Updating: More of the Story

Some stories require follow-up.  How else are we going to know how they are progressing?  In December I wrote about the treatment of transkids in A Voice for the Future.  I’d written about the issue before that as well.

How are doctors treating these children?

They’re prescribing young GID patients with puberty-blocking drugs until age 16, as recommended in guidelines from the Endocrine Society. Then doctors begin lifelong treatment with sex-changing hormones, while monitoring for potential health risks. The guidelines recommend the aid of mental health professionals throughout the process.

A new study about gender non-conformity has been published and even made its way to the mainstream media (Washington Post, CNN Health, The Week, AP.  Two articles about gender-variant behavior are in the March issue of Pediatrics.  The Advocate picked up the story, but concentrated on a survey from 2010 about how 41% of transpeople have attempted suicide.  They did, however, provide a link to LiveScience, which was helpful.

The Roberts study:  Childhood Gender Nonconformity: A Risk Indicator for Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress in Youth

–Andrea L. Roberts, Margaret Rosario, Healther L. Corliss, Karestan C. Koenen, S. Bryn Austin

The Spack study (pdf):  Children and Adolescents With Gender Identity Disorder Referred to a Pediatric Medical Center

–Norman P. Spack, Laura Edwards-Leeper, Henry A. Feldman, Scott Leibowitz, Francie Mandel, David A. Diamond and Stanley R. Vance

In a study that asked young adults about their gender behavior and beliefs in childhood, 39% of women who had exhibited the highest level of nonconformity experienced some type of abuse, as did 30% of men, according to Andrea L. Roberts, PhD, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues.

Even Fox News picked up the story:

Girls who dress or act like boys, and boys who act more feminine, may be more likely to be abused and end up with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a U.S. study.

No sign of Dr. Ablow yet.

In some cases, they (abusive parents) believe they’re helping the child, that gender non-conforming won’t be accepted by other people.

But of course, abuse is never protective.

–Andrea Roberts, Harvard School of Public Health

Prior research generally indicates gender nonconformity may be less socially accepted in boys than girls, with boys receiving more disapproval for gender nonconformity at a younger age from parents and peers.

Our observations reflect the Dutch finding that psychological functioning improves with medical intervention and suggests that the patients’ psychiatric symptoms might be secondary to a medical incongruence between mind and body, not primarily psychiatric.

–Dr. Norman P. Spack, Harvard School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Boston

Dr. Spack’s group reported that 44% of children and teens evaluated for medical intervention (hormone blocking/pubety suppression) had been given a psychiatric diagnosis (most often depression) and 21% reported self-mutilation (most often cutting).  

Daniel Radcliffe has appeared in a new public service announement supporting The Trevor Project.

When it comes time to tell the kids It Get’s Better, it’s always nice to have something to point towards.  So here are some Updates.


A while back I wrote about the problem of forced sterilization in order to change gender in Sweden.  Standing in the way of removing the requirement were the Christian Democrats.  

It’s important that we stand by the precautionary principle and don’t rush into legislation. This question needs to be looked at more closely.

–Christian Democrat party leader Göran Hägglund

A global outcry coordinated by AllOut.org was the largest online campaign in history supporting the rights of transpeople.

The result was that the Christian Democrats changed their position.  In an editorial published February 18, CD leaders wrote:

It’s time to abolish the requirement for sterilization at sex change.

This is an incredible news for Sweden: it means that anyone will be able to have their true identity recognized without having to be sterilized.  It’s crucial that the new law comes into place as soon as possible.

–Ulrika Westerlund, President of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights

It’s a victory for Sweden, but it is also decisive for Europe. AllOut.org members across the continent will continue to push online and in Parliament until each of these appalling laws are thrown out with the trash.

–Andre Banks, Executive Director, AllOut.org

Sterilization remains a requirement for gender change in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine (Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe (2nd edition)) .


On Tuesday Baltimore County became the fourth local government in Maryland to outlaw discrimination on the basis of gender identity, following the City of Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Howard County.  The poison pill amendment I wrote about last week was not approved.  Language was included that says that the legislation does not apply to “distinctly private or personal facilities”.

I assume that would mean individual stalls in restrooms are sacrosanct.  Fine.  I had no intention of trying to share one.

The vote was 5-2, along party lines…which was sort of strange, given that the bill originally had the support of two Republicans.

John Olszewski, Sr., who had introduced the amendment expressed support of the final version of the legislation.

Our country has had a history of discrimination, and in my opinion, no one should be discriminated against.


There’s nothing in there that makes life any more difficult for transpeople.

–Dana Beyer, Executive Director, Gender Rights Maryland


I mentioned in passing a couple of times that there was a movement in Omaha to pass local protections from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  

About one-third of gay and transgender residents in the Omaha metropolitan area reported job discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, according to an online questionnaire conducted by University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers.


City Councilman Ben Gray plans to formally introduce an amendment to the city’s anti-discrimination ordiances on February 28.  A similar proposal in 2010 failed on a 3-3 vote.

One attempt to head off Gray’s effort has resulted in the passage of a resolution to oppose workplace discrimination.  The resolution approach was favored of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Yes, we should encourage people to do the right thing, but we should also take the step to make it clear that it is illegal to do the wrong thing.

–the Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones, senior minister of First Central Congregational United Church of Christ in Omaha

An attempt by the Nebraska legislature to render such protections void has failed.  Legislative Bill 912 would have prohibited local governments from protecting classes of people not protected under state law and would have been retroactive, voiding any protections given before the bill took effect.

State Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said at a committee hearing Wednesday he does not expect the panel will act on a bill aimed at blocking the ordinance.

Current Omaha ordinances protect people from housing discrimination based on age and marital status, categories not protected by the State of Nebraska.  The sponsor of LB912 indicated an exception might be made to keep those protections alive.  

In other words, this was all about “Hate the Gay”.

1 comment

    • Robyn on February 25, 2012 at 00:01

    …but, as usual, that depends on where one is at the moment.

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