Just Read: Transgender Women of Color are Murdered Much More Often – American Journal of Public Health

Dinno A. Homicide Rates of Transgender Individuals in the United States: 2010-2014. Am J Public Health [Internet]. American Public Health Association; 2017 Sep 8 [cited 2017 Aug 18];107(9):1441–7.
My photograph used on the AJPH website
Too many unresolved Itnl Transgender Day of Remembrance #tdor Washington DC USA
The photograph I would have recommended that AJPH use, which brings the undercounting problem home. Caption: Too many “unresolved” Itnl Transgender Day of Remembrance #tdor Washington DC USA (View on Flickr.com)

Between 3 and 75 times as often as their cisgender Black female age cohort for Black transfeminine trans women, and between 2 and 44 times as often as their cisgender Latina female age cohort.

In percentages, that’s murdered 300% – 7500% and 200% – 4400% as often.

As the images on the right show I learned about this study because my photograph is being used to adorn the front page of the AJPH website. I actually enjoy the fact that the publication of my work brings me important knowledge, even when the news isn’t good. I’m going to post about the photographs separately and will link that post from here.

This study was published in American Journal of Public Health (@AmJPublicHealth) and authored by Alexis Dinno, ScD, MPH, MEM (what, not on Twitter?) and provides an important look at an issue that is often discussed in the community I call home. Why? Because even if the “upper” end of transgender person prevalence in society is 0.6%, in Washington DC, it’s 2.8%, 5 times (500%) higher than any other State in the United States.

I read the study carefully because the topic is so important, and

  • Most of the documented murders of transgender people are women (99%), only 1 documented transgender man homicide 2010-2016
  • Most of the documented murders of transgender people are people of color (97.1%)
  • Therefore, most of the murders of transgender people are murders of transgender women of color (95.5%)

There are going to be very large problems with undercounting homicides and the prevalence of people who are transgender, which is covered in the paper, and estimates arrived at using multiple techniques.

So, what is being said in our neighborhoods, our parks, and on our streets is true & with a murder rate this high, it’s likely that trans women of color know someone who has been murdered.

Not What You Do, What You Tolerate

It’s easy to quickly see the determinants of this situation if you simply browse the tweets about this article, which distort the data in a transphobic manner.

This behavior notwithstanding, the combined medical and nursing professions have spoken, clearly and conclusively, that covered, medically supervised transition and necessary medical care is to provided to this population. To do otherwise is unethical.

And really, we have as much to do to change the way society perceives people they don’t understand as we do in providing compassionate medical care.

My generation of physicians was created during the most profound ethical crisis in modern medicine which makes our movement essentially unstoppable, and certainly not stoppable by a few tweets 🙂 .

We now have scientists bringing us useful knowledge to assist our efforts. Isn’t this century great?

Just Read: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg

Ever since I read Lean In (see: Just Read (and discussed with my mother): Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg) I’ve felt some commonality with Sheryl Sandberg as someone who knows what she’s passionate about and continues to help people understand the world better. Like her, I get the emotional and physical eye rolls and comments about this being “my thing” – you know, the thing involving equality equal health 🙂 .

It is what it is, misfits have to stick together while others work to “fit in.”

I enjoyed the book and I’m not going to summarize it because a lot of people already have, these are the things that resonate with me.

Recovery and the Three P’s

Your life can really change in an instant.

No detail seems spared in this account of the death of Sandberg’s husband, which is the platform for a deep exploration of grief, resilience, including research into implicit bias and stereotypic threat. It’s an impressive journey, fueled by emotion. From that perspective, I’d say the goal of experiencing traumatic growth was met.

Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 16). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Much as the science in Stumbling on Happiness reveals, a lot of our abilities our self determined.

The R word (Resilience)

This is the word of the decade. Google confirms it. I can’t keep up with all of the definitions of what it is. It is no less important, though. In my situation, I am interested in the resilience of populations because of the time and space I live in in Washington, DC.

Resilient communities have strong social ties—bonds between people, bridges between groups, and links to local leaders.

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 139). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

After the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, psychologists went to refugee camps in Tanzania to provide mental health care. They found that treating individuals was less effective than strengthening the community’s ability to support vulnerable groups.

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 139). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

I identify with these sentiments as I exist in communities with truly transformational leaders. They are the ones that say things like this:

“My job is to restore dignity. Society told them that they were not beautiful, they were not amazing, that they will never make it. A big part of my job is to reassure them that they were lied to. And once I’m able to do that, I want them to dream.”
Ruby Corado, United Shades of America, CNN, May, 2017

What we do in our roles as members of communities matters. Lives can change in an instant.

