If you’ve never heard of Lily McBeth before, let me tell you a little about her. Born William McBeth, she transitioned in 2005 at the age of 71, and attempted post-transition to continue her career as a substitute teacher in New Jersey. Her vocal and public fight for her employment rights made the news nationwide in 2006, and helped lay the foundations of transgender employment rights in her state. Even though she had to resign 3 years later due to a suspicious lack of teaching assignments, she nonetheless kept her spirits up and continued public advocacy work in other areas.
A new report is available on Transas City, which discusses the problem, causes, and risk factors of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The executive summary from the article follows:
Deep Vein Thrombosis – Facts at a Glance
- In the United States alone, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is responsible for hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths each year.
- DVT can be caused by hormone therapy in transgender persons, especially those who take ethinyl estradiol orally.
- Key risk factors include smoking, increased age, a sedentary lifestyle, and a genetic tendency towards high levels of clotting factors.
- Symptoms of DVT include leg pain, swelling, an unusual warm area, shortness of breath, chest pain, and the symptoms of stroke.
- DVT cannot be treated by yourself! Seek medical care immediately if you suspect you have DVT!
- Overall, the incidence of DVT is declining among transgender persons as more of us are using transdermal hormones and 17-β estradiol.
- With a healthy lifestyle and proper hormone use under a physician’s care, the risk of DVT in transgender persons is relatively low.
Read more at the link below.
I’ve posted before aboutPaula Overby, who is hoping to become the first openly transgender Congressperson by running for Minnesota’s second district. She mailed me a link to her campaign video, which I’ve included below. I don’t vote in her state of course, but I wish her all of the luck and fortune she can use, and go Paula!
In the latest update to my long-running exploration of religion, faith, and transgender persons, I have now turned my attention upon Matthew 19:12. This is a somewhat curious bit of text, which is located very near the well-known phrases of “…suffer the children…” and “…what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:12 contains a list of the three different types of eunuch which Jesus recognizes as existing, but what’s most important is what Jesus doesn’t say – he holds no condemnation nor claim that the eunuchs have sinned.
You can read the entire article at the link below.
A touching story of support for a transgender student, which has a happy ending. The article is short so I’ll report most of it here:
17-year-old Maria Muniz, who recently came out as trans at São Cristóvão do Colégio Pedro II, was disciplined by teachers and handed a fine after she wore a skirt to school, instead of the regulation boys’ trousers.
The school claimed that their Code of Ethics did not permit “male” students to wear female uniforms – but was forced to backtrack on the decision when the girl’s classmates decided to protest by all wearing skirts to school too.
Maria Muniz said: “I always turned up in trousers but I felt repressed and for me wearing a skirt was about expressing my freedom over who I am inside and not how society sees me.
“I am really happy about the way my classmates supported me and I hope it serves as an example to others to feel encouraged to do the right thing.
The school, for its part, backed down and decided to change its policy (no word explicitly on whether the fine was rescinded). The fact that this is Brazil may lead some to believe that this story was not so unusual, given the large transgender population in that nation. However, culturally speaking, Brazil suffers from a cultural dichotomy or love-hate relationship with transgender persons. Brazil leads the world for the number of murders of transgender women, as well as the number of transgender prostitutes (called travesti). This document in the Transas City collection gives quite a bit of information on the travesti (don’t be thrown by the use of the word “transvestite” in the document; it’s being used to represent both crossdressers and transgender persons).
This is a very well-written article by the Atlantic (said magazine focusing increasingly on gender-related issues of late) which discusses not really transgender issues, but rather issues dealing with gender discrimination. Women are treated like second-class citizens at best under many countries which have either a fundamentalist Islamic culture, or an old tribal culture which has somehow not yet realized that this is no longer the Middle Ages.
This is very similar to a story I reported on last year, about Albanian women who chose to live as men to they could enjoy gender-based socio-economic advantages. While one can only hope that as time passes women will finally gain equality around the world, we must remember that women do not actually have equality even here in this “enlightened” United States. Not only do women here face legal and institutional inequality (such as the way they are treated in the armed forces), but socially and economically American women still have decades to go, or more, before they are paid the same and promoted the same as men are in the workplace. And one wonders whether sexual harassment will actually ever end, or if it will require centuries to do so.
This article is sort of a mixed bag of news (including a reference to Paula Overby, who is a transwomen running for Congress in Minnesota who I’ve posted about before, but which contains a note on a new program at the Mayo Clinic.
“I’m in charge of setting up an integrated clinic for transgender care,” said endocrinologist Dr. Todd Nippoldt. “It will involve initial medical care and hopefully, eventually, will have surgical care available. Right now, it’s primarily with the hormonal therapy and then psychology- and psychiatry-type management.”
The pilot program is expected to be considered for formal adoption this fall, leading to potential formation of Mayo’s new Transgender and Intersex Specialty Care Clinic, Nippoldt said.
The program will help patients who are new to the area connect with primary-care health providers who have made it known to the specialty care clinic that they are open to seeing transgender patients.
“We would get them hooked up in their primary care either at Mayo, with someone who is comfortable, or at Olmsted (Medical Center) there’s several patients that I’m following that have their primary care there,” Nippoldt said.
