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

Thanks for publishing my photos @DailyDot, in The Transgender Population in the U.S.: What We Know

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

Current research studies show that the percentage of transgender people in the U.S. is small, but it’s been growing over time.

Source: The Transgender Population in the U.S.: What We Know From Current Studies

Thanks for publishing my photos DailyDot (@DailyDot). It’s of a rally for transgender equality, in 2013 in Washington, DC, in a time and a place that much less of the world knew how to love better. Even much less of the LGBTQ community world.

DailyDot has been continuing to report on the transgender population and in this piece a remarkable statistic: 2.7% of the population of Washington, DC is transgender, that’s 600% greater than the percentages in California and New York. How did I miss this statistic. I did miss it, and it explains a lot – like why Washington, DC is the most inclusive city in the world, why the leaders here are the most transformational of our time, why our future 51st-state has the first transgender pride crosswalk in the United States.

Why I love this century 🙂 .

Daily Dot used this photo as well:

2017.02.22 ProtectTransKids Protest, Washington, DC USA 01133
2017.02.22 ProtectTransKids Protest, Washington, DC USA 01133 (View on Flickr.com)

Which shows that these communities’ existence continues to be threatened. I am glad that the proportion of people in Washington, DC is large enough to compensate for the need for more of the world to learn to love better.

This generation has the power to change everything, especially when we know that love wins, 100% of the time.

Beyond walking in parades with us, things I’d like you to do to produce health for LGBTQ humans

2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073
2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06073 (View on Flickr.com)
I was unable to attend the 1 year vigil for the murder of 49 humans in Orlando on June 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. The photograph above, taken on June 13, 2016 in Washington, DC, captures some of the emotion that’s felt when remembering what happened.

2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06103
2016.06.13 From DC to Orlando Vigils 06103 (View on Flickr.com)

I am about to post photos of this past weekend’s Capital Pride (@CapitalPrideDC) events in Washington, DC.

Before I do that, I wanted to write about some things I’ve been experiencing personally and professionally in the last year that I suggest people work to address.

It’s great that we’re joined in parades and celebrations, however, we need to reconcile that activity with activities that are needed year round. A few suggestions are below, based on actual situations. If you don’t understand what’s being asked or know what the right answer is to these questions, post in the comments or contact me, I’m happy to educate.

  • If you are a publication, are you using accurate and compassionate language in your writing, instead of inaccurate and triggering language? Are you a @DailyDot (an exemplar) or are you a @USAToday or @NPR (both need work) See this post: Thanks for publishing my photo AND listening, DailyDot, in “What Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?”
  • Do you manage comments on articles, as several publications do successfully, or do you allow unhealthy or anti-LGBTQ sentiment to be posted without any recourse?
  • If you are a company or organization that employs people, are you creating an open environment or are you directly or indirectly requiring people to “fit in”?
    • When LGBTQ employees report issues with others’ behavior, are they the ones tasked with resolving them?
    • In organizational communications, are anti-LGBTQ sentiment or statements tolerated?
    • On discussion boards
    • On company intranets
    • In events or meetings
    • Do you respond to people’s requests to listen with “I’m trying to help you.” or do you start with “Tell me more?”
    • Are employees’ names correctly reflected in all aspects of their work experience? This includes computer logins, payroll and benefits systems, email, etc.

If there is one bisexual man in your unit his fitting in depends on how open to diversity your unit is. It is NOT based on how hard he tries to fit in.UK Army LGBT Forum

  • If you’re in health care, do you speak of LGBTQ health care, or more specifically transgender person care, as something that’s “difficult” “complicated” “expensive” or name-your-pejorative?
  • If you’re not sure about whether you or the organization you’re affiliated with are doing any of the above, do you know who to ask, or do you assume it’s not happening?
  • When you encounter an organization or company that’s behaving in a discriminatory way, do you let them know via social media or other means? Maybe you shouldn’t. Instead, work to help the world love better. Read this piece by a young transgender man humiliated by an eating establishment for some advice: Thanks for publishing my photo and #WhatAParentLooksLike: Trans Discrimination: From Lunch Counters to Refused Hot Wings
  • Have you considered a mentor relationship with someone who is LGBTQ that you don’t supervise or otherwise have control over, on an ongoing basis, to review behaviors and attitudes with a lens toward improvement?
  • Do you call yourself “an Ally” or do you work to be an Ally in the eyes of those who it matters to? See this post: WAIT = Why am I Talking? Learning how to be a better Ally

All of these activities (or lack thereof) have a significant impact on the health and wellness of LGBTQ people, their families, and the communities around them.

Remember.

What we do here matters. Remember 😢 #Orlando #CTP2017 #transpride #UnapologeticallyProud ✌️️‍🌈🌎 capitaltranspride
What we do here matters. Remember 😢 #Orlando #CTP2017 #transpride #UnapologeticallyProud ✌️️‍🌈🌎 @capitaltranspride (View on Flickr.com)

It’s not what you do, it’s what you tolerate.

A post shared by Ted Eytan (tedeytan) on

Thanks for publishing my photo AND listening, @DailyDot, in “What Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?”

Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55436
Trans Solidarity Rally and March 55436 (View on Flickr.com)

Thank you for publishing my photo DailyDot (@DailyDot) in the piece referenced below.

What does transgender mean? From understanding the gender binary to being a good ally, here’s what you need to know about transitionining.

Source: What Does Transgender Mean, and How Do People Transition?

Thank you also for listening when I reviewed the piece and found that it contained non-standard, non-science-based terminology. Through a brief email exchange I discovered that the publication is using the excellent GLAAD style guide for LGBTQ issues, and was also open to removing non-scientific terminology (which was actually not covered in the style guide, GLAAD has a more comprehensive reference here). Non-scientific term is now removed from the piece and it reads much more accurately.

My hope is that other publications, like @NPR, like @USAToday will behave in a similar fashion in the future. In this recent interaction related to a USAToday front page story, I was essentially told “I didn’t have time to write an accurate front page story, so I wrote an inaccurate one instead.”

Click here to see the entire exchange. A review of this story a month later shows that it’s still inaccurate.

I wrote a longer piece about this and included this helpful quote regarding bias (explicit and unconscious):

Notice your defensiveness and accept the discomfort of unlearning and relearning. To be competent in this arena is the same as learning to be competent in anything else. It requires a desire to know, motivation to become informed, opportunities to practice and the willingness to correct your mistakes.

A few thoughts about gender equality and respect in the 21st Century

I believe people can do better, and they are, because the world is learning to love better, and a more loving world means more long, healthy lives. Thanks DailyDot.