Tag: resources

Trans*Literate Conference – NYC, 3/29 & 30

Posted by – February 24, 2014

I’m going to be speaking and running a panel on family and partners of trans people at the Trans*Literate Conference that will take place in NY on March 29th & 30th. It’s a trans symposium out of Hunter College, and this year’s keynote will be Dylan Scholinski, which to me means: yay, I get to hang out with Dylan! He’s awesome.

But otherwise it sounds like there will be a lot of great workshops for social workers, therapists, and other people who work with trans people and their families. According to the website,

the Trans*Literate symposium will educate, inform, and expand dialogue on the topic of working clinically with the transgender communities and understanding transgender experienced through psychoanalytic theory. Mental health clinicians are invited to submit proposals for workshops, papers, and presentations on the topic of how issues related to trans* experience has informed complicated, and illuminated their work in individual, group, and family clinical practice.

Seems like it’s going to be very, very useful to mental health practitioners. You DO have to register to attend (although some small # of walk-ins will be welcome).

Gender Neutral Bathroom App

Posted by – February 10, 2014

So now, there’s an app for that. Where once there was (& still is, actually) safe2pee.org, now there’s Refuge Restrooms, which helps you find bathrooms with the least amount of hassle. Here’s a question from an interview The Advocate did with her about it which gives you the basic idea:

The Advocate:  What exactly is the function of Refuge Restrooms, and how does it work?

Teagan Widmer: Refuge Restrooms is a web application that indexes and maps safe restrooms for transgender, intersex, and gender-nonconforming individuals. At its core, its goal is to be a place where you can go, type in an address and find the nearest refuge when you really need a place to use the bathroom. Already, the application has over 4000 bathroom listings all over the world (mostly thanks to the data provided by the now-defunct Safe2Pee site) and will only continue to grow as users add new safe bathroom listings.

Additionally, searches are able to be filtered by ADA accessability and unisex designations. That’s part of the service, too, because some bathrooms may not be gender-neutral, but are still safe — i.e. at the local LGBT center.

& In the meantime, students on my campus currently have a petition asking for at least one gender neutral bathroom per building.

Guest Post: Trish Mifflin

Posted by – August 22, 2013

Trish Mifflin recently wrote a short review of the book True Selves that she posted on our community forums, and I thought it was worth posting here for others to read. Do you agree? Disagree? I know this has been a very important book for many people, but I’d love to hear more about what people think of how it has, or hasn’t, held up. – hb.

True Selves Revisited – by Trish Mifflin

When people are trying to learn about transgender issues, they’re often referred — by IFGE  and others — to a 1996 book called True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism for Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals, by Mildred Brown and Chloe Rounsley. It’s gained something of a reputation as a “Rosetta stone” for explaining transgender issues to people.

I’ve owned True Selves for years, but for one reason or another, I never got around to reading it, until last week, when — on a whim — I pulled it from the shelf and started going through it.

Well. To put it nicely, I don’t think it holds up. I guess, being generous, I would call it “quaint.”

To put it not-so-nicely, I think it’s a terrible book to give to anyone who has a loved one who is transgender, or to someone who may be transgender, transsexual, gender-queer or otherwise non-binary conforming.

True Selves — and I know I’m oversimplifying here — pretty much says that unless we’re seeking genital surgery, we crossdressers (I’m one) and gender-queers are disordered people with sexual fetishes.

And if we are seeking permanent gender re-assignment, True Selves tells us we will have strife-filled, heart-breaking, miserable lives.

These are not exactly the messages I would want to give my family and friends if I wanted them to understand my feelings. More

Lambda Legal’s Trans Rights Program

Posted by – July 16, 2013

According to their website:

“Lambda Legal has a strong commitment to litigation and public education around issues of gender identity and gender expression, and I look forward to advancing and expanding the scope of the organization’s work,” said Dru Levasseur, Transgender Rights Project Director. “We are excited to have the “Know Your Rights: Transgender” resource available online to help transgender people understand their rights and make sure they are respected. Based on the calls to our Legal Help Desk, we know that transgender people—whether they are being harassed by the police or discriminated against at work—need to be able to access information about their rights and the laws in place to protect them, as quickly as possible. This new mobile-friendly resource will give transgender people across the country critical information at their fingertips.”

Impressive, thorough, well-organized, good information. The categories include identity documents, restroom rights, trans youth, trans seniors, trans marriage and parents, health care, and transphobic violence. What a fantastic new resource.

Non-Op Resource

Posted by – June 10, 2013

There is very little out there for those trans people who don’t medically transition – for various reasons – or who straddle a non-binary gender identity and expression. But today someone sent me a link to this website, which collects both resources, like their Trans 101, and stories of either non-op transitions or non-transitioning trans people.

