Sunday, June 29, 2008
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of birds chirping in the morning
What sound or noise do you hate?
Car stereos, the boom, boom, boom, daboom.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I am starting over in a new career; from engineering to social work and community organizer.
What profession would you not like to do?
Social Work Education Reporter, 1997
That is how my textbook on Human Behavior in the Micro Environment begins; it goes to the heart of my pensiveness. Not many people give their gender much thought, but I have. It has been one year since I transitioned and accord to the medical standards of care; I am eligible for surgery…
…eligibility requirement is: a person must live full time in the preferred gender for twelve months prior to genital surgery. To meet this criterion, the professional needs to document that the real-life experience has occurred for this duration.
The questions are. Am I ready? Moreover, do I want to have the surgery?
This past year has been a rollercoaster for me with unbelievable high and gut retching lows. At times, it has been very stressful. I have found this year to be truly rewarding leading me down paths that I could only imagine a couple of years ago. If you told me back in 1999 that I would be walking the halls of Congress, lobbying in the sate Capital, taking part in panel discussion before an audience of a couple of hundred of people or meeting people that have changed the course of human rights, I would have asked you if I could have some of what you were smoking. But all that still does not answer the question, am I ready?
After a year of living full time as a trans-woman I feel no different that I did before I transitioned, I am still me. I wrote this poem before I transitioned…
I look in the mirror and I see a man.
I blink, and I see a woman.
But, I am I.
I don’t feel any different.
How can I be both?
Can both survive?
Will one have to be destroyed, in order for the other to live?
Will I still be me?
I think I can answer that now; yes, I am still the person I was before I transitioned.
Before I was stressed out because I was living two lives, my public life and “Diana” life, that stress caused me to have medical complications with my heart. I now worry about the stress of being called “Sir” on the phone. I received a call the other day asking for “Diana” and I replied, “I am Diana” she didn’t believe and thought I was my brother and she went on about how she did believe me. Now when I have to call the credit card company I expect to be transferred over to security. I worry about the stress of having to deal with idiots. I went to the local hardware store to get my propane tank filled for the seasons, I asked at the lumber counter about getting the tank filled and they directed me to the front counter. As I was walking up to the front of the building, I could hear them giggling and when I came back, I could hear them saying them say, “He’s coming back.” I worry about using the bathroom, when I am in the women’s bathroom, I do not talk in the bathroom because I worry about my deep voice. Most women have absolutely no problem with me using the women’s room but I worry about that one time when someone challenges me. I worry that this stress might bring back my medical problems cause by this stress.
I have met many new friends in the LGBT community and I have met many new friends in the straight community. They have welcomed me as Diana for who I am. I have found that the vast majority of people are friendly and open. As a man, I do not think any stranglers ever started a conversation with me, as a trans-woman I had strangers ask me questions or start a conversation which I am still getting use to.
However, I still see myself as that shy person who sits over in the corner by himself or herself watching the world go by them. I still feel that I have not changed and the world has not changed around me. I do not feel like I am a woman but at the same time I do not feel like I am a man, I just feel like me. I do not feel that this is a new paradigm, but still the same paradigm that I looked through all my life. I feel that I am still looking through the same set of lens.
So that question that I am asking is, should I have the surgery or wait until this rollercoaster settles down in to a smoother ride? For now, I think I am going to differ surgery for another year.
1. How many clocks in your home or office are set ahead of the actual time so that you can stay on schedule?
None, I am usually late and it seems to be a trait that runs in family.
2. Which space is neater: your office or “work” space or your living room?
Neither, they were both very messy.
3. Which room of your home is in need of the most cleaning?
4. Take the quiz: What does your workspace say about you?
What Your Workspace Says About You
You are not organized in the least. Everything in your life pretty much survives of chaos.
You tend to work at your own pace. If this means things don't
You enjoy your job and don't feel guilty about how much time you spend working. You have a good balance between work and your personal life.
You are still trying to figure out your ideal career. You could quit your current job on any given day.
At work, you are an introvert. You don't like people coming around your work space.
5. If your co-workers saw your home after seeing your office/cubicle/workspace, would they be surprised?
Nope, they are both the same.
6. How many family members do you have on display for your co-workers to see?
None, I never had any photos of my family on my deck.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Here is some of what they are saying…
Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays:
“Homosexuals and their transgender activist allies hope to use this hearing as a way of forcing the imposition of gender confusion upon all Americans,” said Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) Executive Director Regina Griggs today. “Instead of treating transsexualism and cross-dressing behaviors as Gender Identity Disorders (GID) as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Democrats seem determined to make these behaviors into federally-protected minorities.”
“Why should Congress force Americans to provide workplace accommodations for people who are confused about whether they’re male or female? How can Congress force us to make believe that a man is really a woman or a woman is really a man?”
One News Now
Peter LaBarbera is president of the conservative group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. "This appears to me as if the homosexual lobby is throwing a bone to the transgender activists," he argues. "They dropped the transgender movement as part of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and yet they still have to show their support for this radical movement, which we believe is all about mainstreaming gender confusion," LaBarbera contends.
According to LaBarbera, the transgender movement poses a problem for the "gay" movement because when most people see "big bulky men in dresses" they immediately "recoil." He says he never thought he would see the day when there would be so many powerful forces on Capitol Hill pushing for the "stepchild of gay rights" – civil rights based on gender confusion.
"What Americans have to realize is that, if you get the federal government behind this perversion of civil rights, it will have a cascading effect throughout the whole American society," LaBarbera explains. "Small businesses could be forced to hire people embracing gender confusion. You have people in jobs that face the public such as a maitre d' in a restaurant – a man decides that he is really a woman and he is going to start dressing as a woman." Essential, says the family advocate, it could "circumscribe the ability of an employer to not have a gender-confused person in the face of the public."
