate the situation.

Funny thing about that letter:  As well-publicized as it was, Education Department spokesman Dennis Tompkins says that Berlin never received it.

Be that as it may, this past Tuesday the New York Board of Regents issued guidelines to schools about how to treat transgender students.  The Regents called for schools to respect the self-identity of youngster whenever the subject of gender arises.

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