From the site:

What there is a lack of, is information for people who don’t want to change their bodies for whatever reason.

I’m going to preface this by saying that I fully support transition. Transition is a valid option for people who experience severe dysphoria, many of these people need to transition.

What I don’t support is the pressure the law, society, and even the transgender community puts on people to get expensive medical treatment they may not want. It’s extremely hard for non-transitioners (or non-ops) to find support or resources for the unique problems facing them, and I’m hoping to fix that.

What a very cool thing. If you have any other resources like this one, feel free to post links below or email them to me.

Chicago: Lurie Children’s Hospital Adds Gender Identity Clinic

Posted by – February 12, 2013

Here’s some great news for the Midwest: a gender identity clinic that will treat children:

The clinic, which is up and running but has yet to officially launch, is the first of its kind in the city and one of few resources for gender-variant kids younger than 13. Through the clinic, children dealing with gender identity issues will have access to everything from endocrinology to psychology.

“As a unit, the family is not always ready to embrace terms like ‘LGBT’ or ‘transgender,’” said Dr. Rob Garofalo, director of the Center. “I think coming to Lurie allows people to come to a place where services are hopefully increasingly culturally competent, without threatening the developmental trajectory that these families have to go through.”

Garofalo created the clinic out of a patchwork of specialists already working within Lurie, a move that both has both staffed the clinic and furthered understanding about transgender lives within Lurie, he said. The Center will also employ a psychologist and a social worker.

In past years, Chicago families with transgender kids often found medical and mental health services piecemeal. While many of the city’s LGBT organizations offer youth services, most of those services are designed for kids ages 13 and older.

Some families flew to Boston Children’s Hospital or Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which both have gender clinics for children. But for families without the time or means to travel, finding specialists that understood gender issues and kids presented a serious challenge.

So very, very cool. The world IS changing.

Trans Students’ Resource

Posted by – September 20, 2012

NCTE has created a website so that college students can share information about how trans-friendly or transphobic a given college or community is. Along with the launch of this new resource, there’s a document so that trans students can know what their rights are.

How very very cool: it’s at www.transstudents.org/

Online Support Groups

Posted by – July 8, 2012

My online group for trans partners via Yahoo Groups still exists, and is always taking on new members. You can find it here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/engender_partners/

It is open to *all* partners of trans people – male, female, genderqueer, queer, het, etc.

 

Two Spirits

Posted by – July 2, 2012

The people who made the documentary Two Spirits – about the Native American tradition of recognition of the kind of people we call LGBTQ – are trying to get more copies of the movie into schools and libraries across the country. Why?

According to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP), gay teens are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. And Native American youths have the highest rates of suicide among all ethnic groups.

So do donate if you can.

New Philly FTM Group

Posted by – April 26, 2012

I don’t know anymore about it than what you can read here, but get the words out to your friends in the Philly neck of the woods.

FTM coming-out support group: weekly support group for ftms and transmen in the process of transition

Tuesdays 6-7:30 starting 6/19/12
12 weeks, $30 – 50 per session
Meetings in Center City, Philadelphia

This 12 week support-group will include psycho-education and facilitated discussions around topics of:
• Relationships
• Family
• Sexuality
• Coming Out At Work
• Defining Identity
• Questioning Identity
• Religion/Spirituality
• Masculinity and Male Privilege
• Dating

This group will be facilitated by Damon Constantinides, LCSW, PhD. Damon is a trans and queer affirming psychotherapist and sexuality educator in Philadelphia. He has experience working with trans individuals and groups in his private psychotherapy practice and at several agencies in Philadelphia. Damon approaches his work from a trans-feminist and social justice perspective.

Contact Damon at damon@dmconsult.net or 607-592-2173 for more information.

New Children’s Book: When Kathy is Keith

Posted by – November 29, 2011

The author of When Kathy is Keith, in a phone interview with straight.com out of Vancouver, says:

“A lot of times, parents with straight kids, they think like, ‘You know what? That would never happen to my kid so why would my kid need to learn something like this?’ And I think the key is your kid doesn’t need to be LGBT. As long as your kid is perceived with any trait associated with LGBT, they can be bullied. They can be made fun of. Your kids can be a victim of any of that.”

He adds that parents of transgender children go through a difficult emotional process of their own.

“Parents, they have to go through different stages themselves,” he explains. “In the beginning, they tend to deny it. They hope their kids will grow out of it. They are having a tough time. They have to grieve over losing a son or a daughter and welcoming a new gender of a child. And I think that’s a process. It’s not easy for any parent to accept that because no parent has a kid and then think that this kid may be a transgender kid…. It’s tough… [when you have] a dream for your kid and all of a sudden that dream vanishes, and you have to recreate a dream for your kid[’s] future, and at the same time, knowing that society is not so tolerant out there. And I think that is very tough [for] a lot of parents to accept that.”

