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.

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

2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5127
With Vanessa and Ellie Ford – Photographer Credit – Ronnie Ford 🙂 2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5127 (View on
I didn’t take the photograph above – it was taken by Ronnie Ford, Ellie Ford’s older brother. He wanted to take some photos and he knows what he’s doing, so why not?

Ronnie and Ellie were at Capital TransPride (@TransPrideDC) this weekend, with their mother and father, Vanessa (@VanessaFordDC) and JR (@CrunchyDCGuy). The Ford family have been visible leaders (see these links to multiple national media outlets covering their story) in one of the most defining social movements our time. Their work is as valuable if not more than any physician’s in promoting health and long lives for LGBTQ human beings.

Health and Healing

2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5250
They see us. @WhitmanWalker lights up Washington, DC in the colors of the transgender pride flag. 2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5250 (View on

It’s what it felt like to be at Capital TransPride, now my 5th in a row. There was both the image of health and healing. This was the first year that Kaiser Permanente formally introduced a comprehensive transgender health program to these communities. Not one but four Permanente physicians (@PermanenteDocs) were present, along with therapists, researchers, and other health leaders. Whitman Walker Health (@WhitmanWalker), a national leader in transgender person health, and LGBTQ health in general, was also present (of course).

Whitman Walker also treated Washington, DC to a transgender pride flag light show from the windows of its health center, in one of the busiest night time corridors in the city. This is not the first time that Whitman Walker has done what the White House wasn’t able to in being a leader for health. I’ll be posting about that this week.

The world is learning to love better.

Leadership and Much Much More to do

2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5129
On May 16, 2017, Kaiser Permanente signed the friend of the court brief for Gavin Grimm in Grimm vs Gloucester County School Board. The nurses, doctors, therapists, researchers, and people who power Kaiser Permanente met Gavin and gave him a hug on behalf of the organization.
2017.05.20 Capital TransPride Washington, DC USA 5129 (View on

At the same time, these are communities whose health and life trajectory are under threat, as told by Vanessa and Ron Ford as well as Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA) whose School Board worked to socially isolate transgender children based on non-scienced based views of reality.

We are also nearing the 1 year anniversary of the massacre of 49 human beings in Orlando, Florida, based on their identities as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer. What we do here matters.

I was asked by an attendee how a busy doctor would have time to be part of Capital TransPride, and my answer is that health is what a doctor is supposed to be busy doing 🙂 .

My photographs are below, and I have a few more things to post in the next day(s). With thanks to the gracious hosts at Studio Theatre (@Studio_Theatre) – not only was the space this year amazing, but the lighting inside a place built for art makes for beautiful pictures as well.

Photo Friday: Why I’m going to my 5th Capital TransPride This Weekend

2017.05.18 Capital TransPride Producers, Washington, DC USA 4983
2017.05.18 Capital TransPride Producers, Washington, DC USA 4983 (View on

My 2013 Answer: Because I and my fellow physicians went into medicine to support the ability of every human being to achieve their life goals. (See original blog post)

My 2017 Answer: Because life is amazing, and we can 🙂 .

For those unfamiliar with Washington, DC, this is the 14th Street, NW walk of fame in front of Whitman-Walker Health (@whitmanwalker – our most awesome planning meeting host), just a few steps down from the former First Lady’s Cycling Studio.

Full schedule for : 2017 Capital Trans Pride (@TransprideDC)

Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States is a proud sponsor for the 5th year.

First, the #LGBTQ community has never given up on a struggle, even if it took decades to achieve. And second, in the end, they always win.– Jerome Pohlen

More photos below, of the Capital TransPride producers team.

Just Watched: Low-Carb High Fat Diet in Type 1 Diabetes

The origin of this post is that I sent a tweet earlier this week regarding the current crisis in insulin pricing referring to the Banting Diet, which is the precursor of the low-carb high fat diet (or LCHF diet). I sometimes do this (sending unclear messages) assuming that people will figure them out, and usually, that’s not the outcome 🙂 . At least it starts conversation (maybe I do this subconsciously, I don’t know).

In any event, I have been interested in nutrition for a long time and more interested recently (see:Just Read: Why Eating Fat May Not Make You Fat (The Big Fat Surprise) ), as more data is being produced about where our dietary guidelines came from. In the case of diabetes, I have been curious about the ways the medical and other professions counsel patients on diets in ways that may actually increase their risk of diabetes and increase their insulin requirement.

