Email Address

info@queermed.com

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Mon - Friday: 8am - 5pm Sunday: 4pm - 8pm

Office Address

215 Church St. NE Decatur, GA 30300

Why QMed

Our Mission

Our Mission

QMed aims to fill some of the major gaps in care for transgender and nonbinary patients of all ages. Dr. Izzy Lowell, a Family Medicine Physician based in Atlanta, started QMed to improve access to hormone therapy for trans* patients across the Southeast. There is especially low access to affirming health care for transgender kids and teens. QMed accepts patients of all ages and provides puberty blockers for those yet to enter puberty. QMed welcomes gender expansive patients of all ages!

Our Purpose

Our Purpose

“I started QMed to provide respectful and affirming care for the transgender community. Everyone deserves access to medical care, no matter the color of their skin, where they come from, their gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity"​ – Izzy Lowell, MD, MBA

Our Team

Our Team

We are passionate about equality, and our mission is to provide affirming hormone therapy to transgender and non-binary people. QMed aims to fill some of the major gaps in care for transgender and nonbinary patients of all ages. Dr. Izzy Lowell, a Family Medicine Physician based in Atlanta, started QMed to improve access to hormone therapy for trans* patients across the Southeast. There is especially low access to affirming health care for transgender kids and teens. QMed accepts patients of all ages and provides puberty blockers for those yet to enter puberty. QMed welcomes gender expansive patients of all ages!

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News and Trends

US Sec of Education Miguel Cardona – Trans Athlete Rights are “non-negotiable”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told ESPN that transgender girls have a “right to compete” and suggested that the Biden administration will step in to protect those students’ civil rights, as multiple states enact legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

On June 1, the first day of Pride Month, Florida became the eighth state to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s competitions. In a wide-ranging interview on issues related to sex discrimination and athletes, the new leader of America’s school systems addressed the bans and said it was “non-negotiable that we’re going to protect the civil rights of all students,” setting up a possible showdown between federal civil rights enforcement and local control in education.

Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation

Cardona was the commissioner of education in Connecticut prior to joining President Joe Biden’s cabinet and said his experience there “strengthened my resolve” to stand behind transgender athletes.

“It’s their right as a student to participate in these activities. And we know sports does more than just put ribbons on the first-, second- and third-place winner,” he said. “We know that it provides opportunities for students to become a part of a team, to learn a lot about themselves, to set goals and reach them and to challenge themselves. Athletics provides that in our K-12 systems and in our colleges, and all students deserve an opportunity to engage in that.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told ESPN that transgender girls have a “right to compete” and suggested that the Biden administration will step in to protect those students’ civil rights, as multiple states enact legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

On June 1, the first day of Pride Month, Florida became the eighth state to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s competitions. In a wide-ranging interview on issues related to sex discrimination and athletes, the new leader of America’s school systems addressed the bans and said it was “non-negotiable that we’re going to protect the civil rights of all students,” setting up a possible showdown between federal civil rights enforcement and local control in education.

 

 

The post US Sec of Education Miguel Cardona – Trans Athlete Rights are “non-negotiable” appeared first on Planet Trans.

Watch “Changing the Game” and come to know the transgender experience

“Changing the Game” staring Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, and Andraya Yearwood is available on Hulu starting Tuesday, the first day of pride. Changing the Game highlights the struggles and personal victories of three extraordinary transgender high-school athletes.

Cast members Mack Beggs, Sarah Rose Huckman, Terry Miller, Ngozi Nnaji, and Andraya Yearwood bring to the small screen a poignant first-hand account of what it is to be young, transgender, and successful.

Although it won huge accolades at the film festivals, Changing the Game wasn’t picked up for big-screen distribution. That could be attributed to the pandemic since those venues just begun to reopen but it’s more than that.

The film is premiering commercially in a time when it’s a curse to accel as a trans athlete. Arguably the best known of the three, Andraya Yearwood, has been vilified by hate groups in 30 states as they push their discriminatory agenda and held up as the black athlete white people should fear.

Mack Beggs, a transman from Texas won two state championships in Texas while enduring tremendous abuse. This could have been different if the Governor’s office hadn’t forced rule changes prohibiting trans people from competing in their authentic gender. Not a single Republican lawmaker mentioned Mack Beggs during the 2021 session because that would have pointed out the folly of their anti-trans sports legislation.

Instead, they all singled out two transgender runners from Connecticut, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood. The truth is that they prevailed over their competition because they were faster. The cisgender runner who led the lawsuit failed to qualify for her college team because she wasn’t fast enough.

Twenty-year-old transgender activist Sarah Rose Huckman is attending university in New Hampshire.

Sarah transitioned to her authentic self in the 7th grade. Like many families with a transgender child, she and her family have advocated to ensure Sarah is treated with dignity and respect in school, sports, and all aspects of life.

In High School, Sarah was just like most of her classmates: when not in class, she enjoyed spending time with her friends and as a 4-sport athlete, participating on her high school’s Nordic Ski, Winter Indoor Track, Spring Track and Cross Country teams.

Sarah is often invited to speak about the importance of protecting transgender youth from discrimination. As a political activist, she served 3 years on the New Hampshire Legislative Advisory Council and was instrumental in the passage of legislation that explicitly extended New Hampshire’s nondiscrimination protections to transgender people.

Sarah is active as a YouTube vlogger and was recently featured in the award-winning documentary “Changing the Game” about transgender high school athletes.

The post Watch “Changing the Game” and come to know the transgender experience appeared first on Planet Trans.

Florida Gov DeSantis signs Trans Sports Ban in violation of DOD policy

Gov DeSantis signed the Florida law banning transgender girls from interscholastic sports sending a clear message of hate on the First Day of the LGBTQIA International Pride Month.

Although it wasn’t mentioned, DeSantis also sent a message to ROTC programs that transgender students can’t participate in Officer Cadet programs which is a violation of both DOD policy and BOSTOCK v. CLAYTON COUNTY 

ROTC programs are vital to the US military Officer Core as a way to earn a commission in the military, and to individuals as a means of obtaining scholarships and future employment. The other officer programs, such as West point admits transgender candidates now that President Biden has reversed Trump’s military trans ban.

In 2019 a Trans student lost his ROTC scholarship due to Trump’s military policy

Florida’s law prohibits transgender students from participating in the University of Central Florida’s ROTC program. The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board is the Department of Defense Agency responsible for the determination of medical qualification of applicants for appointment to a United States Service Academy, not Governor DeSantis.

The Department of the Defense statement celebrating Pride.

“Today kicks off Pride Month, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is proud to celebrate and honor the service commitment and sacrifice of our LGBTQ personnel in and out of uniform”, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday.

“He’s proud that one of his first actions after being sworn in was to implement President [Joe] Biden’s directive to ensure that all transgender individuals who wish to serve and who can meet the appropriate standards to be able to do so openly and free from discrimination,” the press secretary said.

At Austin’s direction, the Defense Department also has taken concerted action to promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ persons around the globe, he said, adding the secretary remains committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive force. During June, DOD will celebrate “the rich contributions of LGBTQ personnel,” Kirby added.

Gov. DeSantis is one of seven governors, HRC Reports, including Gov. Greg Gianforte in Montana, Gov. Kay Ivey in Alabama, Gov. Jim Justice in West Virginia, Gov. Tate Reeves in Mississippi, Gov. Bill Lee in Tennessee, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas — who have signed anti-transgender legislation this session. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem issued a “style and form” veto to similar legislation in her state before issuing two executive orders to similar effect.