He advises parents who have transgender children to talk as much as possible with other people about these issues.

“I really think that [they should] talk to people about it, talk to other parents about it. And don’t just talk to one person. I would talk to multiple people. Talk to the school principal, talk to the counsellors, talk to the professional psychologists or social workers…even family doctor[s], so they can know there are people like this out there, they are not alone, and they can get help.”

Good advice all around.

LGBTQ Group Forming in Chillicothe, OH

Posted by – November 2, 2011

Seeking Trans+ activists for coalitions in CO, IA, MA, ME

Posted by – September 29, 2011

From the always-amazing Michael Munson of FORGE:

FORGE is looking to identify trans-savvy individuals in Boulder, CO; Iowa City / Cedar Rapids / Johnson County, IA; Boston, MA; and the state of Maine who are interested in working in coalition with professionals from agencies serving sexual assault survivors to ensure these services are culturally competent about and accessible to transgender survivors.

Multiple studies have found that over 50 percent of transgender people have experienced sexual assault at some point in their lives. Many transgender survivors live with the long-lasting effects of trauma. Yet few transgender people access sexual assault healing services.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, FORGE will help form coalitions in these four jurisdictions (Boulder, CO; Iowa City, IA; Boston, MA; and the state of Maine) to identify their own community/state barriers and develop and implement a work plan to reduce or eliminate those barriers. Work will include disseminating surveys, participating in at least one full-day in-person meeting, and carrying out follow-up work as the coalition determines. The timeline is roughly October 2011 through summer 2012.

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The End of Suicide Prevention Month

Posted by – September 30, 2010

A few days ago, during the last week of September which is Suicide Prevention Month, another LGBTQ teenager killed himself because of bullying. He was 13.

First: Please remember that there is always someone to call.

The Trevor Project
1-866-488-7386
http://www.thetrevorproject.org

A few weeks ago in a town near Appleton, a young gay man did the same. A local man named Paul Wesselman was so touched by this student’s lost life and the pain his friends were in that he wrote a piece for them, young people who were struggling with being who they are. I found what he said smart and true and asked if I could reprint them here.

1. This is awful.
You are going to feel lots of emotions, and it is going to be difficult for some time: you’ve probably already figured out that being a teenager means lots of complicated, conflicted emotions. Add the suicide death of a friend and the mix of grief, anger, confusion, frustration, sadness, and devastation becomes even more cruel. Your family and friends may not always say or do the “right” things, but I suspect they are mostly motivated by a sincere desire to ease your significant pain. The sad truth for us is that we cannot erase your anguish, because this is just awful.

2. Things will get better.
Don’t hate me for saying this, and I’m not saying it to diminish the extraordinary pain you currently feel. This probably occupies every second of your life right now. Next week you will likely still think about it every few minutes, and for weeks after that you may still find yourself reminded of Cody or of the loss every hour of every day. Eventually, your heart and your mind find a good place to store the positive memories while the grief (which never disappears entirely) will fade into the larger quilt of life.

3. Positive things can evolve from horrible situations.
There is nothing we can do to bring Cody (or my friend Steve) back, and we cannot go back in time and change the circumstances that led up to these awful deaths. We cannot change these tragedies. AND: we do get to choose how we respond to them. I’ve noticed how frequently you post such kind, loving, AMAZING words on each other’s walls. Those heartfelt expressions are profound to all who see them and are tiny examples of the light that may come out of this extreme darkness. (Please note I’m NOT saying “God did this for a reason,” or “This tragedy happened so that good things could happen.” I personally don’t agree with either of those statements. I do believe that when blechy things happen which are beyond our control, we can, if we want, CHOOSE to make sure positive things come out of these awful circumstances.)

4. What you do next is up to you.
After my friend Steve died, his mother Judy transformed the grief and frustration into energy and passion to prevent future suicides by creating LifeSavers. http://TheLiveSavers.net/ has helped thousands of students to become caring listeners and observers. I found these words posted on their website:

USE YOUR POWER OF CHOICE WISELY
Choose to love . . . rather than hate.
Choose to laugh . . . rather than cry.
Choose to create . . . rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere . . . rather than quit.
Choose to praise . . . rather than gossip.
Choose to heal . . . rather than wound.
Choose to give . . . rather than steal.
Choose to act . . . rather than procrastinate.
Choose to grow . . . rather than rot.
Choose to pray . . . rather than curse.
Choose to live . . . rather than die.
-from The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

Not only do I hold you in my heart, I also have deep compassion for the tremendous pain that he must have been experiencing. My high school and college years were significantly challenging and I thought about ending my life frequently. I tried more than once. The excruciating pain I felt seemed insurmountable and never-ending. I’m so glad I lived to find out that neither of those were accurate. With time, healing, counseling, and considerable help from a remarkable tribe of friends, I found the strength to face and conquer the darkness and I believe that I eventually found success and sustainable joy not in spite of those hurdles but in part BECAUSE of them.

