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Trans-Parenting Podcast Episode 6: Interview with NCLR Attorney Asaf Orr

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 in Podcast | 0 comments

In this episode, I sit down with Asaf Orr, Esq., Transgender Youth Project Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) to talk about the most common legal questions parents of trans youth have, including:

  • how to file for name and gender marker changes,
  • medical insurance,
  • dealing with schools when your child transitions,
  • when to file a legal case on your child’s behalf (and when not to),
  • handling bullies,
  • updating wills,
  • abuse allegations,
  • and custody disputes.

Plus, we have a little fun getting to know Asaf better as a person at the end! Don’t miss it.

 

Please leave a comment with any questions you have so that we can offer a follow-up podcast.

If you need immediate legal advice, contact the NCLR Legal Help Line at: 1.800.528.6257

 

Hey, friends! We’re now on Patreon. Become one of our patrons and get extra stuff like a bonus recording each month, a bumper sticker, or even a t-shirt. In addition to our eternal gratitude, of course!

Every Victim in Orlando Was Someone’s Child

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Personal Thoughts | 2 comments

We just experienced the largest mass shooting of children in US history.
 
Every victim in #Orlando, every person who was dancing the night away in #Pulse, was someone’s child.
 
I am hurt. I am angry. I am scared.
 
I am hurt for the families and friends of each person — each human being — who was killed. I am hurt for their moms who will never have a chance to hug their child again and say “I love you.”
 
I’m overwhelmingly hurt for those who may have died feeling as if their moms didn’t love them. The sad truth is that many of the people who lost their lives may have also lost their families long before Sunday morning. Too many LGBTQ people are rejected, kicked out, and hear words like “You are dead to me” from their parents simply because of who they love or who they are. I am hurt for any of those children who felt alone as they lay there dying.
 
I am angry with the religious institutions who promote rejection of the LGBTQ community as part of their doctrine. Christian, Muslim, Catholic…there are more than enough examples to go around that we don’t have to limit the conversation to one kind of faith. I am angry at people who sing “Jesus loves the little children; all the children of the world,” but who practice anything but love when it comes to an LGBTQ person.
 
I am angry with the people who are saying “Enough with the rainbow crap. We don’t live in a divided country. We should be waving the American flag because Americans died.” Really? This country isn’t divided? This country treats everyone equally? With more than 200 legislative bills proposed just this year (and let me remind you that it’s only June) that target the LGBTQ community, you want to claim that all people have equal rights and are treated the same? Stop. Just stop. Your straight heteronormative privilege is showing.
 
And speaking of privilege and divisiveness, let’s note that Pulse was hosting Latin night. As we learn about the people who were killed, note how many are queer, trans, and people of color. Every life matters and let’s remember that there are segments of the LGBTQ community who are even more marginalized than most and who are most often the targets of violence. I’m angry at how often they are forgotten. I’m angry that we don’t do more to support them and lift them up.
 
And I am scared. I admit it. I am scared.
 
I am scared that this is just the beginning of a turbulent time when people fight back against the gains the LGBTQ community has made in seeing that precious equality they have long been fighting for.
 
I am scared at how many people are cheering on the death of almost 50 people who were out having a night of fun in a space where they were supposed to feel safe and free. I’m scared at the comments I’m reading like “at least it was gays and not innocent people” or “the shooter is my hero and the cops should be sued for killing a hero.” I’m scared at how many people are brazen enough to send me personal messages finding joy in the death of someone’s child.
 
And I’m scared for my own child. She asked to be public because she is proud of who she is. She waves her transgender flag with pride because she knows that her life has value and that she deserves to enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as any other child around her. But that also leads to vulnerability. I would like to think “She’s safe…no one would ever target such a young child and try to harm her.” But we have so many examples of people doing exactly that, not only in the US, but globally. Sandy Hook. West Nickel Mines Amish School. An elementary school in Rio de Janeiro where 12 children were killed. The summer camp on the island of Utoya in Norway. Columbine where students killed fellow students. Knowing how recent bathroom bills focusing on schools have encouraged distrust and fear of trans youth, I’m scared.
 
I’m really scared that people offering prayers and sympathy will simply forget and move on. I’m scared that next week, they’ll jump on the next trending news item because this one didn’t touch them personally. I’m scared that in November, they will forget the politicians who have used anti-LGBTQ rhetoric as a campaign issue and will vote for them. I’m scared that they won’t stop to teach their children that every person should be loved, respected, and treated equally no matter how they may be different.
 
I’m a mother. And I’m hurt, angry, and scared for our children.

 

To make a different right now, please consider making a donation to the victims and their families through one of these campaigns:

Taking Care of (Bathroom) Business

Posted by on Apr 23, 2016 in Advocacy, Personal Thoughts | 0 comments

Right now we have an epidemic of Transgender Bathroom Panic sweeping the US. Conservative politicians are using a debate over where trans people pee as one of their main campaigning points this election season.

From “religious freedom” laws that would allow discrimination against LGBT people based on deeply held (evangelical Christian) beliefs to laws taking direct aim at transgender people and/or students by defining bathroom policy based on sex assigned at birth or non-existent chromosome testing, governments across the nation are suddenly obsessed with genitals.

Public corporations are trying to take a stand on their own. Most of those have been in favor of the LGBT community and many have placed signs on their restrooms doors that allow people to use the restroom they feel most comfortable and safe in.

