Thanks for Publishing My Photo: in Why Transgender Service Members Will Win in Court – @LawfareBlog

SCOTUS APRIL 2015 LGBTQ 54663
SCOTUS APRIL 2015 LGBTQ 54663 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photograph, Lawfare (@lawfareblog).

Even if the president makes good on his tweets and directs Secretary Mattis to revise departmental policy to ban transgender service-members, he may not succeed in the courts.

Source: Why Transgender Service Members Will Win in Court – Lawfare

This is the most viewed image I have ever posted, and it’s nice to see it used to promote hope and a world learning to love better.

And, it’s a very interesting analysis, written by someone with experience:

Michel Paradis (@MDParadis) is an international and constitutional litigator presently with the United States Department of Defense.

Regardless of what happens in court, the medical profession has already decided what’s right based on science. Here’s an example from the American Medical Association.

And here’s an example from my camera just this past weekend.

No caption needed. #Respect (no Trans prefix needed) #thankyouforyourservice #EqualityEqualsHealth 🌎✌️️‍🌈#DC #instadc
No caption needed. #Respect (no Trans prefix needed) #thankyouforyourservice #EqualityEqualsHealth 🌎✌️️‍🌈#DC #instadc (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, in State AGs Urge Congress to Protect Transgender Service Members from Trump Ban | Common Dreams

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7645
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7645 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo Common Dreams (@CommonDreams).

Letter from 19 attorneys general call the military’s transgender policy “a closed issue”

Source: State AGs Urge Congress to Protect Transgender Service Members from Trump Ban | Common Dreams

Thanks for publishing my photo: Where the sidewalk begins and ends in the Flickr pool – Greater Greater Washington

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7635
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7635 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, Greater Greater Washington (@ggwash). It was taken in front of the White House during protests against the transgender military service ban.

Source: Where the sidewalk begins and ends in the Flickr pool – Greater Greater Washington

Thanks for Publishing my Photos in Trans Activists Protest Trump’s Transgender Military Ban in New York, San Francisco, and D.C.

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7673
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7673 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for including my photos, DailyDot (@DailyDot) in the story below.

Hundreds gathered across the United States in protest against President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, criticizing the president’s tweets.

Source: Trans Activists Protest Trump’s Transgender Military Ban in New York, San Francisco, and D.C.

Actually they didn’t include my photos, they included a tweet about my photos:

So I’ve decided to choose another one of them to headline this post. You can see the rest of them here.

Resilience in the medical profession, as it works to be an ally

As I wrote in another post this week about an excellent peer-reviewed article on resilience in the medical profession, being in these spaces is one of the components of resilience in medicine – supporting others in the broken places, supports our broken places, too. Enjoy.

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7637
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7637 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photos, @DailyDot, in Gender Identity: How Do the Experts Define Gender Identity?

2016.05.21 Capital TransPride Washington DC USA 0365
2016.05.21 Capital TransPride Washington DC USA 0365 (View on Flickr.com)

But what is gender identity exactly, and how does it differ from the sex a person is assigned at birth? Why aren’t these terms interchangeable? What does it mean to be male, and what does it mean to be female? Turns out, there’s a pretty straightforward answer behind an often complicated subject.Gender Identity: How Do the Experts Define Gender Identity?

Thanks for using my photos, Daily Dot (@DailyDot) in this piece providing helpful information about gender identity, a confusing concept to some, including physicians. I reviewed the piece and would recommend it to others.

I especially appreciate that they’ve chosen images depicting leadership and joy in this community. The image above is of community leader SaVanna Wanzer, from Capital TransPride 2016. I wrote about SaVanna in this piece: #WhatAHeroLooks like: 27 Years of DC Black Pride.

The other photo that DailyDot used is of JaeLee Waldschmidt, taken in 2015. JaeLee is also a community hero (as well as a nuclear submarine engineer) who I got to reunion with at this year’s 2017 Capital Pride celebration in Washington, DC (see: July 2017: What am I doing now? for that image)

Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55401
Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55401 (View on Flickr.com)

I’ve written previously about how this publication has taken care to respond to feedback in the interest of accuracy, compared to others (@USAToday) who do not work toward accuracy as well (see: Thanks for publishing my photo AND listening, @DailyDot, in “What Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?”). A publication, like health care, can never be perfect. It can fix its mistakes quickly, which is what makes it great.

