So Much To Learn!!!!!!!!!

By SaraF · Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

What a whirlwind month this has been!!!!!!!!!!!!  First, I went to Atlanta, Georgia to attend The Southern Comfort Conference and then I traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association conference.  This all happened in the month of September!  So much to learn, so little time!  I met the most amazing people at both events and feel so much more qualified to work with the transgender community.  It has always been a goal to “do no harm” but without great mentors I believe “you don’t know what it is you don’t know,” until you learn otherwise.  I actually got to watch a video made by Dr. Marci L. Bowers that showed a case of SRS (MTF) that she completed in an hour.  Being a non-surgical person, I thought this would be too much to handle, but I decided to stay as long as I could.  Not only did I watch the entire surgery, I was enthralled by it.  How amazing to give a person the opportunity to live in the body she feels is the only right one.  Dr. Bowers has such a passion about what she does, it’s not hard to see why she enjoys sharing her procedure with others.  Another person I am honored to say I got to know a little better is Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for TransGender Equality.  I first heard her speak at the WPATH ( World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Conference in Oakland, California recently.  She is such a fighter for the equal rights that the transgender community not only deserves, but is a given right to all in this country of equality and liberty for all!  As I moved through my journey into the transgendered community, I was struck with awe and amazement at the strength and courage they demonstrated and the need for that sense of community to help with their struggles.  Having said that, I learned this week that the struggle was too much for one of the attendees of Southern Comfort.  She committed suicide.  That is why it is so important to find a trusted person to listen unconditionally in a supportive environment.  You don’t have to do this alone!  Reach out to those who care!

Article of Interest: New Jersey Bans Gay Conversion Therapy

By SaraF · Comments (0)

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Sara’s Thoughts on this Article:

Even though N.J. Governor  Christie is a great politician, who is seeking re-election, he is making a positive statement by planning to sign a bill barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight (Associated Press, August 19, 2013). I agree with gay rights activists and believe this is a move in the right direction and the GLBT community is making some progress in educating others about issues, but there is still a long way to go. 


New Jersey bans gay conversion therapy

Mon, Aug 19 12:30 PM EDT

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie on Monday signed into law a measure to prevent therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation, making his the second U.S. state to ban so-called conversion therapy.

The state senate approved the measure in June, putting it on the desk of Christie, who is seeking re-election this fall and also widely considered a White House contender for the Republican Party in 2016.

Citing medical and psychiatric research that sexual orientation is determined at birth, the law bans state-licensed counselors, therapists and social workers from practicing a method of talk therapy that opponents have said is deeply damaging to the self-esteem and identity of gay youths.

Christie said he was signing the legislation based on research that found “efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks, including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”

But he said he still had “concerns about government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children.”

Former New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey, who stepped down from office in 2004 in a gay sex scandal, praised the measure, saying it was based in “sound psychiatric research.”

“Governor Christie should really be applauded,” McGreevey told Reuters. “Whenever a governor of his stature signs a bill like this, it sends a message, not just to the nation but to the individual child that you are normal and as God made you.”

New Jersey becomes the second state after California to outlaw conversion therapy for people under age 18. However, the California measure has yet to take effect because of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Opponents of the New Jersey law have promised a legal fight as well.

John Tomicki of the League of American Families said both the New Jersey and California laws infringed on a parent’s right to decide the best treatment for his or her child.

Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group and leading proponent of the measure, said there were moves to ban the practice in Massachusetts and New York. “There’s a huge push to ban this kind of abuse nationally,” Stevenson added.

Conversion therapy has become increasingly controversial. In June, California-based Exodus International, a Christian group championing it, apologized for the harm it caused and said it was shutting its doors after 38 years.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Alden Bentley and Lisa Von Ahn)