Violence, Access, and Trans Health

So, here are the last few weeks of readings squished into a single post (which has been sitting and evolving in draft form for … quite awhile), though the vloggy bit will only cover this week’s topic: Trans Health.  I suppose a wee explanation is in order.

Nutshell: gallstones stink and so does fibromyalgia.

TL/DR: Apparently if you have been growing an asymptomatic gallstone for quite some time (to get it to 1.9cm), you contract a run-of-the-mill GI bug, and you have an autoimmune inflammatory* condition, this is a bad combination.  Anything that stimulates the immune system has the potential to send inflammation into overdrive.  That doesn’t mean every common cold will, but it does mean that every infection can, as can any number of other fun triggers.  Inflammation can then cause previously asymptomatic problems to become symptomatic to the point that optional-ish organs require removing (laparoscopically, thank goodness).

Even laparoscopic surgery is still surgery, and apparently it takes a minute to recover from being repeatedly stabbed in the abdomen, even in relatively small areas with a scalpel.  Also, one of the mixed blessings of the information age is that said recovery time can still be productive-ish, and so what mental resources are available end up funneled towards things like managing online discussions to replace the classes you can’t physically go teach, grading, and oh right, doing homework for the course you’re taking.  Blog posts, thus, take a back seat.  (This would also be why the occasional reblogs have been entirely without commentary.  Reading something and hitting the reblog button on it take little mental energy.  Coming up with something intelligent to say about it takes a bit more.)

*There is not universal agreement as to whether fibromyalgia is truly autoimmune or involves inflammation.  My rheumatologist is of the opinion that we’re headed towards subcategories of fibro that include those that are  and are not inflammatory.  I’d be in the “are” category in that case.

Moving right along, here is the vloggy bit on the transgender health articles, followed by a ton of article listings, which, out of habit, I’ve alphabetized completely rather than keeping things within their categories.  I have a feeling I may regret that particular life choice.  Also, most are missing annotations, secondary to tiredness.  I’ll try to work on that during the between-quarters break.


Atta, D. (2009, July 16). Rice & Peas. Retrieved February 18, 2016, from
Incredibly moving poem about the experience of domestic violence in a same-sex relationship.

BasicRights. (2014). Health Care Videos 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016, from

Buller, A.M., Devrie, K.M., Howard, L.M., Bacchus, L.J. (2014). Associations between intimate partner violence and health among men who have sex with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Plos Med, 11(3), e1001609.

Conron, K.J., Landers, S.J., Reisner, S.L., and Sell, R.L. (2014). Sex and gender in the US health surveillance system: A call to action. AJPH, 104(6):970-976.
The authors tested measures of sex assigned at birth and gender identity among adolescents in hopes of improving the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and other instruments, so that data around transgender youth can be obtained accurately.

Coulter, R.W., Kenst, K.S., Bowen, D.J., Scout. (2014). Research funded by the National Institutes of Health on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. Am J Public Health,104(2), e105-12.

Heck, J.E., Sell, R.L., Gorin, S.S. (2006). Health Care Access among Individuals Involved in Same-Sex Relationships. American Journal of Public Health, 96(6), 1111-8.

Kaufman, R. (2008). Introduction to Transgender Identity and Health. In: Makadon H, Mayer KH, Potter J, Goldhammer H (Eds.). (2008). Fenway Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians.
So, when last I read this, which would be last October, my main critique was that it was very dated.  That critique remains, though my colleagues in this class have caused me to realize that the discussion of sex work could be a bit more nuanced.  I didn’t find it as offhand as some of my colleagues, but I can see that the author may have created that impression by trying to destigmatize sex work while also discussing the risks to transfolk who engage in it.  There was also a missed opportunity to, in just a phrase, indicate that while some of the reasons transfolk engage in sex work may be trans-specific, many more are not.

Lawrence, A.A. (2010). Transgender health concerns. In Meyer, I.H., and Northridge, M.E. (Eds.). The Health of Sexual Minorities: Public Health Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations (pp. 473-505). New York, NY: Springer
So, we’re still a bit dated in using DSM-IV-TR terminology and criteria, but the DSM V didn’t come out until 2013, so I guess the lack of crystal ball from 2010 can be forgiven.  It is interesting to see how strongly I react to the terms “transsexual” and “gender identity disorder,” though.  It is also very rooted in the gender binary.  That said, it does give a good overview of health concerns, including risks and benefits of some interventions, such as hormone therapy.  As a single chapter in a larger work, it is necessarily short.  I would definitely recommend Trans Bodies, Trans Selves as a more comprehensive resource.

Lloyd ,S., & Operario, D. (2012). HIV risk among men who have sex with men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse: systematic review and meta-analysis. AIDS Education and Prevention, 24(3), 228-41.

Rothman, E.F., Exner, D., Baughman, A. (2011). The prevalence of sexual assault against people who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual in the United States: a systematic review. Trauma Violence Abuse, 12(2), 55-66.

Saewyc, E.M., Skay, C.L., Pettingell, S.L., Reis, E.A., Bearinger, L., Resnick, M., Murphy, A., Combs, L. (2006). Hazards of stigma: the sexual and physical abuse of gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents in the United States and Canada. Child Welfare, 85(2), 195-213.

Stieglitz, K. (2010). Development, risk, and resilience of transgender youth. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 21(3):192-206.
This just made it to the reading list for both my summer courses.  While some of the info and terminology are a bit dated, owing to how rapidly both are evolving, this gives a really thorough look at transgender youth development.  It also looks at resilience rather than just risk, which is good to see.





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