JAMA on mental health of trans women

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a new study on Monday: Psychiatric Diagnoses and Comorbidities in a Diverse, Multicity Cohort of Young Transgender Women

I. e.-- Are transgender women just inherently nuts or we get help to be that way?

Objective: To report the prevalence of mental health, substance dependence, and comorbid psychiatric disorders assessed via clinical diagnostic interview in a high-risk community-recruited sample of young transgender women.

Results: Of the 298 transgender women, 41.5% of participants had 1 or more mental health or substance dependence diagnoses; 1 in 5 (20.1%) had 2 or more comorbid psychiatric diagnoses. Prevalence of specific disorders was as follows: lifetime and current major depressive episode, 35.4% and 14.7%, respectively; suicidality, 20.2%; generalized anxiety disorder, 7.9%; posttraumatic stress disorder, 9.8%; alcohol dependence, 11.2%; and nonalcohol psychoactive substance use dependence, 15.2%.

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And Quartney makes seven

Quartney Davia Dawsonn-Yochum lived in Gateway Apartments, also known as Gateway Homeless Services, a 107-unit "permanent supportive housing project" for formerly chronically homeless people. The apartment complex is near Los Angeles' Skid Row.

Yesterday Quartney was walking her two dogs on San Pedro Street at about 1:15pm when a gunman approached her and then shot her in the head. Quartney was 32.

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Tennessee anti-trans bill fails

A bill which would have forced Tennessee's transgender youth to use restrooms matching the sex assigned to them at birth failed in a House committee yesterday.

Religious conservatives had pushed the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and Mike Bell, R-Riceville. But there was concern that the proposal might create more confusion — local schools already have their own policies on transgender students' bathroom use.

The bill died in a House Education Administration and Planning Committee meeting that was packed by transgender youth who opposed the measure.

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Total measure of a perv

Fayetteville, Arkansas republican alderman John LaTour approached an employee of a Cary Arsaga restaurant Saturday demanding that she choose a gender, claiming that he could not tell if she were a man or a woman.

He then explained that he was a man and could prove it by dropping his pants and showing his penis. That is bullying behavior and unacceptable on so many levels. Please call any news outlets you know and alert them to his “protests.” I doubt offering to expose yourself would be considered protected speech even by the right wing activist Dugger family who funded his campaign. He should be kicked out of office.

--Gavin Smith, civil engineer

Indeed, LaTour has made no secret of his hatred of LGBT people and has called himself the candidate of "Conservative Values." He even earned a $2000 campaign donation from Michelle and JimBob Duggar.

While running for office, La Tour promised to overturn Fayetteville’s anti-discrimination ordinance, prohibiting landlords and business owners from evicting or firing someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status or veteran status.

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Transgender Center opens in the Bronx

The Bronx Trans Collective is a new drop-in center near Yankee Stadium in the Bronx in New York City.

 photo Berry_zpsqccpwzjm.jpg

[The Center] will aim to bring together people who are often overlooked or disconnected even in New York City, which is considered to be the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. The center will help transgender people get surgeries, hormone treatments, mental health counseling and assistance with legal name changes and job searches, among other services. It will also host regular support groups, youth counseling, meditation and yoga classes and cookouts on its back terrace. 

The center is important for me because it is going to give me convenience, safety and a sense of community.

--Eli Berry, 28, who plans to stop by every week

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Human Interest

 photo Marcelas_zpsh0yuokcu.jpgMarcelas Owens created quite a stir six years ago as the "Obamacare Kid." At the time he was a chubby 11-year-old African-American boy in a black vest who watched President Obama sign the AFA into law.

Marcelas' mother died because she didn't have health insurance, Owens says. She was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2006. Her illness caused her to miss days at work, which led to her losing her job. She was denied Medicaid because she had earned too much money working the previous year.

So Marcelas started attending Obamacare rallies and "gave a human face to an abstract political isse."

Marcelas stepped into a new role. While other kids his age could barely mumble while speaking before a class, he was speaking to crowds of up to 6,000 people at rallies. At one rally in Seattle, he met U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from the state of Washington.

And when the Affordable Care Act was passed, he was invited to the White House signing ceremony. He still talks about the experience with a sense of awe.

"I got a high five and fist bump from Barack Obama!"

So this is all old news and some of you may have heard this story and more.

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Michigan changes ID policy

Effective March 10, the Michigan Secretary of State has altered the policy on transgender people changing the gender on our driver's license.

Under the new policy, a passport denoting current gender is enough proof to change the gender on the license. The old policy required proof that the applicant had undergone sex reassignment surgery.

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Four Transgender Heroes

Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Foundation has named four transgender women who should be declared International Heroes for Women's History Month.

Just as we can’t limit the celebration of women across the world to just a single day, we can’t limit the great potential of women to boxes. Today, we do more than just celebrate the great women trailblazers who fulfilled roles historically dominated by men. Today, we also celebrate the women who created their own roles and bettered life for their own communities from the inside out.

--Nicolas Seip for True Colors

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Focus on the Family goes full bonkerz in LA

 photo Zoey_zps7sexafev.jpgLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garceti announced a newly created nine-member Transgender Advisory Council will advise city officials on various issues affecting the transgender community.

Today, the City of Los Angeles sends a clear message to transgender Angelenos: your voices matter and your experiences count.

The nine members of our Transgender Advisory Council will bring a new and important perspective to City Hall that will help empower trans Angelenos to lead stigma-free, productive, and meaningful lives.

--Mayor Garceti

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White House appoints first transgender LGBT liaison

I know that everyone has been distracted, what with the Ides of March passing, five primaries, and the beginning of March Madness, but you know what?

Other things continue to happen.

 photo Raffie_zpswwbfwyrp.pngWhy, just Monday the White House appointed the first ever transgender person to the post of LGBT liaison. She's a Jewish Latina trans woman (you know, the person you joke about when trying to be over-the-top absurdly politically correct), named Raffi Freedman-Gurspan.

Freedman-Gurspan became the first transgender staffer appointed to the White House in 2015, working as the outreach and recruitment director in the presidential personnel office.

Raffi's new official title is Outreach & Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel and Associate Director for Public Engagement.

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