Finding LGBTQ Material at the @NMAAHC – a helpful twitter dialogue

NMAAHC

One of the many reasons I love social media. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (@NMAAHC) responded to my blog post (Being #TransVisible at the National Museum of African American History and Culture) via Twitter and provided helpful information for my next visit. And there will be one (when I am able to get in ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

More learning per square inch in Washington, DC than any other place I have ever been. The dialogue is below, feel free to reference it on your trip.

Being #TransVisible at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

I โค๏ธwhen we support things. #BeKP kpthrive nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation
I โค๏ธwhen we support things. #BeKP @kpthrive @nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation (View on Flickr.com)

The information desk could not direct us to any displays featuring transgender people. The bathrooms are gendered. When I asked a staff person where the LGBT section was, she said “What does LGBT stand for?”

I know that’s not the intent of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (@NMAAHC) based on the work they’ve done (see the Twitter moment at the bottom of this post), so these things are not a big deal in the overall experience that the NMAAHC is.

I could only be there for a brief time (when you see a chance you take it) and I experienced multiple incredible micro-interactions that I can’t even express here, not just with the imagery, with the staff, the other visitors, that were meaningful and remind me why there’s more learning-per-minute in Washington, DC than any other place I’ve been.

Not to mention that it’s the most inclusive city in the world…

The best moment of the day was the selfie that myself and colleague Bianca Rey (@BiancaRey) took in front of the sweet home cafe, which is generously supported by Kaiser Permanente.

After I snapped the photo I asked what hashtags to use and she said, “include #TransVisbility. I’m including that on every photo now.” Of course I did.

30% of Americans know someone who is Transgender. 37% of the youngest Americans (age 18-29) do (see: Many Americans know someone who is gay, fewer know someone who is transgender | Pew Research Center)

Science clearly demonstrates that bias is reduced by contact of a specific nature:

optimal intergroup contact would be of equal status, involve cooperation to achieve common goals, and should be supported by important societal institutions.Just Read: Methods for reducing unconscious bias, implications for transgender person health and medical care

That’s us. Equal status (both people who power Kaiser Permanente, I actually report to Bianca as a Produer on Capital TransPride, she is Co-chair of our Multicultural Business Group), involving cooperating to achieving common goals (Helping our health system learn to love better), supported by important societal institutions (Kaiser Permanente is the highest performing health system in the United States).

One more photo. This is of Bianca at the first ever transgender youth ball in Washington, DC last month, produced by the also-amazing Ruby Corado (@CasaRubyDC). She’s welcoming the attendees and affirming them as valuable members of the Washington, DC community, along with Ruby.

2017.05.19 Capital TransPride Weekend Washington, DC USA 5087
2017.05.19 Capital TransPride Weekend Washington, DC USA 5087 (View on Flickr.com)

Let a few more Americans discover what it’s like to know someone who makes the world a better place for them. My generation of physicians came to health care to make sure that happens, and we will ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Rest of my NMAAHC photos below. Thank you for a great experience.

How an iMessage App helped make history at the first transgender pride crosswalk in the United States

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6410
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6410 (View on Flickr.com)

Washington, DC did it first (again). The first transgender pride crosswalk in the United States, the second in North America. (see: Photo Friday: Where crosswalks are inclusive, too. Washington, DC USA for more information about this work)

The history on top of the history is that the crosswalk’s creation included the creator of the transgender pride flag, Monica Helms (@MF_Helms).

Monica learned about the crosswalk because of this blog post:

Special Pride Project Complete: Transgender Pride Flag iMessage App

Which was shared on Facebook, which she responded to, and connected this work to her work. It turned out that Monica and her partner Darlene happened to be in Washington, DC (they are from Atlanta area) on the day we painted, and so, we painted.

A Crisscross of History – Monica and Ted

The first transgender pride flag was unveiled in the LGBTQ Pride Celebrations in Phoenix, Arizona in the year 2000. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and it turns out I was born and raised less than a mile from where Monica grew up. My father completed his residency training at a new hospital in the newish community that Monica’s family settled in at the time.

