Health Care

Transgender Health

The World Health Organization has released report, Transgender people and HIV, in which one might expect that the major news would be about HIV. But in fact, Section 8.1.6, Sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer, earned top billing.

Of particular note is the measurably higher risk of cervical, ovarian, and uterine cancer faced by transgender men who retain genitalia they were born with. Due to stigma and social exclusion, many do not regularly receive gynecological examinations and concomitant cervical and ovarian screenings.

We might recall that the National Transgender Discrimination Study of 2012 found that 48% of transgender men reported postponing or avoiding preventative health care due to fear of discrimination and one in five trans men refuse healthcare because doctors and their personnel refer to them as the wrong gender.

Ovarian cancer is relatively rare but accounts for a disproportionate number of cancer deaths because it is too often diagnosed at an advanced stage. If it is found early, it can be a highly treatable disease. For trans men, ovarian cancer poses an extra challenge, due not only increased risk factors and decreased access to healthcare but also to the increased levels of discrimination faced by the trans community. The National LGBT Cancer Network encourages all of us to pay careful attention to the early symptoms of the disease and seek prompt and culturally competent medical care.

--National LGBT Cancer Network



New data on trans kids

Dr. Johanna Olson of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles has authored another study on transgender kids. Appearing in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study is entitled Baseline Physiologic and Psychosocial Characteristics of Transgender Youth Seeking Care for Gender Dysphoria

The purpose of this study was to describe baseline characteristics of participants in a prospective observational study of transgender youth (aged 12–24 years) seeking care for gender dysphoria at a large, urban transgender youth clinic.

We've now put to rest the residual belief that transgender experience is a result of a hormone imbalance. It's not.

--Dr. Olson



Transgender students in New Jersey get insurance coverage

New Jersey's Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan, which covers students at four public educational institutions in the state (The College of New Jersey, Rowan University, Montclair University, and Kean University) will begin providing coverage for transgender health issues beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.



Shocking: Fox makes up news for "special report"

I'm shocked! Shocked, I say...that a so-called news organization would listen to a conservative parental rights group as their source for news without ever searching for what rationally generates the "story."

Headline: Oregon allowing 15-year-olds to get state-subsidized sex-change operations

A group calling itself Parents Rights in Education has taken two separate pieces of Oregon health law and bundled them together to come to the "shocking" conclusion that a fifteen year-old in Oregon can now walk into a health care facility in Oregon and demand a sex change operation without parental consent.

It is trespassing on the hearts, the minds, the bodies of our children. They're our children. And for a decision, a life-altering decision like that to be done unbeknownst to a parent or guardian, it's mindboggling.

--Lori Porter, Parent's Rights in Education



Burning Down the House

Last week Ontario became the first Canadian province to pass a law banning reparative therapy on LGBT youth. Additionally the law prevents practitioners of this supposed "cure" of homosexuality and transgenderism in young people or adults from billing the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

The legislation was proposed by New Democrat Cheri DiNovo and won unanimous support from all three parties.

We’re sending an incredibly strong message . . . there’s absolutely no room in an inclusive society for trying to change somebody’s sexual identity or their gender expression or their gender identity.


She said LGBTQ children are sometimes forced into the therapy by anxious parents and noted transgender people have an attempted suicide rate of 50 per cent.



Remarkable Event in the Keystone State

 photo Levine_zps4ejrjxgy.jpgThe Pennsylvania Senate voted 49-0 on Tuesday to confirm Dr. Rachel Levine as the state physician general. Dr. Levine obtained her undergraduate degree from Harvard and her medical degree from the Tulane School of Medicine. She did her residency in pediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Most recently she has served as chief of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders at vice chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

While at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Dr. Levine led the initiation of a Division of Adolescent Medicine for the care of complex teens with medical and psychological problems. She also started the Penn State Hershey Eating Disorders Program, which offers multidisciplinary treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Dr. Levine has also worked closely with the Penn State Hershey Office of Diversity as the liaison for LGBT Affairs, mentoring and assisting LGBT students, faculty and staff.



OSHA issues transgender bathroom usage guide

In early May I shared OSHA partners with NCTE re: transgender worker safety.

Here's a paragraph from that piece:

For its part, OSHA will promote and disseminate a bulletin developed in conjunction with NCTE of recommended best practices for restroom access for transgender workers. NCTE will disseminate general OSHA information on a quarterly basis vis its website and provide opportunities for OSHA representatives to speak at NCTE events.

On Monday OSHA issued formal guidance on transgender bathroom usage in the workplace.



Transgender students and eating disorders

For the first time ever the American Health Association-National College Health Assessment survey allowed students to identify as transgender. Out of this effort emerged

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eating-Related Pathology in a National Sample of College Students, Diemer, Grant, Munn-Chernoff, Patterson and Duncan in the Journal of Adolescent Health.


This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students.



Transgender Health Care

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest group pf medical doctors in the nation, behind the AMA. This past week the ACP has issued its positions on how best to support and serve the nation's LGBT people.

The ACP recognizes that LGBT people have significant disparity in the health care we receive, ranging from coverage to culturally competent care to state and federal policies that systemically reify social stigma, marginalization and discrimination. That results in LGBT people being discouraged from seeking preventative health care, as well as increasing anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance and alcohol abuse.

So the ACP adopted nine positions:



First, do no harm

 photo Hunter_zpstmcbxizu.jpgDanielle Hunter is 48 years old. For the past 20 years she has done drag for a living, both hosting Sunday Morning Drag Gospel Brunch at Bananas Modern Diner in Orlando and performing as Dolly Parton at the Funky Monkey Wine Co.

Danielle unfortunately recently attempted suicide. After recovering in a hospital, she felt she wasn't ready to jump right back out on the streets, so she checked in to a mental-health facility run by Aspire Health Partners this past Tuesday, seeking supervision and support.

The treatment she got was horrendous considering the circumstances. She was removed from her room and first told to sleep on the floor in a common area, though she was eventually given a cot. When she complained, she was told there would be space for her in a room designated for men.

Here's Danielle at the Funky Monkey:










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