The NCAA Board of Governors released a public letter making clear that it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports.” Moreover, “When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected.” This puts the 30 states with discriminatory anti-transgender.

More than 100 major U.S. corporations have stood up and spoke out to oppose anti-transgender legislation being proposed in states across the country. New companies like Facebook, Pfizer, Altria, Peloton, and Dell join companies like Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, AT&T, AirBnB, Google, Hilton, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nike, Paypal, Uber, and Verizon in objecting to these bills.

The post Florida Gov DeSantis signs Trans Sports Ban in violation of DOD policy appeared first on Planet Trans.

Jin Xing is the new face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance

Chinese transgender personality and pioneer Jin Xing, the first person to publicly transition in china is the new face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance, a choice that was met with excitement and lots of praise from social media.

To announce the partnership, the French luxury house released a video in which Jin monologues about the value of independence and individuality, as well as the bumpy road that was her transition.

Jin Xing followed the same path many people around the world do. She was picked by the government as a child to be a military dancer. Highly successful, Xing quickly rose to the rank of colonel, but she knew in her heart that she had to live authentically.

In a video, Jin said that she supports women’s independence and individuality and that these are the qualities the fragrance hopes to deliver.

According to local media, the luxury brand described Jin as a woman of courage with a passion for freedom.

The post Jin Xing is the new face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance appeared first on Planet Trans.

Texas Transgender Athlete Ban Dies as deadline passes

Amid much celebration, the last of the Texas 20 bills targeting transgender students and minors died without a vote Tuesday night. And amazingly it was Democrat Rep. Dutton the man who revived and passed SB29 out of committee who made the motion to end the late-night session.

“We woke up this morning determined to kill that bill,” Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, told The Dallas Morning News just before midnight. “I’m really really pleased and so grateful that we were able to deliver this win for the children of Texas and their rights to live full and happy lives, free from discrimination.”

Over the objections of LGBTQ advocates and families of trans kids, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick elevated the bill this session as one of his top priorities. But the GOP-led House postponed debate on the bill late Tuesday, effectively killing it by running out the clock, over fears that Democrats would drag out the discussion and doom dozens of other bills set for debate after it.

“We’ve got a lot to do in a short period of time,” Rep. Tom Oliverson, vice chairman of the Texas House Republican Caucus, told The Dallas Morning News just before the deadline. “We can’t make time.”

The Texas Legislature did all of this without a dogfight.

Earlier in the day laughter and smiles reigned in the Senate as a bipartisanship bill to end puppy mills hit the floor. Shortly after woofing down that crucial bill, the Senate passed legislation limiting Governor Abbott’s authority during a pandemic and defeating the Senate Speaker LT Governor Dan Patrick’s effort to silence independent and social media when it expressed opinions contrary to the Governor’s.

On top of that, the Legislature defeated efforts to further target voting rights and passed a bill increasing medical cannabis availability.

This is my home.

The post Texas Transgender Athlete Ban Dies as deadline passes appeared first on Planet Trans.

Trans Sports bans land on Louisiana and Florida Governors’ Desks

As of today, on May 29, nine states have enacted legislation during 2021 targeting transgender youth. The worse offenders Arkansas, and Tennessee have been already sued. Given the lack of evidence for the laws, and that the supporters can’t name a trans athlete in their state, the laws will be most likely be put on hold until the cases are resolved.

Two more bills are awaiting action by governors. The Florida sports ban hit DeSanto’s desk a month ago. And a bill just landed on Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards desk. Both of these bills were passed with a veto-proof majority.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the main governing body for college sports, released a statement in April saying that “only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected” for its events. Pundits are saying that states that have enacted these laws aren’t facing any consequences but looking back on North Carolina and HB2 the NCAA took action after the bill went into effect and not before.

The Olympics have allowed transgender athletes to compete for a decade. During that time there haven’t been any to accel to the highest levels and win medals. That will change as it should when equality is achieved. Not because transgender athletes have any kind of advantage but because they will be allowed to compete vis a vis having their lives ended in their thirties.

The post Trans Sports bans land on Louisiana and Florida Governors’ Desks appeared first on Planet Trans.

The last of Texas’s 20 anti-trans bills died Tuesday at midnight

The last of the anti-transgender bills died Tuesday at midnight when HB 29 failed to get the third reading in the House of Representatives.

The final bill to fail, a priority of Gov Greg Abbott would have codified and further toxified Texas scholastic rules. These rules were punitively emplaced by Dan Patrick after the entire state banded together to kill his bathroom bill in 2017, hence the moniker bathroom bill 2.0.

Rachel, wife of Frank and mother bear to her wunderkind daughter Libby, told us this on the morning after:

“This has been the most difficult session for the trans community in Texas. While I am still heartbroken that legislators across the state continue to use our children as political pawns and invite the public to debate the legitimacy of our children’s existence, the relief we are feeling today is immense.”

Libby when we first met in 2017 / Dallas Morning News

“Our children know they are loved and that their community along with members of the Texas House will fight for their right to a life free from government-endorsed discrimination,” said Rachel in a statement this morning to planet Transgender.”

It wasn’t just the Democrats who reigned victorious at midnight! It was a combined bipartisan effort of both houses when Republican members rebelled against Abbott’s draconian measures in other areas. Two issues rubbed the Republicans the wrong way, his Trumptonian attempt to censor anyone with opposing views and his overruling local control when the Pandemic started, affecting thousands in the spring.

People were apprehensive when Rep Dutton, a Democrat from Houston, motioned to postpone the third reading for SB29 until 11:30 pm. But not to worry. That gave all of the other bills, from both sides of the aisle a fair chance for a hearing.

Did Gov. Abbott know that we stopped listening to him months ago? He should have since over 70% of Texas Republicans agree that trans Texans’ lives actually matter.

The post The last of Texas’s 20 anti-trans bills died Tuesday at midnight appeared first on Planet Trans.

ACLU files lawsuit to stop Arkansas from denying trans youth healthcare

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors challenging an Arkansas law that prohibits health care professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care. The bill also bars any state funds or insurance coverage for gender-affirming health care for transgender people under 18, and it would allow private insurers to refuse coverage for gender-affirming care for people of any age. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that House Bill 1570 violates the U.S. Constitution.

The ACLU says today’s lawsuit is the first of many legal challenges in response to a record-setting year of legislative attacks on transgender people, particularly transgender youth, across the country. Trans youth should not have to fight so hard to live.

The parents in our lawsuit are considering leaving the state to ensure their family has access to gender-affirming care.

The doctors in our lawsuit will no longer be able to provide life-saving care their patients rely upon.

“This law would be devastating to trans youth and their families, forcing many to uproot their lives and leave the state to access the gender-affirming care they need,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “Gender-affirming care is life-saving care for our clients, and they’re terrified of what will happen if this law is allowed to take effect. No child should be cut off from the medical care they need or denied their fundamental right to be themselves — but this law would do both. We’re suing to stop this cruel and unconstitutional law from taking effect and inflicting further harm on these children and their families.”

Health and Human Services Press Release: HHS Announces Prohibition on Sex Discrimination Includes Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The plaintiff families include Dylan Brandt and his mother, Joanna Brandt; Brooke Dennis and her parents, Amanda and Shayne Dennis; Sabrina Jennen and her parents, Lacey and Aaron Jennen; and Parker Saxton and his father, Donnie Saxton.

Dr. Michelle Hutchison and Dr. Kathryn Stambough are also challenging the law on behalf of themselves and their patients because it impairs their ability to treat their transgender patients with medically necessary health care or even refer them to other providers for treatment. Every major medical association supports treating transgender youth with gender-affirming medical care and opposed House Bill 1570 because it runs counter to science and medicine and will cause severe harm to transgender young people, their families, and all those who love them.