I’d like to be able to say that many who leave Arizona go on to do great things, or great things for the LGBTQ community specifically (Cleve Jones @CleveJones1 is also an Arizona native)….maybe it is that the places that are at times the least tolerant create the greatest innovation.

A 5 Star Experience

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6336
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6336 (View on Flickr.com)

As Oprah herself defines 5 star experiences, this was one of those. Maybe a 6 star. My favorite images in the collection below are of my fellow citizens, humans, leaders, marking their identity on the streets of our nation’s capital. Fully sanctioned, fully supported, following in the footsteps of the Mayor herself who painted the previous day, protected by a Metropolitan Police Sergeant who also happens to be transgender herself.

The power of a flag to indicate that a person exists, that they matter, is undeniable to someone who is LGBTQ. Others may never understand it, but they can work to understand it ๐Ÿ™‚ .

When I said goodbye to Monica my voice cracked a little when I said “thanks for changing the world.” A person doesn’t get to say that to a lot of people in their lifetimes. Although, in Washington, DC, I seem to say that to a lot more people than any other place I’ve been.

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6415
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6415 (View on Flickr.com)

Isn’t this century the best? (It is)

Photos below. As Washington DC goes, so goes the nation.

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I amGloria Gaynor

Beyond walking in parades with us, things I’d like you to do to produce health for LGBTQ humans

2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073
2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073 (View on Flickr.com)
I was unable to attend the 1 year vigil for the murder of 49 humans in Orlando on June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. The photograph above, taken on June 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, captures some of the emotion that’s felt when remembering what happened.

2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06103
2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06103 (View on Flickr.com)

I am about to post photos of this past weekend’s Capital Pride (@CapitalPrideDC) events in Washington, DC.

Before I do that, I wanted to write about some things I’ve been experiencing personally and professionally in the last year that I suggest people work to address.

It’s great that we’re joined in parades and celebrations, however, we need to reconcile that activity with activities that are needed year round. A few suggestions are below, based on actual situations. If you don’t understand what’s being asked or know what the right answer is to these questions, post in the comments or contact me, I’m happy to educate.

  • If you are a publication, are you using accurate and compassionate language in your writing, instead of inaccurate and triggering language? Are you a @DailyDot (an exemplar) or are you a @USAToday or @NPR (both need work) See this post: Thanks for publishing my photo AND listening, DailyDot, in โ€œWhat Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?โ€
  • Do you manage comments on articles, as several publications do successfully, or do you allow unhealthy or anti-LGBTQ sentiment to be posted without any recourse?
  • If you are a company or organization that employs people, are you creating an open environment or are you directly or indirectly requiring people to “fit in”?
    • When LGBTQ employees report issues with others’ behavior, are they the ones tasked with resolving them?
    • In organizational communications, are anti-LGBTQ sentiment or statements tolerated?
    • On discussion boards
    • On company intranets
    • In events or meetings
    • Do you respond to people’s requests to listen with “I’m trying to help you.” or do you start with “Tell me more?”
    • Are employees’ names correctly reflected in all aspects of their work experience? This includes computer logins, payroll and benefits systems, email, etc.

If there is one bisexual man in your unit his fitting in depends on how open to diversity your unit is. It is NOT based on how hard he tries to fit in.UK Army LGBT Forum

  • If you’re in health care, do you speak of LGBTQ health care, or more specifically transgender person care, as something that’s “difficult” “complicated” “expensive” or name-your-pejorative?
  • If you’re not sure about whether you or the organization you’re affiliated with are doing any of the above, do you know who to ask, or do you assume it’s not happening?
  • When you encounter an organization or company that’s behaving in a discriminatory way, do you let them know via social media or other means? Maybe you shouldn’t. Instead, work to help the world love better. Read this piece by a young transgender man humiliated by an eating establishment for some advice: Thanks for publishing my photo and #WhatAParentLooksLike: Trans Discrimination: From Lunch Counters to Refused Hot Wings
  • Have you considered a mentor relationship with someone who is LGBTQ that you don’t supervise or otherwise have control over, on an ongoing basis, to review behaviors and attitudes with a lens toward improvement?
  • Do you call yourself “an Ally” or do you work to be an Ally in the eyes of those who it matters to? See this post: WAIT = Why am I Talking? Learning how to be a better Ally

All of these activities (or lack thereof) have a significant impact on the health and wellness of LGBTQ people, their families, and the communities around them.

