Thursday, December 14, 2017

Now It Is Official

We knew that Trumps election affected many trans and LGB people psyche now we have data to confirm it.

A nationwide survey found disturbing data…
First National Survey Published After 2016 Presidential Election Finds Gender Minorities’ Sense of Safety and Well-Being Impacted
Columbia University School of Nursing
By Elizabeth Holliday
November 1, 2017

NEW YORK- The first quantitative analyses published on the outcome of the 2016 election on the LGBTQ community showed that participants reported high levels of election outcome-related concerns, including psychological and emotional distress, since the election.

“Terrified,” “scared,” and “shell-shocked” were some of the words that LGBTQ survey participants used to describe their reactions to the 2016 presidential election, Cindy B. Veldhuis, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University School of Nursing and colleagues found.

The study entitled, “We Won’t Go Back into the Closet Now Without One Hell of a Fight: Effects of the 2016 Presidential Election on Sexual Minority Women’s and Gender Minorities’ Stigma-Related Concerns,” was published  in Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

The mixed-methods survey, which collected qualitative and quantitative data from online survey participants across the country who identified as sexual minority women and gender minorities, showed nearly 70 percent of participants reported having “moderately” or “much” higher concerns about their safety since the election, while 73 percent reported higher levels of sadness or depression, and 76 percent, of anxiety.

“What we found suggests the need for prevention and intervention strategies to ensure that marginalized and minority populations have support and effective coping tools to weather potential increases, or perceptions of increases in stigma, and to prevent such perceptions from becoming internalized and increasing risks for engaging in unhealthy behaviors,” Veldhuis said.
I think if they did the survey today that the outcome would be even worse.

I know that right after the election the non-profit that I am the ED started receiving phone calls from distraught trans people that just wanted someone to talk to about their fears. The impact has died down but I don’t think that the fear and anxiety has gone away.

I bet that if the current administration read this report that they would be filled with glee and probably giving high-fives to everyone. Yes I am bitter, the administration has done everything in their power to force us back in to the closet, they hate anything LGBT.

The Republicans Play Dirty

You remember that they held up President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination

You remember that they held up President Obama’s federal judges appointments for years

Now they say they will hold up the seating of a duly elected senator

Then they confirmed a Supreme Court justice who has publically said that he puts the Bible before the Constitution

Now they are appointing over a 197 federal court justices whom most of them have also said that they puts the Bible before the Constitution. Many of them also have no judicial experience and the American Bar Association has rated them as unacceptable and also for the first time in over 200 years the Republicans are overriding the vetoes from the senators from the state where the judges are being appointed.

Lastly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he may not seat Senator elect Jones until after the vote on the tax bill which over 60% of the votes don’t want.



Update 2:40 PM:
It is now official... The FCC voted to repeal net-neutrality!

The repeal was right down party line.

They ignored the voters
They ignored the businesses that rely on it
They ignored the politicians who were against it
They voted in favor of their billionaire puppet masters

And it is now in the hands of the courts (which Trump is packing with his cronies) and Congress (which has received millions from the lobbyists)

New Technique For GCS

There is a new surgical procedure for Gender Confirming Surgery (GCS) that is all the rage in the trans community, trans women are demanding the surgery… but what is it? Is it for everyone?

There is a report [note the date of the publication, even though we just discovered the procedure but it has been around for a while] on the procedure on the NIH website PubMed…
New laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through vaginoplasty technique
By Pravin Mhatre, Jyoti Mhatre, and Rakhi Sahu
J Hum Reprod Sci. 2014 Jul-Sep; 7(3): 181–186.
doi:  10.4103/0974-1208.142478

Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Many reconstructive surgical procedures have been described for vaginal agenesis. Almost all of them are surgically challenging, multi-staged, time consuming or leave permanent scars on abdomen or skin retrieval sites.

AIM:
A new simple technique using laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through in creation of neo vagina has been described.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Total of thirty six patients with congenital absence of vagina (MRKH syndrome) were treated with laparoscopic peritoneal pull through technique of Dr. Mhatre between 2003 till 2012. The author has described 3 different techniques of peritoneal vaginoplasty.

