Monday, April 2, 2012

In The Life 's "Becoming Me" a TG Family video

I saw this press release Sunday,  I was looking for a broadcast media outlet but this seems to be an internet thing.  I've included the links to watch the preview, and full episode on You Tube and at In the Life Media's website which also has some background on the program. ~ Sasha

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 01, 2012
This month, the award-winning newsmagazine In The Life will debut “Becoming Me,” featuring eight families with transgender and gender nonconforming children ranging in ages from 5 to 25.
Is it a boy or a girl? Many parents learn the answer before their baby is born, and most expect their children to develop a gender identity that mirrors biological sex within their first few years. But for transgender and gender nonconforming children, gender identity unfolds throughout childhood, adolescence and into early adulthood.
While mainstream media coverage has portrayed transgender children as a spectacle, Becoming Me forgoes the sensationalism with this sensitive look into the real-life experience of families whose children fall across the gender spectrum. With the healthy development of their children at stake, parents must confront binary perceptions of gender, widespread transphobia and controversial parenting decisions.
Becoming Me begins airing April 1st on public television stations across the country and will be available for free video streaming from the In The Life Media website. To find out when it will air in your local area, or to stream it, go to
Watch the Preview

To receive the latest updates about In The Life Media, follow us on twitter @ITLMedia using the hashtag #ITLMedia and like us on
About In The Life Media:
For twenty years, In The Life Media has been a leading media organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. One of the nation’s most honored and influential LGBT groups, In The Life Media creates social and political change by examining issues critical to LGBT individuals and providing audiences with powerful ways to advance equality within, and beyond, their communities. Produced by In The Life Media, the Emmy-nominated series, In The Life, was the first—and remains the only—LGBT newsmagazine on public television. In The Life is a two-time Emmy Award nominee, a Lambda Legal Liberty Award honoree, a Seigenthaler Award recipient from the National Lesbian and Gay Jounalists Association and a Ribbon of Hope Award recipient from The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
About American Public Television:
In The Life is distributed by American Public Television. APT has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. In 2009, APT distributed 56 of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit For more information on Create, visit
Eleanor Moonier
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Cathy Renna

Watch the Preview: Watch the full show: In The Life Media Or watch on You Tube

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Transgender Health 101" or "Shoes" goes to Chicago

"Transgender Health 101" or "Shoes" goes to Chicago

What attracted me to the article that I read in the Chicago Phoenix was the title: 

TRANSforming healthcare: UIC holds transgender healthcare event.  In the second paragraph from the article, Dr Regina Kim delivers the illustration similar to one used in Heather Rose Brown's "Shoes" and I was hooked.

What I expected was a rundown on how the Affordable Care Act may impact for the good, healthcare for transgender patients.  However the topic for the lecture that the Chicago Phoenix's TJ Chernick covered for the article was "Transgender Health 101".  I feel that this effort to get the word out on the identity of Transgender Patients is important.  It's important to be welcoming as they deliver healthcare which most likely will be the same as for 'normal' people, because we are normal people.   Getting a good welcoming primary care Doctor is as vital as having health care insurance coverage in order for transgender patients to have true access to healthcare.  Back in the job that I transitioned under (before they fired me when they had finally brought in enough people so that I was expendable), I had great healthcare coverage.  However finding a doctor willing to treat me for mundane non-transition healthcare was formidable.  It still is when I seek out a new PCP when I move.

 The first thing that I learned in my healthcare professional training is that a healthcare professional must treat all who come for healthcare with respect.  It is classes such as the "Transgender Health 101" which give healthcare professionals the background so that they can treat transgender patients with respect.  In the textbooks transgender patients may only be the t in passng mention of LGBT.  In learning that we are just normal people with a challenge and what the lingo of transgender means, they can be more comfortable with us.  That's why I feel that it was important that the class opened with the illustration from "Shoes" by Heather Rose Brown written in 2007 . Heather Rose Brown has the new sister in  her story teach her brother about the 'wrongness' of a gender expression opposite their true one by having him walk in shoes on the wrong feet.  While the writer of the article did not credit Heather Rose Brown, we can credit her and the good that her story has done over the years.

