Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Save the Date for "Aging Safely: Preventing Elder Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation" on June 4th

American Society on Aging explores higher education and LGBT aging

The LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN) of the American Society on Aging has released a series of blog posts exploring the integration of LGBTQ aging issues into higher education curriculum. The blog series is part of LAIN’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the unique issues impacting LGBTQ people as they age and preparing aging services professionals to better serve this population. The following articles are available as part of the series on higher education:

The Art of Weaving LGBTQ Aging Issues Throughout Higher Education by Nikki DiGregorio and Jennifer Zorotovich

LAIN works to raise awareness about the concerns of LGBT elders and about the unique barriers they encounter in gaining access to housing, healthcare, long-term care and other needed services. LAIN seeks to foster professional development, multidisciplinary research and wide-ranging dialogue on LGBT issues in the field of aging through publications, conferences, and cosponsored events. LAIN welcomes the participation of all concerned individuals regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information about LAIN, visit

Registration is open for the 2016 Philadelphia Trans Health Conference

The 15th Annual Philadelphia Trans Health Conference will take place from June 9th – June 11th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The annual conference, a program of the Mazzoni Center, is an opportunity for trans* individuals, allies, and service providers to participate in workshops focused on a wide range of issues affecting transgender individuals and communities.

The mission of PTHC is to educate and empower trans individuals on issues of health and well-being; educate and inform allies and health service providers; and facilitate networking, community-building, and systemic change. PTHC strives to create an accessible and respectful environment that is inclusive of diverse gender-identities and expressions as well as inclusive of diverse opinions and ideas.

Attendance at the conference is free. Advanced registration is requested. To register for the conference, please visit

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Relationships

By Sabia Prescott, EI blogger

Traditionally, Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been observed in October, as a time to shed light on the serious and often fatal issue of abuse and violence, typically by men against heterosexual women. While this topic continues to be relevant and important, the issue of intimate violence within LGBT relationships is even more common and less-frequently talked about. A National Violence Against Women survey conducted by the CDC (2010, 2013) shows that 21.5% of men and 35.4% of women living with a same-sex partner have experienced intimate-partner physical violence in their lifetimes, compared with 7.1% and 20.4% for men and women in heterosexual relationships.

This study and others of its kind disprove common myths that only women in heterosexual relationships are victims of abuse and that partner violence is not an LGBT issue. These false notions are often perpetuated by the media, both in news stories and in television and film representation. Beth Leventhal, Executive Director of The Network/La Red, says “Abuse is not about violence; it’s about control.” This need for control knows no gender or orientation. This issue is at the forefront of LGBT concerns beyond marriage equality, and its presence in the LGBT community is tangible.

Fortunately, there are many resources for those experiencing or witnessing domestic violence. The Network/La Red is a Boston-based social justice organization serving communities across the country to prevent intimate partner violence in LGBT relationships. They have published information about how to recognize violence and how to stop it. In addition, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a number of locations across Philadelphia offering services to those in need. Much scholarly work has been done on the subject, including the National Institute of Health’s Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in LGBT Patients, which is now a living document for use by the medical community. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE. 

Washington Post: Truth and transgender at age 70

For months, Bill Rohr kept three clocks running on his iPad. One counted down the days to his retirement as a surgeon: Dec. 31, 2015. Another counted up the days since he and his wife, Linda, married: June 15, 1968.

The third clock, the most recent addition and the one that most occupied Rohr’s thoughts, showed the days until his Feb. 17, 2016, surgery at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center south of San Francisco.

At age 70, Bill would become Kate.

It was an operation he’d long ago dismissed as unattainable — but one Linda said he deserved to have. She’d traveled the arc of his life, supportive even after his bombshell confession.

Yet before leaving for the hospital that February morning, Linda had to make sure. “You still want to do this?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” her spouse answered.

A short time later, a smiling, even ebullient patient lay propped up in bed, awaiting the final pre-op questions. The name on the medical file passed among the staff already read Kathryn Rohr. Kate for short.

“And your goal today?” a nurse asked.

“Turning an outie into an innie,” Kate answered, laughing.

Linda, hovering nearby, absent-mindedly smoothed the bedsheet. Nothing to do now but wait. Finally, she sat down by the door, clutching Kate’s clothes and their two purses. She was the only one in the room visibly nervous.

Three years earlier, sitting at the dining-room table at their home in Fort Bragg, Calif., it was her husband who’d been nervous, unsure of what was about to happen.

From the time he was little, he began telling his wife, he had believed he was a female in a male body.

It wasn’t about the clothes or toys, he explained. He’d never yearned to be a princess or ballerina. He just couldn’t understand why everyone around him treated him like a boy instead of a girl.

“Something just told me, I’m the other half of the population,” he said.

To a bright child with a gift for engineering and logic, this mystery of mistaken gender had been something to puzzle over but never question out loud. It certainly couldn’t be shared — not with his parents or his brothers or his friends. Even if they accepted it, what could anyone really do?