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?
- 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…