Friday 17 May is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The following video from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office outlines some of the difficulties that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons across the globe face on a daily basis:
A clear message from the above video is that LGBT rights are human rights. In South Africa we have a progressive constitution in which LGBT rights are protected by law. The following table (courtesy of Wikipedia) outlines lesbian, gay and bisexual rights in South Africa:
The following pamphlet (courtesy of Gender DynamiX) discusses the South African legistlation that allows transgender and gender non-conforming people in South Africa to change their gender and name on their ID documents without undergoing sexual re-assignment surgery:
However, despite this progressive legislation many LGBTI persons in South Africa still face discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes. In other words many LGBTI people are still not free or equal. The 17th of May is a day to sit with what this means and to take action. On Friday, various South African NGOs will be uniting to fight homophobia and transphobia - click here for their press release and programme.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (formerly the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association) produces the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (SOC). The goal of the SOC is to: "provide clinical guidance for health professionals to assist transsexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people with safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with their gendered selves, in order to maximize their overall health, psychological well-being, and self-fulfillment. This assistance may include primary care, gynecologic and urologic care, reproductive options, voice and communication therapy, mental health services (e.g., assessment, counseling, psychotherapy), and hormonal and surgical treatments."
The Standards of Care are not only an important document for health professionals but also for trans people and their significant others, friends, families and allies (SOFFAs). The SOC can be used by trans and gender nonconforming people as a guide for their transitioning and by SOFFAs to understand the transitioning process and how they may aid in maximising the health and well-being of trans and gender nonconforming people.
The Standards of Care were originally drafted in 1979 but have been revised and reworked numerous times. The latest SOC is in its 7th version and were released in 2011. The SOC can be downloaded from the following link:
What does it mean to be transgender? What is the difference between sex, gender and sexual orientation? What is gender queer? The following video answers these questions and explores how much more complex gender is than often thought.
I use this blog to post links to articles and videos that may relate to some of my services or interests. This content may also be useful for potential clients as well as other people interested in psychology and self development.