"Study: Discrimination Takes A Toll On Transgender Americans"
A study that LC/NA encountered at Creating Change in Minneapolis this year has been making the rounds in the news. The sweeping report is the first of its kind to ask so many questions about so many types of discrimination faced by transgender and gender varint Americans. NPR's Michel Martin interviewed Jaime Grant and Micelle Enfield about the results of the study and tei prespectives on it. Here's a taste of the interview to pique your interest:
MARTIN: Michelle, do you mind, start us by telling us your story of how you came to feel that you were more of a Michelle than a Michael, how about that.
Ms. ENFIELD: I grew up on the reservation, the Navajo reservation, and historically I want to let you know that transgenders - well, actually this is the Western term. For Navajos it is nagleh(ph). And what that defines is a role in a community, and what we did for our community - that is, we played both roles, such as the masculine role of going out and trapping firewood and doing household chores, but also the feminine side such as taking care of children, washing dishes, and cooking meals and what have you."HIV/AIDS at 30: Edwin Sanders Ministers to 'Whosover They May Be'"
And so I knew something was different from a very, very young age. And growing up, I had always heard the term gay and (bleep) and queer and what have you, and from my definition of that, I didn't understand that I was that, and I didn't know of the term transgender until I was a sophomore in high school. This was like a light-bulb moment.
30 years after the identification of the virus that would come to be known as HIV, thr Rev. Edwin Sanders of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church of Nashville, TN, has been doing ministry through the First Response Center providing HIV/AIDS testing.
The church’s outreach—which provides HIV/AIDS patients with transportation to appointments, delivers prevention information to young adults, makes condoms available and at one time ran a syringe-exchange program—is distinctive. Sanders doesn’t know of any other African American congregation operating an HIV/AIDS primary care clinic.
“There are other congregations with primary care clinics that do other things, but ours is exclusively focused on HIV/AIDS,” he explains. “We were really fortunate to get a planning grant from the URSA Institute about 10 years ago, and have a fully operating clinic four years after that. Now we are able to serve a population in our community that represents those who are truly disenfranchised.”The work they do is truly reaching out to those in the margins. We give thanks for the work of this congregation.
"National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Coalition for LGBT Health, and the National Black Justice Coalition celebrate LGBT Health Awareness Week"
From their website,
LGBT Health Awareness Week aims to bring attention to the devastating cycle of discrimination and health disparities that affects the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Because LGBT people are regularly discriminated against in employment, relationship recognition and insurance coverage, they are more likely to get sick and less likely to be able to afford vital health care than their straight and non-transgender neighbors.
LGBT people and their families also experience high rates of anti-LGBT violence, the stress of coping with discrimination and a widespread lack of LGBT cultural competency in the health care system. This year’s LGBT Health Awareness Week theme, “Come Out for Health,” encourages LGBT people, health care providers and policymakers to work together to eliminate the health disparities affecting the LGBT community and to promote better health and well-being for all LGBT people and their families.We are embodied people in Christ, and our physical health matters. Many congregations do work in clinics, hospitals and even within their own buildings to promote the health of all people. We hope that many more come to address the health disparities across race, gender identity and sexual orientation as they continue their ministries.