Insidious: Extreme Pressures Faced by Trans People

From Trans-Advocate:   http://www.transadvocate.com/extreme-pressures-faced-by-trans-people.htm

by January 27, 2013

Reposted with permission

Studies show that the trans population lives under extreme psychological pressures unseen in even active military personnel. Fifty-five percent of trans people  [1,2] were found to live with social anxiety. Within the general American population, similar types of anxiety are experienced by only 6.8% [3] of the population while these levels of anxiety were found to exist at a rate of 8.2% among military personal. [4]

chart

Levels of social anxiety experienced by population.

This graph compares the social anxiety transgender people feel against levels of social anxiety within the general American population and that experienced by military personnel.

Transgender and gender variant persons are frequently harassed and discriminated against when seeking housing or applying to jobs or schools, are often victims of violent hate crimes, and face challenges in marriage, adoption and parenting rights.

Discrimination and lack of equal civil rights is damaging to the mental health of transgender and gender variant individuals. For example, gender-based discrimination and victimization were found to be independently associated with attempted suicide in a population of transgender individuals, 32% of whom had histories of trying to kill themselves, and in the largest survey to date of gender variant and transgender people 41% reported attempting suicide.

The APA joins other organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, in endorsing strong policy statements deploring the discrimination experienced by gender variant and transgender individuals and calling for laws to protect their civil rights.

The American Psychological Association, 2012

The National Institute of Health defines Social Anxiety Disorder as being characterized by a, “… persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and feeling embarrassed or humiliated by their actions. This fear may be so severe that it interferes with work, school, and other activities and may negatively affect the person’s ability to form relationships.”

“… ethnic minority MtF transgender persons who experience negative interactions with health providers and face discrimination in the health care system feel strong barriers to utilizing health care services, and consequently exacerbate health disparities. Transphobia experience, depression, and economic pressure would also contribute to the barriers to utilizing services experienced by MtF transgender persons of color. This vicious cycle must be eliminated by developing health intervention programs specific to MtF transgender persons.” – Nemoto, Operario and Keatley, 2005 [5]

The studies reviewed found that over half of respondents claim significant anxiety over the way in which the cisgender population may react to them as transgender women. This is not a baseless concern; the trans population suffers significant rates of housing and employment discrimination, rape and assault. Housing discrimination contributes to homelessness; employment discrimination contributes to chronic unemployment and forced participation in underground economies such as sex work which then drives high rates of HIV within the trans population. Violence and discrimination narrows the experience of life for a significant portion of the trans population to the simple need to physically and psychologically survive. Thus begins a cycle which reinforces depression and shame while simultaneously validating disempowerment and fatalism.

Connecting the Dots

I have spent so many hours avoiding public multi-stall bathrooms  that I have damaged my bladder and put pressure on my kidneys. The problem was a daily one. I’d think about where I was going what bathrooms I’d have access to, how much I drank during the day, whether I’d be with people who could help stand guard…

–  Response to a 2002 survey conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission which found that nearly 50% of transgender respondents reported harassment or assault when simply attenpting to use a public bathroom

We live under the constant threat of horrifying violence. We have  to worry about what bathroom to use when our bladders are aching.  We are forced to consider whether we’ll be dragged out of a bathroom and arrested or face a fist fight while our bladders are still aching .  It’s an everyday reality for us. Human beings must use toilets… If I go into the women’s bathroom, am I prepared for the shouting and shaming? Will someone call security or the cops? If I use the men’s room, am I willing to fight my way out? Am I really ready for the violence that could ensue?

– Leslie Feinberg, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, p 68 – 69

Police officers often harass or abuse transgender and gender nonconforming people regardless of which sex-segregated bathroom they use. This harassment intensifies when coupled with the stereotyping of trans people as sexual predators. As such, the use of the  ‘wrong’ bathroom . . . often results in arrests for crimes such as public lewdness, public obscenity, or public indecency. Refusing to  comply with or simply questioning a police officer’s direction as to  which bathroom the individual must use can often lead to charges  such as resisting arrest or disorderly conduct.

– Pooja Gehi, Struggles from the Margins: Anti-Immigrant Legislation and the Impact on  Low-Income Transgender People of Color, 30 WOMEN’S RTS. L. REP. 315, 326 (2009)

[Non-discrimination protections based upon gender identity] would allow all males – including registered sex offenders or males subject to a domestic violence order of protection – to assert “gender identity” as a means to invade female-only space. Indeed, these laws provide a legal basis for males to be in sex-segrigated space. It is well-documented that males as a class have a demonstrated history of harming females as a class by exploiting bemale biology (ie, rape, sexual violance, unwanted pregnancy).- Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford United Nations letter

… their arrogance and oppressiveness is amazing. It is funny though that they are so used to Feminists immediately bowing before them that they don’t know how to deal with that we don’t care what happens to them. They expect we’ll be shocked to see statistics about them being killed, and don’t realize, some of us wish they would ALL be dead.

