The first day of the conference was kicked off by keynote speaker Rev. Louis Mitchell and the mayor of Philadelphia. It was affirming to see two men of color, one FTM and one CIS, get the audience affirmed and ready for more.
I managed to get to 5 workshops that covered topics ranging from “Understanding the Hijra identity through Bollywood films” to “Trans de-pathologization in the context of the International Classification of Diseases”. Some key take-aways in no particular order:
– Trans-masculine people who take testosterone score better on validated scales that measure things like depression, anger and anxiety. Those who have chest reconstruction surgery also benefit from an improved body image.
– The disease model used to qualify people for health benefits does not serve the transgender population well; we have much work to do to develop an alternative approach based on wellness.
– Our gender-variant elders face a host of issues that need to be addressed – especially as they are segregated in nursing facilities that are not equipped to honor gender identities that are outside the binary or not aligned with physical presentation.
– Dating while trans presents plenty of challenges but they are not insurmountable.
I’m recharging my battery now so I can head out to Tabu for a show later tonight!