GLMA Nursing Summit and Annual Conference – September 13-16

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality is the only organization and dedicated to advancing LGBTQ health and healthcare!  The Annual Conference, along with the Nursing Summit, convenes this year in Philadelphia at the Doubletree Center City hotel.  The Nursing Summit will be all day on September 13th, followed by the GLMA conference opening reception in the evening, and the multi-disciplinary conference continuing through Saturday the 16th.  Visit the GLMA nursing website for a sneak peak at the Summit program, and the GLMA website for details about the conference program!  GLMA is the only only organization bringing together LGBT health care professionals from all disciplines, and the GLMA nursing section is the only “home” for LGBTQ nurses!  All are welcome to join us!  Registration details are here!

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Pride Month!

All over the world LGBTQ communities are celebrating our achievements and to inspire movement going forward!  The month of June was designated as “gay pride” month to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, which were a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The riots were in response to police raids and brutality aimed and gay and lesbian residents frequenting social clubs in the city.  While much has changed since those days, and we have many LGBTQ rights to celebrate, the very occasions of public pride events in towns and cities all over the world draw attention to ongoing challenges for LGBTQ people and families.  These celebrations are reminders that all of us can, in even small was, contribute to improving the health and well-being of all LGBTQ people, and assuring that all receive the best quality of nursing and health care. All healthcare providers can join in celebrating LGBTQ pride by tuning in to resources that provide insight about the needs of our communities.  For example, HealthCetera, the blog for the interdisciplinary Center for Health Media Policy, is celebrating Pride month with a focus on how one health center cares for the transgender community. And of course, follow our LavenderHealth blog and explore the many resources we make available for all to access and use freely!

And not be missed … the annual premier event focused on LGBTQ health and healthcare. This year the GLMA: Health Professional Advancing LGBT  Equality annual conference will be in Philadelphia, September 13-16, 2017.  The entire day of September 13 will be dedicated to the Nursing Summit – so plan to attend!  For more information visit the GLMA Nursing website!

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A new podcast to check out – em dash

Kimberly Acquaviva is hosting a new podcast, em dash, to explore diverse patients’ and healthcare professionals’ lived experiences in healthcare.  The topics are far-ranging- Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 5.04.02 PMmany of them you will not encounter in most of the podcast – or larger media world!  You can subscribe on iTunes, or listen on Stitcher.  Full disclosure – Kim interviewed me for the March 14th episode!  Here is a summary of the episodes so far:

March 27 – Meet Amy Berman, a nurse living with Stage IV breast cancer. Amy describes the moment she went from being a nurse to being someone with a terminal illness, and she talks about living – really living – for the six and a half years since her diagnosis thanks to the care she’s received from palliative care professionals. You can follow Amy on Twitter at @NotesOnNursing.

March 17 – Meet Laura Antoniou and Karen Taylor, together for 19 years. Laura is a novelist, pornographer, and self-described “pervert.” Karen is a social service professional and kink aficionado. Laura, Karen, and I talk about sadomasochism, consent, and what healthcare professionals need to know in order to meet the needs of patients who practice BDSM. Also in this episode: the literary dumpster fire that is “Fifty Shades of Grey” and why you shouldn’t get your sex advice from Cosmo. (If you’re a healthcare professional and you’re freaked out a little by the previous 4 sentences, you definitely need to listen to this episode. Seriously). You can follow Laura on Twitter at @LAntoniou.

March 14 – Meet Dr. Peggy Chinn, Professor Emerita of Nursing at the University of Connecticut. Peggy and I talk about her experiences in the 1970’s as a feminist lesbian nurse educator and how perceptions of lesbian nurses have changed since then. Peggy also describes the 1982 birth of “Cassandra: The Radical Feminist Nurses Network.” You can follow Peggy on Twitter at @PeggyChinn

March 5 – Meet Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. Rachel and I talk about her experiences as a physician who is transgender, about privilege, and about the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s commitment to transgender youth.

February 23 – Meet Dr. Mitchell Tepper, a Sexuality Counselor whose focus is educating people about sexuality and disability. Mitch is a person with a spinal cord injury who has a master’s degree in public health from Yale University, a PhD in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a 30-year marriage, and a 20-year old son. He’s also an AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator, Educator Supervisor, and Sexuality Counselor. Mitch and I talk about sex, disability, and what healthcare professionals can do to be more supportive of patients with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities when it comes to sex. *Note to listeners: This episode contains content about sex. Mention is made of vibrators, cock rings, ejaculation, and erections.