I share these words not to take away the pain you are feeling, nor to fix what cannot be fixed. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone, and that by relying on your friends and family, your inner strengths, and other resources (school, church, community, etc.), you will remember something that Christopher Robin once reminded Winnie the Pooh:

You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.

What I want to emphasize is that plenty of us left high school and were surprised by how much more power we had in the world than we thought. Not record-breaking power, but the power to find friends we liked, who would support us; power to live where we wanted, where we felt safe or interesting or amazing; the power to make decisions about who we would be and how.

& Finally, to close out Suicide Prevention Month in the hope that we won’t have to have one next year, and with the knowledge that many, many, many trans people struggle daily with grim, hopeless thoughts, here is a resource guide specifically for trans people & their allies put together by NCTE.

It gets better.

National Trans Advocacy Network (TAN)

Posted by – July 29, 2010

A group of state and local transgender leaders are pleased to announce the formation of the Trans Advocacy Network. The Trans Advocacy Network held their first meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on July 10, 2010 with the purpose of defining their mission and goals for the upcoming year.

Their mission statement is as follows:
“The Trans Advocacy Network is an alliance of transgender organizations that work at the state and local level, coming together to build a stronger trans movement by facilitating the sharing of resources, best practices, and organizing strategies.”

The Trans Advocacy Network will serve local and state level trans advocacy groups that are both established and newly forming as well as support groups, college-based groups, and other organizations that are doing advocacy and policy work for transgender rights and protections. The
Trans Advocacy Network will assist these groups by sharing policy, training materials, resources, tools, and best advocacy practices. It hopes to foster leadership development, sustainability, and to make the movement for trans rights stronger and more effective. The Trans Advocacy Network will operate with a steering committee made up of leaders from state and local trans organizations from across the country. There will be a limited number of spaces on the steering committee for advisers from national organizations.

Plans for the first year of the Trans Advocacy Network include expanding the steering committee to include people who are not yet well-represented, connecting more state and local trans advocacy groups across the country, creating guiding principles, starting a list serve that all trans advocacy organizations will have access to, outreaching to other groups by region, creating a more cohesive communication network, creating a organizational survey to understand the needs, resources, and get a realistic view of where trans community organizations are across the country, and holding conference calls and webinars to share best practices and strategies.

The Trans Advocacy Network Steering Committee currently includes Gunner Scott of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Masen Davis of the Transgender Law Center, Marisa Richmond of the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, Lisa Scheps of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Sadie-Ryanne Baker of the DC Trans Coalition, and Shane Morgan of TransOhio. Advisers to the Steering Committee include Lisa Mottet of the Transgender Civil Rights Project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Jaan Williams of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The steering committee is interested in additional members who represent predominantly people of color trans organizations and low-income trans organizations.

Contact Gunner Scott for more information or how to become involved at transadvocacynetwork@gmail.com.

TG POC

Posted by – June 20, 2010

TG POC is a discussion-oriented listserv for Trans People of Color as well as their significant others and allies.

The Gender Puzzle Documentary

Posted by – January 14, 2010

The Gender Puzzle is a 45 min documentary about intersex that can be seen on YouTube; it’s worth watching if you’re new to intersex issues. You can also check out a 10-min. version.

You can buy a copy here, check out a t r u t h o u t column about it (& Caster Semenya), or check out the filmmakers’ website.

Face in the Mirror

Posted by – December 19, 2009

Just caught the tail end of a documentary called Face in the Mirror about David Reimer. Has anyone else seen this? I can’t seem to find any more info about it online. Now there’s one on about pumping parties called Lethal Beauty.

Meat or People

Posted by – December 18, 2009

There’s a great video about how women’s bodies are represented in media that was just brought to my attention. It’s in Italian with English subtitles and worth watching. That said, some of the images are really upsetting (and all were broadcast on Italian television).

Congrats to FORGE

Posted by – October 2, 2009

Today, FORGE snagged the second largest grant given to a transgender organization. From their press release:

Less than a month after starting a 3-year, nearly $300,000 federally-funded project to improve the nation’s sexual violence and criminal justice professionals’ ability to respectfully and appropriately serve transgender survivors of sexual violence, FORGE has been awarded a second federal grant to provide direct services to transgender survivors and SOFFA (Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies).

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