The Cutting Edge-November 2014
Barbara F. Anderson, Ph.D., LCSW
The new (Oct. 14, 2014) report by the Williams Institute found that transparents generally report positive parenting experiences. Transgender individuals parent at lower rates than the general public—approximately ¼ to ½ of such individuals are parents. The vast majority report that their relations with their children are positive, even during the parent’s “coming out” or transition period. They report a high level of discrimination—either formally at the hands of the court or informally by the child’s other parent in child custody and/or visitation arrangements. For more info on the report, contact Laura Rodriguez firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans’ Health Administration policy states that “medically necessary care is provided to enrolled or otherwise eligible intersex and transgender Veterans, including hormonal therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation, and medically necessary post-operative and long-term care following sex reassignment surgery. Sex reassignment surgery cannot be performed or funded by VA.” For the full VA policy: http://va.gov/vhapublications/ViewPublication.asp?pubID=2863 (Personal correspondence Nov. 13, 2014)
November 20, 2014 was the 16th Transgender Day of Remembrance, “a solemn tribute to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, and a day to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality.” Founded in 1998, it is an annual event commemorating the still unsolved murder of Rita Hester. The next year, the “Remembering Our Dead” web project was established and a San Francisco candlelight vigil was held in 1999. Subsequently, hundreds of cities throughout the US and the world have hosted annual Transgender Day of Remembrance events in solidarity with trans victims of hate crimes. While not every victim self-identified as trans, each was a target of violence because of his/her real or perceived gender identity or expression.
Some stats: transpeople are 1.5 times more likely to be targeted than the broader LGBT community.
67% of the victims were transwomen of color.
78% of transchildren (K-12) reported harassment in school.
The author and transgender activist, Leslie Feinberg, died at 65 on Nov. 15, 2014. Best known for the novel, “Stone Butch Blues” (1993), Feinberg is survived by partner and spouse, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Syracuse poet and professor, who described her as “an anti-racist white, working class, secular Jewish transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist [who] was the first theorist to advance a Marxist concept of ‘transgender liberation.’” Feinberg also authored “Transgender Warriors” (1997); “Trans Liberation” (1999); and “Drag King Dreams” (2006). Before her death of complications from a tick-borne disease, she was “preparing a 20th anniversary edition of ‘Stone Butch Blues.’ She worked up to a few days of her death to prepare the edition for free access, reading, and download from on-line.” In an interview she talked about the language she used to describe her gender. Though she has been referred to “as a butch, as a he-she, as a passing woman, as a drag king,” Feinberg stated that no language really describes her experience. However, she “accept[s] the language that best conveys to a large group of people who I am and what I’m arguing for.” (LA Times, Nov. 18, 2014)