Below is a link to a news article regarding Lesbians Gay Bisexuals and Transgender.
Summary of Contents
The article features the story of one Dani St. James, formerly Daniel, who now aspires to become Miss Diamond Queen 2013. The article offers testament of how far she has come since her sex reassignment three years ago. The article also features pictures of a as a boy and a young man and those after a sex reassignment.
More often than not, people do not understand the dynamics that surround transgender people. Some people do not identify themselves with the sex they were assigned at birth based on their genitalia. While some adopt mannerisms consistent with the assumed gender, others go as far as sex reassignment. Transgender people are increasingly getting visible around the world. The news item goes to show that transgender people are capable of competing at the highest levels. The news item is also eye opening in that it highlights the need for inclusion and accommodation. The next few days will be interesting as we see how Dani St. James fairs on in the competition.
Posted Question One
In his book; Say a Little Prayer E. Lynn Harris pints a vivid picture of what is to be a Christian man having sex with another man. In his book, the life of a Christian man having sex with other men is not very secure. Such man is under constant pressure of judgment and scorn of other church members, especially the clergy. Chauncey is one such man in the book. Initially, Chauncey was bisexual, but had to change and mainstream with men when the women he was involved with pried with too many questions. This shows that bisexuality is not welcome even by the non-clergy members of the society. Chauncey finds solace in church where he is even encouraged to follow his dreams as a singer (Harris 65).
This offers him satisfaction for a while until he learns of a fundamentalist preacher who intends bash same sex marriages. As a Christian, the clergy thinks that one should not have sex with men. The fact that other gay men in the church join Chauncey to stage a protest shows that the church is full of gay members who are afraid to make known their sexuality. A Christian man having sex with other men is always in fear and has to justify himself to get accorded the same treatment as the heterosexuals in the church. More precisely, the church is homophobic and scorn and bash Christina men having sex with other men (Harris 98).
Throughout the book, the different elements of religion and sexuality intermingle unfavorably for Chauncey and other characters in the book. Although it is not explicitly put or implied in the book, one can deduce that the solace Chauncey found in the church after the numerous bad dates was on the presumption that he was heterosexual. I infer this because later in the book we find a fundamentalist preacher in Chauncey’s church who is about to speak against same sex marriages and gays (Harris 136).
This is also supported by Chauncey’s reaction to this knowledge. The author describes him as very angry and betrayed. Various elements of religion and sexuality intermingle to deny the gays their voice in the church. It is only after Chauncey rallies the other gay members in the church that they decide to stand against the inherent homophobia in the church. Prior to this, the gay members in the church kept it in a ‘down low’.
The relation between Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and religion varies from one religion to another, time and place. Nonetheless, many authoritative doctrines and bodies of the largest religions in the world view Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgenderism negatively. This ranges from quiet discouragement, explicit forbidding of homosexual practices and lesbianism, gender or sex reassignment, opposition of social acceptance of transgender, gay, lesbians and bisexual identities and executions of homosexuals. All these are forms of intolerances meted on those with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities by their religions.
This relates very well with the grim picture painted in the book by the author. The clergy in the church take stands to admonish gays and same sex marriages as described by the author in the book. This move may not be as extreme as execution, but it is some form of intolerance. The church painted in the novel does not have a place for the congregation that is not heterosexual. This is reflective of the attitudes towards the Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals and Transgenders that we have learnt about.
The novel presents different cases where the non-heteronormative individuals are vilified. In most of these instances, these individuals are only living their lives and pursuing their dreams. The compassion the book requires of the reader is justified. I do not support same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, I do not encourage heteronomartivity in church or other spheres of the society. Religion impacts heteronormativity by encouraging homophobic tendencies and heterosexism. In retrospect and considering the developments in the novel, I think it is oppressive.
