Thanks for publishing my photos UrbanTurfDC, in Brookland: Where Change and Charm Collide

2017.02.12 Brookland, Washington, DC USA 00629-2
2017.02.12 Brookland, Washington, DC USA 00629-2 (View on

Thanks, Urban Turf (@urbanturf_dc) for featuring my photos in this piece on their blog:

With growing development prospects and a blend of artistic flair, Catholic history, academic life, and strong community bonds, Brookland moves forward.

Source: Brookland: Where Change and Charm Collide

For over fifty years, the tower-and-dome façade of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in North America, has been the defining icon of DC’s Brookland neighborhood.

While that remains the case, a new symbol is stealing the show: giant white letters painted on the eastern face of the Brookland Works building, stretching almost two floors high, that spell out the neighborhood’s name for all to see.

Bold and larger-than-life, the BROOKLAND sign is representative of the many changes this neighborhood has undergone in recent years, fed by growing development prospects and a blend of artistic flair, Catholic history, academic life, and strong community bonds.

Theirs published the same day I published my version of my trip, which you can read about below.

2017.02.12 Brookland, Washington, DC USA  00650
2017.02.12 Brookland, Washington, DC USA 00650 (View on

As I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t do commissioned work, or any type of photography for payment. I’ve made an exception in this case because

  • I love Washington, DC
  • Payment is being directed to a vital community organization supporting LGBTQ and all humans in the Capital, Casa Ruby (@CasaRubyDC)

Although it’s not technically in Brookland, the Mother Teresa Missionaries of Charity exists in close proximity, and to this day I remember Ruby telling us the story of her volunteer work at the Missionary during the AIDS crisis in Washington, DC – a time when the Missionary was protested because neighborhood residents believed HIV could be spread through the air.

If anything, my walk by the houses of the people who led in a world that didn’t want to reaffirms that our generation is changing everything, as generations before us did. It’s how a clock works, it only goes forward 🙂

If you want to pinpoint the landmarks on a map, here you go.

See Post: Photo Friday: Brookland, Washington, DC USA – An amazing journey through American History

#PSOTU2016 : My Story

My story is about …. (View on

Community colleagues Claudia Williams (@ClaudiaWilliams), Nick Dawson (@NickDawson) and I hosted a delightful gathering in Arlington, Virgina for People’s State of the Union (#PSOTU2016), “AN ANNUAL CIVIC RITUAL AND PARTICIPATORY ART PROJECT” supported by the US Department of Arts and Culture (@USartsdept).

The suggested themes for stories are below. We slightly modified them to be about health.

  • Share a story you think the next President absolutely needs to hear.
  • Share a story about something you have experienced that gave you insight into the state of our union.
  • Share a story about a moment you felt true belonging—or the opposite—in this country.

My story theme was about a time in 2015 that I felt optimistic about health in our country. It has a title that I’ve oft mentioned on this blog:

The World is Learning to Love Better

Since I’m into visuals and social media, my story includes both.

It goes like this.

“What Cis People Say To Trans People Vs. What We Hear” via Buzzfeed

The day before our gathering I saw this cartoon.

In medicine (and society), you could apply it to any group, when people say, “I have no problem with ____ people.”

I heard that a lot about lesbian/gay people, as well as about people with HIV/AIDS, when I was in training.

Actually, I hear it sometimes today, and what I hear is, as the cartoon says, “I have a problem with ____.”

It’s the problem of bias, explicit, and implicit, and it continues to challenge the medical profession.

In that context the story about optimism happens in April, 2015.

April 28, in fact. That warm spring day, we’re hosting a roundtable with the American College of Sports Medicine, with some very senior medical leaders.

My contribution to the day is to lead a few walking meetings. I realize that if we walk to the Supreme Court with these senior medical leaders, we’re going to encounter a huge crowd gathered in front of the Court to support marriage equality on this day (see A few photos taken on the way to the future #SCOTUS #LoveMustWin #WalkingMeeting for the whole scene).

I let everyone know the Supreme Court is going to be “busy.”

We go and when we arrive, one of the medical leaders grabs a sign with a heart shaped rainbow and asks me to take his photo. It’s Pat McBride, MD, the Associate Dean of Student Services, at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. We’ve only met a few hours earlier.

In my mind, I transport myself backward in time 20 years, to a place where it’s not only inappropriate to promote equality as a physician, it’s the end of one’s career. It surely was a scary concept at my medical school.

And so, I jokingly/not-jokingly ask, “Is your Dean going to be okay with me tweeting this photo?”

The response: “Yep.”

And so I tweet it. To the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Who favorite it.