This level of buy-in from the Mayo Clinic will undoubtably add more credibility to treatment and consideration of our people.
Transgender people find society gradually accepting – PostBulletin.com: Local.
Several transgender folks I’ve met have remarked on changes in their sleep patterns after being on hormones. It’s likely that a large part of this is due to stress from coming out, potential breakups with a spouse or family, unemployment, or other social-mental factors. However, it’s interesting to see if the hormones themselves make a difference in sleep quality.
Sleep studies which focus on exogenous hormones are rare, and in this Brief Report I talk about the findings of a study where sleep patterns of transwomen were found to change very slightly while being on hormones. Unfortunately, no study of transmen was done. I’m going to look out for further research, but right now I’m finishing up a full report on deep vein thrombosis risk.
The brief report can be viewed at this link: Brief Report: Sleep Quality on Hormones.
Exclusive to Transas City: I’ve investigated and written a brief report on the results of two studies which examined in detail the effects of hormones on the skin quality of transgender men and women. Acne prevalence is covered as well. I believe the results of this study will help give transgender persons an improved idea changes to their skin which should be expected while on hormone therapy.
The brief report can be viewed at this link: Brief Report – Skin Changes
Exclusive to Transas City: I’ve investigated and written a brief report on the results of a study which examined in detail the effects of hormones on transgender men and women. The results which were studied included hair growth rates, density, thickness, and timing over a 12-month period on both the face and the upper abdomen. I believe the results of this study will help give transgender persons an improved idea of the typical hair growth changes which should be expected while on hormone therapy.
The brief report can be viewed at this link: Brief Report – Body and Facial Hair Growth
A figure who was once the champion of transgender rights and transgender women in sports, who lately has been a controversial voice who is speaking out against transgender women in sports, Renée Richards is definitely a fascinating character. This autobiography explores her life up to the early 1980’s, and details her very troubled childhood and lengthy journey to find herself – a self which even after she found it, she altered repeatedly.
A full review of the book, as well as some additional photographs, may be found at the link below.
A new petition has surfaced among part of the crossdressing/drag community to pressure Facebook into allowing drag performers to hold accounts under their professional (stage) name. At first this doesn’t seem like any big deal – more than half of the transgender women on my friends list are posting under a name which is not legally theirs. I did so myself until I finished transition.
However, Facebook also allows people to create pages under their specific persona, or any persona, so it seems like this might be a better answer. The downside is there is less “personal touch” working through a page via a standard Facebook account.
I don’t know what the right move is. It seems that Facebook wouldn’t have any real way to verify a person’s name, nor that much interest in cracking down on someone using an alias. Then again, making an exception here for drag performers shouldn’t be as big a deal as Facebook appears to be making it.
I’m always happy when I see runs at homecoming royalty or the prom which involve these visible, fearless, fighting transkids. I admire so much their courage and strength for doing what they have to do, and it often reminds me of just how bad it was in the 1980’s to be LGB, let alone T in high school. I am always amazed when I step into a high school nowadays for a lecture or for youth counseling just how different of a world these kids are living in and being educated in. It’s times like that when I truly don’t feel so afraid for the future.
Of course, all you have to do is read the comments at the bottom of the article, and then you’ll see why I’m so afraid for the present.
Don’t worry, it’s good news. Over the last five years a steady and gradual improvement has been seen in the acceptance of state universities for transgender students, but to a large extent private colleges have been exempt from this change – especially in the case of sex-segregated private colleges.
Now that is starting to change. While some colleges did admit transgender students in the past, it was often done under the table in a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment. In other words, an environment which has both the student and the administration walking on the metaphorical eggshells.
Over the last month we’ve seen two women’s colleges come out and proud, announcing that they would be accepting transgender students in 2015. Mills College in California and Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts are some of the first, and certainly not the last to do this.
“What it means to be a woman isn’t static,” says Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella, who announced the admissions policy change at the college’s convocation ceremony. “Early feminists argued that reducing women to their biological functions was a foundation of women’s oppression. We don’t want to fall back on that.”
Of course these decisions are not without criticism by alumni.
The policy shifts have not been fully embraced within Mount Holyoke’s extended community. Some alumnae voiced their displeasure on the college’s Facebook page following the announcement.
“Mount Holyoke is a women’s college, and it should admit women. Period. Full stop,” wrote Pamela Adkins, a Tampa, Florida, resident who graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1979.
In a follow up email, she said: “There are plenty of other places for people who are not women to go, and they should go there. Don’t negate the reasons Mount Holyoke was founded and for what it has been known since 1837: providing a superlative college education — for women.”
In short, a transphobic statement. At least she was honest about her feelings.
Women’s colleges address transgender applicants – AP State News – The Sacramento Bee.
We have seen many times over the years how transgender travelers who do not go through due diligence prior to international travel can sometimes end up in hot water. Or worse.
This story is one example of what can happen, and how bad it can be. In actuality Eliana’s story could have been much worse – she could have been deported to her hostile home country, or she could have been imprisoned or committed to a mental facility indefinitely. However, what’s happened to her – becoming a stateless refugee – is arguably not a serious improvement.
Moreover, this article really emphasizes to us that traveling without having your gender marker changed on your passport is rolling the dice on whether you have a safe and happy trip – or not.