RESULTS:
This technique has given excellent results over a period of one to seven years of follow-up. The peritoneal lining changes to stratified squamous epithelium resembling normal vagina and having acidic Ph.

CONCLUSION:
Apart from giving excellent normal vaginal function, as the ovary became accessible per vaginum three patients underwent ovum retrieval and pregnancy using surrogate mother, thus making this a fertility enhancing procedure.
The article goes on in great detail the steps of the procedure for women who were born without a vaginal and the authors also cover sexual satisfaction, some of the highlights were…

  • Almost 90% of patients required supervised glass dilatation in the first postsurgical week.
  • 100% of women required vaginal lubrication for first 3 months.
  • The need for lubrication declined drastically after 6 to 9 months in the married group of patients (66.5%)
  • 50% of patients complained of pain and discomfort in the early period. The pain free intercourse was usually performed after 3 to 6 months.

The conclusion of the report was,
In conclusion the new laparoscopic peritoneal pull-through vaginoplasty offers a relatively easy surgical procedure with excellent results on long term follow up. This procedure is practically devoid of morbidity associated with other techniques. Peritoneal lining having the same parentage of mullerian duct undergoes metaplasia and transforms itself in to stratified squamous epithelium resembling normal vagina. This transformation has been documented in nine patients. As the ovary became accessible per vaginum three patients underwent ovum retrieval and pregnancy using surrogate mother, thus making this a fertility enhancing procedure.
There has been discussions on the WPATH Facebook page and on their elist server. Some of the Facebook comments were:

  • This is the surgery I want
  • This is the most promising news in a long time for a lot of trans women, who lacked available tissues for conventional inversion/graft methods or experienced severe post-op complications.
  • So exciting...can I get a redo? (Kidding...mostly)
  • This sounds like a very desirable procedure.

While on the elist serve some of the emails said that the procedure looks interesting, while others question the long term impact for the long term on the peritoneum's vitality, and some see that a combination of penile inversion and with peritoneal tissue. The peritoneal tissue would add depth and lubrication.

So what is the answer should we use peritoneal tissue for GCS?

Well like all things trans we are the guinea pigs. My suggestion is do your homework, don’t just rush to have the surgery because it is the “new” wonder procedure but stop, look, and listen before proceeding. Ultimately it is your life, it is your decision to make.

My guess is that in the end it will be a combination of penile inversion and with peritoneal tissue.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Here Comes The Judge

Even with a the protection that we have it all boils down to the judge, the judge sets the environment in the courtroom and if he is a bigot it all flows downhill.
Transgender rights: Los Angeles families complain of insensitive treatment during court hearings
LA Times
By Marisa Gerber
December 3, 2017

The Liljestrand family walked into the courthouse confident — if a bit nervous.

They'd come to get their eldest child's name legally changed to Melissa Rose and her gender designation switched from male to female.

When it was finally their turn to be heard, the judge cleared the courtroom. Before long, he turned to the 14-year-old and asked how she knew she was a girl.

"Convince me," the judge said, according to the family.
Now this should have never happened, California has a great set of laws protecting us and the judge’s questions were out of bounds… but he is the judge.
While battles over workplace discrimination and access to public accommodations, such as restrooms, have drawn intense public scrutiny, one facet of transgender rights — treatment inside the courtroom — is less well documented. Families have complained that efforts to change names and gender designations were met with callousness and antiquated stereotypes. They hope that raising the profile of the issue will lead to better training of judges.
So what do you do if you have a judge that is biased?

Do you speak up and maybe watch your case go down the drain?

Do you bite your tongue and kowtow down?
Everman complained to the Commission on Judicial Performance about what she characterized as "a traumatic experience." The commission's director, Victoria B. Henley, said the agency doesn't comment on whether a complaint has been lodged against a judge.
It got even worst for the family,
After the session resumed, the judge asked if a letter to the court saying Melissa had undergone "clinically appropriate treatment" was from a "real doctor," Everman said.

Moreton agreed to sign the papers, but first flapped them in the air, Liljestrand said.

"Just a piece of paper," he recalled the judge saying. "It does not make you a woman… Now you're just going to have a lot more problems than other people."
The judge didn’t just cross the line , but torn it up.

