I have been treating gender variant and queer clients since the days of the Harry Benjamin Society, now called WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).  I can’t recall anything as disturbing to support transgender health as a nation than what occurred this week.  Here is the WPATH position statement:

For Immediate Release

East Dundee, IL: October 23, 2018

WPATH Board Responds to Federal Effort to Redefine Gender

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Board of Directors expresses its strongest disagreement with the intention of the Trump administration to define human gender as the sex recorded at birth based on visible genital formation and to restrict changes, all via regulation. It has been known for decades that sex and gender cannot be determined solely by birth anatomy or chromosomes. More recently, the durable biological underpinnings for gender identity have become better understood within the mainstream medical and scientific communities. Further, the targeting of individuals or groups to deny medically-indicated care represents a violation of the professional oaths taken by us in the medical provider community.

The Trump administration’s past efforts to erase transgender people from American society indicate that its officials believe that XX or XY chromosomal testing to be definitive and definitional. However, this testing is insufficient to measure the known factors that affect the actual sex or gender of a sentient human being.

To acknowledge the diversity of sex and/or gender present in all human beings gives life and potential to those millions of people whose characteristics are not simply defined by sex chromosomes. Over the past 30 years, litigation throughout all levels of the US judicial system has proven time and again that human beings who are not reducible to chromosomes do deserve full equality, including access to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and health care, along with all rights conferred by the US Constitution.

WPATH member physicians and researchers stand ready to testify before Congress to protect and defend the health and well-being of all transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

On November 18, 2016, in Denver Sex Therapy, GLBT, LGBT, sex therapy, by drneilcannon1
© Osaidism | Dreamstime.com

© Osaidism | Dreamstime.com

 

Transgender Day of Remembrance has occurred annually on November 20, since 1999.  It is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

Now more than ever, we need to embrace diversity.  As I write this in mid November of 2016, at least 27 known transgender people in the United States alone have been murdered due to their transgender status.  One is too many!  How many more have been bullied, harassed, discriminated against, or in any way made to feel bad or less than?  Imagine what it must be like to be part of a community that fears being harmed simply for who one is.

There are far more gender non-conforming people than most people think. It was not long ago that it was generally believed that prevalence of gender dysphoria was 1 in 10,000 or so. Recently there was a large study of high school students in Minnesota reporting that 2.5% answered yes to a question about whether they identify as “transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid, or unsure about your gender identity.”  When speaking about intersex condition, author and gender expert, Arlene Istar Lev recently asked the audience at a gender care training she conducted at The University of Denver in conjunction with the Gender Identity Center of Colorado; “Do you know anyone that is Jewish?”  Of course, every hand went up. The answer is about 2.2% of Americans are Jewish.  So if you know or love someone who Jewish, you just may know or love there someone who is gender non-conforming, even if they haven’t felt emotionally safe enough to share that part of themselves with you.

My vote is for us is to just everyone.  Not regardless of gender identity, but because of the beauty of diversity.  Imagine how boring the tapestry of our great nation would be if we only had one color in the pallette.