Just Read: Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina, by Connie Rice; Body Positivity in the era of a world learning to love better

I am gifted (or cursed?) with a photographic memory, and I remember the time in medical school where we were taught, in an innovative new curriculum for its time, that sex and intimacy were not another part of a person’s humanity, they are inextricably linked.

Unfortunately, we weren’t taught about the human drive to live in one’s identity, how it can be more powerful than the will to live, and how health care can undermine both.

I also remember the times that transgender women have told me after vaginoplasty procedures that their surgeon’s guidance on supporting and maintaining the neo-vagina was “ask your friends what to do.” This advice doesn’t work when a person’s friends are all cisgender men (or cisgender women). Not a very humane or respectful way to protect the investment made in a complex procedure by patient and surgeon.

This is why, when friend and community colleague Connie Rice posted her guide, “Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina,” I was immediately interested and decided to post it here.

It shows through humor and frank and direct language, that body positivity, including sex, and intimacy are inextricably linked, for all humans, regardless of identity.

More people with health care = more humans living authentically and able to help the world learn to ❤️ better. Isn't this century great? equalitymarch2017 #EqualityEqualsHealth #dc #WeareDC trans.equalityy
More people with health care = more humans living authentically and able to help the world learn to ❤️ better. Isn’t this century great? @equalitymarch2017 #EqualityEqualsHealth #dc #WeareDC @trans.equalityy (View on Flickr.com)

It also shows the impact of more human beings living in their true identity thanks to broader access to medically supervised transition care. I see this wherever I go now – more humans living, not dying, and now, living healthy. Washington, DC, by the way, has the highest proportion of transgender people in the United States, 500% higher than New York or California.

I don’t know if there are any surgeons still recommending that transgender women learn how to maintain their neo-vaginas by asking their friends or not. If they are, a guide like this is going to be a lot more useful and health promoting.

Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina by Connie Rice on Scribd

Connie began her career as an avionics technician in the US Marine Corps and has been in technology ever since. She’s the proud parent of three Eagle Scout sons. She bikes extensively and rides 5000 miles a year or more. Connie transitioned to female beginning in 2010 and over the next several years.

Connie feels lucky that her education, career, and family allowed her to make this change and felt a strong need to give back to the community. She is a transgender activist and member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Activist Speakers Bureau where she works to further community understanding of transgender issues.Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina, Connie Rice

What Connie, myself and all of us have in common

Connie, who’s also a leader in technology for a fortune 500 company, also wrote this beautiful essay in 2015: I’m glad I didn’t kill myself – Connie Rice – Medium

By definition, if you’re reading this, you didn’t kill yourself instead of becoming who you are. You weren’t killed because you became who you are.

I wrote this after the murder of 49 people in Orlando who were killed because they were living in their true identities:

I survived. I didn’t kill myself. I didn’t get killed. I hoped to become a doctor. Then I became a doctor. And then I found other doctors and nurses who also survived. We came to health care to change everything. We’re working to be great allies. Thank you for being ours. Every human deserves a long healthy life, and we’re going to help you live one.Photo Friday: This doctor is here for you during LGBTQ pride, and for your long, healthy life – Ted Eytan, MD

Enjoy the guide, feel free to share. Connie’s contact information is within.

Photo Friday: Dancing into the Future, Saving Lives, with @WerkForPeace

2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978
2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph was taken in Washington, DC (naturally), in front of Union Station, at the beginning of the WERK for Your Health – at Mitch McConnell’s House! – Hosted by Werk For Peace (@WerkForPeace) dance party, that ended at… Mitch McConnell’s house.

Leadership and Saving Lives

This is the third Werk for Peace event that I’ve attended and I so admire the leadership, courage, and creativity I see here, for the most pressing issues of our time. As courageous and innovative I have seen among people who have 100 times the resources, which makes sense, because innovation always happens in the out of the way places.

