Photo Friday: #ProtectTransKids Washington, DC USA

2017.02.22 ProtectTransKids Protest, Washington, DC USA 01142
2017.02.22 ProtectTransKids Protest, Washington, DC USA 01142 (View on Flickr.com)

I’m 100% sure I was watching history when I took this photograph, outside of the White House, in Washington, DC (of course).

It features the leaders of the health issue of our time – equal opportunity to exist in society for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and in this case transgender.

Leaders present included Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) Mara Keisling (@MaraKeisling) Raffi Freedman-Gurspan and Gavin Grimm (@GavinGrimmVA) + parents, families, doctors, lawyers, nurses, therapists + many community colleagues in the capital of a world learning to love better.

Rest of the series is below. Thanks to the dozen plus professional medical organizations who we now know were there with us, too.

It’s a fact – Equality Equals Health.

A Few Photos in the Middle of History Being Made: National Center for Transgender Equality Gala

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2016.05.18 NCTE Gala 04895 (View on Flickr.com)
As the numerous victories scrolled up the screen…. via @MaraKeisling

Last year at this time, there was no Section 1557 rule (see: A Historic LGBTQ Health Symposium on a Historic Day ) or Title IX guidance, with the former on its way to being the biggest change in health care that I can remember in my career. Lyndon Baines Johnson and Richard Nixon would be proud of their legacy.

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2016.05.18 NCTE Gala 2353 (View on Flickr.com)

The thing that hasn’t changed since last year (se: A few photos on the way to the right side of history, at the National Center for Transgender Equality 12th Anniversary Gala) is the feeling that this room, with people numbering in the hundreds, is the place where the world is changing.

Of course, now the most impactful organizations are now a part of the change, and why wouldn’t they be, Equality Equals Health, Productivity, and love always wins 🙂 .

Rest of the photos below, enjoy.

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2016.05.18 NCTE Gala 04914 (View on Flickr.com)

My 3rd Capital TransPride, Washington, DC USA

Capital TransPride 2015 55384The transgender pride flag is a symbol of transgender pride and diversity, and transgender rights (View this photo on Flickr.com)

As the subject line says. And as we predicted, the venues for Washington, DC’s Capital TransPride would get bigger and the rooms would get more full. We didn’t predict how big, though – 500% increase from last year.

The World: Learning to Love Better

New data from the Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) shows that of 2016 likely voters, 22 % of people know someone who is transgender, up from 17 % one year ago. This parallels the trajectory of acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals, with a higher slope on the curve.

U.S. Medicare has reversed its coverage stance (see: Just Read: Medicare bids farewell to the 20th Century in covering transgender person care, and maybe pokes fun at itself, too… | Ted Eytan, MD), as has the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, to name just a few.

I connected with more people who are receiving health care and I could see the difference immediately. This cohort will be this year’s ambassadors of total health, which will create another – trajectories …

…at a faster pace

In the last year, some of my establishment medical colleagues have mentioned that they feel things are changing too fast. When it comes to achieving life goals through optimal health, change can never really happen fast enough.

Why be a doctor if you aren’t going to help people achieve their life goals? Fortunately, I am one, I am going to, and all of my colleagues will learn to as well 🙂 – many of them already are, and in my eyes, they are the best doctors in the world.

Kaiser Permanente Platinum Sponsor Capital TransPride CTP15 Washington DC USA 55222

Kaiser Permanente Platinum Sponsor Capital TransPride CTP15 Washington DC USA 55222 (View on Flickr.com)

With more allies

In the meantime, proud once again to be part of the medical profession, the health care system here in support (Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States @KPMidAtlantic is a platinum sponsor of Capital TransPride).

Capital TransPride also hosted the first ever workshop on how to be a successful ally – another packed room, with people from multiple states (!) present.

I was also joined by a talented photographer with a really good camera this year, because diversity looks beautiful. Enjoy their photos as well.

While making history

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Reeves Municipal Center in 2015 Washington, DC, now safe and comfortable host to the future (View on Flickr.com)

The Reeves Municipal Center was built in 1986 by Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry: “…. meant to bring government services closer to a struggling neighborhood and to revitalize a corner still recovering from the 1968 race riots. (Washington Post)”. There’s a sort of photographic homage to 1986’s Washington, DC contained within (you can see the photo here).

1986’s or even 1995’s Washington, DC was not friendly to people who are transgender, until 20 years ago this year. Then the City violated its own human rights act in allowing a transgender woman, Tyra Hunter, to die, with negligence and malpractice, after a car accident.

Now, 20 years after that, the City is the most protective of transgender (and all of LGBTQ) people in the United States, and its municipal buildings are hosting their celebration, sponsored by municipal entities (The DC Library, first year @DCPL) complete with gender neutral bathrooms.

Who knew if Marion Barry would have predicted this outcome, it happened nonetheless. Trajectories …

My photos are below. Enjoy, questions and comments welcome as usual.

A few photos on the way to the right side of history, at the National Center for Transgender Equality 12th Anniversary Gala

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Mara Keisling (@MaraKeisling) Founding Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality (View on Flickr.com)

the LGBT community is something I tried to focus on. I think that is the civil rights issue of our time. – Eric Holder, Attorney General, farewell speech, April 25, 2015

Just a few blocks from the White House, The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) (@TransEquality) celebrated its 12th year in existence.

In what I do, both at Kaiser Permanente in health care, and in spaces like this, I usually meet people who don’t fully recognize how much their work has impacted other humans, so I like to assist in the recognition 🙂 .

The room was filled with people whose work has changed saved many lives, all over the world. I know, I’ve seen their work in use all over the world.

And the kids. The kids. Some of the young adults in attendance were just born when NCTE was. Here they were, with more confidence and life success than most teenagers, because they were able to have the family and other support to be who they are.

And by the way, the medical literature confirms that they can be this healthy and well with appropriate health care and support (link to paper, I’ll be posting on it separately).

It’s yet another lesson about the power of the parent-child bond. I’ve written about this previously for patients and families in general – when health care attempts to get in between a parent and a child, the winner is not health care. So why even try, just practice love.

Rooms like this are now full, and it definitely does feel that this is the epicenter of the civil rights movement. Try it yourself and see.

In the meantime, congratulations to the National Center for Transgender Equality for life, health, and happiness.

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!