Sexual deviancy advocacy groups such as the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force -- as well as the American Civil Liberties Union -- have reportedly been meeting regularly to coordinate a strategy for today's hearing.
Traditional Values Coalition
“Why is the House of Representatives wasting taxpayer dollars to discuss whether or not drag queens or she-males are offended because of their cross-dressing or sexual behaviors in a business environment? I already know the answer: Because liberals like Robert Andrews are aggressively promoting the normalization of cross-dressing and transsexualism in our culture,” said Lafferty [TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty.]
Concerned Women for America(CWA)
"This hearing appears to be a step toward passing legal restrictions against identifying men as men, and women as women," said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). "'Gender identity' is a fluid term that is difficult to nail down. On top of that, advocates want to restrict the 'perception' of gender identity.
The conservative religious right talks about a “Homosexual Agenda” well they have their own agenda and they have used the same argument every time there is a change in social justice, be it ending slavery, women's suffrage, the civil rights movement and now the gay and trans rights movement. That it is against the natural order of things and they do it by demonizing and using inflammatory language.
The videos of the hearing are posted here on the NCTE YouTube site. The one with the questioning by the Rep. Andrew, the Chairman of Mr. Lavy about religious exemptions is this one and is about five minutes into the clip, right after Mr. Minte testimony.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
1. Birthdays are _just another day for me_.
2. _Fall_ is my favorite season because _I love change in seasons with just a hint of frost in the air_.
3. I feel my best when _when I am with friends_.
4. _Lobster_ is my favorite food! (Those who follow my blog will not be surprise with my answer)
5. First impressions are _very important_.
6. The best piece of advice I ever received was _to be yourself_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _the reception at college for the new students_, tomorrow my plans include _doing nothing (WOW imagine that!)_ and Sunday, I want to _reading and doing wash_!
The Congressional "Examination of Discrimination Against Trangender Americans in the Workplace" Hearings
I thought that they choose good representatives for the trans-community. The people testifying were: Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director for National Center for Lesbian Rights; Diane Schroer, Retired Colonel US Army she was hired by the Library of Congress and was immediately fired when she to them she was transitioning; Diego Sanchez, Director of Public Relations and External Affairs for AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts; Sabrina Marcus Taraboletti, Former Space Shuttle Engineer and Bill Hendrix, Chair of Gays, Lesbians, and Allies at Dow (GLAD) for Dow Chemical Company. Each told their story about how they had to struggle in order to get a job or still trying to get a job. Ms. Taraboletti was fired from her job as an engineer with a sub-contractor and once she transitioned, she was fired. She got a job with the Florida Highway Department and when her co-workers started to harass her they fired her; she still hasn’t found a new job and her savings are almost going.
The minority party had the following witnesses: JC Miller, Partner at Thompson Hine and Glen Lavy, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defense Fund. What did Ms. Miller talk about bathrooms! Why do they always bring up bathrooms? Mr. Lavy talked about religious exemptions, how a gender inclusive bill would force people to have to deal with transgender persons, force them to hire transgender, force them to face transgender people, that it would be wrong for them to have to interact with transgender people.
After their testimonies, the committee got to question the witnesses and the Chairman was the first to ask questions. He asked Mr. Lavy if he thought it was OK for a Orthodox Jewish person not to hire a Christian and he answered no. Then Chairman Rep. Andrew asked if would be OK if a person whose religion believed in pacifism didn’t hire a Marine reservist, Mr. Lavy danced around the question and didn’t really answer the questions. Rep. Andrew that asked him if would be OK if a person whose religion believed in white supremacy didn’t hire a black person. Mr. Lavy also danced around that hemming and hawing. Mr. Minte was asked about bathrooms, if in any of the states or municipalities that have gender identity anti-discrimination statues have they had any problems with transgender people using bathrooms, he answered no and that most businesses work out a mutually agreeable plan.
For more information you can read about it here and here. Rep Baldwin testimony is here. On Donna Rose's blog she has audio clips of the hearing here.
Update: June 27, 2008
During the hearing Rep. Sanchez quoted Dr. King and I was looking for the quote, I found it on Autumn Sandeen blog "The View From (Ab)Normal Heights"...
Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.
Congressional Hearing on An Examination of Discrimination Against Trangender Americans in the Workplace
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Jude had the correct answer… “Just one, but s/he needs two letters of recommendation, one of which has to come from an MD or PhD, and s/he needs to demonstrate the ability to live in the dark for one year.....”
Those who are not trans are probably thinking “I don’t get it. What is funny about that?” Well, in order for us to get hormones we need to get a letter from a mental health care provider and we need two letters of recommendation for surgery. That is a major sore point in the trans-community, because we have to go through “gatekeepers” which require us to live a minimum of one year full time and then get the two letters of recommendation for the surgery.
What gets me upset is that somebody on their own decided that there must be an “error” and “corrected” it. I do not know how someone without supervision or paperwork can change a name. When I changed it last year, there was paperwork that I had to fill out, I had to send them a copy of the Probate Court order and now they didn’t even ask me if there was an error, they just “corrected” it. I contacted them and they said that they are researching it and will let me know what they find. AGH!!!
Update: I just got a new insurance card in the mail with my old name on it.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Now, the rules:
a) Link to the person who tagged me.
b) Mention the rules.
c) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.
d) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them.
e) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.
Quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #1.
My right foot is almost a size bigger than my left foot.
Quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #2
I am a very fussy eater, I do not like my food mixed together
Quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #3.
When I get nervous, I tend to pick labels off bottles.
Quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #4.
I was always the last person chosen on a team in high school gym class.
Quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #5.
I use to hang glide.
And the last quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself #6.
I can wiggle my ears.
I will break the rules and not tag any one.
Thursday, June 26th the first-ever Congressional hearing on transgender issues will be held by the Health Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee of the Education and Labor Committee.
Why is the Hearing on June 26th so Historic?
Until now, no committee in either the United States Senate or House of Representatives has ever held hearings specifically on transgender people. Until recently, transgender issues just haven’t been on the agenda in Congress. Collectively the work of NCTE and other transgender and allied advocates has put job protections for transgender people on the federal agenda. The hearings represent a significant step forward.
Where And When Is The Hearing?
The hearing will be held at 10:30AM (EST) until about Noon in Room 2175 of the Rayburn House office Building in Washington, DC. It is scheduled for approximately one and one half hours.
Why do I think that this hearing is so important?
Because of what happen to the Gender Inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) last year, it was removed and a Gender Non-Inclusive ENDA substituted in its place, this will be our chance to show why the Gender Inclusive ENDA should be passed.
It is important because we get to tell our story, I have found that our stories are compelling and moving. Those with open minds and who listen, I think will be moved. After the witnesses make their statement and can be questioned by the panel members. It should be very telling what questions are asked of the witnesses, it will give an insight to where the panel members stand on the bill.
As I understand it, the majority members will get to call five witnesses and the minority members will get to call two witnesses. It should be very interesting to see whom the minority members call as witnesses; will it be someone like Dr. J. Michael Bailey and Dr. Paul McHugh?
No matter who get called as witnesses or what the question that are asked, it will be a very upbeat day and history will be made.
Once I hear if the hearings will be telecast on CSPAN, I will pass along the information.
Monday, June 23, 2008
After calling the insurance company, navigating their phone tree and getting sent from one office to another I finally go hold of someone who knew what I was talking about. He said I needed a copy of the Probate Court order assigning an administrator for my father’s estate…
“It’s a paper with the name of executor of the estate.”
“We never got one, only papers telling us how much we owe in taxes”
“Well I need a paper that says who the executor is.”
“We never got one.”
“Well I need one.”
So it was off to the Probate Court and after two hours, I got the paper naming me (Diana) the administratrix of his estate for purpose of the insurance policy. And there in lies the rub, the policy is in the name of Donald L. not Diana L. So everywhere, they wrote Diana L. they also wrote AKA Donald L. and I attacked my Probate Court Order for my name change to the paperwork that I sent to the insurance company.
In a couple of days I expect a phone call from the insurance company asking what is this all about and I will have to explain to them that I am trans.
It is so much fun being trans. (sic)
I do not know why this insurance company needs to see paperwork about the administrator, none of the other insurance companies wanted to see it. All they wanted was a copy of the Death Certificate.
Are you a talker or a listener? Is it ever possible to really be both?
I think that you can be both, when I have something to talk about I can talk for hours. But when someone needs to be listened to, I can take the time to listen to the.
Do you think God has a sense of humor?
Yes, I am the proof.
Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever experienced it?
No and no. I do not believe that a person can get to know one and other at first sight. That it takes time to learn about each other. You might be attracted at first sight and want to get to know them better, but love them, no.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
That is a question that many of us in the trans-community ponder, I do not think that there is a definitive answer, but we are getting closer to an answer.
Last month I wrote about an NPR program, “All Things Considered – ‘Two Families Grapple with Sons' Gender Preferences’” where two doctors took different approaches on how to raise a gender variant child. The first approach was to let the child follow their own path and the other approach was Dr. Zucker method of forcing a child to be their birth gender.
However, there are some studies that can shed some light on the debate. I was reading an article, “Mom accepts transgender
study suggests that’s possible. Johns Hopkins Hospital
The study followed 27 genetically male infants who were born without p---ses [I am censoring the words so that Google does not use them for search words] and raised as girls, according to an Associated Press report. As the kids grew up, all of them displayed male characteristics and 14 insisted they were boys.
“These studies indicate that with time and age, children may well know what their gender is, regardless of any and all information and child-rearing to the contrary,” Dr. William G. Reiner, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and urologist at the
Children’s Center, told The Associated Press. “They seem to be quite capable of telling us who they are." Hopkins
So I googled him and came up with an interesting article in the New York Times…
Declaring With Clarity, When Gender Is Ambiguous
Article Tools Sponsored By
By CLAUDIA DREIFUS
Published: May 31, 2005
Q. How did you begin with your unusual specialty?
A. In the early 1980's, I was a urologist in central California, and this remarkable 14-year-old "girl" came to my office. "I'm a boy, not a girl," this child declared.
The child had an intersex condition. At birth, he didn't have a p---s, but rather something that appeared more like an enlarged c------s. He had a partial testicle on one side. Internally, he was half female, and he looked more female than male. Indeed, since infancy, his parents had raised him female.
Since puberty, however, that one testicle had begun producing enough male hormones to masculinize him. To all he now insisted, "You've got it wrong: I'm a boy!"
Until the 1950's, when an intersex child was born, they were let be. But starting in the 1950's, the general approach was to make the child into one sex or another. If it was a partially masculinized female, there was a surgical attempt to turn her into a "normal" female. Structures were created so that she could have intercourse later.
If the child was a genetic male, the question was, Will the adult p---s be large enough for sexual intercourse? The vast majority of the children with severe inadequacy of the p---s were converted to "female" surgically and then raised as girls.
Q. So the prescription for the intersex boys was castrate them and put them into a dress?
A. The problem was, In a large number of children, as with my first intersex patient, it never took. Gender has far more to do with other important structures than external genitals.