Brooke Dennis
Plaintiffs Brooke Dennis, (Right) Amanda Dennis, and Shayne Dennis live in Bentonville, Arkansas. Amanda and Shayne are the parents of Brooke, who is 9. Brooke is transgender. Once she begins puberty, which could be at any time, Brooke’s parents, with the advice of her doctors, intend to have her begin receiving medical care that would be prohibited by the Health Care Ban.

Amanda and Shayne Dennis’ daughter, Brooke, who is 9 years old, is fearful about what will happen to her if she cannot get gender-affirming medical care when puberty begins.

“Our child has known exactly who she is since she was 2 years old,” said Amanda Dennis, Brooke’s mom. “She was a happy child and felt comfortable expressing herself but when she began to feel pressure at school to pretend she is a boy, she began to really struggle. It was painful to watch our child in distress. Last year, when she told us she is a girl and would like to be called ‘Brooke’ and referred to using she and her pronouns, we supported her immediately and the cloud of sadness lifted and her smile came back.” She added, “We have told all of our children that we will always protect them, but this law stands in the way of our child getting the medical care she will desperately need.”

The Dennis family may move out of the state if the health care ban takes effect. Uprooting their family from their community, schools, and jobs would not only be a hardship for Amanda, Shayne, and their children but also their extended family, as they are caring for aging parents.

“This is who I am, and it’s frustrating to know that a place I’ve lived all my life is treating me like they don’t want me here,” said Dylan Brandt, a 15-year-old who lives with his mother Joanna Brandt. “Having access to care means I’m able to be myself and be healthier and more confident — physically and mentally. The thought of having that wrenched away and going back to how I was before is devastating.”

The post ACLU files lawsuit to stop Arkansas from denying trans youth healthcare appeared first on Planet Trans.

‘Keeps me up at night’: Doctors who care for transgender minors brace for bans

May 27, 2021, 4:42 AM EDTBy Jo Yurcaba

“I worry about what might happen to my patients if these bills are passed and worry about going to jail myself.”

Dr. Stephanie Ho, a family medicine physician in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said she’s had state legislators in her exam room before.

Ho, who has provided gender-affirming care to transgender people in the state since 2015, is also an abortion provider, so she is familiar with lawmakers’ restricting the care she provides. She said she wasn’t surprised when the Legislature overrode Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill last month that would ban puberty blockers, hormones and surgery for transgender minors. 

“I think that it’s kind of ridiculous that we’ve gotten to the point that we’re letting politicians dictate how health care is delivered and what kind of care can be given to whom,” said Ho, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. 

“I think the last thing I’ve ever wanted, being an abortion provider or somebody who provides gender-affirming care, is to have a politician in the back of my mind in the exam room making me think about ‘Oh, I wonder if I should do this, if it’s OK,’” she said. “They’re essentially trying to practice medicine without a license. And that’s incredibly wrong.”

Arkansas was the first state to pass a ban on transition care for minors. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee last week signed a similar bill barring prepubertal youths’ access to transition care like hormone therapy. Advocates say no doctors in the state provide hormone therapy for prepubertal youths, The Associated Press reported. 

So far this year, state legislatures have considered 35 bills to ban or limit gender-affirming care for trans minors, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Physicians say that the bills negatively affect their patients’ health before they even become law and that they require doctors to go against medical standards of care. Legal experts say the bans could also open providers and hospitals up to lawsuits or put them at risk of losing federal funding. 

Ho is trying to support her patients as best she can until Arkansas’ law takes effect this summer.

“It’s just a matter of making sure that my patients know that, whether I can provide them hormones or not, we’re still here for them to support them in any way that we can,” she said. “Of course, I’m going to practice within the bounds of the law, whether I agree with it or not, because me being in jail doesn’t help any of my other patients at all.”Creating ‘contingency plans’

Some physicians, like Dr. Izzy Lowell, who founded a telemedicine practice called QMed in Atlanta in 2017, started planning for the bills months ago. 

Image: Dr. Izzy Lowell, second right, founder of QMed.
Dr. Izzy Lowell, second right, founder of QMed.Bonnie Heath

In April, Alabama’s Senate passed a bill that would have made it a felony for doctors to provide minors with gender-affirming care. The bill died Monday after the House missed the deadline to vote on it. Lowell said that when it first passed, the minor patients she treats in Alabama were scared and frustrated.

“It was clear that the state of Alabama was coming after transgender teens, and we talked about some contingency plans,” she said. “Based on each case, I tried to give them as many refills as possible and told them: ‘Go pick up as much of your medicine as you can. I don’t know when I’ll see you again.’”

Lowell is licensed and practices in 10 states via telemedicine, so she also talked with her legal team and with patients in states considering bans about how her patients could continue care should their states ban it. She said her patients’ parents would have to drive to other states, which would “place an extraordinary burden on these families.”

“If they were, for example, able to get over the border into Tennessee or South Carolina and sit in a parking lot somewhere, I could see them technically with my South Carolina license or Tennessee license or my North Carolina license and perhaps find a local pharmacy there and have them pick up the prescription, but it would be a day’s worth of driving for them to get somewhere where I could see them legally,” she said.

Because leaving the state just to get care would be a burden, families in states where transition care restrictions have passed have moved or are considering movingThe costs of losing ‘lifesaving’ care

Many minors whose parents don’t have the time or money to drive out of state would be forced to stop transition care if their states passed laws like Arkansas’, which comes with potentially life-threatening health risks, physicians say. 

Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society and the American Psychological Association, support gender-affirming care for trans youths and oppose efforts to restrict access. 

Supporters of the Arkansas bill argue that transition care for minors is “experimental” and that trans minors often change their minds about their genders and detransition later in life. Medical experts say neither of those claims are backed by scientific evidence. On the contrary, research has found that access to gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers reduces the risk of suicide among trans youths. 

Ho said the danger is evidenced by what happened when Arkansas’ bill passed through one legislative chamber. Dr. Michele Hutchinson, a physician at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Gender Spectrum Clinic, testified before the state Senate in March that there were “multiple kids in our emergency room because of an attempted suicide, just in the last week,” after the House passed the bill.

Ho said that “since then, I have had one of my own patients attempt suicide,” adding that she has talked to her patients about what would happen if a judge doesn’t block Arkansas’ law from taking effect. The law also bars her from referring her patients to other physicians who provide gender-affirming care. Unless her patients were able to leave the state, they would be likely to lose access to hormones, so she talked to them about what that would mean.

Lowell said forcing people who were assigned female at birth to stop testosterone would cause them to suffer symptoms of low testosterone, which include inability to concentrate and low energy. “They would start doing badly in school most likely, until their bodies started producing estrogen a few months later, and then they would restart their periods, restart breast growth, and it would undo all of the changes that we tried to achieve with testosterone.”

If people assigned male at birth were forced to stop taking estrogen, it “would be like going through instantaneous menopause,” Lowell said. For about a year, they could have symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, irritability and mood swings, among other issues, such as negative impacts on emotional well-being. 

Doctors worry that minors who already receive and rely on transition care would get hormones illegally if they had to. Dr. Ricardo Correa, a board member of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, treats trans veterans in Phoenix, where, he said, trans people have traveled to the border to buy hormones illegally when they can’t get them. He said state bans would worsen the problem.

“It will just create chaos in the system from black markets that are going to start selling this kind of medication in that state,” he said.