Note also the LGBTQ visibility and TransVisibility that this group brings to our nation’s capital. We know that the drive to be visible and live in one’s identity is one of the most powerful in human existence, so powerful that when taken away people may lose the will to live altogether. From that perspective, a dance party like this saves lives, too.

What We’re Here For

Each event I have attended begins with a ritual, a moment of silence for those who were lost to murder (Pulse Nightclub and countless other violent acts), or in this case, neglect, of the health care system, which has probably resulted in more death than many Pulse nightclub massacres.

During the moment, I reflected on what I saw while I was in training and how it moved my generation of physicians to change everything, which is what we are now doing.

Why would we do anything else? We’re here for health, for all of the people we serve, and their long, healthy, productive lives.

I was taught "you don't have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients." We're here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c
I was taught “you don’t have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients.” We’re here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c (View on Flickr.com)

Some people come to events like this for the dancing. I come for the leadership 🙂 .

Isn’t this century wonderful?

Rest of the photos below, enjoy, feel free to share.

Thanks for publishing my photo, @TheInkLine in Oregon allows third gender option – (Except that Washington, DC is actually the first)

2013 Rally for Transgender Equality 21175
2013 Rally for Transgender Equality 21175 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, Inkline (@TheInkline). This photograph is one of the most viewed in my collection, as of this date, over 22,000 times. It seems to resonate that well. And it’s scientifically accurate to boot.

Washington, DC is actually the first

By the way….the story by the Inkline and The Guardian which it references is inaccurate. Washington, DC is actually going first, as the first jurisdiction in the United States. Since Washington, DC is not a State (yet), their words are technically correct, but Oregon is not the first license issuing authority.

On June 26, 2017, the District of Columbia will become the first jurisdiction include a gender-neutral marker on its driver’s licenses and identification cards.Washington, D.C. to include gender-neutral markers on identification and drivers’ licenses

First or second ultimately doesn’t matter. Both Oregon and Washington, DC are helping the world learn to love better.

The experience of this country still shows, in this century it’s “As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation.” 🙂

My Insurance Card Too

In writing this post, I checked my brand new insurance card, which is digital, not physical. At the time I took the photograph above (2013) I made a request to the team creating this innovation that gender marker not be included, and it’s not there. Success. There’s not relevant clinical need for a gender marker to be on an insurance card, especially in an integrated, technologically enabled top performing health system (guess which one).

The new legislation is a major civil rights win for non-binary members of the state.

Source: Oregon allows third gender option – INKLINE

Being #TransVisible at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

I ❤️when we support things. #BeKP kpthrive nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation
I ❤️when we support things. #BeKP @kpthrive @nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation (View on Flickr.com)

The information desk could not direct us to any displays featuring transgender people. The bathrooms are gendered. When I asked a staff person where the LGBT section was, she said “What does LGBT stand for?”

I know that’s not the intent of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (@NMAAHC) based on the work they’ve done (see the Twitter moment at the bottom of this post), so these things are not a big deal in the overall experience that the NMAAHC is.

I could only be there for a brief time (when you see a chance you take it) and I experienced multiple incredible micro-interactions that I can’t even express here, not just with the imagery, with the staff, the other visitors, that were meaningful and remind me why there’s more learning-per-minute in Washington, DC than any other place I’ve been.

Not to mention that it’s the most inclusive city in the world…

The best moment of the day was the selfie that myself and colleague Bianca Rey (@BiancaRey) took in front of the sweet home cafe, which is generously supported by Kaiser Permanente.

After I snapped the photo I asked what hashtags to use and she said, “include #TransVisbility. I’m including that on every photo now.” Of course I did.

30% of Americans know someone who is Transgender. 37% of the youngest Americans (age 18-29) do (see: Many Americans know someone who is gay, fewer know someone who is transgender | Pew Research Center)

Science clearly demonstrates that bias is reduced by contact of a specific nature:

optimal intergroup contact woul transgender – Ted Eytan, MD

Thanks for Publishing My Photo: in Why Transgender Service Members Will Win in Court – @LawfareBlog

SCOTUS APRIL 2015 LGBTQ 54663
SCOTUS APRIL 2015 LGBTQ 54663 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photograph, Lawfare (@lawfareblog).