Q. How do you know what constitutes gender identity?
A. As part of a research study, I've personally seen and assessed 400 children with major anomalies of the genitals. Of those, approximately 100 might be called "intersex." Our findings have been many and complex. The most important is that about 60 percent of the genetic male children raised as female have retransitioned into males.
We also found that of this group there were some genetically male children, who despite genital anomalies were raised as males, and they continued to declare themselves as male.
This is very powerful, what he is saying is that gender is not a social construct but is a part of us, of who we are. If a boy who is raised as a girl with female genital can tell that they are a boy, then it is very possible that a boy can tell that he is transgender.
Q. What conclusions can you draw about the eventual sexual identity of an intersex child?
A. That you can castrate a male at birth, create a female genital structure, raise the child as a girl, and in a majority of the cases, they'll still recognize themselves as male. Now many of the children I've seen are still young. I don't know what will happen as they get older.
The larger point is that it's been a monstrous failure, this idea that you can convert a child's sex by making over the child's genitals in the sex you've chosen. This began in the 1950's, when surgeons who felt helpless when they encountered intersex children thought they were helping them with sexual reassignment. The psychologists were saying, "You can make a boy or a girl or anything you want." It wasn't true. The children often knew it.
And that is what Dr Zucker is still saying that you can force a transgender child to live their live as their birth sex and everything will come out all right.
Q. What conclusions do you draw from your study?
A. That sexual identity is individual, unique and intuitive and that the only person who really knows what it is is the person themselves. If we as physicians or scientists want to know about a person's sexual identity, we have to ask them.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
1. The other day I purchased gas for $3.96, which was less than the $4.37 my local station charges per gallon. What is the current gas price in your area for regular?
Today I was in Norwalk CT and the price of gas was $4.45. Yesterday, I was in Hillsboro NH and it was $3.92 and here at home in central Connecticut it is $4.19
2. Will your vacation plans be altered by the price of gas?
No, I will be going up to the family cottage in New Hampshire just as much as I did last year (I drive a Prius and my mileage on the current tank full is 51.2mpg)
3. Is there any movie this summer that you're looking forward to seeing?
No, I am not a big movie fan; I can take ‘em or leave ‘em. But if it is a Harry Potter movie then I will make an exception and go out to the movies.
4. Gas prices aside, what is your favorite vacation destination?
Our lake cottage in New Hampshire, the coast of Maine and Cape Cod.
5. Will you watch more film on DVD than in theaters this summer?
No, see answer #3
6. Will you fly anywhere this summer?
Nope, no plans to fly anywhere this year, next year maybe but I might take the train instead.
7. Guess: How high will a gallon of gas peak at?
Since the price of gas is already $4.45 on the Gold Coast of Connecticut, I can see it easily pass $5.00 a gallon.
8. Will gas prices effect who you vote for in this fall's election?
Yes, I do not believe drilling for more oil is the answer. I believe conservation and renewable sources of energy is the way to go. I do however favor nuclear power.
9. How much will the price of home heating oil affect you?
Wow, now you hit a sore point with me. I can always cut back in my driving but I have already set my thermostat to 65 during the day and 55 at night, closed off the unused rooms. I can’t go much lower on the temperature, and it is hurting me since I am on a fixed income now that I am retired.
1. What is your biggest distraction in a normal day?
2. On an average day, do you feel like you accomplish more than you should, less than you should, or something in between?
Less than I should, I am always on this darn computer answering these stupid memes. Being retired, I tend to procrastinate more.
3. If you know that a close friend has a serious problem, do you ever let that worry you to the extent that it distracts you from things you need to do?
Yes, I am very emphatic towards others. Maybe that is why I am going into Social Work as a second career.
4. Take the quiz: How’s Your Attention Span?
Your Attention Span is Medium
Your attention span is just about average.
You may think that you have a short attention span...
But being distracted is something most people struggle with.
The most important thing is that you're aware that your mind wanders.
If you find yourself daydreaming, you can usually snap out of it.
It may be tough to concentrate at times, but you can do it... if you want to!
5. Do you generally find yourself more distracted in the morning or the afternoon?
In the afternoon, I am more focused in the morning.
6. What works best for you in terms of removing the distraction and getting back to work?
Have someone around, I feel guilty if someone is there with me. I was just painting up at the family cottage for most of the week, if I was alone nothing would have gotten done.
1. A smile
2. _Backgammon _ is my favorite board game
3. I would love to have more _love_ in my life and less _aggravation _.
4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of _that it stays light out until after 9:00pm_.
5. I just remembered I need to _go grocery shopping_.
6. One of my favorite song lyrics goes like this:
I like the way your sparkling earrings lay,
against your skin, it's so brown
and I wanna sleep with you
in the desert tonight
with a billion stars all around
'cause I gotta peaceful easy feeling
and I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing on the
Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling
7. And as for the weekend, tonight (last night) I’m looking forward to _driving home_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the Norwalk Pride Party_ and Sunday, I want to _go to the closing reception for Kansara's and Choi's solo exhibitions at Real Art Ways_!
In-between painting, I took these photos…
These are some of the headlines that MassResistance have on their web-site entitled…
Transgender pride on parade: Public celebration by very disturbed people.Very evidently, they have a different view of the trans-community that I have. I will not comment any further because their words speak for them. I know that anything that I say will not change their opinions of us, I am just thankful because the number of people who share their opinions are a very small and that the majority of people are more tolerant.
If you walked onto the main street in Northampton, MA on Saturday, June 7, this is what you would have run into. In foreground: woman with beard (wearing green cap) and two men with breasts (in red shirt and blue hat).