– BevJo, Radical Feminist leader

I believe if I was standing at a dressing room and my wife or one of my daughters was in the dressing room and a man tried to go in there — I don’t care if he thinks he’s a woman and tries on clothes with them in there — I’d just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry.

– State Rep. Richard Floyd (R)


NOTES:

  1. Kenagy, G., & Bostwick, W. (2005). The health and social service needs of transgender people in Chicago. International Journal of Transgenderism, 8(2/3), 57-66. doi: 10.1300/J485v08n02_06
  2. Padgett, P., & Risser, J. (2010).Transgender HIV behavioral survey (thbs): Pilot study in Houston, TX. Unpublished manuscript, School of Public Health , The University of Texas, Houston, Texas.
  3. NIH Social Anxiety: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1SOC_ADULT.shtml
  4. Social anxiety disorder and social fears in the Canadian military: Prevalence, comorbidity, impairment, and treatment-seeking, Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 44, Issue 14, October 2010, Pages 887–893
  5. Nemoto, T., Operario, D., Keatley, J., Han, L., Soma, T. (2006) HIV risk behaviors among male-to-female transgender persons of color in San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health,  94(7):1193-1199

 

 

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IKEA Apologizes For Transgender Ad

From On Top Magazine:   http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=14240&MediaType=1&Category=24

By On Top Magazine Staff
Published: January 28, 2013

IKEA has apologized for its characterization of a transgender woman in an ad shown in Thailand.

The 20-second ad, titled Forget to Keep Hidden (Luem Aeb), was shown on YouTube.com and on Bangkok’s trains. It featured a transgender woman whose voice becomes suddenly deep when she sees a sale sign. When the woman begins to tote packages of furniture on her own, her male friend scurries away scared. (Watch the commercial.)

In a January 9 letter to the Swedish furniture giant, the group Thai Transgender Alliance complained about the ad, calling the ad’s content “negative and stereotypical in nature.”

“The MTF transgender/transwoman character is openly mocked as being ‘deceitful,’” the group wrote.

“We have carefully considered your concerns expressed in your letter and would like to apologize for any unintended offence created in the TV commercial which featured the surprise of a lady transgender customer who encounters the specials offered in our recent year end sale advertising campaign,” wrote Gannrapee Chatchaidamrong, marketing manager of IKEA Thailand. “IKEA is for the many people, respecting individuals with different views and opinions. We welcome all people to the IKEA stores, independent of religion, political view, ethnic background or sexual preference etc.”

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Christo-Fascist Hate Monger Bryan Fischer Explodes over Boy Scouts Ending National Ban on Gays

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Not Selling Gray Hair Short

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/booming/not-selling-gray-hair-short.html

By
Published: January 25, 2013

Cindy Joseph, a model, knew she was being subversive when she stopped tinting her long, loose waves more than a decade ago.

“Some people think that if you wear your silver hair long, you look like a witch or ‘that frumpy old hippie lady,’” she said.

But she and a significant cohort of graying Americans seem intent these days on proving otherwise.

Last fall Ms. Joseph, still modeling at 60 but also now a blogger and cosmetics entrepreneur, led a band of silver-haired marchers to Times Square. It was a mini demonstration that she and Diana Jewell, a writer and fellow organizer, called the Silver Sisters Strut. “We are the women that we wished we would have had in our lives,” Ms. Joseph said, “if they weren’t busy getting their hair dyed.”

In a series of portraits by Vicki Topaz, a photographer based in San Francisco, inveterate rule breakers like Susan Kim, 54, a boutique owner, showily fans out her steel-colored hair, while Gloria Frynn, 60, a college professor, runs her fingers through a mass of curls.

“Believe me, these are women who have fun,” said Ms. Topaz, whose exhibition of photographs, “Silver: a State of Mind,” is on view through February at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., in Marin County. Reveling in their manes, she said, “reflects their confidence, their ease with being who they are.”