Even if the president makes good on his tweets and directs Secretary Mattis to revise departmental policy to ban transgender service-members, he may not succeed in the courts.

Source: Why Transgender Service Members Will Win in Court – Lawfare

This is the most viewed image I have ever posted, and it’s nice to see it used to promote hope and a world learning to love better.

And, it’s a very interesting analysis, written by someone with experience:

Michel Paradis (@MDParadis) is an international and constitutional litigator presently with the United States Department of Defense.

Regardless of what happens in court, the medical profession has already decided what’s right based on science. Here’s an example from the American Medical Association.

And here’s an example from my camera just this past weekend.

No caption needed. #Respect (no Trans prefix needed) #thankyouforyourservice #EqualityEqualsHealth 🌎✌️️‍🌈#DC #instadc
No caption needed. #Respect (no Trans prefix needed) #thankyouforyourservice #EqualityEqualsHealth 🌎✌️️‍🌈#DC #instadc (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, in State AGs Urge Congress to Protect Transgender Service Members from Trump Ban | Common Dreams

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7645
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7645 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo Common Dreams (@CommonDreams).

Letter from 19 attorneys general call the military’s transgender policy “a closed issue”

Source: State AGs Urge Congress to Protect Transgender Service Members from Trump Ban | Common Dreams

Thanks for publishing my photo: Where the sidewalk begins and ends in the Flickr pool – Greater Greater Washington

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7635
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7635 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, Greater Greater Washington (@ggwash). It was taken in front of the White House during protests against the transgender military service ban.

Source: Where the sidewalk begins and ends in the Flickr pool – Greater Greater Washington

Thanks for Publishing my Photos in Trans Activists Protest Trump’s Transgender Military Ban in New York, San Francisco, and D.C.

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7673
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7673 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for including my photos, DailyDot (@DailyDot) in the story below.

Hundreds gathered across the United States in protest against President Donald Trump’s transgender military ban, criticizing the president’s tweets.

Source: Trans Activists Protest Trump’s Transgender Military Ban in New York, San Francisco, and D.C.

Actually they didn’t include my photos, they included a tweet about my photos:

So I’ve decided to choose another one of them to headline this post. You can see the rest of them here.

Resilience in the medical profession, as it works to be an ally

As I wrote in another post this week about an excellent peer-reviewed article on resilience in the medical profession, being in these spaces is one of the components of resilience in medicine – supporting others in the broken places, supports our broken places, too. Enjoy.

2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7637
2017.07.26 Protest Trans Military Ban, White House, Washington DC USA 7637 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photos, @DailyDot, in Gender Identity: How Do the Experts Define Gender Identity?

2016.05.21 Capital TransPride Washington DC USA 0365
2016.05.21 Capital TransPride Washington DC USA 0365 (View on Flickr.com)

But what is gender identity exactly, and how does it differ from the sex a person is assigned at birth? Why aren’t these terms interchangeable? What does it mean to be male, and what does it mean to be female? Turns out, there’s a pretty straightforward answer behind an often complicated subject.Gender Identity: How Do the Experts Define Gender Identity?

Thanks for using my photos, Daily Dot (@DailyDot) in this piece providing helpful information about gender identity, a confusing concept to some, including physicians. I reviewed the piece and would recommend it to others.

I especially appreciate that they’ve chosen images depicting leadership and joy in this community. The image above is of community leader SaVanna Wanzer, from Capital TransPride 2016. I wrote about SaVanna in this piece: #WhatAHeroLooks like: 27 Years of DC Black Pride.

The other photo that DailyDot used is of JaeLee Waldschmidt, taken in 2015. JaeLee is also a community hero (as well as a nuclear submarine engineer) who I got to reunion with at this year’s 2017 Capital Pride celebration in Washington, DC (see: July 2017: What am I doing now? for that image)

Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55401
Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55401 (View on Flickr.com)

I’ve written previously about how this publication has taken care to respond to feedback in the interest of accuracy, compared to others (@USAToday) who do not work toward accuracy as well (see: Thanks for publishing my photo AND listening, @DailyDot, in “What Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?”). A publication, like health care, can never be perfect. It can fix its mistakes quickly, which is what makes it great.