Gruesome public display of body mutilations:
This is where the transgender movement wants to take us. These women have purposefully had their breasts surgically cut off because they want to become men. Obviously, this surgery cannot be reversed. As a further act of defiance and expression of their anger at "transphobic" society, they remove their shirts and parade their scars in public. They also take huge amounts of male hormones. These people have very, very serious psychological issues.
Transgender Parade Part 2: Disturbed men of Massachusetts
The transgender movement encourages men to take female hormones, have breast augmentation surgery, and even remove their male sex organs. In any case, serious psychological issues are at work here. These people need help, not encouragement.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
More painting and donating my blood to the black flies.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Resolution: 122 (A-08)
Introduced by: Resident and Fellow Section
New York Delegation
Subject: Removing Financial Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients
Referred to: Reference Committee A (Linda B. Ford, MD, Chair)
Whereas, Our American Medical Association opposes discrimination on the basis of gender identity ; and
Whereas, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a serious medical condition recognized as such in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Ed., Text Revision) (DSM-IV-TR) and the International Classification of Diseases (10th Revision) , and is characterized in the DSM-IV-TR as a persistent discomfort with one’s assigned sex and with one’s primary and secondary sex characteristics, which causes intense emotional pain and suffering ; and
Whereas, GID, if left untreated, can result in clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression and, for some people without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicidality and death ; and
Whereas, The World Professional Association For Transgender Health, Inc. (“WPATH”) is the leading international, interdisciplinary professional organization devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders , and has established internationally accepted Standards of Care for providing medical treatment for people with GID, including mental health care, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery, which are designed to promote the health and welfare of persons with GID and are recognized within the medical community to be the standard of care for treating people with GID; and
Whereas, An established body of medical research demonstrates the effectiveness and medical necessity of mental health care, hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery as forms of therapeutic treatment for many people diagnosed with GID7; and
Whereas, Health experts in GID, including WPATH, have rejected the myth that such treatments are “cosmetic” or “experimental” and have recognized that these treatments can provide safe and effective treatment for a serious health condition ; and
Whereas, Physicians treating persons with GID must be able to provide the correct treatment necessary for a patient in order to achieve genuine and lasting comfort with his or her gender, based on the person’s individual needs and medical history ; and
Whereas, Our AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence and sound medical opinion , ; and
Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, breast augmentation and removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are often covered for other medical conditions; and
Whereas, The denial of these otherwise covered benefits for patients suffering from GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient’s gender identity; and
Whereas, Delaying treatment for GID can cause and/or aggravate additional serious and expensive health problems, such as stress-related physical illnesses, depression, and substance abuse problems, which further endanger patients’ health and strain the health care system; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder (New HOD Policy); and be it further
RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder when prescribed by a physician. (Directive to Take Action)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Resolution: 114 (A-08)
Introduced by: Medical Student Section
Subject: Removing Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients
Referred to: Reference Committee A
(Linda B. Ford, MD, Chair)
Whereas, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a serious medical condition recognized as such in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases; and
Whereas, GID, if left untreated, can result in clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression, and, for some patients without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicidality and death; and
Whereas, The medical literature has established the effectiveness and medical necessity of mental health care, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgery in the treatment of patients diagnosed with GID; and
Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, breast augmentation and removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are covered for other medical conditions; and
Whereas, The denial of otherwise covered benefits for patients diagnosed with GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient’s gender identity; and
Whereas, Our AMA opposes discrimination (AMA Policies H-65.983, H-65.992) and the denial of health insurance (H-180.980) on the basis of gender identity; and
Whereas, Our AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence and sound medical opinion (H-120.988); therefore be it
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults (New HOD Policy); and be it further
RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults when prescribed by a physician. (New HOD Policy)
Pay attention to #’s 61, 62, 64, 74 (if you are really good you can spot me in this photo also) and 11.
Earlier I was up at the cottage painting. I finished the deck by the lake (the one I am leaning on in my Avatar) and started on the main deck. We had problems with the boat; the outboard motor would not raise or lower, probably because it sank last year. Therefore, it is back to the marina to have that repaired. The good news was that we found the dock way down the other end of the lake.
This video (24 seconds long) is of the lake early Friday morning, the sound is on, and the lake is just so quite and peaceful with just the birds singing in the background that you cannot hear anything.
The water is smooth as glass, there wasn't a breath of a breeze that early in the morning and the day turned out to be beautiful, upper seventies and low humidity.
The dial-up internet connection is SLOW! It is nice to be able to check your email but trying to do anything else is dead show, I tried to check the weather radar for a local TV station and it over ten minutes to load... UGH! Visiting blogs is just too time consuming, so I will not be doing any memes while I am at the cottage.
If your personality had to be summed up as a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?
I could say a bologna sandwich, but that is not true. I would have to say an Italian combo sub (or hero or hoagie or grinder or poor boy, depending on where you are from) because it is a complex sandwich.
If you knew that someone was dying, but they didn’t know, would you tell them the truth or deceive them about it?
Oh, that is a very hard question to answer; it depends on a lot of variables. Like who made the decision not to tell them, was it the family, spouse, doctors? And, why did they decide not to tell them. I think you have to factor in all the reasons before you make the decision to tell or not to tell them.
Do you dress the same when you are depressed as you do when you are very happy?
Do you mean if I dress in bright colors when I am happy or drab colors when I am sad? No. I think I do not dress differently when I am happy or sad, at least not consciously.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
On Sunday, I have a Handfasting in Easthampton MA, two friends are tying the knot it and it will be the first Wiccan ceremony that I have ever attended. It should be interesting and I am looking forward to attending. It will also be the first time I have attended a marriage as Diana; the couple are two trans-women so most of the guests will be trans.
