Featured Editorials

Deflation, negative interest rates and the derivatives mountain

In a press conference last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen was asked about negative interest rates. Yellen dismissed the possibility, but also said if "we found ourselves with a weak economy that needed additional stimulus, we would look at all of our available tools, and [a negative rate] would be something that we would evaluate in that kind of context."

Shivi can come home

A week and a half ago I shared the story of Shivi, a transman who is a student at Cal-Berkeley and whose parents tried to arrange a marriage for him with a man in India, to "fix his sexuality." (Parents traffic their child to India as attempted cure for the trans). Though Shivi was born in India, he has lived in the US since the age of three.

When last we saw, Shivi (who only uses the one name) was stuck in India because his mother had stolen his passport, green card and cellphone, and returned to the US with his siblings). His father, a researcher in the US, tried to enroll him as a girl at Dayalbagh University in Agra. But Shivi got access to her grandparents internet and contacted friends in the US who put him in touch with the LGBT NGO Nazarya. Members of Nazaraya helped Shivi escape from Agra and go to Delhi, where he filed a petition with the Delhi High Court claiming he had been wronged by his parents. The High Court found in his favor and granted Shivi an order of protection.

Beautiful as I want to be

Transgender model Geena Rocero has joined forces with the cable network Logo to produce a video series which will highlight transgender young people. The series will be called Beautiful as I Want to Be and will consist of four part episodes which will be introduced by Rocero and "focus on partnering young trans people with successful trans leaders to explore how they define beauty and identity. Young trans people share their backstories, their identity journeys and their dreams for the future. Their mentor/coach then readies them for a transformative photo shoot and offers life advice."

I am excited to share with trans youth the ways that I’ve used modeling and art to creatively express myself and to realize my dreams. This project is to affirm our youth’s potential, their beauty and the possibilities when we celebrate and allow them to be their most authentic selves.

Transgender issues gain political traction

Until yesterday, injection of transgender issues into the 2016 presidential campaign had been solely the province of Mike Huckabee and his fantasies about invading women's locker rooms.

That has now completely changed.

Hillary Clinton spoke at a Human Rights Campaign breakfast yesterday morning...and Joe Biden spoke to the same group of people last night.

Transgender people are valued, they are loved, they are us.

--Hillary Clinton

One thing I know...

...from nearly 23 years of writing about transgender issues on the Internet...

...is that cisgender people who deign to write about trans issues (overall, a rarity) are likely to have their voices heard by a much larger audience than transgender people. It is just so easy to write off anything that arises from our mouths or pens or keyboards as self-serving claptrap...because, you know...

...we're trans.

We're the voices that don't actually exist in the minds of too many religious fundamentalists and their ilk. A recent study of Fox News by Media Matters showed a concerted effort to villainize our community. People don't listen to the words of villains.

So it is with heart felt gratitude that I welcomed Wednesday's ope-ed in the Detroit Free Press by Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign and Judy Shepard, cofounder of the Mathew Shepard Foundation, End epidemic of violence against transgender women.

I'm supposing they published this in Detroit because that has been one of this year's hotbeds of anti-trans violence. Other hotbeds...over the past few years...have been Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston.

First do no harm

An article published Monday in the Journal of Emergency Nursing will hopefully change the treatment of transgender people in hospital emergency rooms. The article was submitted by Ethan Collin Cicero, BSN, RN and Beth Perry Black, PhD, RN, from Chapel Hill, NC and was entitled, I was a Spectacle...A Freak Show at the Circus: A transgender Person's ED Experience and Implications for Nursing Practice

The article offers a case study for Brandon James (not his real name), a transgender man who visited an Emergency Department in the southeastern US a few years ago, expecting to be treated like any other patient.

Instead, he was treated like a "freak show at the circus" by hospital staff when the female marker on his driver's license and medical record did not match up with his masculine appearance and preference to go by male pronouns.

The authors point to one recent study, which found that about 19 percent of transgender patients reported having been refused care because of their gender status, and 28 percent said they experienced harassment in a medical setting.

Unfortunately, this is fairly common. From a nursing perspective, those are very alarming numbers to learn about, so that's why we wanted to look a little more closely into this community's health care experiences.

--Cicero, a doctoral student at the Duke University School of Nursing