Thursday, March 16, 2017

Some Progress

In all the doom and gloom there are a few rays of hope.

We are seeing some progress in being able to change our birth certificate without having surgery.
Plan would make changing birth certificates easier for transgender people
Chicago Tribune
By Haley BeMiller
March 15, 2017

A proposal that would make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity cleared an initial hurdle Wednesday, as supporters said the existing process in Illinois often can make life unnecessarily difficult.

A longtime Illinois law says transgender people can only change the sex listed on their birth certificates if a doctor says they've had transition surgery. Under a new plan approved by a House committee, a birth certificate could be changed if a medical or mental health provider confirms someone has received "clinically appropriate" treatment. A range of practices including hormone therapy would be covered, using a similar standard that applies to U.S. passports.

Supporters say doing away with the surgery requirement would relieve a burden put on transgender men and women and reflects scientific findings that operations are not a necessary medical treatment. Grayson Alexander, a high school senior in Springfield, said he can't change his birth certificate in Illinois because he can't afford surgery without jeopardizing his plans to attend college.

Advocates said people can be denied coverage for preventive care like pap smears and prostate exams if their birth certificates and identities don't match.
Yeah, it is annoying that I have to fight to get my prostate exam covered by insurance but it is only a minor nuisance compared to have my birth certificate reflex my true gender.

But more importantly,
 "It's also a symbolic thing to be recognized by the state as the gender that you identify as," Alexander said. "That is immensely important. It's very validating."
And in Oregon State…
Transgender Birth Records Bill Passes Oregon House
U.S. News
Associated Press
March 15, 2017

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A proposal that would privatize the process for transgender individuals to make changes to their birth certificates cleared the Oregon House on Wednesday in a 37-23 vote.
Here in Connecticut we are trying to pass a bill banning Conversion Therapy for minors and we are facing opposition who are saying that there are only a few LGBT minors who go through conversion therapy but we say that even one is too many.

We have some news organizations that support the bill,
Frank J. Bewkes: Conversion therapy has no place in Connecticut
The Hour
By Frank J. Bewkes
March 3, 2017

Imagine, as a parent, a medical professional recommending to you that your child undergo a therapy regimen that includes induced vomiting or paralysis, electric shocks, and extreme shaming. Chances are, you would not request it for your child, nor would ethical medical professionals provide the treatment.

Yet these are just some of the dangerous techniques that so-called “conversion therapy” — the ineffective and discredited practices that attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity — uses. Shockingly, conversion therapy remains legal in Connecticut — even for children.

Hopefully, thanks to a new bill introduced this session by state Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, and state Rep. Jeff Currey, D-East Hartford, this will soon no longer be the case. The bill, HB 6695, would prohibit licensed health professionals from providing conversion therapy to minors.
[…]
Children who experience such a strong rejection of their identities are almost six times more likely to experience high levels of depression and are more than eight times more likely to have attempted suicide. This is especially concerning, considering that, according to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Connecticut’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are already more likely to be bullied, experience depression, and consider or attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
The there was also an article in the Hartford Courant by Dr. Christy Olezeski of the the Yale School of Medicine and by  Laura M. I. Saunders PhD at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital.

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