Thanks for publishing my photo and #WhatAParentLooksLike: Trans Discrimination: From Lunch Counters to Refused Hot Wings

Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55436
Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55436 (View on

First, thanks for publishing my photo @Patheos in Trans Discrimination: From Lunch Counters to Refused Hot Wings

What a Parent Looks Like

I’m posting this here because of the posts it is linked to, written by a father of a transgender boy, and another by his son, about an incident at a wings restaurant where his son was humiliated.

Last Summer a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings destroyed my son’s heart and our day together. She denied him the opportunity to order wings. All we intended was to have dinner and see a movie as father and son. What we got was a taste of the worst of society and it felt like a horror movie. Our wings were denied and I had to teach him how to walk away from a situation with dignity. On Wings Denied and Knowing When to Walk Away

I always read the posts that use my photographs, especially those regarding LGBTQ people, including the comments (yes, including the comments). If the situation calls for it because of anti-human behavior, I revoke the license to use the photo. This has happened less than, oh, 6 times. 99% of the time my photos are used to support the human spirit and design society for hope.

In this case, Pat Green, the father engages in the comments in a way that is remarkable. I’ve written here several times that the concept of “never look at the comments” belongs in the 20th Century – many many publications today understand that it’s not what you do, it’s what you tolerate.

What a Leader Looks Like

And then Pat’s son, Dave, wrote a post showing incredible leadership:

Hello all! I’m Pat’s son. My name is Dave. I’m a trans man (as you all probably know.) I’ve been socially transitioning for about three years and medically transitioning for about a year.A Trans Teen’s Thoughts on Corporations, Suicide, Allies and Antagonists

His perspective is something that changed my mindset on some things and challenged me. He speaks about corporations, the sarcastic meme posters, well meaning allies, and reminds us what is at stake by speaking of the personal losses he has faced. He even offers real world advice on how to be a stronger ally to the trans community.A Trans Teen’s Thoughts on Corporations, Suicide, Allies and Antagonists

This is a time I am very thankful my photo was published. I got to see what a parent raising a leader looks like.


Hi. I am the parent of said remarkable teen. I am so glad that Stephanie Savage used your picture so I could read this. My son and I are getting ready to go on a picnic with my fiance’, I am waiting until then to share this with both of them.

All that said. It is a damn fine photo you took. Thank you for that as well.

I’m so glad I used that excellent photo, too, Pat. But above all, I’m happy you wrote these two very moving posts. It’s no coincidence that they went viral. Keep up the good work (and important activism)!


Pat, I’m glad Stephanie used my photo because it brought me to you and Dave. The future is families like yours and the medical profession is on your side and here for your long, healthy lives. Your leadership is inspiring. – Ted

Hi Ted! Thank you so much for your kinds words, as well as for the use of your excellent photo. I hope I was able to add my little contribution to such an important cause, though Pat’s mission — and passion — is as personal as it gets.

Still, at this time, in this political climate, transgender rights should be the rallying cry of every humanist. Indeed, the other person who liked this pic on Flickr, Cassidy McGillicuddy, is a top Patheos Nonreligious blogger!

Keep up the all-important activism!


Stephanie, I would say likewise and work like yours is the reason I make all my photos Creative Commons licensed. Fortunately in 2017, the medical profession has spoken and it is on the side of equality and full acceptance for people who are transgender. It’s what we came to health care to make sure of, with your help, #AlliesNeedAllies, keep up the great work, Ted

<3 By the way, I’m in LA…and a Kaiser member. Kaiser doctors quite literally saved my life! (Miracle Girl is meant to be ironic. My survival was actually a miracle of modern medicine.)


Well then it’s a wonderful thing that you are here to help others live well! And by the way I am proud to say that Kaiser Permanente now offers and covers transgender person care everywhere we operate – because everyone is made to be amazing. Please feel free to let me know of future projects going forward!


My son gets most of his conversion therapy through Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. We are so lucky to live here. Their gender clinic program is so very exhaustive and the staff is amazing.

I am finding “trans broken arm” syndrome to be less pronounced in the medical world. The changes are happening fast and it is noticed and appreciated. Thank you for your part in that.


I had never heard the term “trans broken arm” and now that I’ve looked it up, I understand it well both in the context of trans health care and where I first experienced it in medical school, while caring for patients with HIV.

What I am so happy about is the fact that more physicians and nurses are meeting more transgender people who are experiencing life as their authentic selves thanks to compassionate science-based medical care. In every encounter, more bias melts away.

Whenever I meet a physician involved in transgender person care I ask them why they decided to be in this field, and I usually receive an answer like the one James Barrett, from the UK gave me: “This is a patient population who are engaging, do well, and are grateful. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work for them.”

What they discover is that they are the lucky ones too :).

I just stumbled across this. How wonderful:

“This is a patient population who are engaging, do well, and are grateful. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work for them.”

And how revealing about what is inspiring & motivating to (some?) physicians. I’ve never had those items cited like that.

Hey Dave,

Yes, ironic isn’t it, that a patient population so engaging and empowering of our ability to serve is the same one that in the last century health care worked to dis-serve. The best doctors know, health care is a verb,


Hi Ted.

Hope all is well with you. I’m sitting in a airport terminal waiting on a delayed flight. I do not know why, but I was thinking about this post.

Stephanie passed away over a year ago from health complications. It shook all of us at the patheos non religious channel. She was a bright light and a sweet and strong woman.

Dave is a sophomore in college now. Dave is VP of the prism chapter on campus and taking to life as a psych major very well. The leadership continues as does significant activism.

One of the most important things Dave is passionate about is intersection and getting students registered to vote.

We were recently featured on ABC News on Chicago where I was happy to take a back seat to let the young adult speak out.

Hope this finds you well.

-Patrick (better known as, hey are you Dave’s dad?)


Thanks for thinking of this post and for the update.

I love hearing about people, Dave, in control of their health and life destiny, living life. I am saddened to hear about Stephanie’s passing, and grateful for the gift her assistance brought to our communities.

I am found very well knowing that Dave’s dad is proud of the accomplishments of his son,


Ted Eytan, MD