Still, many people are buying into the idea that trans people are dangerous, or at the very least, allowing them to use the restroom that matches their gender identity will somehow invite non-trans (cis) people to start freely terrorizing women and children in public (public…yet somehow private) restrooms.

To help lessen their fears and show them that trans people can and do use restrooms all the time without anyone blinking an eye, I have made some cards that can be left at the restroom sink.

The are business cards for when you do your business!

Feel free to download and print them out. There is a file with bleeds and without, so you can use the on your printer at home or use an online printing company.

trans-pee-bizcard

Download print file with bleeds

Download print file with no bleeds

A Story: Transgender Day of Visibility

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Personal Thoughts | 2 comments

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility and I won’t be sharing about Avery. She has enough visibility. Instead, I want to tell you about someone who doesn’t.

Last fall, the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series, so my friend Christina from ESPN came to town. We went out to eat at one of the many BBQ restaurants around here, and near the end of our meal, a young trans woman came in to talk with one of the employees. She looked to be in her early 20s.

It was obvious she was trans. She had a bad and rather raggedy wig on and a 5 o’clock shadow showing under her perfectly applied makeup. She was wearing a red jacket and red heals. She looked fierce!

When we got up to leave, she made some small talk with Christina about clothes, and about how she picked her jeans based on how comfortable they were…because “you know.”

I drove Christina to her hotel and headed home. But my path took me right past the restaurant again. As I was sitting at a stoplight in front of it, the young woman noticed me while she stood waiting to cross the street. She came up to my window and motioned for me to roll it down.

“Where’d my sister go? She is my sister, right?” she asked.

“Yes, she is.” I replied. “She had some work to do and and has to get up early, so I took her home.”

“Oh. … What are you doing with someone like her?” she inquired, a bit puzzled.

I told her “Well, she’s my friend, so we were catching up. I have a transgender daughter, too.”

That took her a moment to process. She looked at me again really hard. “What do you mean? You have a girl who wants to be a boy?”

“No,” I said. “I have a little girl. We thought she was a boy, but she told us we were wrong. Now she’s just my girl.”

“How old is she?” she incredulously demanded.

“She’s 8.”

The young woman took a step back and shook her head. Then she looked at me again with intensity and said softly “Can I hug you?”

So at 10pm, I stepped out of my car on Main Street in the middle of Kansas City and gave her a hug. Her hug in return was bone-crushing and absolutely one of the best hugs I’ve ever felt. She squeezed me like she would never let go, and I swear that I was encircled by every emotion it’s possible for a person to feel.

Then in a very quiet voice she said, “You’re doing right by your little girl. Please don’t ever stop doing right by her. My momma threw me out when I was 12.”

And then she let me go so quickly that I almost lost my balance, and she spun around on her red high heel and rushed away. I saw her wiping tears off her cheeks as she walked down the street into the darkness.

I don’t know her name. I don’t know where she lives, if she has food to eat, if she receives even the most basic medical care, or what she does to survive.

I do know that she is invisible to her momma. I do know that she’s probably invisible to almost everyone in Kansas City. But she isn’t invisible to me. Her face is burned into my mind, and I’m scared that the next time I’ll see her, it will be on the news as the murder of another trans woman of color is reported.

Today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, be proud at how far visibility has come and how many stories are being told. But please don’t forget that there are so many trans men, woman, and youth who are invisible. They matter, too. Until they don’t have to hide until they are celebrated — we have a lot to do.

 

#transgenderdayofvisibility #tdov #imlookingforher

Trans-Parenting Podcast Episode 5: Pediatric support confusion

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in Podcast | 0 comments

There’s an article making the rounds that appears to say pediatricians believe supporting trans youth amounts to child abuse. But who are these pediatricians exactly?

They are a group called the American College of Pediatricians. Ok, sounds good. But…

They are NOT the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is the organization people seem to think they are.

Don’t be taken in by the name. The confusion is on purpose and meant to make parents think that they should not support their trans youth.

But in this podcast, we are going to dig deeper into who each organization is and go through the ACP’s statement point by point.

 

SHOW NOTES

Position Statement (with ZERO documentation about those positions) from the American College of Pediatrics

Investigative article about the ACP that cites membership numbers and their practice of citing research about LGBT youth that is 100% contradictory to their own statements

American College of Pediatricians ( less than 200 members ) About Us page

American Academy of Pediatrics ( more than 64,000 members ) About Us page

American Academy of Pediatrics Position Statement the care of LGBT youth

 

Point by Point information…

  1. XX and XY chromosomes don’t tell the whole story
  2. biological nature of gender identity
  3. Gender Dysphoria is not a mental illness
  4. Puberty blockers do not treat puberty as a disease and are safe
  5. Desistance rates quoted by the ACP were from studies that did not separate gender non-conforming behavior from Gender Dysphoria, while actual studies of trans children show they are as consistent in knowing their identity as non-trans youth, and lack of acceptance leads to increased suicide risk
  6. Hormone replacement therapy risks mentioned by ACP are based on forms and amounts of hormones used decades ago, not current treatment and findings by the largest study to date
  7. The study cited by the ACP about suicides post-surgery shows the exact opposite of the ACP’s claims, and other studies show that discrimination and rejection from society are what drive people to suicide
  8. Studies have proven that family support of a trans child’s identity leads to improved mental health and lowers the risk of depression and anxiety to normal levels. That’s hardly abuse.

 

Hey, friends! We’re now on Patreon. Become one of our patrons and get extra stuff like a bonus recording each month, a bumper sticker, or even a t-shirt. In addition to our eternal gratitude, of course!