Lowell said that hormone therapy is safe when it is monitored by a doctor but that using it without medical supervision could cause health problems, such as liver failure, kidney failure or heart problems. 

“There’s very serious consequences of completely unmonitored, sort of black market medication use in this situation,” she said.‘A form of medical malpractice’

Legal experts and advocates say that in addition to having dangerous health impacts, bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youths could expose health care providers to legal and regulatory problems.

Valarie Blake, a law professor at West Virginia University specializing in health care law, said there’s “a pretty strong case” that Arkansas’ law is discriminatory under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which protects against discrimination based on sex. 

The Biden administration announced this month that it would interpret Section 1557 to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — reversing a Trump-era policy that cut protections for transgender people. 

Hospitals and physicians receiving federal funding, such as Medicare and Medicaid payments, are required to comply with laws like Section 1557, Blake said; otherwise, they risk losing the funding. 

Arkansas’ law could trigger that risk by allowing physicians and hospitals to prescribe puberty blockers and hormones to cisgender minors for precocious puberty but not transgender teens.

“If the reason that they’re not doing it for transgender teens is because of the fact that they’re transgender, then there’s a very good case that the reason that they’re refusing the treatment is based on the gender identity and not anything else,” Blake said.

“It really puts health care workers in an untenable position when the federal government makes it plain that this is discrimination and has the money to back it up to basically say, ‘We can pull away all of the resources,’ and yet the state persists,” she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union argued in a lawsuit it filed Tuesday against Arkansas that the trans health restrictions are unconstitutional, but Blake said that’s not set in stone.

“We don’t have clear precedent on the books yet to suggest that LGBTQ categories are fully protected in that manner, which is why we’ve been seeing various kinds of Equal Rights Amendment-type laws trying to work their way through Congress,” she said, referring to the Equality Act, a bill that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, education and other areas of life.

The bill passed the House in February, but it has stalled in the Senate. “If something like that passes, then suddenly Arkansas as a state is in big trouble,” Blake said. 

Lowell said thinking about the potential legal issues “keeps me up at night.” Physicians are required to give patients several months’ warning when they can’t see them anymore and to do their best to find other providers who can see them if they’re unable to.

But laws like Arkansas’ bar physicians from referring patients to other providers for transition care. “In this case, I can’t do any of those things, and I just have to say, ‘Bye,’ and ‘I’m not allowed to see you anymore,’” she said. “That’s patient abandonment, which is a form of malpractice.” 

Lowell said that when the first restrictions were introduced several months ago, she felt angry and anxious all the time.

“I worry about what might happen to my patients if these bills are passed and worry about going to jail myself,” she said. “I struggle with the question of what I would do: continue to support my patients and risk going to jail for years or follow these hateful laws? Thankfully, I have not had to answer this question yet, but I will never abandon my patients.”

Story courtesy of NBCNEWS.com

Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care — Interfering with Essential Treatment for Transgender Adolescents

Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care — Interfering with Essential Treatment for Transgender Children and Adolescents
Simona Martin, B.S., Elizabeth S. Sandberg, M.D., and Daniel E. Shumer, M.D., M.P.H.

Published May 19, 2021, by the New England Journal of Medicine

On April 6, 2021, the Arkansas state legislature overrode a veto by the governor to pass legislation making it illegal for medical professionals to provide gender-affirming treatment to patients with gender dysphoria who are younger than 18 or to refer them to other clinicians for such treatment. Several other states have similar legislation pending. As physicians and a physician-in-training who provide gender-affirming care, we are deeply concerned that these political actions threaten the health and well-being of transgender children and adolescents. We have found that such young people are courageous and resilient, yet profoundly vulnerable. Moreover, they already have higher-than-average risk for suicidality and are disproportionately likely to experience violence.

Gender identity — the deeply felt internal sense of oneself as male, female, or somewhere else on the gender spectrum — may or may not align with the sex one was assigned at birth. When it does not align, the umbrella term “transgender” is often used to denote this incongruence. Although not all transgender young people feel distress related to their gender identity, when distress is present and persistent, a mental health professional with experience in gender-identity evaluations may diagnose gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria can be treated with both nonmedical and medical interventions. The former may include therapy, coming out to loved ones, or using a chosen name or pronouns and dressing or grooming in a way that matches one’s gender identity (making a social transition); the latter may include hormonal or (when age appropriate) surgical treatments to bring the person’s physical characteristics more closely in line with their gender identity or to prevent developmental changes that don’t align with this identity. Decisions regarding the appropriate treatment for each individual patient are made by the patient, the parents, and the health care team and are guided by evidence-based standards put forth by organizations such as the Endocrine Society, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Each person has their own gender journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this kind of care.

Pediatric gender clinics originated in the 1980s in Amsterdam. Dutch physicians recognized that transgender children tended to face mental health challenges during adolescence, as secondary sex characteristics developed, and that early intervention could be lifesaving. They also appreciated the value of delaying decisions that could have a permanent effect on a child. To resolve these conflicts, they created a protocol under which puberty would be paused using medications at Tanner stage 2 (the period during which signs of central puberty are first detected, most often between 8 and 15 years of age) if gender dysphoria had persisted, thereby forestalling the development of unwanted and potentially permanent secondary sex characteristics with a reversible intervention. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues, or “puberty blockers,” have been used by pediatric endocrinologists for more than 30 years for the treatment of precocious puberty. These agents have well-known efficacy and side-effect profiles, and their effects are reversible. In later adolescence, treatment with gender-affirming hormones could be initiated if gender identity remained incongruent with the sex assigned at birth.

The Dutch-developed treatment model was shown to result in long-term improvements in the well-being of adolescents with gender dysphoria1 and was the basis for current guidelines formalizing the treatment of gender dysphoria. These guidelines recommend using GnRH analogues at Tanner stage 2 and prescribing hormone therapy later in adolescence if the patient, the parents, and the medical team all agree with this approach. Today, prescribing these therapies is coupled with education on the safe use of such medications and with close surveillance for potential risks associated with therapy — for instance, monitoring for changes in bone health in children taking GnRH agonists, for risk factors for blood clotting with estrogen therapy, and for polycythemia with testosterone therapy. With proper monitoring and education, the risks associated with these therapies can be mitigated, and the benefits are substantial: use of hormone therapy is associated with improved quality of life, reduced rates of depression, and decreased anxiety among transgender people.2

A recent survey of U.S. high school students conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1.8% of students identify as transgender. More than one third of transgender adolescents surveyed had attempted suicide in the previous 12 months.3 As clinicians caring for this population, we are alarmed by this statistic, but we see it as a call to action. We know that mental health disparities between transgender and cisgender children are not inevitable and that with support from their families and communities and access to evidence-based mental health and medical interventions, transgender children and adolescents can survive and thrive.