The story ends with us walking back to the our meeting room together and the scientific discourse continues. No one seems to have a problem with LGBTQ people, or their need to have the same opportunities afforded to all humans.

This year and century are filled with unexpected demonstrations of kindness in the medical profession and in health, which are gradually wiping away bias.

The world is really changing. It’s learning to love better. You can see it in the photo.

I love this century 🙂 .

That’s a great state of the union.

SCOTUS 2015 APRIL LGBTQ 54824 – Patrick McBride, M.D., M.P.H, FACC is associate dean of student services at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and is in Washington, DC as part of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)/Kaiser Permanente Roundtable: Call to Action on Making Physical Activity Assessment and Prescription a Standard of Medical Care

Arguments at the United States Supreme Court for Same-Sex Marriage on April 28, 2015 (View on

Doctors are allies in the 21st Century

It was a great joy to co-host the Community Clinician Roundtable – Care of Transgender Patients with the National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) yesterday.

The care of people who are transgender requires a multidisciplinary approach, and as I mention in my intro slides below, clinicians (and attorneys) who are in this space are by definition working in the future of health care. Transgender person health has a specific reliance on a strong medical-legal partnership, because our society has placed restrictions on the access and realization of a person’s gender identity that’s dependent on the clinician role. It’s just the way it is today.

And… “doctor as ally” should be the norm all around for all humans. I have called myself an ally for at least a year now, and now I know it means a lot more than being a health advocate – it means being a part of a team in a health system, a partner in society to end special mistreatment of people and promote good health for all.

Being an ally also carries a special responsibility which is, at times, to experience the same bias that the people you serve face. Allies get included in hostile attitudes/behaviors through association. This is why it’s a special honor that I have enjoyed, and why I have special respect for someone who identifies as “ally.” Sometimes allies are marginalized in subtle ways – it’s like we are the only people in a room full of strangers. The photo above says that that’s just a feeling – there’s a whole room of just allies. You’re welcome in any time 🙂 .

Thanks a ton to all the surgeons, physicians, therapists, nurses, office managers, policy experts who are standing with and for every human being as they achieve their life goals through optimal health. We are your #allies!

Crowdsource Request: Being a transgender ally and unconscious bias

Save the Date: : 2nd Annual LGBTI Health Symposium, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

As I do from time to time, I’m requesting help for a discussion I’m honored to lead/participate in at the 2nd annual LGBTI (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex) Health Symposium, hosted by the Southern California Permanente Medical Group (and is open to all), on May 2-3, 2014. The very first one was last year, see: Clinicians from the future practice the medicine of inclusion – Kaiser Permanente LGBT Health Symposium | Ted Eytan, MD

The theme of this year’s symposium is unconscious bias, sometimes called implicit bias (which you can learn a lot about here). I have started to learn about implicit bias and it’s pretty clear a person could (and does) earn a PhD in studying it, so my goal will not be to discuss implicit bias as an expert.

Instead, I’d like to recount my (amazing) journey as a transgender ally. I didn’t ask to be an ally, I didn’t know what it was to be an ally (you can read about that here at the University of Southern California web site), I think it asked me.

I’m not finding much literature on implicit bias around transgender people, much less implicit bias around allies. I’m not looking to discuss bias directed toward allies, more to discuss the bias I have seen directed toward minorities as an ally. Make sense? 

With that in mind I have some questions that I’d love help with, please respond in the comments or tweet me (@tedeytan) or contact me directly.

  • Do you have experience as an ally, for any LGBTI group, and/or people who are transgender?
  • If so, what has it been like? Have you encountered bias toward yourself or toward the people you are supporting? If you would, write about an experience or experiences you’ve had.
  • What would you most want to learn / dialogue about in a discussion about implicit bias and people who are transgender?
  • Do you know of any articles/people/resources that would be useful, specifically for allies, specifically for people who are transgender?
  • Do you have any information on changing implicit bias toward people who are transgender?
  • If you are not an ally but know one, what have you observed?
  • And finally…(well, nothing’s final): How would you title a session like this? 

Post away in the comments, either answers, or more questions. I’ll be writing more as I learn.

And, in preparation, I created a photographic journey of my ally-ness, which now has spanned almost 3 years. Like I said above, it’s been amazing – the people, the experiences, the beauty of the human spirit…

Leadership and Professional Ethics | Dana Beyer – Huffington Post

Leadership and Professional Ethics | Dana Beyer – Huffington Post.

Great post by colleague Dana Beyer, MD (@DanaBeyerMD), and not just because I am quoted 🙂

I’m in agreement with her. In practice, I say it is the physician’s role to bring the patient story into every conversation. Our other role is to create an environment where the patient can be heard, and then let them speak for themselves.

