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Choosing Authenticity

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

Authenticity is the greatest gift a person can give to this world, to the people they love, and to their own soul. It is the first and greatest building block for reaching your potential. It is the moment when the clouds in the sky bow down to the sunlight and the opportunity to understand the concept of truth moves out of the shadows of ideology and into the light of realness.

“It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.” – Laverne Cox’s amazing statement accurately describes the forces that bring pressure onto each of us to fold ourselves into socially-constructed boxes and tuck our wings, looking incessantly and longingly toward the sky.

When I first began sharing my journey as a transgender woman, I talked about becoming a woman. Although I knew that was not an accurate description of what was happening in my world, I didn’t have a better way of telling the story. As time went by, I worked diligently to find better ways to describe the process.

Today, I understand that I was never male. My who I am has always been female. In fact, I was always presenting myself as a person who was never me. Putting on my “Steven Suit”. Pretending to be male and at the same time, trying to learn how to be male.

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Let’s Talk About Relaxation Tools with Herbalist Cathy McNease

Cathy_5-22-09In this Health Listen on our Aged to Perfection podcast I spoke with herbalist Cathy McNease about relaxation tools, something that might come in handy during the holidays! Cathy’s Health Listens offer valuable advice that’s easy to follow and habits we can develop for our bodies and minds. Her recent book, In Harmony with the Seasons: Herbs, Nutrition and Well-Being, is available now in print and eBook.

Cathy McNease is a nationally certified herbalist with a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology from the NCCAOM, a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Western Michigan University and two Master Herbalist certificates from Emerson College of Herbology in Canada and East-West Course of Herbology in Santa Cruz.

Philadelphia Trans Health Conference Issues Call for Proposals

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DEADLINE FOR ALL PROPOSALS
Friday, January 30, 2015

The link below is provided to submit workshop proposals for the Professional Development track. These workshops are presented on Thursday and Friday of PTHC for medical providers, behavioral health professionals, and lawyers.

This year, we are placing a special call to the talented and diverse community of providers, clinicians, attorneys, and researchers for submissions of both workshop proposals and poster presentations. As our community of providers grows, we are excited to hear new and different perspectives while continuing to offer a solid foundation in responsible and ethical service provision to trans communities.

We are now accepting proposals for the Continuing Legal Education (CLE), Trans* Behavioral Health Initiative (TBHI) and, Trans* Clinical Care & Management Training (TCCM). We look forward to submissions from previous presenters as well new prospects that we know are out there. Please help us by forwarding this call for proposals to other professionals who serve the trans* communities.

Submit a Professional Development Workshop Proposal.

The link below is provided to submit workshop proposals for General Community Workshops. These workshops are presented all three days of PTHC and are geared toward community members.

The Philadelphia Trans – Health Conference invites specific workshops and presentation proposals for our 14th Annual conference June 4-6, 2015. This year’s theme: “Cultural Competency /Cultural Humility” is an intentional act of progress and inclusivity. We are seeking culturally sensitive workshop proposals that will educate and empower trans* individuals on issues of health and well-being; educate and inform allies and health service providers; and facilitate networking, community-building, and systemic change about the ever evolving Trans/ GNC/GV, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Two-Spirit populations.

Submit a General Community Workshop Proposal.

PLEASE GO TO THE PTHC WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS.

And the Book Giveaway Goes To …

OuterVoicesAMAZONThanks (and congratulations) to our first 5 new email subscribers since I announced the book giveaway last week.  The books have been mailed, and I hope you enjoy the collection! There are 5 more to give away, to randomly selected email subscribers I’ll choose December 1.

From the original announcement:

What: The new collection, Outer Voices Inner Lives, has just been released. It’s a collection of 16 LGBTQ writers over 50, with a foreword by Patricia Nell Warren (The Front Runner and much more). I’ve co-edited and published the book with Stephen Dolainski of RainbowGray.com, and after many months of preparation and polishing it’s finally available in print and e-book.

When: I’ll be giving away 10 paperback copies, 5 to the first 5 new email subscribers as of this posting, and 5 to randomly selected email subscribers (chosen December 1). It’s a way to grow our subscription base, now at nearly 200. Being an email subscriber to lgbtSr provides one email on any day we have new content, and since I publish no more than twice weekly, that’s only two emails a week with columns, interviews, podcasts, featured books, and news of interest to our readers.  So … just email subscribe with the widget on the right-hand column, and be sure to verify your email address when you get the email from Feedburner. It’s that easy. It’s not data mining, it’s not about advertising. All emails are kept strictly confidential and only used to provide you with our weekly editions.

Steve and I are very proud of this collection and honored to have so many talented, creative, vibrant voices represented in it. A full list of the writers: Dominic Ambrose, Sally Bellerose, Michael Craft, Allison Green, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Lee Lynch, David Masello, Richard May, John McFarland, Stephanie Mott, Dawn Munro, Neil Ellis Orts, Gary Pedler, James Reynolds and Jean Ryan.

