Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Trans Issues In The News

First up is an article about a trans-woman who was granted asylum. You might remember a story http://dianacorner.blogspot.com/2010/11/give-me-shelter-from-storm.html last month about another trans-woman who was from Mexico, this woman is from El Salvador. She also fled her country in fear of her life and was granted asylum.
Immigration Releases Transgender Woman Under the Convention Against Torture

A Salvadorian Transgender Woman was recently released after 2.5 years in ICE custody. Thanks to an immigration lawyer at Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC the transgender woman may now live openly without facing the regular beatings she experienced in El Salvador.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 9, 2010

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released a Salvadorian Transgender Woman known as “Karla” after she was granted Deferral of Removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) by a San Diego Immigration Judge (IJ.) Karla's release and legalized status in the US constitutes the culmination of a two and a half year long struggle with ICE. Most importantly for her, Karla is now able to live openly in a free society without fear of harassment and killings that transgender individuals face in El Salvador.
We sometimes forget when we are working towards civil rights that we are still far better off than many other nations around the world. In some countries you still can be executed or tortured because you are LGBT.

The next news article is about crime and punishment. In the past, I wrote inmate.html about a trans-woman who was placed in solitary confinement for no other reason then she was transgender. She was kept in her cell for 23 hours a day and was only let for exercise for one hour. This punishment is usually reserved for only the most harden prisoners. Now in Texas a trans-woman is allowed to have her medicine which a TV station objects.
Texas inmates getting sex hormone pills
by Christine Hass
December 17, 2010

Your tax dollars are paying for sex hormones for people who are in the Texas illegally. And some of them are convicted felons
These days viagra is gone from prisons but we discovered some inmates, even illegal immigrants are still getting sex hormones behind bars and you're paying for it.
This is pure bigotry and transphobia. The TV station is using their voice to promote hate and bigotry to deny inmates a legally prescribed medication based solely on their prejudices. The American Medical Association (AMA), the American Psychological Association (APA), the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WAPTH) and the US Courts have all said that hormones are medically necessary. The National Center for Lesbian Rights said that,
The policy of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons is to provide hormones at the level that was maintained prior to incarceration. Specifically, the policy provides:
Inmates who have undergone treatment for gender identity disorder will be maintained only at the level of change which existed when they were incarcerated in the Bureau. Such inmates will receive thorough medical and mental health evaluations, including the review of all available outside records. The Medical Director will be consulted prior to continuing or implementing such treatment. The Medical Director must approve, in writing, hormone use for the maintenance of secondary sexual characteristics in writing.
The APA Task Force on Gender Identity and Gender Variance quotes WPATH Standard of Care,
People who are receiving treatment for gender identity disorders should continue to receive appropriate treatment following these Standards of Care after incarceration. For example, those who are receiving psychotherapy and/or cross-sex hormonal treatments should be allowed to continue this medically necessary treatment to prevent or limit emotional lability, undesired regression of hormonally-induced physical effects and the sense of desperation that may lead to depression, anxiety and suicidality. Prisoners who are subject to rapid withdrawal of cross-sex hormones are particularly at risk for psychiatric symptoms and self-injurious behaviors. Medical monitoring of hormonal treatment as described in these Standards should also be provided. Housing for transgendered prisoners should take into account their transition status and their personal safety.
The people who are trying to deny proper health care to transgender inmates are doing so not on medical grounds, but hate. Hate for people who are different from themselves.


  1. If you believe that transgender oppression is about "hate" that the right wing is promoting, than you are just as ignorant as you claim they are.

    In 2009, trans porn outsold lesbian porn $3 to $1 yet, there is only about 1 in 1,000 people who have potential to service this sexual need. It is raw sexual exploitation.

    There are over 100 different reasons that can be used to justify hating anybody but very few come to mind as to justify putting time and dollars into oppressing a small fraction of 1% of the population. Think about that.

  2. Well first off, I do not see how the number of trans-people in the porn industry relates to inmates being denied legally proscribed medicine. Secondly, if you look at the data, you will see that for many trans-people sex work is the only way they can survive because of discrimination. As a result of parents who threw their LGBT children out on the streets, bullying and harassment in schools, discrimination in the work place and in housing.

    As for the use of the word “hate”, if you read the article you will see they compare legally proscribed hormones to Viagra and they emphasis that transexualism is a choice, contrary to medical opinion this all sets the tone of the article that this is just something frivolous. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion if the prison officials denied and inmate insulin for diabetes, there would be an outcry from the public, but because it involves LGBT people, it is OK to denied they legally proscribed medicine. From the point of view of a person who is being denied a proper legally proscribed treatment, I see this as a form of hate.

    If the television article made a legitimate attempt to have a balanced discussion on the pros and cons of offering hormones to inmates, then I would not have said what I said. However, by starting out comparing legally proscribed hormones to Viagra, they biased their article.

    “justify putting time and dollars into oppressing a small fraction of 1% of the population. Think about that.” So you think it is OK to oppression people and deny them medical treatment if they a minority?

  3. Hi Diane! I've posted on your blog a few times... I've just heard about a tragedy, and I'm just not sure what to do with myself, and I thought of you. A friend of mine from grad school, Amy Chesbro, was recently murdered. If you look at your own news feed on transgender issues, her story is at the top. It seems that it has made national news because she was murdered by the sister of her transgender fiance. Amy was a sweet, compassionate and wonderful person. I doubt you could find one person to say an unkind about this woman! And now she is dead. And national news because of who she chose to love? I don't know... Sorry if I bothered you...

  4. KT, I know how you feel, my doctor's family was destroyed by senseless violence.
    If you want to talk, my email is on my profile.

    There are no words to express your loss.