The Failure Resume

I’m definitely going to do this. Watch for it.

Princeton professor Johannes Haushofer took her up on it and posted his failure résumé—a list that went on for two pages of rejections from degree programs, job openings, academic journals, fellowships, and scholarships.

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 147). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Happiness from Within

As it was also said in Stumbling on Happiness, Marriage, although important, is not the determinant of health it is thought to be.

In a landmark fifteen-year study of changes in marital status among more than 24,000 people, getting married increased average happiness only a little bit; on a scale of 0 to 10, single people who were at a 6.7 in happiness might increase to a 6.8 after getting married. That tiny boost occurred around the time of the wedding and typically faded within a year. If one of the participants lost a spouse and did not remarry, eight years later on average their happiness would be a 6.55. It turns out that people who choose to be single are very satisfied with their lives. “Singles are stereotyped, stigmatized, and ignored,” psychologist Bella DePaulo finds, “and still live happily ever after.”

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 160). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

A year later, confirmation that nothing is someone else’s problem

Speaking of misfits and fitting in, I completed this book on the 1 year anniversary of Jess Jacobs’ death, by coincidence (see: Remembering Jess Jacobs).

One of my favorite posters on our office walls reads, “Nothing at Facebook is someone else’s problem.”

Sandberg, Sheryl. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy (p. 152). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Thanks for using my photo, Tom Blunt & Signature Reads, in History Shows There’s Nothing ‘New’ in News from Charlottesville

2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8045
2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8045 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for using my photo, Tom Blunt (@TomBlunt) and Signature Reads (@SignatureReads) in this well written piece. It connects what’s been happening to a lot of other happenings to minorities, including LGBTQ ones.

I recently tweeted/instagrammed about something that’s important to eliminate bias, which is to live and connect to the communities that are not part of our groups. Copious studies show this works. To not do it is to allow our own internal biases to drive the future, and why would we do that, especially when we hope to live in the future 🙂 .

The racism via white supremacists flooding Charlottesville this weekend shocked much of America – but there’s nothing new in these recent acts.Source: History Shows There’s Nothing ‘New’ in News from Charlottesville

Thanks for publishing my photo in Art to make you smile  – Greater Greater Washington

2017.07.13 DC People and Places, Washington, DC USA 7391
2017.07.13 DC People and Places, Washington, DC USA 7391 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photograph, @ggwash. It’s of Elizabeth Taylor in love with Washington, DC (and so am I).

As I write this, I’m reading Derek Hyra’s (@DerekHyra) Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City, which chronicles the changes that have been happening in this neighborhood. This place and image probably represent a lot of that change.

I’ll post on the book when I’ve finished it. However/and I think it’s important to know the story behind this mural – it is not a story of entitlement, rather one of vulnerability and resilience.

Had a rough week? We’ve picked out five pieces of art from the Greater and Lesser Washington Flickr pool to brighten your Friday. Happy weekend from all of us at GGWash!

Source: Art to make you smile in the Flickr pool – Greater Greater Washington

Thanks for using my photo in Mother of Slain Protester Says She Won’t Talk To Trump – Houston Public Media

2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8108
2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8108 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for using my photograph Houston Public Media (@HoustonPubMedia). It was taken on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, the night of the candlelight vigil for Charlottesville. You can see the rest of the photos from this day here.

Susan Bro said “now I will not” talk to the president after a news conference in which Trump equated violence by white supremacists at the rally with violence by those protesting the rally.

Source: Mother of Slain Protester Says She Won’t Talk To Trump – Houston Public Media

Thanks for using my photograph in Praying for an end to racial violence – Anglican Church of Canada

2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8050
2017.08.13 Charlottesville Candlelight Vigil, Washington, DC USA 8050 (View on Flickr.com)

Thank you for using my photograph, Anglican Church of Canada (@generalsynod). Nice to know that Washington, DC, the most inclusive city in the world, continues to inspire.

In the 21st Century, As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation.

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia and the very real threat of more activities on the part of white supremacy movements have been a painful reminder that racialized violence is a sad reality of our time, not only in the United States, but in our own country too. The escalation of racial tension and turmoil leaves … ContinuedSource: Praying for an end to racial violence – Anglican Church of Canada

You can see the rest of the photos from this day here.

