Tag Archives: Trans*

Trans* is short for “transgender” and “transsexual”, however the terms are not interchangeable and mean different things to different people. Given that trans* has less political baggage I tend to use it in place of the other 2 terms. If you are are mentally the same gender as your birth sex then you are CIS-gender (CIS comes from organic chemistry and refers to the fact that both birth sex and gender identity are on the “same” side). If your gender identity is distinct from your birth sex then you are TRANS-gender (sex and gender are on “opposite” sides). Like sexuality, gender identity does not neatly fit into 2 separate boxes. Some people may feel that they are the opposite gender, between genders, both genders or neither. Posts in this category relate to these individuals.

Twin Cities Pride Festival this Weekend!

Sat & Sun, June 25 & 26, 2011

Festival admission is free. Beer Garden admission is $5 per day and Pride in Concert Headline Show tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate . Minneapolis’ Loring Park will host the 39th annual Pride Festival.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Pride In Concert Saturday 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 26, 2011 — Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade
Pre-Parade Show at 9am

The 2011 Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade will be held on Sunday, June 26, beginning at 11am along Hennepin Avenue in Downtown Minneapolis. According to public estimates, the Parade again drew over 125,000 spectators last year, making it one of the largest parades in the Upper Midwest, and the largest in all of Minneapolis according to Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Are you a trans or intersex U.S. veteran?

Autumn Sandeen, a U.S. Navy veteran and self-reported "strong, confident transgender woman"

Uncle Sam just got a whole lot more sensitive.


POLICY: It is VHA policy that medically necessary care is provided to enrolled or otherwise eligible intersex and transgender Veterans, including hormonal therapy, mental health care, preoperative evaluation, and medically necessary post-operative and long-term care following sex reassignment surgery. Sex reassignment surgery cannot be performed or funded by VHA or VA.


  • Each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) Director must ensure that necessary and appropriate health care is provided to all enrolled or otherwise eligible Veterans based on the Veteran’s self-identified gender, regardless of sex or sex reassignment status.
  • Each Medical Center Director and Chief of Staff are responsible for ensuring that:
    • Transgender patients and intersex individuals are provided all care included in VA’s medical benefits package, including, but not limited to:
      • Hormonal therapy
      • Mental health care
      • Preoperative evaluation
      • Medically necessary post-operative and long-term care following sex reassignment surgery
    • Patients will be addressed and referred to based on their self-identified gender. Room assignments and access to any facilities for which gender is normally a consideration (e.g., restrooms) will give preference to the self-identified gender, irrespective of appearance and/or surgical history, in a manner that respects the privacy needs of transgender and non-transgender patients alike. Where there are questions or concerns related to room assignments, an ethics consultation may be requested.
    • The documented sex in the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) should be consistent with the patient’s self-identified gender. In order to modify administrative data (e.g., name and sex) in CPRS, patients must provide official documentation as per current VHA policies on Identity Authentication for Health Care Services and Data Quality Requirements for Identity Management and Master Patient Index Functions.
    • Sex reassignment surgery will not be provided or funded.
    • Non-surgical, supportive care for complications of sex-reassignment surgery will be provided.
    • While care is delivered to the Veteran based upon that Veteran’s self-identified gender, there may be health issues associated with some transgender patients that necessitate appropriate sex specific screenings and/or treatments. For example, a MTF transsexual patient over the age of 50 may require breast cancer and prostate cancer screening. A FTM transsexual patient may require screening for breast and cervical cancer.
    • A diagnosis of GID, or other gender dysphoria diagnoses, is not a pre-condition for receiving care consistent with the Veteran’s self-identified gender.
  • All other health services are provided to transgender Veterans without discrimination in a manner consistent with care and management of all Veteran patients.
  • All staff, including medical and administrative staff, are required to treat as confidential any information about a patient’s transgender status or any treatment related to a patient’s gender transition, unless the patient has given permission to share this information.
  • Mandated diversity awareness is maintained and a zero-tolerance standard for harassment of any kind.

Trans Support Group at the Shot Clinic

Trans Support Group at the Shot Clinic
Every Wednesday, 6-7:30 PM
3405 Chicago Ave, Suite 103
Minneapolis, MN 55407

The Shot Clinic is a place for Trans identified people who are currently using or will be using injectable hormones (testosterone-estrogen) and for all communities who are in need of clean needles and other harm reduction services.

If you want to get your shot done at the shot clinic you will need to bring in your prescription/hormones and ID. We can give you your shot and teach you or a friend to do it. You can pick up clean needles and/or drop off dirty ones. We also do mobile outreach for syringe exchange and injections.

We are open:

  • Tues 10am-2pm (Syringe Exchange)
  • Wed 5-6 (Syringe Exchange/Shot Clinic)
  • Wed 6-7:30pm (Trans Support Group)
  • Thurs 10am-2pm (Syringe Exchange/Shot Clinic)
  • Fri 4-6 pm (Fridays are Trans specific)

1st Friday of the month free, anonymous rapid HIV testing done by The Family Tree Clinic 4-6pm. You simply need to stop by and be able to stay for at least 20 minutes, depending on how many tests we have to do.

Hepatitis C testing is free and available Thursdays 10-2 and by appointment. They will take at least 25 minutes and your results will be available in two weeks. We offer counseling and referrals for people who test positive and all the information you need to stay Hep C free if you are not. Message us on Facebook or email to find out more about making an appointment.

We focus on HIV and Hepatitis C transmission education but know a lot about other Trans health concerns especially about your hormones. Fridays are the best day to come by to hang out and meet people. You can get info on not just Trans stuff but things like where to get a free meal and clothing or shelters if you need a place to stay.