Read All About It: A News Sampler from Around the Web

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ISIS stones 2 ‘gay men’ to death in Syria: observer
Al-Arabiya
Robbie Rogers On The Slow Acceptance Of LGBT Athletes In Professional Sports
Huffington Post
The Unremarkable Call to Love Our Gay Neighbors
ChristianityToday.com
A silver lining exists in gay marriage rulings
DesMoinesRegister.com
Russian LGBT Activist Seeks Asylum In Germany
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Gov. Bryant: Stop Running Off LGBT Mississippians
Jackson Free Press
Men’s Mental Health: Let’s end the silence and talk about it
Net Newsledger
Art and Music Therapy Prompt Connections for Alzheimer’s Patients
EmpowHer

New Options for Prostate Cancer Treatment with Targeted Therapies

CaduceusFrom Financial Review:

When treatment for prostate cancer fails, some men appear to enter a transitional phase before their cancer spreads more widely.

In this phase they have just a few secondary “spots” in their bones or lymph nodes.

A new therapy, designed specifically for this kind of patient, is now being trialled in Melbourne.

It directly targets these spots and takes them out. The aim is to get in early and delay the spread of the cancer.

This targeted local therapy is only offered to men with oligometastatic disease, which means they have five or fewer spots.

If these can be eliminated it’s hoped the use of hormone deprivation therapy can be delayed. This would save men from the therapy’s toxic side effects and perhaps extend their survival.

The trial is being conducted through the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre at Epworth Healthcare.

“Up to now 90 patients have been treated and we’ve had some quite spectacular results,” says Dr Pat Bowden, director of radiation oncology at Epworth.

LGBT Immigrants Feel Left Out of Obama Executive Action

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From the National Journal:

Huddled inside the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus’s office on Capitol Hill in late July, at least half a dozen activists refused to leave. They assumed their posts on a summer’s day, sitting, waiting, and fighting for inclusion.

Their demands: that recommendations helping LGBT undocumented immigrants be included in any executive action on immigration. And that the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus issue a written statement saying just that.

The caucus met their request that week. But disappointment came months later as President Obama announced administrative action that halted the deportations of millions, yet left many LGBT immigrants languishing in the shadows.

Obama’s unilateral action is still a “huge victory” for the immigrant community at large, said Paulina Helm-Hernandez, who participated in the July sit-in. But as the codirector of Southerners on New Ground—a regional LGBT rights group—she knows the plan won’t include a large percentage of the LGBT community, which doesn’t always fit the mold of a “traditional” family structure.

Subaru American Unveils Special Edition Legacy As Part of Expanded HIV/AIDS Initiative

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From LGBT Weekly:

MIAMI – Subaru of America, Inc., in collaboration with HIV-positive designer Mondo Guerra will reveal a one-of-a-kind wrapped 2015 Legacy as part of its Love Responsiblytm campaign to commemorate the auto manufacturer’s 20th year of support in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The vehicle will be debuted at a private reception at The Annex, a pop-up space in the Wynwood Miami Design District on December 1, World AIDS Day and the start of Art Basel Miami.

The Second Wave

NEWEDFirst published in Philadelphia Gay News, November 20, 2014

By Ed Bomba

My friends are getting sick and dying, again. Thirty years ago there was a sudden, unexpected onslaught of the same thing. Back then it was AIDS. Friends got sick and were gone in a matter of days or weeks. It went on for months and years. Eventually the dying almost stopped, but it left so many of us with physical and emotional damage. It did not seem to be, it could not have been, part of the natural progression.

The second wave is hitting now: one more funeral, one more memorial after another. Should this wave seem more natural? It doesn’t. Instead of PCP, KS, MAC and TOXO, now, it is diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and simply old age. This time it includes not only young friends and members of our families of choice, but our biological families, contemporaries, work colleagues, and on and on.

Are we just at that age, the “normal” age, when we should be dealing with loss and sorrow? How do we cope? Does AIDS post-traumatic stress make it more difficult for us to deal with the biological consequences of aging?

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Best of Aged to Perfection: Author Rachel Hope Cleves Joins the Podcast

rachelWelcome to another Best of the Aged to Perfection podcast. With marriage equality expanding at an exhilarating rate, it seemed like a good time to share this podcast from last summer. I had the pleasure of speaking with Professor Rachel Hope Cleves. Rachel is a history professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and her recent book, Charity and  Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early Americas, recounts the true story of a same-sex couple in the early 1800’s (it’s also our Featured Book). She specializes in early American history and has written about same-sex marriage and the American reactions to the French Revolution. And she makes a great guest! Hope you enjoy the podcast.

Note: Rachel emailed me after the podcast to mention that she writes at length in the book about the challenges the women faced as they grew older in their 44 years together, which included very poor health. I’m looking forward to reading soon about these two extraordinary women and their lives in a time long before same-sex marriage was a national issue and when marriage itself had a more inclusive definition.