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Early Signal: Roll-back on protection for transgender children and youth in U.S. schools

The newly inaugurated U.S. President, during his campaign, made promises of continuing protections for LGBTQ people in the U.S. – promises that were viewed by skepticism by many advocates of human rights.  And indeed, the skepticism was affirmed this week when the President issued an executive order, in the form of a letter to the nation’s schools, that they do not need to observe the protection given by President Obama to assure that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their gender identity.  Even though the letter states that the administration still opposes discrimination and bullying of all disadvantaged students, this claim is blatantly negated by the fact that they are targeting one of the most vulnerable groups of children and youth in our schools, and leaving it to the states to decide whether or not transgender kids can use the bathroom of their choice. Let’s be very clear – this is not about bathrooms – it is about the understanding that LGBTQ people of all ages deserve full human rights protections at every level – an understanding that clearly this administration does not share.

The Human Rights Campaign, among many other LGBTQ advocate organizations, has taken an immediate and strong stand against this order, and has organized a group of parents of transgender children and youth to take public action on behalf of their children’s rights.  Read more here  about the HRC stand, and the actions they are organizing.

And let us know about actions in your local area to protect LGBTQ rights – both in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.  Leave your stories, reports and comments here!  Even the act of sharing is vital to the ongoing activism that is needed to protect LGBTQ rights!screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-10-09-30-am

Posted in Children and Youth, Join the discussion, LGBTQ Human Rights, Transgender Health | 1 Comment

Creating your personal political action plan

Events proceeding the inauguration have simultaneously energized and depressed many of us. The Women’s Marches amplified our voices and moved us towards an intersectional approach to combating racism, protecting our health care, and advocating for science-based environmental policies, among other issues. However, the barrage of Executive Actions, confirmation hearings, and government shakeups were disorienting. Hard fought battles for LGBT rights and equality may still be in the crosshairs of the new administration. This leaves many of us concerned about the status of our marriages, actadoptions, financial and health planning, and employment. With that said, there are ways for us to breakdown our activism into manageable pieces.

The actions and activities below were inspired by a New Orleans-based “Political Action Plan” meeting put on by the owner of my neighborhood bookshop, Tubby and Coos. Thank you Candice Huber! I hope you find this list as centering and encouraging as I have:

  1. Self-care: Without a prioritization of your own mental and physical health, we will not be able to stay fresh for this fight. Whatever self-care means to you: yoga, meditation, taking your dog for a walk, or getting your dance on…do it, and do it often. Also, eat some healthy food and move your body in whatever way works best for you.
  2. Turn OFF Trump. Stop following the White House and Trump on social media. The same goes for Kellyann Conway, Sean Spicer, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon.  Their tactics are to bully, distract, disorient, lie, and intimidate. Don’t give propaganda that kind of power, instead seek out credible and valid news.
  3. Valid news. Here is a great list of techniques and resources to help, put together by Melissa Zimdar: What is a credible news source?
  4. Pick your top three activism priorities. While many of us are appalled at the idea of a disbanded EPA, we are health care providers and as such may be able to make a bigger impact on advocating for the Affordable Care Act or keeping abortion accessible, affordable, legal, and safe. Find  those groups that speak to you. Attend their meetings, sign up for their newsletters, donate if you can, and get involved beyond sharing facebook posts. TIP for White People: Remember to include all people who are impacted when you are organizing. If you are a white person, like I am, this means checking your privilege at the door, allowing others to speak and run their meetings, not expecting to always be heard, or to have your views appreciated or acknowledged. This isn’t about you, this is about the collective and for us to be truly successful it means identifying, understanding, and fighting white supremacy every day. That task involves being uncomfortable and staying open to ways to become a better activist, colleague, friend, and neighbor.
  5. Build, activate, elect. Building looks like bringing your Grandmother to a Black Lives Matter meeting or encouraging your friends to make a donation to the ACLU.  Activating is organizing to reach the “movable middle”. Those are the individuals who have never called a legislator or written a Letter to the Editor before.  A useful way to do this is via “Stakeholder Analysis”. This will force you to look at an issue from a variety of vantage points to see who will benefit or not, from whatever issue you are advocating about. Elect looks like participating in local elections, running for local office, and canvasing for progressive leaders in your community.

The Action Worksheet below can be copied, pasted, and printed to help organized your personal plan. We can do this!


1. Lookup your congresswo/man

  • Name
  • Local office phone
  • DC office phone
  • Email
  • Mailing address

2. Lookup your two senators

  • Name
  • Local office phone
  • DC office phone
  • Email
  • Mailing address


  • Name
  • Local office phone
  • DC office phone
  • Email
  • Mailing address


3.  My “Top Three” activism priorities:

4. What actions do you want to take to address your Top Three issues?

5. Have a conversation with beloved others about the actions you want to take.

6. Schedule time each week to be active. Add this to your calendar.

7. Decide whether you want to do your actions with others. If so, invite them.

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