If it becomes a numbers game, we lose

The Williams Institute at UCLA has announced a couple of new studies it will be initiating lter this year, having received grants for the projects from the NIH.

The Institute received a $3.4 million grant for a five year "Generations" project focusing on lesbian gay and bisexual populations in the US. That grant and an additional $285,000 grant will fund TransPop: US Transgender Population Health Survey.

The yearlong study, which was announced earlier this week, will be the first of its kind to use random sampling methods to obtain data about the transgender community. Researchers expect to find out about the racial distribution of transgender individuals, their socioeconomic backgrounds, their access to health care and their experiences. Ilan Meyer, senior scholar of public policy and researcher at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, will lead the study.



Wrapping up one year and unwrapping the next

An arrest has been made in the October 2nd East Hollywood shooting death of Aniya Knee Parker. Los Angeles police are seeking two more suspects.


Los Angeles News Video

 photo parkeraniya_zps938e8e3a.jpgParker was confronted by three Latino men as she walked down a sidewalk. Apparently the men determined she was trans and punched her. As she turned to flee, one of the men pulled out a pistol and shot her once in the head. Parker managed to make it across the street before collapsing. She died in surgery. Police referred to the incident as "an attempted robbery gone wrong." The suspect in custody is said to be a minor, so his name has not been released, but reports are that he will be charged as an adult.



The Complicated Geography of Alice, by Jules Vilmur

I should admit up front that I don't often read books from the transgender genre. I do purchase them, but they become part of my vast library of books to be read at some future time.

There is a reason for that, in that I do plan to get my act together some day and add my own entry to the literature...and I don't want it to be tainted by what I have read from other sources. That is, I want it to be my narrative and not "the transgender narrative."





Transgender Awareness

 photo TGAW-2014-header-640x283_zps64a34588.png photo TDORwebsitesmall_zps9f7eae10.png









It's Transgender Awareness time. In some locations it's the entire month of November. Some locales are celebrating for a week...generally around November 10-20...ending with Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 and/or Transgender Day of Celebration on November 21.

So I guess it is my job to help make you aware. :-)

I've got some videos from the I Am project and some news bits which I hope fit that agenda.



Gender Prison: Annie Lennox on feminism, gay and transgender

 photo Annie-Lennox_zps6304e59e.jpgAnnie Lennox has been interviewed several times lately and expressed some ideas worth noting.

We’re coming to a place where [feminism] needs to be inclusive.

I think the LGBTQ community are a part of that movement and we’re all sort of connected on this particular level and it’s very exciting – watch that space.

I am so happy to see now that transgender women and men are able to come out of the shadows finally and say ‘Look we’re here. Why do we need to pretend we don’t exist?

It’s a very interesting time.





Transgender Woman shot to death in East Hollywood











During the robbery, there was a struggle, and there were shots fired, and the victim was struck one time. It appears they were struck in the head.

--LAPD Lt. Joe Losorelli

It's really, really frightening for all of us, especially out here in the streets and stuff because discrimination is still very high in our community,

--Karina Samala of the Transgender Advisory Board of West Hollywood



"I just let go of the balloon I've been holding for so long, called 'hope'"

 photo Riley_zpsbe607007.jpgRiley Matthew Moscatel came out as transgender in 11th grade English class at Bucks County Technical High School this past spring. From all reports, his transition had gone well at school.

Everyone supported him. Everyone loved Riley. He was everyone's best friend.

--Kate Cimino, a friend

Other friends noted that Riley suffered from depression in the past but appeared to have improved. But, they say, he had become increasingly uncomfortable with his body.

Riley uploaded a message to his Instagram account on Monday.

My mirror reflects Jessica, my heart and mind say Riley ... You see me as the happiest person in school, I'm a prisoner of my own body ...

Police have recovered surveillance video that shows Riley stepping in front of an Amtrak train early Monday afternoon near his home in Bristol.



Gender Prison: Why are some people transgender?

That's a question I have been asked dozens of times.

It causes other questions pop into my head. Why is water wet? Why are blueberries purple? I spend about as much time considering each of those queries.

I've written about this in the past: Layers of Why.

After extensive introspection I basically came up with this:

If I had to pick a single step in my growth process as a human being, it would be the moment when it occurred to me that it didn’t matter why I was the way I was. What mattered was that I existed, that I was a human being and I was living my life the best way I knew how.

Bu that is not good enough for some people. That set would especially contain those who exhibit little respect for science, but still demand a scientific explanation for the existence of transpeople...which still probably wouldn't be good enough, because, you know, God.

Recently Sabrina Rubin Erdely of Rolling Stone took a stab at the science.

Once upon a time, the thought was that transgender was caused by childhood trauma of some sort. Our families were dysfunctional or we were sexually abused as children. But while our families may or may not have been dysfunctional, that is not how we came to be who we are.

That is absolutely not true at all. But I still get people in my clinic who are trying to unravel what the traumatic incident was, that caused their kid to be trans.

--Dr. Johanna Olson, medical director of the Transgender Clinic at Children's Hospital Los Angeles




Gender Prison: International Transgender Day of Visibility



Yesterday, like every March 31, was International Transgender Day of Visibility. The event is meant to be A Celebration of Transgender Lives, in contrast with Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day on which we mourn those who have been killed.

If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s understandable. It has not been widely observed since its founding by Transgender Michigan Executive Director Rachel Crandall-Crocker in 2009.

As we like to say, transgender lives are livable because transgender lives are lived.

Fashion model Geena Rocero has certainly been visible this month. Earlier in March, Geena gave a spoke at the 2014 TED Conference in British Columbia.









Gender Prison: Transgender Ground Zero--This week in Saskatoon

Spooky how these stories all tied together.

Saskatoon high school students recently attended the 17th annual Breaking the Silence gender diversity conference in that Canadian city.

The conference this year is 17 years old, it’s the longest standing conference of its kind in Canada.

--Dan Cochrane, University of Saskatchewan

The conference had more than 110 attendees at the University of Saskatchewan.

Cochrane said that great strides have been made over the last two decades, in spite of the endurance of phobias and discrimination.

Adoptions, pensions, hospital visiting rights, wills; hundreds of thousands of hours went into legal cases. That’s been a major catalyst and the big one was same sex marriage.






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