T.E.A.M. Atlanta (Transgender Education and Mentoring) will host its first monthly mixer / discussion tonight at My Sister’s Room in East Atlanta from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is open to all transgender persons, families and friends.
The discussion will feature a wide array of topics, including hormone replacement therapy, dating and relationships, name change assistance and more.
A half dozen speakers are scheduled to appear:
HIV/AIDS, Safe Sex That men who have sex with men are at an increased risk of HIV infection is well known, but the effectiveness of safe sex in reducing the rate of HIV infection is one of the gay community’s great success stories. However, the last few years have seen the return of many unsafe sex practices. While effective HIV treatments may be on the horizon, there is no substitute for preventing infection. Safe sex is proven to reduce the risk of receiving or transmitting HIV. All health care professionals should be aware of how to counsel and support maintenance of safe sex practices.
Substance Use Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population, and not just in larger communities such as New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. These include a number of substances ranging from amyl nitrate (“poppers”), to marijuana, Ecstasy, and amphetamines. The long-term effects of many of these substances are unknown; however current wisdom suggests potentially serious consequences as we age.
When Kye Allums became the first transgender man to play women’s NCAA Division I basketball this November, the selection spotlighted the controversy surrounding transgender athletes. George Washington University’s official statement about Kye led to multiple news stories and raised questions about existing policies for transgender student-athletes. Currently, most high school and collegiate athletic programs are unprepared regarding appropriate pronouns, locker room etiquette and hormone treatments; the Transgender Law and Policy Institute found that only approximately 300 of 4,000 universities include gender status in their anti-bullying rules. Although NCAA policies prohibit keeping statistics about the amount of transgender student-athletes, the issue is not uncommon.
“[This] is not a new issue, but it’s an issue that’s becoming more and more comfortable to bring up. Even just coming out as trans is easier than it was 10 years ago,” says Merric, who began her career at Smith College as a woman but after coming out as a man spring semester of freshmen year, changed his name from Meredith.
A Georgia Employment Non-Discrimination Act including transgender protections will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session, it was announced at this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance at the State Capitol.
Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, told the some 100 people attending TDOR at the state Capitol that a bill was being worked on to be introduced. Currently it is legal for a person to be fired in Georgia simply for being gay.
Graham cited the federal court victory of Vandy Beth Glenn as the reason now is the time to try to get such a bill introduced.
Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta transgender conference, celebrated its 20th anniversary Sept. 6-12, drawing hundreds from around the globe to the Crown Plaza Ravinia Hotel.
The conference included seminars covering everything from surgeons discussing their procedures to open conversations on a variety of topics pertaining to transgender life.
One of the main highlights this year was the appearance of transgender celebrity and advocate Chaz Bono, who also participated in many of the events and hosted a seminar on media activism with Nick Adams, media awards communications manager for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Bono, the child of Cher and Sonny Bono, made national headlines when he came out as transgender. He mingled with the crowd each day and was very gracious with socializing.