Just Read: Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina, by Connie Rice; Body Positivity in the era of a world learning to love better

I am gifted (or cursed?) with a photographic memory, and I remember the time in medical school where we were taught, in an innovative new curriculum for its time, that sex and intimacy were not another part of a person’s humanity, they are inextricably linked.

Unfortunately, we weren’t taught about the human drive to live in one’s identity, how it can be more powerful than the will to live, and how health care can undermine both.

I also remember the times that transgender women have told me after vaginoplasty procedures that their surgeon’s guidance on supporting and maintaining the neo-vagina was “ask your friends what to do.” This advice doesn’t work when a person’s friends are all cisgender men (or cisgender women). Not a very humane or respectful way to protect the investment made in a complex procedure by patient and surgeon.

This is why, when friend and community colleague Connie Rice posted her guide, “Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina,” I was immediately interested and decided to post it here.

It shows through humor and frank and direct language, that body positivity, including sex, and intimacy are inextricably linked, for all humans, regardless of identity.

More people with health care = more humans living authentically and able to help the world learn to ❤️ better. Isn't this century great? equalitymarch2017 #EqualityEqualsHealth #dc #WeareDC trans.equalityy
More people with health care = more humans living authentically and able to help the world learn to ❤️ better. Isn’t this century great? @equalitymarch2017 #EqualityEqualsHealth #dc #WeareDC @trans.equalityy (View on Flickr.com)

It also shows the impact of more human beings living in their true identity thanks to broader access to medically supervised transition care. I see this wherever I go now – more humans living, not dying, and now, living healthy. Washington, DC, by the way, has the highest proportion of transgender people in the United States, 500% higher than New York or California.

I don’t know if there are any surgeons still recommending that transgender women learn how to maintain their neo-vaginas by asking their friends or not. If they are, a guide like this is going to be a lot more useful and health promoting.

Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina by Connie Rice on Scribd

Connie began her career as an avionics technician in the US Marine Corps and has been in technology ever since. She’s the proud parent of three Eagle Scout sons. She bikes extensively and rides 5000 miles a year or more. Connie transitioned to female beginning in 2010 and over the next several years.

Connie feels lucky that her education, career, and family allowed her to make this change and felt a strong need to give back to the community. She is a transgender activist and member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Activist Speakers Bureau where she works to further community understanding of transgender issues.Care and Feeding of Your New Vagina, Connie Rice

What Connie, myself and all of us have in common

Connie, who’s also a leader in technology for a fortune 500 company, also wrote this beautiful essay in 2015: I’m glad I didn’t kill myself – Connie Rice – Medium

By definition, if you’re reading this, you didn’t kill yourself instead of becoming who you are. You weren’t killed because you became who you are.

I wrote this after the murder of 49 people in Orlando who were killed because they were living in their true identities:

I survived. I didn’t kill myself. I didn’t get killed. I hoped to become a doctor. Then I became a doctor. And then I found other doctors and nurses who also survived. We came to health care to change everything. We’re working to be great allies. Thank you for being ours. Every human deserves a long healthy life, and we’re going to help you live one.Photo Friday: This doctor is here for you during LGBTQ pride, and for your long, healthy life – Ted Eytan, MD

Enjoy the guide, feel free to share. Connie’s contact information is within.

Photo Friday: Dancing into the Future, Saving Lives, with @WerkForPeace

2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978
2017.06.26 WERK for Your Health, Washington, DC USA 6978 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph was taken in Washington, DC (naturally), in front of Union Station, at the beginning of the WERK for Your Health – at Mitch McConnell’s House! – Hosted by Werk For Peace (@WerkForPeace) dance party, that ended at… Mitch McConnell’s house.

