Recommended Reading July 8, 2010

Here’s a few news stories that are worth noting this week.

A thorough dissection of the existing medical system and where it fails trans people comes from The Huffington Post’s Joanne Herman: “The Sorry State of Transgender Health Care

But while medical and mental health professionals have focused much attention on setting the hurdles of qualification, relatively little has been focused on either the reality of the qualification process or what comes after it.

On surgical intervention practices with intersex infants, there’s RH Reality Check: How We Treat Inter-sexed Babies: Part 1

This is an institutionalized practice. I’ve discussed with many friends and colleagues in the field of sexuality and sexual science the need to train doctors and practitioners on various aspects of human sexuality. Of course, this “training” has rarely been provided, and when it is provided, it comes from people whom many advocates today would consider as perpetuating a rigid and dichotomous ideology about gender and how genitals are supposed to look. When I discuss genitals with my students I use a popular analogy that vulvas and penises are like faces. Many have the same parts and work in similar ways but they all look different, not always the same.

For the activist: “National Coalition of Local Transgender Advocacy Groups Being Formed

The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is announcing the first meeting of the newly formed advisory board for a new coalition of transgender advocacy organizations, initially being called the National Coalition of State-Level Transgender Organizations. The coalition will bring together state and city-based transgender-led advocacy organizations for the purpose of networking, organizing, sharing resources, and building grassroots advocacy.

And for a look at a community’s formative history, the hard slogging of going against the flow and how we treat our advocates, Mark S. King’s “Richard Berkowitz: The Man That AIDS Forgot

This infuriated gay intelligentsia like Larry Kramer, who believed that both freshly minted gay pride and mainstream assimilation were threatened by Berkowitz’s talk of queers as bath house sluts. “He felt promiscuity was too dangerous to talk about in front of straight people,” Berkowitz says today. “But Callen and I said ‘fuck straight people, gay men are dying and AIDS is preventable.”

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