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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂 .
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.
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
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.
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 (@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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
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.