Leadership and Saving Lives

This is the third Werk for Peace event that I’ve attended and I so admire the leadership, courage, and creativity I see here, for the most pressing issues of our time. As courageous and innovative I have seen among people who have 100 times the resources, which makes sense, because innovation always happens in the out of the way places.

Note also the LGBTQ visibility and TransVisibility that this group brings to our nation’s capital. We know that the drive to be visible and live in one’s identity is one of the most powerful in human existence, so powerful that when taken away people may lose the will to live altogether. From that perspective, a dance party like this saves lives, too.

What We’re Here For

Each event I have attended begins with a ritual, a moment of silence for those who were lost to murder (Pulse Nightclub and countless other violent acts), or in this case, neglect, of the health care system, which has probably resulted in more death than many Pulse nightclub massacres.

During the moment, I reflected on what I saw while I was in training and how it moved my generation of physicians to change everything, which is what we are now doing.

Why would we do anything else? We’re here for health, for all of the people we serve, and their long, healthy, productive lives.

I was taught "you don't have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients." We're here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c
I was taught “you don’t have to be perfect as a physician. You just have to be there for your patients.” We’re here for your long, healthy life. #FMRevolution #WerkForHealth #EqualityEqualsHealth #mostinclusivecity #asdcgoessogoesthenation #LGBTQ artist c (View on Flickr.com)

Some people come to events like this for the dancing. I come for the leadership 🙂 .

Isn’t this century wonderful?

Rest of the photos below, enjoy, feel free to share.

Thanks for publishing my photo, @TheInkLine in Oregon allows third gender option – (Except that Washington, DC is actually the first)

2013 Rally for Transgender Equality 21175
2013 Rally for Transgender Equality 21175 (View on Flickr.com)

Thanks for publishing my photo, Inkline (@TheInkline). This photograph is one of the most viewed in my collection, as of this date, over 22,000 times. It seems to resonate that well. And it’s scientifically accurate to boot.

Washington, DC is actually the first

By the way….the story by the Inkline and The Guardian which it references is inaccurate. Washington, DC is actually going first, as the first jurisdiction in the United States. Since Washington, DC is not a State (yet), their words are technically correct, but Oregon is not the first license issuing authority.

On June 26, 2017, the District of Columbia will become the first jurisdiction include a gender-neutral marker on its driver’s licenses and identification cards.Washington, D.C. to include gender-neutral markers on identification and drivers’ licenses

First or second ultimately doesn’t matter. Both Oregon and Washington, DC are helping the world learn to love better.

The experience of this country still shows, in this century it’s “As Washington, DC goes, so goes the nation.” 🙂

My Insurance Card Too

In writing this post, I checked my brand new insurance card, which is digital, not physical. At the time I took the photograph above (2013) I made a request to the team creating this innovation that gender marker not be included, and it’s not there. Success. There’s not relevant clinical need for a gender marker to be on an insurance card, especially in an integrated, technologically enabled top performing health system (guess which one).

The new legislation is a major civil rights win for non-binary members of the state.

Source: Oregon allows third gender option – INKLINE

Being #TransVisible at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

I ❤️when we support things. #BeKP kpthrive nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation
I ❤️when we support things. #BeKP @kpthrive @nmaahc #lovealwayswins #EqualityEqualsHealth #TransVisibility #KPpride #activetransportation (View on Flickr.com)

The information desk could not direct us to any displays featuring transgender people. The bathrooms are gendered. When I asked a staff person where the LGBT section was, she said “What does LGBT stand for?”

I know that’s not the intent of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (@NMAAHC) based on the work they’ve done (see the Twitter moment at the bottom of this post), so these things are not a big deal in the overall experience that the NMAAHC is.

I could only be there for a brief time (when you see a chance you take it) and I experienced multiple incredible micro-interactions that I can’t even express here, not just with the imagery, with the staff, the other visitors, that were meaningful and remind me why there’s more learning-per-minute in Washington, DC than any other place I’ve been.

Not to mention that it’s the most inclusive city in the world…

The best moment of the day was the selfie that myself and colleague Bianca Rey (@BiancaRey) took in front of the sweet home cafe, which is generously supported by Kaiser Permanente.

