Blog Posts for Transgender Issues
The following post was written for the Children’s Hospital blog by the father of a transgender child with whom GLAD has had the honor of working for some time.
There has been much argument about taxes lately. Yesterday, the Tea Party Express brought some of this talk to the Boston Common, just outside my office window.
I believe that paying taxes is a responsibility that comes with being an American citizen. We must share the costs of maintaining and improving our country’s infrastructure and security, and of providing the services that benefit all of us. But I also believe that the tax system must be administered fairly, and without discrimination.
So, as another tax day rolls around, I find myself reflecting on the particular relationship the LGBT community has to paying taxes.
At just past 3:30 on the day of the O’Donnabhain decision, Tuesday, February 2nd, we heard yelling coming from the legal wing of GLAD’s office. “We won! We won!” Though everyone had been waiting for this decision for 2 ½ years, the news was at first too general, too random. We won? Who is we? And what was won?
Yesterday I testified on behalf of GLAD in front of the General Court’s Joint Committee on Education in support of a comprehensive bill to prevent school bullying. The bill before the committee, H. 483, is an excellent starting point and has the potential to ultimately result in a law that would create safer schools for Massachusetts students, including those who are LGBT.
GLAD is collecting stories about people’s experiences with health insurance coverage related to gender transition, to help us determine how we can best address legal concerns in this area.
“A day without human rights is a day without sunshine.” That is what the t-shirt said that I got at one of the first gay rights rallies I attended in 1977, a rally was organized to try to defend a newly passed sexual orientation non-discrimination law in Dade County, Florida. I was one of the children that Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children campaign was ostensibly trying to protect. But I was also a kid who had an emerging sense that I was not like the other kids both in terms of my gender and my sexual orientation.
The first Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill that would create a federal law prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was introduced into Congress fifteen years ago. Fifteen years feels like a very long time given the progress that has been made generally on LGBT social issues and understanding during that same time span.
Today’s WPATH symposium wrapped up with a plenary session on human rights. My role was to talk about the legal, medical, and ethical responsibility that all health care providers have to provide appropriate and adequate documentation to ensure that their transgender patients can secure proper identity documents. The WPATH Standards of Care and public policy statements make crystal clear that there is no one specific surgery that constitutes sex reassignment surgery so that any surgeon who performs any of the multitude of procedures that constitute sex-reassignment must provide a properly worded letter to that patient documenting the experience.
Dagfinn Hoybraten, Norway’s former minister of Health and current leader of the Christian Democratic Party spoke at yesterday’s plenary session at the Biennial Symposium of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health currently taking place in Oslo. He had some basic but eloquent things to say about transgender people and the humane provision of health care to the community.
Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi blogs from Oslo at the Biennial Symposium of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. First up: debating whether or not the diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID) should be included within the DSM.