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WPATH updates their Standards of Care

Highlights and commentary from GID Reform:

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) released it’s 7th Version of Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC) in Atlanta today. The previous Version 6 was published in 2001. Overall, this newest SOC represents significant forward progress in respecting trans people and affirming the necessity of medical transition care for trans and transsexual individuals who need it.

View the SOC 7 here.

Name changes to require fingerprinting by police

Province of Manitoba news release:

May 5, 2011

– – –
Fingerprints Would Link Changes of Name to Criminal Records: Mackintosh

The province would provide police with greater certainty in the protection of all Manitobans by requiring applicants for changes of name to undergo fingerprinting, Family Services and Consumer Affairs Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

“You can run but you can’t hide is the intent of this rule,” Mackintosh said. “It will reduce the risk of criminals, including sex offenders, organized crime associates and fraudsters, changing their names, disappearing into new locations unknown to police and justice officials with what appears to be a clear criminal record. It will also better guard against innocent people being linked to a person with a criminal record.”

The new rules would require name-change applicants to submit to fingerprinting at designated law enforcement agencies throughout the province. Those agencies would forward the fingerprints and name-change information to the RCMP. If there is a match, the new name would be added to the individual’s criminal record. If there is no match, the fingerprints would be destroyed.

The new fingerprint rules, similar to those in B.C. and Alberta, would not apply to name changes resulting from marriages or divorces. Manitoba’s rules would include youth but the province has asked for recommendations from senior officials on how they should apply to a youth who is changing a name.

In exceptional circumstances, the fingerprint requirement would be waived when, for example, a name change is sought to ensure confidentiality for victims of domestic violence or stalking, the minister said.

“No longer will child sex offenders be able to hide their previous criminal histories when they are screened for employment or volunteer opportunities. We applaud the Manitoba government for closing this loophole which will better protect Manitoba’s children,” said Lianna MacDonald, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

“This new rule would ensure those attempting to elude detection through name changes will come to the attention of the RCMP when being dealt with in our communities,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson, commanding officer of RCMP ‘D’ Division. “The ability for the RCMP to quickly and accurately identify offenders and those participating in criminal activities who have criminal records is crucially important to law enforcement agencies in Manitoba and across Canada. As the commanding officer of the RCMP in Manitoba, I am very pleased that this change has been introduced.”

“The Winnipeg Police Service supports this change as it targets offenders and protects the public and those most vulnerable,” said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill. “This is a valuable step in the right direction and we encourage other jurisdictions to follow suit.

“All Canadian jurisdictions are examining the name-change process and Manitoba will be among the first provinces to introduce these much-needed changes to ensure criminals do not hide behind new names,” Mackintosh concluded.

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Canadian Bar Association supports trans rights

At its August 2010 meeting, the Canadian Bar Association adopted a resolution in support of Equality for All Regardless of Gender Identity and Gender Expression:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association urge the federal, provincial and territorial governments to review their legislation and policies, especially human rights legislation and hate crimes under the Criminal Code, and make amendments necessary to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.

New book: The Color of Sunlight

The Color of Sunlight coverOne of our group members (Jean-Ann) had a hand in the creation of this book.

From the publisher:
The Color of Sunlight is a rural Montana nurse’s journey through the emotional and spiritual landscape of her remarkable patient; a blind, terminally ill transgender woman who had much to give and nothing left to lose. It is a factual account of a friendship that transcended the barriers of class, gender and disability; a story told from the heart, with simple humility and unflinching honesty. Two women from different worlds meet in the twilight of a life and the result is a tale that will uplift you, illuminate you and enrich your spirit.

Book website

A limited number of copies are available for purchase ($20) at the Rainbow Resource Centre.

Kate McDonald — Book Launch

Title: Kate McDonald — Book Launch
Location: McNally Robinson (Grant Park, Winnipeg)

Start Time: 19:00:00
Date: 2010-06-14
Description: Flying Blind (and getting there just the same): The Transitioner’s Handbook

Born into the middle sex, Kate finally put her foot down and said “That’s enough – time to remove all the confusion.” This is a handbook for anyone going through the same journey, or people who are curious as to why anyone on earth would ever change their sex.

Kate McDonald has her B.A., her LL.B. and a degree in life that no one should ever have to take. Keeping a sense of humour about such a sensitive subject is the only way to survive it – Kate’s hope is that others will too.

MB Human Rights Commission issues gender identity guideline

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission has just issued a new guideline document:

Protections from discrimination based on gender identity; Your Rights, Your Obligations identifies protections from discrimination on the basis of gender identity under The Human Rights Code (Manitoba) in employment, services and housing.

It is posted on their website. There is also an article about it that appears in the May issue of Outwords.

Draft of DSM-V released

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has released the first draft of the diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

The DSM is the standard reference used by professionals to diagnose gender identity issues.

There are a number of significant changes in the gender identity sections. Most prominently, it is proposed that

the name gender identity disorder (GID) be replaced by “Gender Incongruence” (GI) because the latter is a descriptive term that better reflects the core of the problem: an incongruence between, on the one hand, what identity one experiences and/or expresses and, on the other hand, how one is expected to live based on one’s assigned gender

Comments on the draft are invited via the DSM-V website until April 20, 2010.

Canada supports UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity

On December 18, 2008, the UN General Assembly was presented with a declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity signed by 66 countries, including Canada.

According to Wikipedia:

The declaration condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also condemns killings and executions, torture, arbitrary arrest, and deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights on those grounds.

See Wikipedia for more details.

WPATH affirms treatment is “medically necessary”

In response to those insurance companies in the US that maintain SRS is a cosmetic procedure, WPATH (the org that maintains the Standard of Care) has issued a statement clearly affirming their position that SRS (and other procedures including hair removal for MTFs) are “medically necessary” and therefore insurable.

Read the complete statement here.

American Medical Association Affirms Right to Treatment

The American Medical Association recently passed the following resolution: Removing Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients

Whereas, Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is a serious medical condition recognized as such in both the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases; and

Whereas, GID, if left untreated, can result in clinically significant psychological distress, dysfunction, debilitating depression, and, for some patients without access to appropriate medical care and treatment, suicidality and death; and

Whereas, The medical literature has established the effectiveness and medical necessity of mental health care, hormone therapy, and sex reassignment surgery in the treatment of patients diagnosed with GID; and

Whereas, Many health insurance plans categorically exclude coverage of mental health, medical, and surgical treatments for GID, even though many of these same treatments, such as psychotherapy, hormone therapy, breast augmentation and removal, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and salpingectomy, are covered for other medical conditions; and

Whereas, The denial of otherwise covered benefits for patients diagnosed with GID represents discrimination based solely on a patient’s gender identity; and

Whereas, Our AMA opposes discrimination (AMA Policies H-65.983, H-65.992) and the denial of health insurance (H-180.980) on the basis of gender identity; and

Whereas, Our AMA opposes limitations placed on patient care by third-party payers when such care is based upon sound scientific evidence and sound medical opinion (H-120.988); therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support public and private health insurance coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA oppose categorical exclusions of coverage for treatment of gender identity disorder in adolescents and adults when prescribed by a physician. (New HOD Policy)