A multidisciplinary approach to treating transgender young people has been shown to alleviate gender dysphoria when treatment occurs in a supportive environment that attends to the patient’s mental, social, and physical needs. Young people who receive such gender-affirming care report improvements in their overall well-being, and their level of well-being is generally in line with that of their cisgender peers — and sometimes it’s higher.4 Having access to gender-affirming care in childhood and adolescence can have profoundly important mental health benefits: one study found that transgender adults who had had access to puberty suppression during adolescence had lower odds of suicidal ideation than those who wanted such treatment but hadn’t received it.5

Under the new Arkansas law, known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, physicians who provide gender-affirming therapy for transgender people younger than 18 will be subject to loss of licensure and could be sued. The law’s name implies that following evidence-based guidelines while working closely with patients and families is a form of experimentation. The law references inaccurate information about the care of gender-diverse young people, stating that genital surgeries are being recommended for people younger than 18. In reality, guidelines indicate that genital surgeries should be delayed until the person reaches the age of legal adulthood in their country, which in the United States is 18 years. The law also states that there are no long-term data on the use of puberty-blocking drugs for the treatment of gender dysphoria, when multiple studies have revealed long-term positive outcomes for transgender people who have undergone puberty suppression.4,5

The content of the Arkansas law, and that of similar bills that have been proposed in other states, is not based on data, medical literature, or correct information about the process of treating transgender adolescents. We believe these bills threaten the health, well-being, and survival of transgender children and young adults. By penalizing physicians for practicing evidence-based medicine, the legislation nullifies their expertise and interferes with therapeutic relationships among physicians, patients, and families. It strips power from patients and families who are already marginalized. And although the stated purpose of the legislation is to protect adolescents, we believe that criminalizing what has been shown to be lifesaving treatment will do the opposite — and that the consequences could well be tragic.

The post Criminalization of Gender-Affirming Care — Interfering with Essential Treatment for Transgender Adolescents appeared first on Planet Trans.

Treating Trans Youth with Dr. Izzy Lowell


Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes

What is gender-affirming health care? Around the country, there’s a Republican campaign to legislate and regulate the lives of trans youth. The most destructive of these efforts would bar trans youth in certain states from accessing gender-affirming treatment. Dr. Izzy Lowell runs Queer Med, a private clinic that specializes in providing accessible health care to trans patients ranging from kids to adults. Her practice covers 10 states across the South – and half of those have anti-trans health care bills on the docket. If they pass, it would become criminal for her to provide this care to many of her patients. Dr. Lowell joins this week to break down what exactly we mean when we talk about gender-affirming care, how the decision is made for kids and teens ready to transition, and the potentially devastating impact this legislation would have on their lives.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/why-is-this-happening-with-chris-hayes/id1382983397?i=1000523012543

It’s #IDAHOBIT2021 and Why that Matters

It’s #IDAHOBIT2021 and Why that Matters

Today is #IDAHOBIT the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia. Every May 17th we join together on the world stage to say no to those who oppress us.

Many people in the US aren’t aware of IDAHOBIT and wonder why the fuss so here’s the answer. Trump took us out of the UN because our united voices are powerful and louder than his.

This year in the United States we are experiencing an attack on transgender people like never seen before. Nationalists who remain loyal to the trump regime are trying to disenfranchise, discriminate against, and take essential life-saving medication from our children.

48 black and brown trans people have lost their lives since the Transgender Day of remembrance on November 20, 2020. at that rate this year we will have 96 transgender people to mourn on the 2021 TDoR.

These haters mean business. Republican Legislators across the country are promoting state-sponsored eugenics and efforts to ‘purify’ the population that hasn’t been seen since the civil war. At risk in their minds, is the future of mankind led by evolved species of humans that they just can’t fathom.

Washington Blade: Biden administration announces global LGBTQ rights priorities

Alone we can fend them off for only so long. United with the world these transphobic, homophobic, biphobic, and xenophobic nationalists in the US don’t stand a chance and they know it. Hence the war on transgender children, the next gendernation.

The post It’s #IDAHOBIT2021 and Why that Matters appeared first on Planet Trans.

The Anti-Trans Sports Bill Redux: You Decide Ohio

Opinion By Eliana Turan,
Director of Development at The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.

This article was first published at Cleveland Scene com “Op-Ed: Ohio’s Proposed Anti-Trans Sports Bills Are Dangerous State-Sanctioned Bigotry.”

On March 2, 2020, I was, invited by one of my favorite morning shows, The Sound of Ideas, to discuss HB527, which would have effectively barred trans students in Ohio from competing as their true selves. Joining as guests in favor of the bill were Beth Stelzer and Jena Powell. The former founded an organization she hyperbolically named “Save Women’s Sports.” The latter is an Ohio House representative.

Anticipating a civil conversation, I was stunned by the language of my co-guests, which I personally felt was aggressive, sexist, and transphobic. During the subsequent debate, I noted that Save Women’s Sports was collaborating with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group. I was so noticeably shaken from the exchange that show host Mike McIntyre even called me afterward to make sure I was ok (a gesture from the veteran journalist that I appreciated). After the radio program, Save Women’s Sports posted video of me from the show onto their social media, where my digital effigy may now be trolled into Internet oblivion.

HB527 failed to advance forward in the Statehouse last year, its supporters blaming the onset of COVID-19 as its reason for stoppage. That original bill was not truly dead, however. In 2021, it rose like a zombie to become the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which would prevent trans female students from competing on female teams in Ohio’s schools and colleges, if passed. This time, the anti-trans Ohio bill is joined with a tidal wave of similar sports bans in other states.

In this way, the recent onslaught of sports bans mirrors similar transphobic legislative assaults of recent history, such as the bathroom bills. Both campaigns rely heavily on the unfounded and transphobic paradigm that inclusion of trans people into public life will preclude and necessitate the dissolution of public life itself. This, despite the trans community making up only 0.6% of the U.S. population and having peacefully co-habited with our cisgender neighbors since the beginning of humankind.

As a trans woman and advocate in the LGBTQ+ community, I feel that the dual anti-trans sports bills in the Ohio Statehouse would be extremely harmful if passed. These bills would hurt trans women and girls by invalidating our identities, normalize and promote transphobic bullying, and effectively prevent trans youth from partaking in the natural human right of athletic participation.

Trans people would lose opportunities and face greater dangers. Four out of 10 trans people already attempt suicide at some point in our lives. Half of us will be sexually assaulted. Trans people often face rejection by peers, authorities figures, and even loved ones. We are at heightened risk for many health perils including addiction, mental health struggles, homelessness, incarceration, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19. Worse yet, Northeast Ohio is an epicenter of transphobic violence. Does a “public safety” bill really make sense when it targets our most vulnerable?

If we are going to talk about saving women and girls, let’s save all women and girls, trans females included. Athletic participation keeps kids safe by affording comradery, role models, friendships, and protections from life’s many dangers. Likewise, trans athletes strengthen their teams and act as positive examples for those around them – a valuable thing for kids who often feel unwanted.

Supporters of these bills claim they are meant to protect opportunities for cisgender women and girls. But that is not true, either. The Ohio High School Athletics Association (OHSAA) has affirmed that no evidence exists of trans athletes disrupting opportunities for their cisgender teammates in the state. Moreover, OHSAA’s governance framework that manages trans inclusion in sports is based on medical and scientific research, coupled with legal and human rights. In contrast, the proposed anti-trans bills are rooted in fear, prejudice, and ignorance.

Worse yet, these proposed sports bans actually hurt female athletes across the board, cis and trans alike. Supporters of these bills claim that female athletes are inherently inferior to male athletes. As an intersectional feminist, I find this proposition highly insulting. I believe that women can do anything just as well as men can. Invalidating female athletes undermines the broader push for female equality in sports. This is why Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Candace Parker, and nearly 200 other athletes have come forward in support of trans inclusion of athletics.

By claiming that female athletes aren’t as good as our male equivalents, proponents of these sports bans reinforce societal misogyny that robs women’s teams and leagues of needed resources, coaching, scholarships, compensation, and recognition. But it doesn’t stop there. Young women and girls who internalize such messaging will be less likely to pursue opportunities in STEM, law, public service, finance, and other male-dominated fields. Is it is any surprise then that these sports bans are being pushed by lobby groups with long histories of keeping women oppressed?

