A study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin found that when transgender youths are allowed to use their chosen name in places such as work, school and at home, their risk of depression and suicide drops.           

One of the largest studies of transgender youths to date, findings were publishing the Journal of Adolescent Health this week in advance of Saturday’s annual Transgender Day of Visibility.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is marked every year on March 31. According to the Humans Right Campaign, it is "a time to celebrate transgender people around the globe and the courage it takes to live openly and authentically, while also raising awareness around the discrimination trans people still face."

“Many kids who are transgender have chosen a name that is different than the one that they were given at birth,” said author Stephen T. Russell, professor and chair of human development and family science. “We showed that the more contexts or settings where they were able to use their preferred name, the stronger their mental health was.”

Researchers interviewed transgender youths ages 15 to 21 and asked whether young people could use their chosen name at school, home, work and with friends. Compared with peers who could not use their chosen name in any context, young people who could use their name in all four areas experienced 71 percent fewer symptoms of severe depression, a 34 percent decrease in reported thoughts of suicide and a 65 percent decrease in suicidal attempts.

Earlier research by Russell found that transgender youths report having suicidal thoughts at nearly twice the rate of their peers, with about 1 out of 3 transgender youths reporting considering suicide.

In the new study, having even one context in which a chosen name could be used was associated with a 29 percent decrease in suicidal thoughts.

Because many names are common to one gender, allowing transgender youths to use a chosen name is one simple step that institutions such as schools, hospitals, financial institutions, workplaces and community organizations can use to help young people affirm their gender identity, Russell said.

A coalition of LGBTQ groups will ask the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to permanently block the Trump administration’s plans to bar most transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military.

Last week, the White House and Pentagon announced that transgender individuals who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria would be barred from serving.

Under the revised policy, which was approved by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, some transgender people not diagnosed with gender dysphoria may serve, so long as they have been “stable for 36 consecutive months in their biological sex prior to accession” and do not require extensive medical or hormonal treatments or special accommodations. There is also an exemption for those active-duty transgender individuals who are already serving but have not yet undergone gender confirmation surgery.

Last year, Trump announced his intention to issue a sweeping ban that would prevent all transgender individuals, regardless of ability or circumstance, from serving in the Armed Forces. Several courts issued temporary injunctions — which remain in effect — that prevent the Pentagon from trying to implement its preferred policy before the lawsuits are resolved in court.

According to reporting from Slate magazine, the White House relied on a panel of so-called “experts” who were working behind the scenes to provide justification for the ban, relying on a combination of “anti-trans propaganda with baseless, discredited concerns about the alleged danger of open transgender service,” including false claims about military readiness, privacy, and cost.

Members of that secret panel included Vice President Mike Pence, Ryan T. Anderson, a known advocate for religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws and opponent of transgender rights, and Tony Perkins, the head of the anti-LGBTQ Family Research Council.

Given the backgrounds and motivations of those who worked to craft the new policy, as well as the sweeping generalizations that the new policy continues to make about transgender individuals, several LGBTQ advocates say that the revised policy is still discriminatory and should be declared unconstitutional.

As such, Lambda Legal, OutServe-SLDN, and the State of Washington will be asking the court — on behalf of several transgender soldiers, prospective recruits, and three LGBTQ organizations: the Human Rights Campaign, Gender Justice League, and the American Military Partner Association — to issue a permanent injunction blocking the ban from taking effect.

The Palm Center, an organization that advocates for allowing LGBTQ people to serve openly in the military, which previously accused the Pentagon of distorting science “in service to the ideological goals of the Trump-Pence base,” released a statement from 26 retired General and Flag officers in the military, who called the revised policy a “troubling move backward.”

“Under the newly announced policy, most transgender individuals either cannot serve or must serve under a false presumption of unsuitability, despite having already demonstrated that they can and do serve with distinction,” the officers said in the statement. “They will now serve without the medical care every service member earns, and with the constant fear of being discharged simply for who they are.

“We should not return to the days of forcing men and women to hide in the shadows and serve their country without institutional support,” the statement continues. “This deprives the military of trained and skilled service members, which harms readiness and morale. There is simply no reason to single out brave transgender Americans who can meet military standards and deny them the ability to serve.”

History shows Kyle Duncan can't be trusted to respect or provide a fair hearing to transgender people.

 

Maine is my home. Maine is where I grew up. Maine is where I legally won the right to be my authentic self. For that, I am proud of our state. But now Maine’s U.S. senators have an important decision to make about a threat that could change the lives of families with transgender kids like me: judicial nominee Kyle Duncan.

I am a transgender woman, and currently a student at the University of Maine. When I was 10 years old, my school in Orono forced me to use a separate restroom from other students because of my gender identity. That isolation humiliated me on a daily basis: I was harassed and picked on in the community by both students and adults alike, and I couldn’t help but wonder what was so wrong with me that I couldn’t use the same bathroom as my friends. My parents and I brought a discrimination suit against the school district in hopes that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court would hear my story, so that no one else would have to suffer as I did.

The justices who heard my case were fair and impartial. They reviewed the school’s actions and our state’s laws, and the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that my school had acted illegally by not allowing me to use the same restrooms as my peers – restrooms that matched who I am. That court decision did not just change my life and the lives of other transgender children in Maine, it also became helpful guidance for schools across the country.

There’s no way I would’ve had a fair hearing if Kyle Duncan were my judge.

Mr. Duncan, who has been nominated for a seat on a powerful federal appeals court, has never treated transgender people fairly or with respect. In fact, he has promoted cruel and demeaning statements about transgender people and repeatedly worked to undermine basic human rights for people like me. For example, Mr. Duncan has defended North Carolina’s notorious House Bill 2, which excluded transgender people from public restrooms that matched their gender identities. He is currently defending Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board and its policy that singles out students like me. In these and other cases, Mr. Duncan has sought to make it legal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all aspects of our lives.