Hmm… where can I get a card for a Handfasting for two women? Probably Northampton.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Well I feel it is a “Big Deal” because of Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and the argument by many of those who favor the non-inclusive bill saying that we have not earned our right to be included (as if civil rights is something that has to be earned) in the ENDA law. By writing us out of the history, it lends legitimacy to their argument, so we must challenge any attempt to write us out of history.
This was not the first time that we were written out of history and pushed aside; “Queers Without Borders” has a good historic film clip from a PBS show called “Question of Equality” with footage of Sylvia Rivera on stage at the 1973 New York Pride festival.
Less we forget… here is a short list of events that shaped modern trans-history:
1965 -- Philadelphia’s Dewey’s Lunch Uprising Counter
1967 -- San Francisco’s Compton’s Cafeteria Uprising
1969 -- New York’s Stonewall Uprising - Sylvia Rivera was one of the rioters who took part in the uprising along with our gay and lesbians brothers and sisters.
1969 -- Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) - Sylvia Rivera was on of the founders of these organizations and was forced out because she didn’t fit the image that the organizations wanted portray.
1970 -- Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) - Sylvia Rivera was one of the founders of STAR.
1973 -- New York Pride - Sylvia Rivera forced her way on stage to protest the exclusion of “Drag Queens” from the Pride.
1975 -- Minneapolis passed a groundbreaking ordinance protecting "affectional preference" and defining it as "having or manifesting an emotional or physical attachment to another consenting person or persons, or having or projecting a self-image not associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness."
1979 -- National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights – once again the trans-community was told that we were not welcome
1993 -- The Transsexual Menace
1993 -- TransActivists working for many years with Gay and Lesbian activists, successfully pass an anti-discrimination law in the State of Minnesota protecting transsexual and transgendered people along with Gays and Lesbians.
1993 -- Jessica Xavier founded It’s Time, America!
1995 -- Riki Wilchins founded the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition GenderPAC
1995 -- Action Alert: EDNA to lobby for a gender inclusive bill
1999 -- National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) founded.
2003 -- National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) founded
Our activism spans more than four decades and we cannot let our history be rewritten by the likes of DaBrow and Rep. Barney Frank.
Monday, June 09, 2008
What is your ideal age?
Sixty, since that is how old I am going to be this year and it will be my best year yet.
What is your best excuse for being late?
No excuse, if you are late you shouldn’t make excuses and this is from a person who is always chronically late. I am always running around looking for stuff that I should have had gotten ready earlier instead of the last minute.
If you had to give yourself a nickname what would it be?
Dee, that is what my brother calls me. It is hard for him to call me Diana after fifty years of calling me Don, so we informally settled on Dee.
Glenn Koetzner, a friend has posted his pictures
Donna Rose’s photo album (excellent, you can really get the feel of the size of the march.)
The New England Blade has a number of the speakers on YouTube
Monica Roberts’ blog TransGriot
Donna Rose’s blog The Donna’s Blog
Jeriemarie Liesegang speech is posted here
Staci’s blog Femulate
I will post other links as they become available.
See also my blog entry on the March and Rally
Sunday, June 08, 2008
That was what I was at the first ever Northampton Trans Pride, the temperature was well into the 90’s and very humid and I baked sitting out on the asphalt parking lot. I had a big golf umbrella that I taped to the back of the chair that gave me some shade and a little relief.
The morning started out overcast when we were at the muster point for the march and the temperature wasn’t bad, but the sun came out and the temperature climbed fast into the 90’s.
When I got to where the march would begin, there were are ready hundreds of trans-people there and more were pouring in.We waited there for the march to being and from what I heard when talking to some friends who were organizing the march they said that there were over 800 people there.
The speakers were fantastic, Miss Majors was the Grand Marshal of Trans Pride, she was one of the rioters in the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Living proof that we were there at Stonewall even through some people want us to forget that we were.
After the rally, we went up to a reception given by GLAD.
For more photographs of the March and Rally see my blog entry here.
This was my first try at using a new camera; I bought a Olympus FE310 because I wanted a camera that I could carry in my pocketbook. At the time I didn’t know that it could also take movies, but with a 2Gig memory card it can record over 30 minutes of video.
1. Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
2. Are you more of your own worst critic, or do you tend to be everyone else’s worst critic instead?
I am my own worst critic.
3. How do you feel about technological advances: are you generally optimistic that a new system will make life better or worse?
I like technology and it can help us in our quest for energy independence.
4. Take the quiz: Are you too negative?
You Are a Positive Person
No one would accuse you of being too negative!
You're a naturally upbeat and optimistic person.
Like everyone else, you come across things you can't stand every day.
But unlike everyone else, you ignore what annoys you and focus on what uplifts you.
5. A friend asks you opinion about something, and you know that being honest might hurt his or her feelings. How honest are you likely to be?
It all depends on what they are asking, if they ask if their dress makes them look fat or if the ask if they should buy the big SUV that they love.
6. You see a panhandler on the street: which tends to be closer to your immediate impression: that he’s a good person who’s down on his luck or a bad person who doesn’t want to work?
A good person who is down on his luck, but that doesn’t mean I will give them any money.