I Am Always Amazed…

But I shouldn’t be that these so called “Family” organizations will do anything for their cause even deceit which everyone knows is a “family” value.
The American College of Pediatricians Is an Anti-LGBT Group
A small but clever anti-LGBT group created a legit-sounding name.
Psychology Today
By Jack Turban MD MHS
Posted May 08, 2017

Did you read this headline and think I was accusing The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) of opposing the LGBT community? That’s the problem. A small anti-LGBT group called the “American College of Pediatricians (ACP)” created a name that is easily confused with the AAP, the largest pediatrics organization in the country.

It is disturbing that news organizations and physicians are citing the "ACP" as a reputable source. The ACP is a small group of physicians that left the AAP after the AAP released a 2002 policy statement explaining that gay parents pose no risk to adopted children. The Southern Poverty Law Center has repeatedly labeled the ACP as an anti-LGBT hate group that promotes false claims and misleading scientific reports. Chillingly, the group has moved beyond its online reports, deeper into the political arena. They have gone as far as filing amicus briefs to U.S. courts for major cases concerning LGBT rights. Their reports have gained traction, despite clear criticism from expert physicians in the field. When asked about the ACP, Dr. Scott Leibowitz, medical director of the THRIVE program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and chair of the sexual orientation and gender identity issues committee for the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, did not parse his words, "It can hardly be a credible medical organization when it consistently chooses to ignore science and the growing evidence base that clearly demonstrates the benefits of affirmative care with LGBT youth across all ages."
Look at what they are saying…
1. Reparative Therapy for Homosexual Youth Is a Good Idea 
2. Gay Parents Are Bad Parents
3. Affirming Transgender Youth Is a Bad Idea
And they twist legitimate research in to sounding like the results supports their “finding”
1The ACP, in this report, claims that 97.8 percent of prepubescent transgender children change their minds about being transgender after they hit puberty. This is based on a study from 1987, and researchers explain here why such studies are flawed (the gist is that the kids in that study and others were never transgender to begin with). Furthermore, pre-pubertal children do not receive hormonal interventions under Endocrine Society Guidelines. Only adolescents who have reached puberty do, and all existing literature suggests that transgender identity is stable after kids hit puberty (Cohen-Kettenis 2003, deVries 2014).
2 The ACP claims that hormonal interventions make it impossible for transgender individuals to have biological children. This is false. Transgender teens receiving hormonal interventions are offered fertility preservation measures as explained in Endocrine Society Guidelines and detailed here.
Now take a look at what is happening in Hartford CT where the City Council passed an ordinance requiring anti-abortion agencies to tell the truth. The agency was intercepting clients going to a OB/GYN clinic and lying to them that they were the family planning clinic when in reality they were an anti-abortion organization.
Hartford Council Approves Proposal To Halt Alleged Deceptive Practices At Anti-Abortion Centers
Hartford Courant
By Jenna Carlesso
December 11, 2017

Beginning next year, Hartford’s faith-driven crisis pregnancy centers, which critics say sometimes pose as clinics to lure women and hand out misleading information about abortions, will have to disclose whether its staff carry medical licenses.

The centers are also banned from engaging in false or deceptive advertising practices under a proposal adopted Monday by the city council. The new regulations take effect July 1.

The hot-button issue of the so-called anti-abortion centers has stirred debate in recent weeks, and drew hundreds to a public hearing in Hartford last month.

Advocates of the proposal say staff at the centers have approached women looking for legitimate clinics and beckoned them inside. The employees sometimes pose in white coats to make visitors believe they’ve arrived at a medical facility, they said, and then provide them with false information.
So the ordinance is basically a “truth in advertising” for businesses, but what does the “family” organization has to say?
“It was always a steep climb,” he said after the vote. “It was always unlikely that we were going to stop this.”

“If it’s not going into effect until July, why the rush?” he added. “It seems to us further evidence that there were larger forces at play here, that the majority of the council is very much in bed with the abortion industry.”

Council members said the new regulations are not meant to take a side for or against the anti-abortion centers. They said the plan was simply about banning false advertising.
They are claiming that it is a First Amendment issue; they feel that it is their free speech to use deceptive advertising. All the ordinance does is require a business to tell the truth, also the ordinance is modeled after other ordinance that have passed to the courts.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Are You A Younger Sibling?