Female athletes have been unjustly maligned as less than compared to male athletes. Unparalleled champions such as Serena and Venus Williams, Candace Parker, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and many others will never be seen, valued, or remembered for their true magnificence due to gendered sports discrimination and collective misogynistic beliefs.

A cynical gamble by the supporters of the proposed anti-trans sports bills is that they can effectively sell such ongoing misogynistic oppression in sports as existing toward the protection of cis women. As such, they frequently quote statistical data underscoring performance disparities between female and male athletes. Lost in their analysis, however, is the influence of the gross imbalances of resources and prestige allocated toward boy’s and men’s teams and leagues compared to their female counterparts, coupled with the influence of widespread cultural expectation that boys enter into sports and girls do not. Ignoring such factors, the proponents of the anti-trans sports bans simply conclude that females are inherently inferior in athletics to males, and that a full blanket ban on trans girls and women – whom they wrongly equate as being biologically identical to cis boys and men – is now needed urgently, despite long-running positive relations between cis and trans female athletes statewide.

Across the country, cisgender people are now debating whether trans people should enjoy the same inalienable rights that they do. To my cis neighbors, I would implore you to consider the long-view of this crossroads. America has a long and shameful history of sports discrimination against oppressed communities. Black Americans were barred from competing against white athletes during the shameful Jim Crow era. Indeed, the struggle for racial desegregation in the U.S. played out in many of the same venues the fight for trans inclusion plays out in today: bathrooms, locker rooms, schools, military service, etc. Does Ohio really want to fall on the wrong side of a 21st Century civil rights issue?

Even now, in the absence of formal homophobic discrimination, very few LGBTQ+ athletes compete out of the closet at the collegiate and professional level. Many likely fear losing scholarships or promotional sponsorships if they are outed. With so much more work to do toward LGBTQ+ equality in sports, what effect would the formalized barring of trans athletes from public life have on the broader rainbow? Anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the ADF likely gamble that a strategic wedge issue like trans inclusion in sports may pit cis and trans women against one another, thus weakening the struggle for gender equality, while simultaneously striking a major blow to the LGBTQ+ empowerment movement.

And what are the likely consequences if Ohio chooses the wrong side of history? To be sure, they would be steep. The NCAA has already suggested that it may not hold events in states that pass such bans. Is Ohio really in a financial position to needlessly imperil such opportunities? Perhaps Ohio’s many small-government Republicans and Libertarians should consider their own messaging about how draconian government can drive businesses away.

But that is not likely all. If we are to learn from the failed bathroom bill campaigns of yesteryear, more commercial and economic interests will likely step forward to affirm their stated policies toward diversity and inclusion. In March 2016, North Carolina initiated a statewide bathroom bill, thus setting off a flurry of transphobic copycat bills across the U.S. For its role as the flashpoint, North Carolina may have lost an estimated $3.76 billion in diverted economic activity. Even a fraction of such losses could thwart Ohio’s fragile recovery from COVID-19 and prolong unemployment for untold numbers of our neighbors. As of this writing, 19,428 Ohioans have died of the disease. Shouldn’t this be the primary concern of our lawmakers, alongside putting people back to work?

But beyond our state’s immediate needs, the issue of trans inclusion in Ohio’s sports teams bears implications for generations to come. As we emerge from the seclusion of COVID-19 lockdown and re-enter the world, we will find a world quickly transformed by the forces of innovation and change. Ohio lost the last innovation wave, and we desperately need to win the next for our state and region to remain relevant. That innovation will come largely from a new generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs, a new generation with vastly different attitudes and understandings toward gender, sexuality, biology, and identity. Recently, Governor DeWine announced that “he wants to spend $50 million on a marketing campaign to convince East Coast and West Coast residents to live, work and spend their money in Ohio.” But will Ohio likely attract such talent by openly embracing state-sanctioned bigotry?

Our future is ours to decide, Ohio.

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Dreamer to continue on in DC Pride Comics past Super Girl finale

“Shes not even acting, everything she said about the community came from her heart”

Via Screen Rant:

Nia Nal aka Dreamer, an original character from The CW’s Supergirl, just debuted in comic form in a new stunning preview. It sees Dreamer, played by Nicole Maines in the TV show, in action as she continues supering around National City. The Dreamer story, within the upcoming DC Pride anthology series, is written by Maines herself. DC Pride is an anthology series that will shine a light on DC’s roster of LGBTQIA+ characters, made by LGBTQIA+ creators. Along with Dreamer’s transition to the comics, other popular characters like DC’s newest Flash will be returning in their own stories.

“I love her so much, and this right here. This made me cry. Growing up there really wasn’t a role model in my experience who was trans, and to see Nia and know that for so many young people she can be that role model, she can be a beacon of visibility, it just makes me happy.”

Dreamer was introduced in Supergirl Season 4, she is the first transgender superhero on television. As an original creation from Supergirl, Nia has never been featured in any comic book. However, she is a relative to Nura Nal aka Dream Girl, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the comics. With her family being linked to characters from DC Comics, it was only a matter of time before she would make the leap. With Supergirl ending, there has been an outcry for Nia Nal to continue past the show’s finale and this could be the conclusion that fans have been hoping for.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA: CORRUPTION & DISCRIMINATION IMPEDING GLOBAL LGBTQI+ EQUALITY

Today, 17 May, is the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It’s a day to recognise that while the rights of the LGBTQI+ people have significantly advanced in recent decades, progress remains patchy and geographically uneven.

Just as the gradual expansion of anti-discrimination legislation offers optimism, tragedies like the recent honour killing of 20-year-old gay Iranian Alireza Fazeli Monfared serve as a stark reminder of the work ahead. The past year has also put an incredible strain on LGBTQI+ communities, as governments in all regions of the world neglected them in their responses to COVID-19 pandemic.

Corruption and discrimination are both significant barriers to achieving an equal and inclusive future, but have so far been studied in isolation from one another, with little research being done on the nature of the relationship between them.

Corruption is bad for society in general, but it typically hits already marginalised groups harder than most by exacerbating inequality and skewing resource distribution to the advantage of the powerful.CORRUPTION AND DISCRIMINATION: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN?

The link between the two phenomena is painfully evident in Russia, which is one of the countries where LGBTQI+ people still live in fear.

In a case documented by the Russian LGBT Network, Fedor, a young man from Krasnodar, was subject to entrapment, physical assault and threats of criminal charges from police officers extorting bribes. Police officers were waiting for Fedor when he arrived at the apartment of a man he had met on a dating app. Claiming that the man he was meeting was a minor, the officers took Fedor to a police station where they assaulted and threatened him with criminal charges, unless he paid them off.

Fedor’s story makes up one of the several illustrative cases featured in a forthcoming study by Transparency International and the Equal Rights Trust. It investigates the interplay between corruption and discrimination, and the impact these dynamics have on individuals and groups subject to discrimination on different grounds, including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

Greater exposure to corruption

Due to stigma against them in many countries, LGBTQI+ people are at a greater risk of becoming victims of coercive corruption – the kind where those in power use threats or force to extort money or even sexual bribes.

Sexual extortion, or sextortion, is a common but largely invisible form of corruption. It happens when people are coerced into paying a bribe with sexual acts rather than money. While women are disproportionally targeted, men, transgender and gender non-conforming people are also affected.THE DEAFENING SILENCE AROUND SEXTORTION

Consider contexts where people’s sexual and gender identities and behaviour are criminalised. When a person’s very identity, or perceived identity, becomes a crime, it creates an environment that leaves them greatly exposed to abuses of power. Discriminatory legal contexts enable unscrupulous officials – often the police – to abuse their power for private gain.