Soon we’ll be starting our Education/Support Groups again, which will run while you wait for your shot. We’ll discuss numerous topics like; How to do your own shot, Teaching your family and friends how to do your shots, Info around syringe sizes, needle exchange, Hepatitis C, HIV, Safer sex info, Safer Drug Use info, Nutrition, Exercise, SRS surgery info, Name Change/Gender change workshops, etc.

For even more information on HIV/STD Prevention contact:
MAP AIDS Line 612-373-AIDS (metro)
1-800-248-AIDS (statewide)

4th Annual Fruit Bowl!

The 4th Annual Fruit Bowl is happening June 24th at 6:00-11:00 pm! Come join us at Memory Lanes to celebrate with a tobacco- and alcohol-free event! Memory Lanes is conveniently located in the heart of South Minneapolis with plenty of room to host this bash that historically turns up hundreds of LGBTQ and allied folks from around the region. As always, this is a free event with a small suggested donation for those who are able. Costumes are encouraged, drawing prizes will happen all evening!

Friday, 6/24/11
6-11 PM

Memory Lanes
2520 26th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406

PHONE: 612-206-3180
EMAIL: ani.koch@rainbowhealth.org

Founded in 2000, The Rainbow Health Initiative is a non-profit corporation comprised of community activists, physicians, health advocates and citizens. The mission of Rainbow Health is Advancing the health and wellness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities through research, education and advocacy.

Over the past five years, Rainbow Health has established itself as an authoritative source of health information on and for the GLBT community. Since our inception, Rainbow Health has:

  • Conducted the only large-scale surveys on the health concerns and needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender and queer people living in Minnesota.
  • Established itself as a primary source of information for and liaison to health agencies and community coalitions including the Minnesota Department of Health, Tobacco-Free Lavender Communities of Minnesota and The Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco.
  • Developed a pool of over 200 potential volunteers including health providers, mental health providers, health advocates, and community organizers to specialists in communications and social marketing.

Valentijn De Hingh, Transgender Model

Valentijn De Hingh of Amsterdam, Netherlands is a model who is not only turning heads in the fashion world but is also gaining attention from the media because of her past.

Huffington Post reports that “the leggy Amsterdam native is returning to the spotlight after spending almost ten years as the subject of a documentary on transgender children. She was filmed from the time she was an eight-year-old boy and after the documentary aired on Dutch television in 2007, Valentijn underwent gender reassignment surgery.”

Vogue reports that while “she was really impressed with the documentary itself, she felt that it was time to move on with her life instead of becoming a person solely linked to the documentary made about her. And so she did. At the age of 17, 1.80 meters tall and with cheekbones most other models would be envious of, it didn’t take long before Valentijn signed up with a model agency in Amsterdam. Soon she was sent to Paris, walking shows for the likes of Martin Margiela and Comme des Garcons. Eventually Valentijn was deemed too tall, at 1.86 meters, for a serious career as a top model… [However, in 2010] the fashion world was buzzing over transgender models such as Lea T. and Andrej Pejic. The timing for a relaunch of Valentijn’s career seemed right. A few months later she flew to New York for the first time in her life, shooting with Patrick Demarchelier and Katie Grand for LOVE magazine. She also shot with Benjamin Alexander Huseby for Luis Venegas’ much talked about Candy magazine. As a result, her modeling career is blossoming once again and Valentijn is currently shooting a lot for various magazines.” A video interview with Valentijn can be viewed at the Vogue link above.

Prom queen Andrew Viveros – It Gets Better!

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“Two Spirits” Documetary

“Two Spirits” is a documentary that uses the tragic story of the 2001 murder of a nádleehí teen, Fred Martinez, to explore the Navajo beliefs concerning gender. In contrast to the rigid binary gender roles perpetuated in Western culture, the Navajo tradition defines 4 gender roles: male, female, male with a feminine essence, and female with a masculine essence. TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) will be airing Lydia Nibley’s documentary, “Two Spirits” on the following dates and times:

  • Sunday, 6/19/11, 10:30pm (channels 2, 440, 802)
  • Monday, 6/20/11, 4:30am (channels 2, 440, 802)
  • Saturday, 6/25/11, 10:00pm (channel 13)
  • Sunday, 6/26/11, 4:00am (channel 13)

The Navajos are not alone in their recognition of a gender spectrum. Indeed many cultures throughout the world have made place for those of us who do not so neatly fit into one-size-fits-all gender roles. Click here or on the map below to explore them.

Twirling the transgender umbrella

noumbrella.jpgMercedes Allen recently posted an interesting essay on The Bilerico Project blog entitled: “The Death of the ‘Transgender’ Umbrella.” In this post, Allen outlines a brief history of words used to describe and categorize gender-variant individuals as well as the ongoing controversy concerning the term “transgender”. Allen speaks as a representative of self only yet provides an insightful exploration of how the words we use to categorize individuals are by nature both inclusive and exclusive as well as open to interpretation. In the end Allen chooses to contemplatively twirl the umbrella over the shoulder rather than hold it overhead or toss it to the ground. Allen concedes that “I don’t really care what the term is, just as long as there is some point where varying trans communities can meet on any shared issues, and shared healing during shared tragedies.” Instead of taking sides in the ongoing debate Allen prefers an alliance-based approach. Allen cautions us “to stop making assumptions about everyone else and start listening to how they define who they are, what they need and what their life experiences mean. Which means to stop assuming that everyone who isn’t exactly like us should be dismissed as ‘not real.’ And means to stop assuming that third-sex or third-gender identification is any less valid than binary identification or that accommodation of both is irreconcilable.” Allen’s essay is an excellent reminder that we should be cautious with the words we use to describe others. When in doubt it never hurts to simply ask. (Note: In my attempt to be respectful of Allen’s pronoun preferences — of which I am unaware — I have intentionally omitted them.)