After I snapped the photo I asked what hashtags to use and she said, “include #TransVisbility. I’m including that on every photo now.” Of course I did.

30% of Americans know someone who is Transgender. 37% of the youngest Americans (age 18-29) do (see: Many Americans know someone who is gay, fewer know someone who is transgender | Pew Research Center)

Science clearly demonstrates that bias is reduced by contact of a specific nature:

optimal intergroup contact would be of equal status, involve cooperation to achieve common goals, and should be supported by important societal institutions.Just Read: Methods for reducing unconscious bias, implications for transgender person health and medical care

That’s us. Equal status (both people who power Kaiser Permanente, I actually report to Bianca as a Produer on Capital TransPride, she is Co-chair of our Multicultural Business Group), involving cooperating to achieving common goals (Helping our health system learn to love better), supported by important societal institutions (Kaiser Permanente is the highest performing health system in the United States).

One more photo. This is of Bianca at the first ever transgender youth ball in Washington, DC last month, produced by the also-amazing Ruby Corado (@CasaRubyDC). She’s welcoming the attendees and affirming them as valuable members of the Washington, DC community, along with Ruby.

2017.05.19 Capital TransPride Weekend Washington, DC USA 5087
2017.05.19 Capital TransPride Weekend Washington, DC USA 5087 (View on Flickr.com)

Let a few more Americans discover what it’s like to know someone who makes the world a better place for them. My generation of physicians came to health care to make sure that happens, and we will 🙂 .

Rest of my NMAAHC photos below. Thank you for a great experience.

How an iMessage App helped make history at the first transgender pride crosswalk in the United States

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6410
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6410 (View on Flickr.com)

Washington, DC did it first (again). The first transgender pride crosswalk in the United States, the second in North America. (see: Photo Friday: Where crosswalks are inclusive, too. Washington, DC USA for more information about this work)

The history on top of the history is that the crosswalk’s creation included the creator of the transgender pride flag, Monica Helms (@MF_Helms).

Monica learned about the crosswalk because of this blog post:

Special Pride Project Complete: Transgender Pride Flag iMessage App

Which was shared on Facebook, which she responded to, and connected this work to her work. It turned out that Monica and her partner Darlene happened to be in Washington, DC (they are from Atlanta area) on the day we painted, and so, we painted.

A Crisscross of History – Monica and Ted

The first transgender pride flag was unveiled in the LGBTQ Pride Celebrations in Phoenix, Arizona in the year 2000. I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and it turns out I was born and raised less than a mile from where Monica grew up. My father completed his residency training at a new hospital in the newish community that Monica’s family settled in at the time.

I’d like to be able to say that many who leave Arizona go on to do great things, or great things for the LGBTQ community specifically (Cleve Jones @CleveJones1 is also an Arizona native)….maybe it is that the places that are at times the least tolerant create the greatest innovation.

A 5 Star Experience

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6336
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6336 (View on Flickr.com)

As Oprah herself defines 5 star experiences, this was one of those. Maybe a 6 star. My favorite images in the collection below are of my fellow citizens, humans, leaders, marking their identity on the streets of our nation’s capital. Fully sanctioned, fully supported, following in the footsteps of the Mayor herself who painted the previous day, protected by a Metropolitan Police Sergeant who also happens to be transgender herself.

The power of a flag to indicate that a person exists, that they matter, is undeniable to someone who is LGBTQ. Others may never understand it, but they can work to understand it 🙂 .

When I said goodbye to Monica my voice cracked a little when I said “thanks for changing the world.” A person doesn’t get to say that to a lot of people in their lifetimes. Although, in Washington, DC, I seem to say that to a lot more people than any other place I’ve been.

2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6415
2017.06.10 Painting of #DCRainbowCrosswalks Washington, DC USA 6415 (View on Flickr.com)

Isn’t this century the best? (It is)

Photos below. As Washington DC goes, so goes the nation.

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
It’s one life and there’s no return and no deposit
One life so it’s time to open up your closet
Life’s not worth a damn till you can shout out
I am what I amGloria Gaynor