In the same piece, she also touched on what it means to be in the sausage making of creating change, which I mentioned yesterday ( see: Thanks for publishing my photo about equality, | Ted Eytan, MD).

On an occasional basis, people ask me how they can be exposed to innovative ideas/thoughts/people. It’s in places where this is happening, often because most people don’t want to be there. That and the world belongs to optimists, pessimists are bystanders :).

Thanks for a year of great writing, Dana.

Thanks for publishing my photo about equality,

I loved seeing Mashable (@Mashable) use a photograph that I took in yesterday’s post “9 Changes to Expect at Midnight on Jan. 1“. My photographs are always creative commons licensed because I think the human spirit is pretty great, and I want to share it with others :).

The previous times Mashable has used my photographs they have been for technology related stories, which Mashable is known for covering very thoroughly. This photograph is different. Here it is, and the story behind it is below.

The date was March 30, 2013, and I clearly remember what has happening when this was taken. A first-of-its-kind rally for trans health was about to take place in Tivoli Square, in the Columbia Heights Neighborhood, in Washington, DC. As these signs were being taped up by organizers, I watched the reaction of bystanders, with clearly disdainful looks on their faces. And yet, the organizers still kept putting up signs, and I kept taking pictures. Then the rally happened, and I watched a continuation of what started with the signs, as the transgender people of the community began to take control of their own destiny. I think that’s the moment that I became an ally, because I had seen exactly the same thing happen in my community and knew how significant it was.

About 2 weeks later, I posted one of the photographs on this blog (Photo Friday: Nico Quintana , his story | Ted Eytan, MD), but I made a conscious decision not to post the others.

It’s amazing to think 9 months later that the world has learned to love people who are transgender better and the documentation of it is as important as the latest piece of wearable technology.

My friend Dana Beyer, MD (@DanaBeyerMD) , in an excellent piece in the Huffington Post also yesterday ( see: Leadership and Professional Ethics | Dana Beyer), had this to say:

When all is said and done, the only ones who will care how the sausage was made will be the historians — possibly — and the participants themselves. And the best the dramatis personae can hope for will be to have a good laugh when reminiscing.

She’s right, a lot of people will never understand how much innovation, learning, leadership, friendship, beauty comes from being in the sausage making. We do, though, and the rest of the photographs from that day are posted below. Enjoy / Comments welcome / feel free to distribute (of course)

TEDMED Blog : Examined Lives: An MD on living and helping to guide the evolution of transgender health

I’ve done more than 10,000 surgeries and they had little emotional impact on me because I was shut down. There’s no emotional attachment. I know I did it; I earned a good living; I remember things people wrote and cakes people made for me, but there’s no attachment.  It’s only after I transitioned that everything has been more real and alive and colorful.  We do know that the memories that most vivid and are easiest to retrieve are those with the most emotional content to them, but you need to be receptive.

Wonderful interview of Dana Beyer, MD. Thanks, TEDMED (@TEDMED) team for listening – the best use of technology ever.

via TEDMED Blog | The future of health & medicine is here too.TEDMED Blog | The future of health & medicine is here too..

Don’t forget to catch the special Google + Hangout today at 2:00 pm – Great Challenges : Transgender Health : An Evolution to Understanding.

A perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index again for 2014

Kaiser Permanente has again been named a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index report. The report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Again this year, Kaiser Permanente earned a perfect 100 percent score for its efforts to promote a supportive work environment for its employees and physicians. – See more at:

Having 100% on the Corporate Equality Index doesn’t guarantee freedom from bias; it creates a beacon/example for other organizations and people. It’s important to remember that in the majority of States of the United States (30), you can be fired from your job simply because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

This year, Kaiser Permanente is 1 of just 303 companies who earned 100%. Last year, it was one of 253. As I mentioned last year (see: What it means to earn a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index | Ted Eytan, MD):

There are a lot of other companies in this year’s index that earned a 100% score, and there were a lot that earned a 0% score.

Being 100% in terms of providing equal opportunity within the workplace and demonstrating support in the community for all is where I’d like to be, because Equality equals Health.

Thanks to the team in Kaiser Permanente’s National Diversity and Inclusion organization who do so much to promote health through their work.

Photo Friday: 27th 17th Street High Heel Race, Dupont Circle, Washington, DC USA

As featured in the DCist Metropolitan Blog this week, (see: About Tonight: October 31, 2013: DCist), I took this photograph at the finish line of the 27th annual 17th Street High Heel Race, in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC.

The High Heel Drag Queen Race began 27 years ago with 25 contestants and as I said last year, it continues to be a gorgeous display of creativity and freedom, because love always wins.

Rest of my photos are below.