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".

SWAMPSCOTT — The principal of Stanley Elementary School has been let go after coming out as transgender last month.

Superintendent Pamela Angelakis has opted to keep Principal Shannon Daniels, formerly Tom, on paid administrative leave for the remainder of the school year and not renew Daniels’ contract with Swampscott Public Schools, which expires on June 30.

“In accordance with the terms of the contract, I notified Principal Daniels of that earlier this week,” Angelakis wrote in a letter to Stanley families. “As this is a personnel matter, and out of respect for Principal Daniels’ privacy, I will not be commenting on the reasons for this decision. Swampscott Public Schools wishes Principal Daniels the best moving forward.”

Daniels, who became the school’s principal in 2012, said they couldn’t comment.

Stanley families were told two weeks ago that Daniels was on a temporary leave of absence and early last week Angelakis said she was extending Daniels’ leave of absence indefinitely.

No reason was given for extending the leave, but initially Angelakis said the temporary leave was a mutual decision with Daniels, which came after several conversations with Daniels, “in which she reported receiving messages that she considered hurtful relative to her recent announcement.”

The decision to not renew the contract comes in the wake of a parents petition that was submitted to the School Committee earlier this month, which declared a lack of confidence in the Stanley principal, with parents saying the dissatisfaction in Daniels’ performance came before, and was not related to Daniels’ recent transgender announcement.

Amy O’Connor, school committee chairwoman, said in a previous interview with The Item that the committee had received a petition on Friday, March 2, which represented a large number of Stanley parents. She said the school committee met in executive session on March 2 to discuss complaints regarding a school employee.

O’Connor said she called the executive session two days before the meeting in response to a large quantity of emails that she had received from parents regarding the school employee, but clarified that the school committee does not make any decisions about personnel matters. The only personnel decision the school committee is involved with is the superintendent position.

“I can’t add any color to it because in the end this is in the superintendent’s purview since it’s a personnel issue,” O’Connor reiterated on Thursday regarding the superintendent’s decision not to renew the contract.

Daniels, 52, a Swampscott resident, announced early last month that they’re transgender and would be presenting as female going forward. Daniels identifies as both male and female and prefers they/them pronouns for a gender-fluid identity, but plans to become fully transitioned to female.

The superintendent’s decision to part ways with Daniels comes after a tumultuous period at Stanley Elementary School following Daniels’ announcement. There was a police presence at the school two weeks ago, and also the week before February vacation.

Angelakis said previously that she and Police Chief Ronald Madigan agreed there would be a police presence at the school to ensure a smooth return for students and parents, which officials hoped would reduce some of the anxiety that parents may be feeling as a result of the heightened media attention.

Madigan previously said that there have been phone calls, voicemails and emails at the school since the principal’s earlier announcement, but nothing that police felt rose to the level of constituting a threat.

Lois Longin, former principal at Hadley and Clarke Schools and director of curriculum and instruction for the district, will serve as acting principal at Stanley School starting March 20 and will remain in that position through the end of the school year, Angelakis said.

Longin retired in 2016 after a 31-year career with Swampscott Public Schools that included teaching K-2, serving as principal of Hadley for nine years and Clarke for seven years, and as district wide administrator until she retired in June 2016.

“A Swampscott native and product of Swampscott Schools, she has a passion for education and a familiarity with our district that will allow her to hit the ground running,” Angelakis wrote. “I know she looks forward to meeting you and your children.”

A transgender boy's lawsuit over a policy barring him from using the male locker room at his Maryland high school is moving forward.

The Washington Post reports U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III became the first judge in a Maryland case to rule transgender students' right to use facilities matching their gender identities is protected by federal and state law.

Russell's opinion this week says St. Michaels Middle High School's policy is discriminatory, forcing the 15-year-old to use a separate gender-neutral restroom to dress for gym class. The teen is identified as "M.A.B." in the suit against the Talbot County Board of Education.

Russell noted courts have stopped enforcement of federal policies violating transgender rights under the Trump administration.

Talbot schools spokeswoman Debbie Gardner declined comment, citing pending litigation.

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