Friday, June 06, 2008
An example of revisionist history is this month’s editorial in Metroline, one of the largest LGBT magazines in the northeast, in an editorial, they completely wrote us out of Stonewall…
As we enter the Pride month I for one hope the community takes a moment to reflect back on all the effort put forth by gay men and women in the past to secure the freedom and acceptance we currently enjoy today. Fighting during a period in time where it was hazardous to one’s physical health to be on the forefront. Stonewall was not simply an activist protest where they went home afterwards and partied. They were beaten and dragged away to jail by the police. It was a time when fag bashing was an accepted method of controlling homos and keeping them out of the neighborhood. There were no drag queens there at all. It was gay human beings simply standing up for being who they were. Making a stand even though they fully knew the dangers of doing so. That’s true courage no different than that on a battlefield.This was in New England Blade…
Besides Sylvia Rivera, these transgender individuals — among others — are veterans of Stonewall: Marsha P. Johnson, Daria Modon, Miss Major, China Fucito, and Storme DeLarverie. When riot control police arrived at the Stonewall to rescue officers trapped inside the bar and break up the demonstration, a group of drag queens formed a chorus line, kicked up their heels, and taunted police by singing, "We are the Stonewall girls / We wear our hair in curls / We wear no underwear / We wear our dungarees / Above our nelly knees!" And throughout the first night of the riots, police singled out many transgender and transsexual people and gender non-conformists, including butch women and effeminate men, often beating them. If it were not for the Stonewall veterans — including drag queens, trans people, and transsexuals alongside gays and lesbians — we would not have the community assets and organizations we have today, from GLAAD and GMHC to Lambda Legal Defense and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.There is a difference between the two versions. The second article was written by Bet Power, a trans-man who…
“is the director and curator of the Sexual Minorities Archives, a national collection of LGBTI literature, history, and art since 1974, located in Northampton, Mass.”Now you can see why some people in the trans-community do not trust the gay and lesbian communities and for that reason Trans-Pride came about
1. Idle hands are _not doing any work_.
2. I love _singing_ in the shower.
3. My favorite time of the day is when _sunset, I love sitting out on the cottage deck looking out over the lake and watching the sun set_.
4. The last tea I drank
was is _right now; I have a pot of tea sitting here on the kitchen table_.
5. I like to _dip in the lake when its hot_ in the Summer.
6. My mother always said _I have lovely hands_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _doing nothing (when was the last time you saw me say that?)_, tomorrow my plans include _going to the Trans-Pride Rally (see below)_ and Sunday, I want to _finding some shade to cool off (no walking today, it is going to be over 90F) _!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
11:00 a.m. Marchers assemble at Lampron Park.
Noon March steps off.
12:30 – 12:45 p.m. Marchers arrive at Armory St. Lot and take their seats.
12:45 – 12:50 p.m. Welcome by MC Louis Mitchell and Mayor’s Proclamation is read by Mayor Clare Higgins
12:50 – 1:00 p.m. Elected official(s) TBD
1:00 – 1:10 p.m. Miss Major (Grand Marshal, TGIJP)
1:10 – 1:20 p.m. Gunner Scott (MTPC)
1:20 – 1:30 p.m. Jerimarie Liesegang (CT Trans Advocacy)
1:30 – 1:40 p.m. Jill Berlin (TransForming Families)
1:40 – 1:45 p.m. Elliot Holloway (Trans youth)
1:45 – 2:00 p.m. Ellen Wittlinger (author reading from Parrotfish)
2:00 – 2:05 p.m. Alex Pangborn (Generation Q)
2:05 – 2:15 p.m. Lee Elder (FTM folksinger)
2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Joe Stevens (of Coyote Grace)
2:30 – 2:40 p.m. Announcements / Intermission
2:40 – 2:50 p.m. Monica Roberts (Trans Griot, early NTAC)
2:50 – 3:10 p.m. New England Transgender Pride Steering Committee members:
Bet Power (5 min.)
Marie Ali (5 min.)
Dru Levasseur (5 min.)
Jacklyn Matts (5 min.)
3:10 – 3:25 p.m. Statement from Leslie Feinberg
3:25 – 3:35 p.m. Moonhawk River Stone
3:35 – 3:40 p.m. Vickie Boisseau (Intersex activist)
3:40 – 3:50 p.m. Imani Henry
3:50 – 4:00 p.m. Dr. Enoch Page
4:00 – 4:10 p.m. Cathy Worthley (MTF folksinger)
4:10 – 4:20 p.m. Ethan St. Pierre (TransFM Radio)
4:20 – 4:30 p.m. Donna Rose (TransEducate, former HRC)
4:30 – 4:45 p.m. A new work by Kate Bornstein, read by Bet Power
4:45 – 5:05 p.m. All The Kings Men: Boston’s Drag Troupe
Afterward I will be attending the party given by Gay Lesbian Advocate and Defender…
GLAD Transgender Pride Reception
Bishop’s Lounge (at Mulino’s Trattoria)
41 Strong Avenue, Northampton, MA
Saturday, June 7
5 - 8 p.m.
After the New England Trans Pride March in Northampton
Celebrate the launch of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project
With GLAD Senior Attorney and Transgender Rights Project Director, Jennifer Levi
More info: http://glad.org/Events/2008/trans-pride-reception/
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
In case no one else has told you, your name was dropped on this week's Radical Tranny podcast.
It is a little scary to hear yourself talked about and know a couple of thousand people are listening. I am mentioned about ten minutes into interview with Dru, they were talking about the panel I was on at the Transgender Lives conference back in April.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Trans community continues to face adversity despite protectionsHere in Connecticut, I think that we have to concentrate on educating the citizens of Connecticut about the purposed law and about gender and identity. It is not enough to pass a bill if the people do not know about the law and their rights.
by Joe Siegel
Tuesday Jun 3, 2008
Despite advances in protections for transgender individuals, discrimination is still widespread, according to activists.
"Most of the women of trans experience (designated male at birth) have been fired from one or more jobs due to their trans status," says Gavi Ansara, executive director of Lifelines Rhode Island. Lifelines is the state’s only statewide non-profit focused on trans, gender variant and inter-sex concerns.
In 2001 Rhode Island became the second state in the nation--following Minnesota in 1993--to adopt a non-discrimination law that clearly prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations. The law amends all of the state’s non-discrimination laws to ensure that transgender people who face discrimination may seek redress in the form of injunctive relief and damages.