What follows is the text of the article from the Chicago Phoenix with a note from me :

TRANSforming healthcare: UIC holds transgender healthcare event

Posted by TJ Chernick on March 31, 2012 in News 

In honor of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, the University of Illinois at Chicago group UIC Pride hosted Transgender Health 101 March 28, a lecture and discussion on the role healthcare providers play when treating transgender patients.
“Take off your shoes and switch them around, now put them on … walk around a bit … how does that feel?” asked former Howard Brown Health Center physician and UIC faculty member Dr. Regina Kim. ”It’s not right, this is how a lot of people describe how it feels when they’re transgender.”[Sasha ~ This is the illustration from Heather Rose Brown's Shoes ]
The lecture, held in conjunction with the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), was led by Kim, GSC Assistant Director Liz Thomson and Mary Bowman, co-president of UIC Nurses for Reproductive Health & Justice.
“Just because a person is trans does not mean they will have far-and-away health issues that you’re going to have to address,” said Bowman. “Gender identity is an aspect of a persons identity, it is not their whole identity, and it could have varying effects on their health.”
Well attended by medical and nursing students, the event also brought in a few non-medical students and focused on the disparity transgender people face in healthcare, and how to better equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and understanding to develop inclusive care.
“All of us, no matter the geography, field or specialty in health care, will at some point care for a transgender individual or their loved ones,” said Kim. “In fact, one may not even realize they have known or currently know someone who is transgender.”
Thompson, who has over 13 years of experience in higher education and is an LGBTQ advocate and ally, led a portion of the lecture about demystifying the intricacies of the transgender experience, breaking down and explaining often misunderstood terms like genderqueer (someone outside of the male/female binary) and bigendered (one who identifies alternately as male/female).
Thompson also asked the attendees to reflect on their own experience. In a demonstration, participants were asked to grade their biological sex (based on the sex you were born with), gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation on a scale ranging from normatively male/masculine to female/feminine.
“It made me realize that it’s much easier to grade myself on a line than in a box,” said one attendee, referring to the boxes often found on medical charts.
Thomson explained the state of transgender protections in the U.S. and on the UIC campus. While 21 states have non-discrimination laws, including Illinois, only 16 of those state laws include gender identity/expression protections, according to the national Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
“Things happening around transphobia are a lot more public and you can always do more,” said Thompson. “Ultimately we would like everyone to be initiating and preventing [understanding] so we don’t always have to live in a reactive culture.”

Dr. Regina Kim. Photo courtesy L. Thomson/GSC.
The portion of the lecture led by Kim focused on developing gender affirmative healthcare, sharing stories of many transgender individuals’ experiences that led them to avoid seeking healthcare due to the anxiety it induced. Many of these individuals are forced to “come out” every time they meet a new physician, so often avoid annual — and critical — screenings. Kim provided advice to those individuals.
“Be an active and proactive participant in your health care for it is as unique as you are,” Kim told Chicago Phoenix. “Doing a bit of homework about the provider and your health needs in advance will increase the likelihood that you will have a good experience.”
She also recommends that transgender individuals find a a primary healthcare provider who is empathetic and holistic rather than waiting for a health crisis to arise. Kim, who has many years specializing in LGBTQ healthcare also provided advice to the future healthcare providers themselves.
GSC has made many efforts on the UIC campus to make transgender individuals feel safe by reforming university policy, having gender identity respecting housing, and celebrating national Transgender Awareness Week in November.
Work is still being done to develop more gender neutral bathrooms throughout the Chicago campus.

For more news from the Chicago Phoenix regarding LGBT issues including one for national LGBT Health week:

Weekend Palm Card: March 24 – March 31