In a modern twist on age-old homophobia, police officers around the world have resorted to cyber-attacks and used dating apps to identify and entrap gay men and transgender women, in particular.

In contexts where their identities are criminalised, LGBTQI+ people already have limited ways of forming communities and meeting each other. Meeting people offline is significantly harder for LGBTQI+ people in many other settings due to the lack of welcoming queer spaces and visibility. In the United States, for example, the Pew Research Centre found that LGBTQ adults use dating apps nearly twice as much as straight adults. This makes the use of dating apps to harass LGBTQI+ people feel especially sinister.

Corruption preventing redress for discrimination

LGBTQI+ people are often unable to challenge the discriminatory corruption they face as a result of the same reasons that make them vulnerable to it in the first place. The very environment that enables discriminatory corruption, such as widespread anti-LGBTQI+ sentiment, prevents people from seeking and achieving redress.

In many countries, there are also no channels for queer people to seek redress. And in places where such channels exist, other barriers can stop people from using them, such as having little trust in public officials, having little hope that justice will be done and, most importantly, having to disclose their LGBTQI+ identities and private life in a potentially queerphobic environment.

These concerns are not unfounded. Fedor, for example, filed a formal complaint with the help of the Russian LGBT Network, but the authorities have reportedly so far refused to open an investigation.

Leaving no one behind

We already knew that corruption and discrimination were two major obstacles to the achievement of sustainable and inclusive development. Our upcoming study with Equal Rights Trust aims to demonstrate that discrimination and corruption are not just correlated but that, in fact, there is a causal and a mutually reinforcing relationship between the two. It shows that corruption is impeding progress towards equal treatment and remains a vehicle for discrimination, and investigates how this affects communities at risk of discrimination across nine countries.

These findings bring home the need to tackle the two phenomena together, if countries are to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underpinned by the commitment to leave no one behind.

To achieve a world free from corruption, we must fight discrimination too, and vice versa. Otherwise, we risk leaving the people who are most vulnerable to abuses of power – LGBTQI+ people, but also women, racial and ethnic minorities at risk of discrimination and other marginalised communities – further behind and perpetuating structural inequalities. We cannot have fair and just societies unless everyone can enjoy equal rights and protection.

Trans Families flee Arkansas and Texas, the only homes they knew

Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill denying medical care but said there is nothing he can do. This is heartbreaking for the children and families affected as they realize their State Government doesn’t want them there.

Dylan Brandt, 15, is a transgender teen from Arkansas who has been taking testosterone but will no longer be able to receive the hormone once a new state law takes effect this summer that bars gender-affirming medical care for minors.

If the Brandt family is forced to leave they will join a growing exodus of the gender diverse from states controlled by the extreme right.

Many, like the Spurriers, have chosen to go to New Mexico.

The Spurriers, a family of three in Central Arkansas took note of legislation introduced and passed by the Arkansas General Assembly that has directly targeted our son’s healthcare, education, and mental well-being. As a result,” the Spurriers wrote on their gofundme, “we are making a serious effort to relocate to a state that is more friendly to the LGBTQIA+ community”. Keeping closeness to family, post-secondary educational opportunities, and our own health in mind, we have determined that New Mexico is the best fit for us.

We’ve lived in Arkansas since 2005. Our child has grown up in that time, learning kindness, humor, and empathy. A year and a half ago, he hesitantly came out to us as transgender. Despite the love and acceptance, we have tried to embody, he was terrified of how we might react. He had heard horror stories of trans youth whose families responded with cruelty. We assured him of our unchanged love and understanding. Following that conversation, we reached out to his existing therapist and the wonderful staff at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Gender Spectrum Clinic to begin the long journey to help him transition into an identity that felt right for him.

Counselors and clinicians confirmed his conviction that this new course was right. The medical staff at ACH-GSC helped our son take the first step toward easing his dysphoria, by administering common birth control injections to reduce or eliminate the monthly trauma of his periods. In most transgender males, two doses of such drugs achieves the completely reversible cessation of monthly cycles for a period of time. For our son, the duration and frequency of periods increased substantially, which made what was already traumatic an absolute hell for him. After a third Hail Mary dose, which failed to produce the desired effect, the doctor suggested that moving on to testosterone injections would be the best option.

We are a month and a half into weekly T shots, which our needle-shy teenage son has been self-administering (the surest testament to his commitment to this transition). His confidence and comfort have increased by leaps and bounds, and it is clear that he is elated with his progress so far. He has gone from being on the verge of suicide to excitement for his future.

The Arkansas General Assembly has taken action to return him, and his transgender male and female peers, to that brink of self-destruction. House Bill 1570 , explicitly prohibits not only gender reassignment surgeries—which are not performed on minors in Arkansas in the first place—but the puberty-blocking medications and hormone replacement therapies that help ease gender dysphoria in teens until they reach the age of majority and can make their own independent choices regarding surgery. Lacking a “grandfather clause” to exclude active hormone/blocker patients, the bill would cut off these teens…our teen…from their therapies, doing irreparable physical and mental harm.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has vetoed HB1570, but members of the General Assembly have already pledged to see that the legislature overrides his veto. Even if the bill dies, it is but one of at least four (SB289, SB354, HB1570, & HB1749 so far) such bills, three of which have already been signed into law.

The Texas legislature is will likely pass a bill today denying transgender healthcare to minors. Not to be outdone by Arkansas the punishment for parents would be a sentence to prison as child abusers.

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US Health and Human Services – Transgender Healthcare will be protected

The Biden administration put Arkansas on notice today that the state is in violation of the law by denying transgender children healthcare. The HHS through the revitalized Office of Civil rights is open for business to take complaints from LGBTQI people who have been denied healthcare.


HHS press release May 10, 2021:

“The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences. It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone – including LGBTQ people – should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

Discrimination in health care impacts health outcomes. Research shows that one-quarter of LGBTQ people who faced discrimination postponed or avoided receiving needed medical care for fear of further discrimination.

“The mission of our Department is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. All people need access to healthcare services to fix a broken bone, protect their heart health, and screen for cancer risk,” said Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health. “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.”

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the Department) is responsible for enforcing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557) and regulations issued under Section 1557, protecting the civil rights of individuals who access or seek to access covered health programs or activities. Covered entities are prohibited from discriminating against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“OCR’s mission is to protect people from all forms of discrimination,” said Robinsue Frohboese, Acting OCR Director. “OCR will follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law, and ensure that the law’s protections extend to those individuals who are discriminated against based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)’s prohibition on employment discrimination based on sex encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020). The Bostock majority concluded that the plain meaning of “because of sex” in Title VII necessarily included discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. Id. at 1753-54. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock and Title IX, beginning today OCR will interpret Section 1557’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. This interpretation will guide OCR in processing complaints and conducting investigations, but does not itself determine the outcome in any particular case or set of facts.

In enforcing Section 1557 as stated above, OCR will comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq., and all other legal requirements. Additionally, OCR will comply with all applicable court orders that have been issued in litigation involving the Section 1557 regulations, including Franciscan Alliance, Inc. v. Azar, 414 F. Supp. 3d 928 (N.D. Tex. 2019); Whitman-Walker Clinic, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of Health & Hum. Servs., 485 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2020); Asapansa-Johnson Walker v. Azar, No. 20-CV-2834, 2020 WL 6363970 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2020); and Religious Sisters of Mercy v. Azar, No. 3:16-CV-00386, 2021 WL 191009 (D.N.D. Jan. 19, 2021).

