A National Voice

At some point today, Sarah McBride will speak for five minutes on the stage of the DNC and become the first transgender person to speak to a major party convention.

Preparatory to that event, Sarah spoke yesterday to Katie Couric of Yahoo news and Katy Steinmetz of Time magazine.

I am moved and inspired that there will be a chance for someone on a stage at a national convention to say that they are a transgender person. And my hope is that for anyone who is watching, who worries that their dreams and their identity are mutually exclusive, who worry about whether they can be accepted and succeed as who they are, that they can find some comfort and some hope in the fact that a person will be standing on that stage saying those words.

--McBride

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Classifying difference

The Lancet Psychiatry has released results of what is being called the first field study on the topic of transgender mental health: Removing transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders: a Mexican field study for ICD-11

The conceptualisation of transgender identity as a mental disorder has contributed to precarious legal status, human rights violations, and barriers to appropriate health care among transgender people. The proposed reconceptualisation of categories related to transgender identity in WHO's forthcoming International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11 removes categories related to transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders, in part based on the idea that these conditions do not satisfy the definitional requirements of mental disorders. We aimed to determine whether distress and impairment, considered essential characteristics of mental disorders, could be explained by experiences of social rejection and violence rather than being inherent features of transgender identity, and to examine the applicability of other elements of the proposed ICD-11 diagnostic guidelines.

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Room 127

 photo Dee Whigham at work_zpsdh6xckvf.jpgDee Whigham was a 25-year-old RN from Shubata, MS. Whigham worked at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Dee Whigham as they try to make sense of this terrible tragedy. She will be remembered at Forrest Health as an excellent nurse who was well-loved by her patients. I know Dee will be missed by her co-workers, supervisors, and the Forrest Health family.

--Evan Dillard, Forrest Health

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Bernie or B... wait, what? Or? It's Build, Bernie, Build.

Luckily, Jet Lag in my summer vacation return to the US from China prevented me from being awake during the Republican National Convention, so like most of American political events while I am in China, I followed political events last week through the ripples they sent through my Twitter and Facebook feeds.

But the tyranny of the sun slowly but inexorably resetting my internal clock left me weary but not sleeping for much of the Monday "progressive" show at the DNC. Including, of course the lovely "America" ad from the Bernie Sanders campaign.

I've got some thoughts, and most of them simply will not fit into 140 characters. So I'm going to thinking them, out loud, below the fold.

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NEJM addresses bathroom issue and transgender equality

The New England Journal of Medicine has weighed in on how the bathroom issue affects the health of transgender people in an article entitled Beyond Bathrooms — Meeting the Health Needs of Transgender People by Mark A Schuster, Sari L. Reisner and Sarah E. Onorato which appeared in the July 14, issue.

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Teacher Unions endorse support for trans students

The American Federation of Teachers , meeting in Minneapolis this past week, passed a resolution in support of LGBTQ students and staff.

The resolution is called School Safety and Educational Opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Students

As chair of the AFT’s Pride Caucus and a national board member of Pride at Work the fact that my union and America’s teachers are dedicating themselves to protecting students based on sexual orientation and gender identity means a lot.

--Pat Crispino

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BC soon to add gender identity to Human Rights Code

Equality news out of Canada from yesterday:

Attorney General Suzanne Anton said the BC Liberals will table the amendment in the upcoming summer legislative session, after years of lobbying by NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and transgender advocacy groups.

In Canada-speak, "tabling an amendment" means "bring it to the table."

As British Columbians, we must ensure everyone in B.C., especially those most likely to face discrimination, are not only protected by the law, but feel they are protected and understand that they are protected.

--Anton

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Taking it to court

Taking it to court

FreeState Justice has filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Talbot County on behalf of a 14-year-old Maryland transgender boy accusing an Eastern Shore school system of violating Title IX by denying him access to locker rooms consistent with his gender identity.

The boy, who was not identified in the lawsuit, will be a ninth grader at St. Michaels Middle-High School, and wants to try out for soccer in August, according to Jer Welter, FreeState Justice's deputy director and managing attorney.

During last school year, the boy used a gender neutral restroom far from the gym and his classrooms.

This has been a problem. It is stigmatizing for him. It marks him as different from the other students.

--Welter

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