Does having an older brother make you gay?

There seems to be research that shows more younger brothers are gay than old brothers being gay and the researchers are beginning to believe that something is going on in the mother’s uterus after the birth of an older brother.
Having older brothers increases men's likelihood of being gay
CNN
By Jen Christensen
December 12, 2017

(CNN)If you're a guy with an older brother, there's an increased chance you're gay.

Scientists have noticed this pattern in previous research, but now they think they have a biological explanation as to why, and it starts long before birth. The results were published in the journal PNAS on Monday.

The researchers say that if their findings can be replicated, we may know at least one of the biological reasons some men are gay.

Many factors may determine someone's sexual orientation, but in this case, researchers noticed a pattern that may be linked to something that happens in the womb. The phenomenon is related to a protein linked to the Y chromosome (which women do not have) that is important to male brain development.

Researchers think it's possible that when a woman gets pregnant with her first boy, this Y-linked protein gets into her bloodstream. The mother's body recognizes the protein as a foreign substance, and her immune system responds, creating antibodies. If enough of these antibodies build up in the woman's body and she gets pregnant with another a boy, they can cross the placental barrier and enter the brain of the second male fetus.
This is not a new theory; back in 2012 Scientific America had an article about this,
Is Homosexuality a Choice?
By Marcia Malory
October 19, 2012

[…]
We know, from many twin and adoption studies, that sexual preference has a genetic component.

A gay man is more likely than a straight man to have a (biological) gay brother; lesbians are more likely than straight women to have gay sisters.
The article also points out something I have been saying,
Gay women and gay men are more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous than straight women and straight men, according to a number of different studies. Some researchers have suggested that this difference in handedness – preference for one hand over the other can be observed in fetuses - is related to differences in the corpus callosum.
So all this raises serval questions.

First is being LGBT a Disorder of Sexual Development (DSD)? If it is, is a form of intersex?

If being LGBT is the result of the prenatal environment than this whole thing with “religious freedom” becomes an ethical question… is damning a person because of the way they were born “moral?”

I have two questions for all of my readers...

  1. If you are LGBT do you an older brother?
  2. If you are LGBT are you left handed?

Just leave a comment #1 yes or no, #2 yes or no.

For me,my answer would be #1 Yes, #2 Yes

Harbinger Of Things To Come?

The Supreme Court has refused to hear a case of employment discrimination against lesbians and gays letting a lower court ruling against us stand.
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Case on Bias Against Gay Workers
New York Times
By Adam Liptak
December 11, 2017

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would not hear an appeal in a case that could have resolved whether a federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against gay and lesbian workers.

The case concerned Jameka Evans, who said a Georgia hospital discriminated against her because she is a lesbian. She sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on sex.

In March, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that Title VII’s reference to sex did not encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The reach of Title VII has divided the federal appeals courts. In April, by an 8-to-3 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, said Title VII covered gay people. “It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation,’” Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the majority.
Is this an omen of things to come in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission? This is the case where the store owner said that he should be able to discriminate against people claiming that it violated his religious creed.

The Times article goes on to suggest some reason why the court refused to hear the case,
Such conflicts between appeals courts can prompt Supreme Court review. But the justices may have been troubled by an unusual aspect of Ms. Evans’s case. Lawyers for the hospital argued that it had not been properly served with legal papers, and they told the Supreme Court that they did not intend to appear to participate in the case.
The Advocate wrote…
He emphasized, however, that “this was not a ‘no’ but a ‘not yet.’” He added, “Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. The vast majority of Americans believe that LGBT people should be treated equally in the workplace. The public is on the right side of history; it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court has refused to join us today, but we will continue to invite them to do the right thing and end this hurtful balkanization of the right of LGBT people to be out at work.”
This is the second case LGBT that the Supreme Court has turned down to hear,
This month the Supreme Court declined to hear another LGBT rights case, saying it won't review a Texas Supreme Court ruling that marriage equality doesn't necessarily mean employers have to provide equal benefits to all spouses, same-sex or opposite-sex. The Texas high court had sent that case back to the Harris County District Court in Houston for consideration, and that is where it stands now.
It appears that the court is waiting for a nice clean case for them to hear; let’s hope that is the case.