Sgt. Shane Ortega: What is the Army’s next move?

Clearly, good things can come from tangled bureaucracy.  One of those things, in my opinion, is the military career of Sgt. Shane Ortega.

The US Military has been very good to Sgt. Ortega (and, in my view, Ortega is good for the military).  The military quietly permitted Sgt. Ortega to transition to male while serving his country.   However, Ortega is still listed as ‘female’ in the military database.  Sgt. Ortega’s commanding officers have formally requested the US Army decide if Ortega can officially serve as a male soldier.

Will the US Military go backwards or forwards into the future?

–Leo

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month!

It’s a new year and some of the resolutions we made were related to health.  I doubt many of us were thinking about our cervix at the time.  Many trans men and genderqueer/gender non-conforming folks have a cervix and that cervix needs to be looked after with regular Pap tests.

No one (whether female, trans or gender non-conforming) enjoys having a Pap test.  However, the alternative of living with unchecked cancer is not a reasonable option, in my opinion.

This week the Fenway Clinic in Boston released research findings that indicate FTM patients had over 10 times higher risk of having an inadequate Pap test compared to female patients.  One could read these numbers as showing that trans men as a group have a 10 times increase in their risk for cervical cancer when compared to females.

Part of the explanation for this statistic is that transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been treated with varying degrees of disrespect by medical institutions for more years than anyone can count.  Therefore, we are very wary of medical institutions and often use medical care as a last resort.  However, when people are treated with respect during interactions with medical staff, statistics like those in the Fenway research can be reversed.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has a good article on how we can protect ourselves from cervical cancer.

Buck Angel, trans advocate and porn star, made a great public service video about the importance of regular gynecological exams for trans men who are still living with their cervix.

Best of health to everyone in 2014!

-Leo

Transgender man recognized as father in Japan

The Supreme Court of Japan upheld the petition of a transgender man to be recorded in the official family registry as the father of the child born to his wife by artificial insemination.

The Court ruled that the law on people suffering from sexual identity disorder calls for legally treating female-to-male transgender people as men.

Transgender men not only become husbands under the law, but are also presumed to be the fathers of children born to their wives during marriage.