Thanks for using my photo, @DailyDot, in Study Reveals Over Half of American Parents Would Support a Trans Child & for being a journalistic exemplar

2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5124
2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5124 (View on Flickr.com)

  1. Thanks again, DailyDot (@DailyDot) for using one of my photographs to illustrate one of your articles.
  2. Also, thanks again, DailyDot for being an exemplar in the journalistic community when it comes to accuracy in the media.
    • I recently terminated the license to use my photos from another outlet that did not adhere to scientific standards in discussing transgender person health issues.
    • I work with media outlets differently, based on the behavior, always with an interest in education.
    • The other example crossed the line (I’d say it leaped over it) of compassion and human behavior. Interestingly I’ve learned that it’s a well read publication, I had no idea. Oh well.
    • In any event, when the headline of the press release that this article referenced contained terminology errors repeated in this piece (I’ll post on that later), the DailyDot team immediately corrected it.
    • This may seem like a small thing but consistency and accuracy in a world where most people have not met a person who is transgender (that they know of) is important for health. Thanks, DailyDot for being responsible. I’ve praised them before and I’m doing it again. Other outlets, like @USAToday, like @NPR, can and should learn something from this team. I’ll be direct here – it’s easy for a journalist to find and use a proper style guide, and saying (as @USAToday did) that “we didn’t have time to be accurate so instead we worked to be inaccurate” is not acceptable for this profession. Imagine a physician telling a patient that….
  3. The survey referenced is important, adding to what we already know, with other good studies, that children and adolescents with diagnosed gender dysphoria mature to productive, healthy adults, with proper medical care and family support. It’s just science.

A study conducted by Harris Poll reveals over half of American parents would support a transgender teenager, with women more likely to overall.Source: Study Reveals Over Half of American Parents Would Support a Trans Child

There was some discussion on facebook about whether to work with publications who get it wrong or not. As I said in the post on this matter, and in my termination notice to the publication, I am happy to educate anyone (or even better, point them to education offered by a trans person who has the time and energy to provide it). At the same time, there’s a leadership principle that says, focus 80% of time on people who are performing well, rather than the opposite. So it’s not that anyone loses, it’s that love always wins.

Because Life is Amazing and We Can: My 5th Capital TransPride

This century continues to be fantastic.

Thanks for using my photo DC Policy Center in – D.C. nightlife is booming, but not necessarily for much longer

2016.09.21 DC People and Places 08078
2016.09.21 DC People and Places 08078 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks (again) for using one of my photographs D.C. Policy Center (@DCPolicyCenter) and @DataLensDC in the use of data and beautiful visualizations to tell a story about our city. It was taken last fall, during a beautiful sunset on U Street, NW, just steps away from where Thurgood Marshall worked to end school segregation. It’s a great place.

In this case, it’s about the survival of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, especially interesting at the neighborhood level. Also interesting in at the temporal level, with the exit of President Bush and the entrance of President Obama in 2009.

High nightlife churn along central nightlife corridors

D.C. nightlife is booming, but not necessarily for much longer – D.C. Policy CenterSource: D.C. nightlife is booming, but not necessarily for much longer – D.C. Policy Center

The photograph is part of a series, which you can see here. Isn’t Washington, DC beautiful?

Photo Friday: Loving the Future at House of Herrera, Washington, DC USA

2017.08.15 Consuella Lopez FW Fall Preview, House of Herrera, Washington, DC USA 8183
2017.08.15 Consuella Lopez FW Fall Preview, House of Herrera, Washington, DC USA 8183 (View on Flickr.com)

As I like to say, if I can walk to it, I’ll do it. And if it involves the future, I’m definitely doing it.

This week’s photograph was taken at the House of Herrera (@HouseofHerrera), more specifically CH Carolina Herrera, in Washington, DC USA (of course). It features Consuella Lopez (@ConsuellaLopez) and the management and staff, who hosted a preview of the Fall-Winter 2017 collection, as well as a celebration of our community leaders.

I met Consuella Lopez before she met me – she’s one of the faces of the iconic DC Government Transgender and Gender Identity Respect Campaign launched 5 years ago, and has continued to amass an incredible portfolio of leadership.

Consuella is now a member of the newly established DC Commission on Fashion Arts and Events, which I learned about at the House of Herrera. Like I said, living in the future.

A good family doctor knows what they don't know, and then learns from others. #fashion #mostgorgeouscity ♥️DC #thefuture carolinaherrera consuella #5starexperience
A good family doctor knows what they don’t know, and then learns from others. #fashion #mostgorgeouscity ♥️DC #thefuture @carolinaherrera @consuella #5starexperience (View on Flickr.com)

Eventually we got to meet and I have learned so much and grown tremendously as a doctor, a human, a resident of the most inclusive city in the world since then. I wish these experiences on every nurse and doctor, to help them perform their best for all of the people they serve.

I am still learning a ton every day, which is what I hoped would happen when I came here.

Rest of the photos are below, enjoy.