Remember.

What we do here matters. Remember ๐Ÿ˜ข #Orlando #CTP2017 #transpride #UnapologeticallyProud โœŒ๏ธ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒŽ capitaltranspride
What we do here matters. Remember ๐Ÿ˜ข #Orlando #CTP2017 #transpride #UnapologeticallyProud โœŒ๏ธ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŒŽ @capitaltranspride (View on Flickr.com)

It’s not what you do, it’s what you tolerate.

A post shared by Ted Eytan (tedeytan) on

Unapologetically Proud: Images from Washington, DC, USA

2016.06.11 LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC USA 05671
2016.06.11 LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC USA 05671 (View on Flickr.com)

The nation’s capital is getting ready for its annual Capital Pride (@CapitalPrideDC) celebration. It’s also getting ready for the historic Equality March (@EqualityMarch17), happening the day after the parade.

#LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day. First time that transgender pride flag is visible, important sign of inclusion. โค๏ธ DC ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ#instaDC #DC #EqualityEqualsHealth capitalpridedc 63245
#LGBTQ Pride in Washington, DC, where the future is born every day. First time that transgender pride flag is visible, important sign of inclusion. โค๏ธ DC ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ#instaDC #DC #EqualityEqualsHealth @capitalpridedc 63245 (View on Flickr.com)

Besides that first, our city can see transgender pride flags alongside rainbow pride flags this year. This is an important recognition of the diversity of our LGBTQ communities.

This weekend will also be the painting of rainbow crosswalks, to include a transgender pride flag.

In this century, As DC goes, so goes the nation.

The photograph at the top of this post is the only one that wasn’t taken this year. It was taken on June 11, 2016, in Washington, DC, the day before 49 human beings were massacred in Orlando for living in their identities. 

Celebrate. And, help the world learn to love better. If you’re not sure how to do that, ask someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. We’re here to help you work to be an ally ๐Ÿ™‚ .

Enjoy the photos. More will be coming

Special Pride Project Complete: Transgender Pride Flag iMessage App

As I mentioned in this Month’s Now Update, I worked on a special emoji creation project for a friend, and that project is now complete.

You can read more about it at community colleague Chad Cipiti’s website.

And of course, download the App here (iOS only at this time).

As it says in the website description, visibility and identity is important, one of the most primal human drives there is.

If I am impressed by anything in my career as a physician, it is the fact, as data clearly shows, that suppression or denial of identity by outside forces has catastrophic health and life consequences. So why would we want to do that? In any event, diversity is what allows the human species to survive.

iMessage full of pride, smiles ear to ear when I see great people who are visible and amazing. . App submitted to iTunes waiting for approval โœŒ๏ธ #TransVisibility #transpride #transrespect capitaltranspride As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation
iMessage full of pride, smiles ear to ear when I see great people who are visible and amazing. . App submitted to iTunes waiting for approval โœŒ๏ธ #TransVisibility #transpride #transrespect @capitaltranspride As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation (View on Flickr.com)

We decided to do this because there’s a need, and it’s better for health. There’s a movement underway to add the transgender pride flag symbol to Unicode. Hopefully it will follow the rainbow pride flag, which was added in 2016.

We’ll also be working on another special visibility project this week, which I hope to post photographs of as well.

Thank you Chad (@chaddashwick), Bianca (@BiancaRey), and the 21st Century, for being here with us ๐Ÿ™‚ – and Happy Pride Month!

If you don’t like the news … go out and make some of your own Wes Nisker