Still, wearing one’s gray hair long is viewed in some quarters as ill-advised. If the cut is not precise, “you’re going to run the risk of looking haggard,” warned Lisa Cicchini, a stylist in Manhattan. She nonetheless finds herself frequently fielding questions from clients, she said, about “where we can push the envelope.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/booming/not-selling-gray-hair-short.html

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One Billion Rising: ‘It’s like a feminist tsunami’

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/28/one-billion-rising-feminist-campaign

Flashmobs in Mogadishu, marches in Bute and mass rallies in India: Eve Ensler on the global response to her One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women


The Guardian, Monday 28 January 2013

Since Eve Ensler launched the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women she has been repeatedly asked: is it a dance movement or overtly political? A protest or a giant global celebration? Just a few weeks before 14 February, the date that Ensler, activist and author of The Vagina Monologues, designated the “day to rise”, she says: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.”

One in three women around the world are subject to violence at some point in their life, a statistic that prompted Ensler, who wrote the Monologues in 1996, to set up One Billion Rising. With such violence encompassing domestic abuse, gang rape, female genital mutilation and war, it is perhaps unsurprising that the campaign has taken on a different hue in each of the 190 countries where events to mark 14 February are planned.

“It is something that has gone across class, social group and religion. It’s like a huge feminist tsunami,” she said on a stopover in Paris.

Local protests range from the first ever flashmob in Mogadishu, Somalia, to the town square in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and encompass Maori women in New Zealand and an estimated 25m protesters in Bangladesh. Ensler’s idea for One Billion Rising came from her work in the Congo, where she set up the City of Joy to help female victims of violence and where she plans to be on 14 February itself, a day chosen partly to take back the idea of love from the soppy commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Her last stop before Congo will be London, with a sold-out event at the Café de Paris including Thandie Newton and other campaigners.

Ensler says a combination of social media and the world’s grassroots feminist movements have driven the way the campaign has taken off globally. In south Asia for three weeks over Christmas, she was struck by how much the horror over the gang rape of the 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh in Delhi had given impetus to the campaign. “In India, One Billion Rising is at the centre of the biggest breakthrough in sexual violence ever seen,” she says.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/28/one-billion-rising-feminist-campaign

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Why Consumers are Bummed Out

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/41814536218

By Robert Reich
Tuesday, January 29, 2013     

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the preliminary January figure for consumer confidence in the United States fell to its lowest level in more than a year.

The last time consumers were this bummed out was October 2011, when there was widespread talk of a double-dip recession.

But this time business news is buoyant. The stock market is bullish. The housing market seems to have rebounded a bit.

So why are consumers so glum?

Because they’re deeply worried about their jobs and their incomes – as they have every right to be.

The job situation is still lousy. We’ll know more this coming Friday about what happened to jobs in January. But we know over 20 million people are still unemployed or underemployed.

Personal income is in terrible shape. The median wage continues to drop, adjusted for inflation.

Most people can’t get readily-available loans because banks are still cautious about lending to anyone without a sterling credit history. (Eliminate student loans and you find Americans aren’t borrowing any more than they were a year ago.)

And the payroll tax hike has reduced paychecks for the typical American by about $100 a month. That’s just about what the typical family spends to fill up their gas tanks per month. Or half what they spend for groceries each week.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/41814536218

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FDR’s Four Freedoms: Diminished and Defiled

From Common Dreamshttp://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/28-1

by Paul Buchheit
Published on Monday, January 28, 2013 by Common Dreams

If asked why we live in a great country, an American is likely to respond: “Because we are free.” Fortunately for the respondent, explanation is rarely required. Freedom is difficult to define, and today it seems to exist more in our minds than in reality.

In a 1941 Message to Congress Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to explain what it means to be free. He outlined the “four essential human freedoms”:

The first is freedom of speech and expression…
The second is freedom of every person to worship…
The third is freedom from want…
The fourth is freedom from fear.

The 2013 version shows how our freedoms have been diminished, or corrupted into totally different forms.

Freedom from Want? Poverty Keeps Getting Worse.

For every three people in poverty in the year 2000, there are now four. Almost 50 million people were impoverished in 2011. Over 20 percent of our children live in poverty, including almost half of young black children. Among industrialized countries only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States.

It goes well beyond economics. Not long after the FDR era, in 1960, the U.S. ranked near the top among 34 OECD countries in Life Expectancy and Infant Mortality. By 2008 we were close to the bottom. A 2007 UNICEF report ranked us last among 21 OECD nations in an assessment of child health and safety.

Freedom from Want has been least attainable for people of color. For every $100 owned by a white family, a black family has $2. For every $100 owned by a single white woman, a single black or Hispanic woman has 25 cents.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/28-1

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