Posted Question Two
Transgender and transsexual people undergo deprivation of medical needs during transition and ongoing care. The unique health experiences that transgender and transsexual individuals undergo require varied medical needs that are more often than not unmet. While some of these needs are unmet because of the attitude of health professionals towards transgender and transsexual individuals, others are due to lack of knowledge on the specific health needs that are required by this group of people (Mallon 115).
Firstly, not all transgender and transsexual individuals want to undergo phenotypic transition. This is because phenotypic transition processes are complex, though they match the physical attributes of a person to their gender. One of the health care needs that are unmet at this transition stage is mental health services. A mental health therapist who has specialized in gender issues is required at this stage. This specialist prepares the prospective transgender or transsexual to the life altering process he or she is about to undertake.
After transitioning, transgender and transsexuals are at an increased risk of a myriad of psychosocial problems. This is more serious for teenagers who are at a tender age. Some of the problems include rejection by their peers and families, bullying, abuse, harassment; some of which may lead to depression. In such instances, these individuals require the services of a psychiatrist. These services may not be available because of stigmatization. According to the Avert website, a survey carried out in 37 European Countries found that almost half of LGBT young people are bullied in school.
Different challenges affect the delivery of quality services to transgender and transsexual individuals. One of the challenges to the delivery of quality health care is the lack of evidence based research on the medical needs of transgender and transsexual individuals. As such, there is insufficient training of physicians in medical school on the needs of this group of people. Evidently, many primary care doctors rely on the internet for their research on information pertaining the medical care needs of this group of people. This compromises the quality of the services that are offered to the transgender and transsexual individuals (Stewart 156).
According to the Avert website another challenge to the delivery of quality services to the transgender and transsexual individuals is stigmatization. The branding that they receive from the society does not encourage them to openly embrace their identities. As such, they may not see for health care from the mainstream facilities. They are more likely to seek for medical care from private facilities where their sexuality is not paraded. Some of the practitioners in these private facilities may not have specialized in the services that they render. This affects the quality of service given especially for ongoing care. According to the Avert website, stigmatization resulting from homophobia is a major impediment to the war against HIV/AIDS.
This has a lot of personal consequences for the transgender and transsexual individuals who are denied medical care for one reason or another. One of the personal consequences is the development of complications. For instance, female to male transsexuals require continued care because some have female organs in them. If this does not occur, very many of them suffer from endometrial cancer. This results from failure to see gynecologists as they still have wombs. Other personal consequences are the effects of the female hormones given on the prostate gland. Continued breast exterminations are required in order to monitor the effect of the hormones on the prostrate for male to female transsexuals. Failure for this can result in prostate cancer (White 1).
Sexuality is a very sensitive topic in the society. It gets touchier when it involves transsexuals and transgender individuals. This amounts to social injustice to the transgender and transsexual individuals. Medical practitioners take an oath to administer care to all deserving persons. Access to healthcare is also a right to all individuals their sexual orientation notwithstanding. However, the society has vilified the transgender and transsexual individuals so much so that it is virtually hard for them to access health care and quality health care at that.
This notwithstanding, positive change in our attitudes towards the transgender and transsexual individuals is possible. Firstly, most people admonish this group of people out of ignorance. It would help to keep abreast with the intricacies of sex reassignment and sexual orientation. Abundance of information is bound to help change our attitudes towards the transgender and transsexual individuals. Secondly, it is important to respect the choice of the transgender and transsexual individuals; that even if we reserve our opinions, we accord them their due respect and rights (Rosario & Richard 111).
Harris, E. Lynn. I say a little prayer. New York: Anchor Books, 2007. Print.
Mallon, Gerald P.. Social work practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 2nd ed. New York: Haworth Press, 2008. Print.
Rosario, Vernon A, and Richard Pillard. Homosexuality and Science: A Guide to the Debates ; Vernon A. Rosario. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2002. Print.
Stewart, Chuck. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Lgbt Issues Worldwide. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood Press, 2010. Print.
White, Tracie. The Unmet Medical Needs of Transgender People. Stanford Medicine. Web. 13 Jun. 2013.