However, trans people are still facing harassment at their jobs, even with the legal protections.
Additionally, Ansara has even heard stories about trans people getting ridiculed, harassed and escorted from stores by security when doing their shopping. In many instances, they have been prohibited from using the changing room or bathroom that matches their gender identity.
"Most have experienced sexual and other forms of workplace harassment, though sexual harassment laws do not appear to be applied equally to trans people," notes Ansara. "Many of these women have switched careers or accepted lower-paying work for which they are overqualified due to employment discrimination. For men of trans experience, many work in lower-paying jobs where they do not have to procure a resume."
Ansara continues, "This is a problem for many trans people--even those who pass as the gender with which they identify, the requirement of higher-paying positions to check references means that many have their trans history or status disclosed against their will by previous employers or other references."
Monday, June 02, 2008
You have accomplished a difficult task and hear someone else taking the credit. How do you deal with the situation?
I do not know, that is a hard question to answers. I guest it would depend on the circumstances and if I want to make a battle out of it. If it evolved my job or something that resulted in monetary loss, I would make a point of speaking up. But if it was a minor thing then I think I would keep my mouth shut otherwise you might come off as sounding like you are sour grapes. Nevertheless, I would make a mental note of it.
If you had to marry someone that you presently know unromantically, and spend the rest of your life as their spouse, who would you choose?
I would chose someone who was open minded and enjoyed life.
If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are living now?
Yes, I would go everywhere that I ever wanted to visit and do things that I am too shy or scared to do now.
I feel that one of the traits that make a good leader is to know when to cut your loses, when to mend fences and when to quit. Hillary Clinton has not shown that leadership, she is dragging out the primaries to the determent of the country and the party as can be seen by the outburst of Harriet Christian and the latest news reports…
I think now she is portraying herself as a sore loser.
Hillary Clinton: "It is not over 'til it's over"
Mon Jun 2, 2008 9:06am EDT
By Ellen Wulfhorst
RAPID CITY, South Dakota (Reuters) - It's almost over, isn't it?
That seems to be all anyone wants to know from the Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, but the only person who truly knows isn't telling.
"I'm sort of a day-at-a-time person, and we'll see when Tuesday and the day after Tuesday comes," Clinton said on board a late-night flight to South Dakota, where she planned to spend the last full day of the primary season campaigning.
The last two Democratic primaries are on Tuesday in South Dakota and Montana.
"My political obituary has yet to be written, and we're going forward," Clinton said. "It is not over 'til it's over."
The Clinton campaign, which wants to convince superdelegates that she is the stronger candidate against McCain, hoped to use the Puerto Rico result to support its argument but lower-than-expected turnout weakened the case.
Other cracks were appearing in a campaign that had stayed remarkably optimistic despite the political reality.
The candidate, whose persistence could be viewed either as fierce determination or outright obsession, seemed to flag a bit in Puerto Rico.
They have to deal with my transition which is a hard thing for some to handle and they have to tell their friends… well my brother is now my sister or my aunt who was my uncle. They have to learn how to deal with the fact that our family cottage is now and forever going to be known as – “that’s were that transsexual lives.”
Therefore, when we talk about transitioning we have to look at the global view of how the transition affects our family and friends and not just at our own transition. Some of us will lose everyone that we ever loved, some will never see their brothers or sisters ever again, some will not see their parents ever again. Those of us who are lucky will have our family at our side as we go through this transition.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
I took a hike. We went walking on the Farmington Canal Linear Park from Cheshire to Hamden about three miles one-way. The park follows the old “Farmington, Hampshire & Hampden Canal which later became the New Haven and Northampton Railroad and is now part of the Rails to Trails Greenway network.
The trail was mobbed with families pushing baby strollers, families riding bicycle built for two towing baby carriages, people rollerblading and walking. I always thought that it was an excellent idea to make these linear parks out of old rail track beds.
This is lock twelve along the trial in Cheshire, the lock has been restored and they can open and close.
The sides of the trail are lined with wildflowers and mountain laurel.
Transsexualism far more common than believed, say researchersI think that this study even under estimates the occurrence of transsexualism, I think that the rate of FtM’s is a lot closer to the rate of MtF’s.
By Ng Yi-Sheng
A new statistical study by Prof Femke Olyslager and Prof Emeritus Lynn Conway suggests Singapore rates for male-to-female transsexuals are over 1 in 2,000, whereas rates for female-to-male transsexuals are over 1 in 4,000.
It doesn’t help that the most commonly cited study for the natural frequency of transsexuals (done in the Netherlands in 1993) suggests that only 1 in 11,900 biological men are male-to-female transsexuals, and only 1 in 30,400 biological women are female-to-male transsexuals. Applying those statistics to Singapore, it translates into a paltry 188 MTF transsexuals and an even more insignificant 74 FTM transsexuals.
But last year, Prof Femke Olyslager and Prof Emeritus Lynn Conway presented a new statistical study completely overturning those numbers. Hailing respectively from Ghent University, Belgium and the University of Michigan, USA, the two are respected researchers in Electrical Engineering who also happen to be transsexual women. As Prof Olyslager was in Singapore for a physics conference last week, Lo persuaded her as a friend to present her findings to the local and international press.
Using their new method, Olyslager and Conway have calculated these rates as being 1 in 2,000 and 1 in 5,600 for MTF and FTM transsexuals respectively. Re-calibrating to allow for surgeries abroad and transsexuals who choose not to have surgery, they estimate that Singapore rates are closer to 1 in 2,000 to 1 in 1,000 for MTF transsexuals, and 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 2,000 for FTM transsexuals.