My question, therefore, has been whether the need for insulin could be eliminated in some people and reduced in others, which would blunt the impact of pricing and make living with diabetes more affordable. The other question I have is about the whether reducing the use of specialized insulins for some population would have an added effect, making the pricing power, less powerful.

I’ve read a few papers about this. I don’t feel comfortable doing a literature review myself because these days it’s really hard to interpret papers if hidden biases aren’t known. That and I may be a physician, but I do not know what it is like to live with diabetes. I do know what it is like to live as a former fat person so there is some relevance here for me.

Through the magic of YouTube, Dr. Troy Stapleton (@drtroystapleton) explains his own journey as a person with type 1 diabetes and the LCHF diet. He’s going to to have much more credibility than I and this is a good science-based + authentic overview from a patient perspective. Watch:

A person who produces insulin on this diet is going to have an insulin production curve closer to a person with type 1 diabetes (flat) compared to a person without diabetes (insulin spikes), with the idea that insulin and specifically too much insulin is a requirement for obesity.

#ILN innovating in nutrition, too. #LCHF in Chicago. #ketogenic #ketogenicdiet #lessinsulin

A post shared by Ted Eytan (tedeytan) on

I’m planning to do some more study this summer. At the same time, there are far more experienced researchers, journalists, physicians and scientists engaged in this work, so I’m more interested in dialogue than leadership (they are doing just fine). I always say if there’s a better way to do something, I want to know about it.

This is life in the family medicine revolution (#FMrevolution), where unlimited curiosity reigns in the interest of a person, family, community’s long healthy life. Feel fee to let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Meeting Sorrel King: In the future – what If at least one person listens to the mother of her child

I was fortunate to finally meet Sorrel King (@JKFoundation), who spoke at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) this week.

She recounted the story of her daughter Josie’s death, from preventable medical error, at Johns Hopkins University, in 2001. I learned about her story in 2006. It’s now 2017.

What if…one person listens to the mother.

2017.05.17 DC People and Places 5010
2017.05.17 DC People and Places 5010 (View on

Change Reality, in Your First Year of Medical School, with Kevin Maloy, MD & #MakerDocs

2017.05.17 Hacking Healthcare Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington DC USA 5040
2017.05.17 Hacking Healthcare Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington DC USA 5040 (View on

When I was a first year medical student, no one offered to help me create software (I did it anyway, really simple stuff). In 2017, at Georgetown University School of Medicine, first year medical students go through the software creation lifecycle in a selective “Hacking Healthcare.”


It’s taught by Kevin Maloy, MD (@MaloyKr), aka MakerDoc aka Change Reality, Talk about Magic, Learn Javascript. MakerDocs DC from this blog in 2014.

Kevin asked me to come give feedback to this year’s class, and per my policy, if I can walk to it, I’ll do it 🙂 .

This year, they had the expert guidance of John Lock, the ridiculously more-experienced-than-I-will-ever-be Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the famed Mi2 Medstar Institute for Innovation, and fellow feedback provider Dave Milzman, MD, FACEP, Associate Dean for Student Research and Informatics.

For me, it’s less about what the teams create (because by definition they are exceptional people and will create great things in their lives), and more about the way they create, and the heart and soul they integrate along the way. I could tell in 7 sessions that they learned how to

  • Tell a story about why something matters
  • Understand a real business need and how to prototype to it
  • Work through others to execute on a vision
  • Collaborate as a group

These are all great skills I know they, their patients, and their communities will appreciate later on. Some people work entire careers to master these.

I don’t know how stealthy the ideas are so I won’t reveal them. I was super impressed at the connection of the ideas to actual health, AND the design ethic that they brought to the work. I can see how a medical school would do well to create a learning experience like this, capture the spirit, and then check to make sure at every step of training that it grows and thrives.

It’s always a pleasure to meet a new generation of MakerDocs, and to meet them under the watchful eye of W. Proctor Harvey, MD, especially when you read what he stood for:

A strong advocate of the human touch in medicine, Dr. Harvey had a gentle bedside manner that extended to shaking hands with every patient and plumping up their hospital-room pillows. He believed modern physicians had become too dependent on technology and other diagnostic tools and had lost the ability to work with patients on a simple, person-to-person level.” – Washington Post, 2007