OCR applies the enforcement mechanisms provided for and available under Title IX when enforcing Section 1557’s prohibition on sex discrimination. 45 C.F.R. § 92.5(a). Title IX’s enforcement procedures can be found at 45 C.F.R. § 86.71 (adopting the procedures at 45 C.F.R. §§ 80.6 through 80.11 and 45 C.F.R. Part 81).

If you believe that a covered entity violated your civil rights, you may file a complaint at https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/complaints.

Washington D.C. – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the Office for Civil Rights will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in covered health programs or activities. The update was made in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County and subsequent court decisions.

The Notice may be found at: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/ocr-bostock-notification.pdf – PDF.* **

* This HHS-approved document is being submitted to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for publication and has not yet been placed on public display or published in the Federal Register. This document may vary slightly from the published document if minor editorial changes are made during the OFR review process. The document published in the Federal Register is the official HHS-approved document.

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Trans Weightlifter Set to make History at the Tokyo Olympics

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard must overcome a horrific physical injury she suffered in 2018 in order to have a chance at the Olympics. But it’s more than that. Laura’s success has led to an onslaught of transphobic diatrades like the world has never seen. It’s going to take encouragement to empower her.

The Kiwi governing body has not only helped her overcome obstacles in her push for Olympic selection, wrote Sports Bible, but they also supported her through a devastating arm injury in 2018 that threatened to derail her dream of competing in Tokyo.

“Best of luck Laurel Hubbard,” wrote LGBTI Rights Australia.

“It means Hubbard, who won silver at the 2017 world championships and was sixth after a severe injury in 2019, is almost certain to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics…
Under IOC guidelines, issued in November 2015, athletes who transition from male to female can compete in the women’s category without requiring surgery to remove their testes provided their total testosterone level in serum is kept below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months – a rule followed by the IWF

In 2015 the IOC made amendments to their qualifying guidelines which ultimately allowed for trans athletes to compete in women’s events depending on their testosterone levels.

As long as the athlete’s levels of testosterone were 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months prior to competition, then they were eligible to compete.

For the Olympic Games, Hubbard’s inclusion will serve as a landmark moment.

But for Hubbard herself, she’ll be purely focused on coming away from Tokyo with a medal wrapped around her neck.

She is currently ranked fourth overall out of the 14 other qualifiers in the super heavyweight class, meaning she has a genuine shot of clinching gold.

You got this Laura Hubbard, go for the gold.

The post Trans Weightlifter Set to make History at the Tokyo Olympics appeared first on Planet Trans.

Doctor: Alabama lawmakers want to punish me for treating transgender youth

Dr. Izzy Lowell
Special to the Advertiser
Dr. Izzy Lowell is a family medicine physician whose clinic QueerMed specializes in transgender medicine.

“I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”

Years ago, I donned a white coat and uttered these words. I gathered with other young doctors and pledged to provide comprehensive and compassionate care for all my patients.

Now the state of Alabama, where I practice, is on the verge of passing a bill that would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide essential care to transgender youth. This is unconscionable, especially in the middle of a public health crisis that has killed half a million Americans.

When I first took the Hippocratic Oath, I understood the obligation I was assuming. I knew I would become responsible for fellow humans’ lives and be a harbinger of the worst or best possible news a family could hear.

Never though, in all of my training, did I imagine that those in our highest offices of power would work to subvert our solemn oath, using their positions to make determinations about who can and cannot receive care. Yet here we are. If this law is enacted, I could face up to 10 years in prison just for doing my job.

The Alabama bill would be one of the most harmful pieces of anti-trans legislation in our nation’s history. But it’s far from the only attempt to discriminate against trans people and punish those who provide them care. Trans rights, and specifically trans children’s rights, are under brutal attack by state legislatures across the country. State lawmakers have proposed a record number of anti-transgender bills this year — from banning trans kids from playing on sports teams in nearly 20 states to criminalizing doctors who provide trans youth essential healthcare in a dozen.

Compounding these legislative attacks, COVID related clinic closures and travel restrictions have further limited access to medically necessary, gender-affirming care for transgender patients during the pandemic.

Moreover, about two-thirds of LGBTQ adults have pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or HIV, conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Access to essential care for trans Americans is more imperative than ever.

Even without this law in place, trans people face rampant discrimination in healthcare settings.

In Alabama, one in four transgender people who visited a healthcare provider had a negative experience related to being transgender, according to a 2015 survey. More than a third did not see a doctor when they needed to because they feared being mistreated as a transgender person. And 17 percent experienced issues with their insurance because of their gender identity.

The barriers to care for trans people are extensive and dangerous.

The evidence is irrefutable. Transgender children who receive gender-affirming care such as puberty-delaying medication and hormones when they are young have better mental health outcomes and report fewer cases of depression and suicidal ideation. As COVID-19 continues to take an enormous toll on the mental health of children, access to this care is critical.

The passage of this bill would make it nearly impossible for trans youth in Alabama to receive the care they need and jail doctors like myself who are committed to treating all people. And it’s not just Alabama. Bills like this are proliferating all across the country, and trans youth are relying on healthcare providers to fight for their rights.

“May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

I write today to uphold this oath — to preserve this fine tradition and fight back against hate. So to the lawmakers who insist on legislating intolerance, quit standing in the way of healthcare professionals who only seek to help.

Dr. Izzy Lowell is a family medicine physician whose clinic, QueerMed, specializes in transgender medicine and treats trans patients in Alabama and across the Southeast.

The post appeared first on Montgomery Advertiser.

Judge Rules Against LGB Alliance’s request to exclude trans people

A judge in Britain has ruled against LGB Alliance’s Ann Sinnott effort to exclude trans people from the 2010 Equality Act, as first reported by Vic Parson. The LGB alliance is somewhat akin to the US Alliance Defending Freedom in that works hard to erase all evidence that transgender people ever existed.

And just like the ADF, the LGB Alliance couldn’t name a valid reason to do so.

Throwing out the attempted judicial review today, Mr Justice Henshaw, sitting in London’s High Court, said the case was “unarguable” and that its interpretation of the Equality Act 2010 is “wrong in law”.

The failed judicial review was sought by LGB Alliance co-founder Ann Sinnott, who crowdfunded more than £96,000 in legal fees. It concerned the EHRC’s guidance on the single-sex exemptions in the Equality Act 2010, which allow women’s single-sex spaces, like prisons or refuges, to only exclude trans women in certain, specific circumstances.

Sinnott argued that any women’s single-sex space with a trans woman becomes a mixed-sex space and therefore that the EHRC’s Code of Practice was unlawful, because it told service providers to treat trans women as women in most situations. Her argument was that trans women, with or without legal gender recognition, should always be excluded from women’s single-sex spaces.

Justice Henshaw had heard from Dan Squires QC, representing the EHRC, that “there is no evidence that on the basis of the Code of Practice someone has acted unlawfully”.

“It is not appropriate for a court to say that trans women should always be excluded,” Squires argued. “If there is a problem then it can be challenged and the court can judge if a service provider has done it wrong.”

While throwing out the attempted judicial review, Henshaw said: “The Code of Practice seeks to give concise and practicable advice.

“The claimant has shown no arguable reason to believe the Code has mislead or will mislead service providers about their responsibilities under the Act in order to place women or girls at risk.”

Attempts to contact Ann Sinnott for comment on Twitter were unsuccessful since she is a TERF and blocked us long ago.

It began with “get the L out” but when we said fine, it became get the T out, which is not fine at all.

The post Judge Rules Against LGB Alliance’s request to exclude trans people appeared first on Planet Trans.

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