Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Longitudinal Survey

You probably have seen news articles about a longitudinal survey of trans-children where they followed 22 trans-girls and 33 trans-boys from their teenage years to when they were in their early twenties. According to the abstract for the survey the results were,
After gender reassignment, in young adulthood, the GD was alleviated and psychological functioning had steadily improved. Well-being was similar to or better than same-age young adults from the general population. Improvements in psychological functioning were positively correlated with postsurgical subjective well-being.
But what the research did not cover was the sparkle in their eyes or their smile when they started on the hormone blockers. Over lunch yesterday I was listening to a pediatric doctor from Colorado talk about the changes he sees in his young patients as they are starting on hormone blockers or hormones.

The conclusion of the abstract said,
A clinical protocol of a multidisciplinary team with mental health professionals, physicians, and surgeons, including puberty suppression, followed by cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgery, provides gender dysphoric youth who seek gender reassignment from early puberty on, the opportunity to develop into well-functioning young adults.
If you have ever seen the change when a child or an adult begins hormones it is amazing, it is like a hundred pound weight was taking from their shoulders.

I will hope that the study is continuing and that they follow these 55 young adults throughout their lives, ten years is not long enough to see how their health is affected by the hormone blockers or a lifelong exposure to hormone. We also need to see if this is the proper intervention for gender dysphoria, we to look at how they are not only in their twenties but in their thirties, forties and beyond.


A Corrupt System Corrupts Absolutely.

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has mishandled the Jane Doe case from the very beginning. Jane Doe father is in prison, her mother is a drug addict, and the DCF took her away from her mother (the only right thing that DCF did) and put her in the care of her grandmother.  Mother Jones reported,
The state became involved in Jane Doe's life when she was five, according to her affidavit, because her father was incarcerated and her mom was using crack and heroin. She was born a boy; after she was placed in the care of her extended family, she said, one relative caught her playing with dolls and bashed her head into the wall. She said another relative raped her at age eight, as did others as she grew older. Doe would only allow herself to look like a girl in secret. Around age 11, a relative caught her in the bathroom wearing her dress and lipstick and slapped her, shouting, "You are a boy! What the fuck is wrong with you?"

The state became involved in Jane Doe's life when she was five, according to her affidavit, because her father was incarcerated and her mom was using crack and heroin. She was born a boy; after she was placed in the care of her extended family, she said, one relative caught her playing with dolls and bashed her head into the wall. She said another relative raped her at age eight, as did others as she grew older. Doe would only allow herself to look like a girl in secret. Around age 11, a relative caught her in the bathroom wearing her dress and lipstick and slapped her, shouting, "You are a boy! What the fuck is wrong with you?"
She was sent to a juvenile facility in Massachusetts for an assault that she committed and while she was there her lawyer said that,
…the most recent incident was sparked when a male staffer at the Massachusetts facility put Doe in a bear hug restraint from behind. "This is a girl who has been sexually abused," Romano says. "She is inclined to interpret actions with that view."
DCF mishandled the case since the beginning they have no policies for transgender children in their custody and they do not have a way to treat children who are trauma victims of sexual assaults. They woefully understaffed, their budget has increased over the years as their case load dropped but those children who are still in the system are the more complex cases. They need more personal care with staff that is trained in dealing with children with trauma and PTSD.

The other day Jane Doe walked away from a treatment facility, her first taste of freedom in years. The Hartford Courant reported that,
The transgender teenager whose transfer to an adult prison made national news slipped away Tuesday from a therapy program at Hartford's Institute of Living after being transported there from a secure youth facility by the Department of Children and Families.

She was found in good health several hours later, by a Hartford patrol officer, near 517 Park St. She was taken into custody, and detectives with the Special Investigation Division were speaking with her, said Deputy Police Chief Brian J. Foley. She will be turned back over to DCF.

"She was just walking down the street and she was very compliant with officers," Foley said.
The Courant goes on to say,
"It's unfortunate but not surprising,'' said Child Advocate Sarah Eagan, who is reviewing assaults and the use of restraints and seclusion at Pueblo and CJTS. "This is what kids who are traumatized do."

Now that she has been found, the hope is to "continue to engage her in the treatment programs that can help her heal from the many traumas she has experienced," Kleeblatt said.
So what is DCF going to do now? Are they going to punish her some more? Will they make a bad situation worse?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gay Friendly v. Trans Friendly

There is a big difference. Many times you see about a tour being LGBT friendly but really what they mean is gay and lesbian friendly especially if you are able to assimilate into sociality as a heterosexual. It is those who fall outside of the gender norms that feel the greatest discrimination.

There was a cruise line that offered a Drag cruise but said that,
These functions will be private and only the performers are permitted to dress in drag while in the theater. Guests are not allowed to dress in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise.
Fort Lauderdale bills itself as “Gay Friendly” but according to an article in Sun Sentinel it is not trans-friendly,
In August, some 700 members of the transgender community across 48 states participated in the online survey conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based specialty marketing and research firm.

Only 10 percent of participants perceived Fort Lauderdale to be very trans-friendly, the study revealed.

Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents polled perceived Fort Lauderdale as not being transgender-friendly, while 43 percent said it was somewhat trans-friendly, according to the study commissioned by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"We know a lot about gay and lesbian travelers, but little if anything has been known about the transgender traveler, until now," said Richard Gray, the bureau's managing director of the LGBT market. "Now is the time for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB to emphasize the importance of the T in LGBT. The forgotten T, I'm saddened to say."
I know someone who was down there with her girlfriend when they were harassed by some straight teens, guest who the police focused on, my trans-friend and her girlfriend. The police advised to go back to their hotel and stay out the area.

The Southern Comfort conference is moving to Fort Lauderdale next year, it should be interesting to see just how trans-friendly the city will be. The conference will be held at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa and I wonder just how those who venture outside of hotel will be treated at restaurants, bars and other public accommodations.

# # # # #

I will be doing an outreach this afternoon at a local medical college so there will be no afternoon post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

When There Is Money To Be Made…

...Nothing else matters.

How many times have you seen it, a radio personality makes derogatory comments against a minority and is fired and then hired back by either another station or the same station.

The DJs who made comments about trans-people are back on the air.
Rochester radio hosts, fired for calling transgender people 'nut jobs,' back on the air
Syracuse.com
By Ben Axelson
September 11, 2014

Rochester radio personalities Kimberly and Beck are back on the airwaves after the pair were fired by 98.9 The Buzz (WBZA) in May.

Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck lost their jobs hosting "The Breakfast Buzz" earlier in the year after making "hateful comments" about transgender people during their live show, The Post-Standard reported at the time.
[…]
"It was nice to have the summer off. We took some time to reflect and kind of figure out what went sideways," Kimberly said in an interview with the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Did they learn any lessons from their firing? Will they change their format or will it be business as normal, putting down everyone?
Despite the backlash, not much has changed.

"We're doing the same kind of show that we did for the last 30 years," Kimberly told the D & C.
Nope, I guess not.