The problem with Mr. Duncan’s nomination goes well beyond who his clients were, or even the fact that he has sought out opportunities to make these arguments again and again. Duncan didn’t just defend HB 2 – he resorted to filing misleading declarations based on junk science. He described being transgender as a “delusion,” even though this opinion has been rejected by every major medical and mental health association in the nation.

Not only are they factually incorrect, but Duncan’s claims also are demeaning and damaging to hundreds of thousands of young people like me and our families. This points to the kind of deep-seated bias we cannot allow in our judges. Even if I found myself back in court one day for a case that had nothing to do with being transgender, I could not trust Kyle Duncan to give me a fair hearing after the way he has talked about people like me.

Led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, our U.S. Department of Education has turned its back on transgender students like me – declaring last month that it won’t investigate or take action on complaints by students who are banned from restrooms that match their gender identity, and sending the dangerous message that discrimination against transgender students is acceptable.

Now more than ever, we need judges who are unbiased and unprejudiced and able to give everyone a fair hearing. Mr. Duncan will soon be up for a vote before the full U.S. Senate. I ask that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King oppose his nomination for a lifetime federal judgeship. His nomination appears much like that of Jeff Mateer, which was withdrawn late last year after senators learned he had called young transgender people like me part of “Satan’s plan.” If you ask me, being called a “delusion” is no better.

Medical students who are specifically trained in clinical transgender medicine are better prepared to treat transgender patients, a new study from Boston University School of Medicine suggests. The study results will be presented in a poster Saturday, March 17 at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, Ill.

"The number one barrier to quality transgender medical care is the lack of trained clinicians," study co-authors Jason Andrew Park, a medical , and Joshua David Safer, M.D., the medical director of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, said in a joint statement.

"Boston University School of Medicine introduced a clinical elective where students can participate in direct medical care for . The students who participated in the elective reported greater confidence in providing care to transgender individuals than the same students had reported from classroom instruction alone," they noted.

To augment the school's mandatory training of medical students in gender identity and transgender medicine, the authors implemented a pilot Transgender Medicine elective that enabled fourth-year  to rotate on services that provided direct transgender-specific clinical care for transgender . The 20 students in the program had already taken part in an elective in which they learned methods of providing transgender medical care.

In a survey at the beginning of the pilot elective, all the students expressed the opinion that medical schools and residency programs need to provide training in transgender health. In a survey after completing the elective, the students reported significantly improved confidence in their ability to provide care to transgender patients. Students rating their comfort as "high" increased from 45 percent (9 students) at baseline to 80 percent (16 students), and those rating their knowledge of the management of transgender patients as "high" rose from zero to 85 percent (17 students).

The percentage of students rating their skills for providing general care to transgender patients as "low" decreased from 35 percent (7 students) at baseline to zero, and the number rating their skills for providing hormone treatment to transgender patients as "low" dropped from 10 students to 1.

"Transgender individuals are medically underserved in the United States and face many documented disparities in care due to providers' lack of education, training, and comfort. Clinical exposure to transgender  during clinical years can contribute to closing the gap between  and LGB care and to improving access to care," the authors wrote in their abstract.

The male to female can give a better life to the majority of patients, revealed a study.

Scientists have developed a transgender-specific questionnaire, which confirms for the first time that significantly improves for the majority of patient.

 

The study shows that 80 percent of male-to-female patients perceived themselves as women post- However, the of individuals is still significantly lower than the general population.

Many individuals request reassignment surgery, but until now there only existed information on general aspects of health-related (QoL) and non-validated questionnaires about the improvement of QoL.

A team at the in Essen, Germany, led by Dr. Jochen Hess, followed 156 patients for a median of more than 6 years after  They developed and validated the new Essen Inventory, which is the first methodology to specifically consider 

They found that there was a high overall level of satisfaction with the outcomes of When comparing the QoL of the last four weeks with the QoL during the time of publicly identifying as transgendered there was a highly significant increase on all subscales of the ETL as well as for the global score indicating a large improvement of QoL in the course of the transitioning process.

Dr Hess commented, "The good news is that we found that around three-quarters of patients showed a better after  80 percent perceived themselves to be women, and another 16 percent felt that they were 'rather female'. 3 women in 4 were able to have orgasms after reassignment surgery".

"It's very important that we have good data on in people. They generally suffer from a worse QoL than non-population, with higher rates of stress and mental illness, so it's good that can change this, but also that we can now show that it has a positive effect. Until now we have been using general methods to understand the in individuals, but this new method means that we can address well-being in greater depth", continued Dr Hess.

Recent data1 estimates that 1.4 million adults in the USA identify as transgender, which is about 0.6 percent of the population. Comparable European figures are not available, but there is wide variation between reported prevalence in individual European countries.

"Nevertheless, we now have the first specific validated tool for measuring QoL in patients, we hope that this means that we can go forward to gather better information to help us improve treatment", said Dr Hess.

Commenting, Prof Piet Hoebeke, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium, who was not a part of the study, said, "As patients develop a better understanding and higher acceptance of surgery, more will seek gender-confirming  Despite this observation, many doctors are still not convinced that this is a medical condition for which can be offered as a valuable treatment. We need studies like this one to convince the medical world that these patients can get a better QOL with treatment".

Another Prof Jens Sønksen, University of Copenhagen, commented independently, "This study suffered from a high drop-out rate, which needs to be considered alongside the main data. Nevertheless, this is a large important study, one of the largest clinical transsexual surveys ever attempted, and the fact that has been performed using a specific validated questionnaire is significant. This is probably the best view of the in after sex-reassignment that we have".

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