Showing posts with label Sex Reassignment Gays Hanging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sex Reassignment Gays Hanging. Show all posts

January 28, 2020

South Dakota On Its Way To Be The 1st State to Jail Doctors that Treat A Transgender Child

By Neda Toloui-Semnani
South Dakota could soon become the first state to jail doctors for treating transgender minors.
Republican Rep. Fred Deutsch, a chiropractor turned lawmaker, is the main sponsor of House Bill 1057, which would make it a misdemeanor for doctors to “change or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s sex” by treating patients with puberty blockers, hormones, or surgical procedures. Any interventions by a medical professional would be punishable with a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail.  This measure, to begin debates in the state House Monday, would not apply to a young person “with a medically-verifiable genetic disorder.” It’s specifically written for doctors treating transgender youth.
“The procedures listed in the bill are not health care but criminal acts against vulnerable children,” said Deutsch, during opening remarks of a committee hearing last week. The bill was voted out of committee, 8-5, and in a state where Republicans have a supermajority, it is expected to pass both chambers and land on Gov. Kirsti Noem's desk for her signature. But at a press conference Friday, the Republican governor said she has some concerns about the bill and will be watching the debates
A study published three years ago found that people with gender dysphoria between the ages of 13 and 17 account for 0.7 percent of the transgender population in the U.S., and more recent studies suggest there's a rise in gender dysphoria among youth, though this might be because it’s an under-researched demographic.
South Dakota is a testing ground for anti-transgender legislation. In 2016, its bathroom bill — also sponsored by Deutsch — was the first in the nation to gain traction, but it was vetoed by Noem’s GOP predecessor, Dennis Daugaard.
Like the bathroom bill, this is the first of its kind to start to move the legislative process, though at least five other states including Florida, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Colorado have introduced similar measures, and other states like Georgia have had bills drafted for months.  
As written, all the bills would do the same thing: penalize the medical professionals who treat minors with puberty blockers and hormones — the standard of care recommended by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and the Endocrine Society. 
In Missouri, eight bills have been introduced since the start of the year that focuses on how transgender youth are treated in schools and in adoptive and healthcare services. One would make it felony child abuse for a parent to treat their child for gender dysphoria. 
Deutsch says he’s been working on the South Dakota version of the Vulnerable Child Protection Act for months. He credits Kelsey Coalition, a national organization that compares the recommended treatment for gender dysphoria with full-frontal lobotomies and forced sterilization, with helping him draft the measure, but he says it's a “home-grown” effort. 
“I don’t think that’s true at all,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “Most of the witnesses for the law were from out of state and testified over Skype.” Meanwhile, all the witnesses testifying against the bill were from the state. 

‘Conservative solutions’

In early October, the Heritage Foundation and the Family Policy Alliance held the half-day Summit on Protecting the Sexualization of Children. Its goal: to bring together “policy experts and practitioners [to] help us work together to advance conservative solutions to protect children from sexualization in culture, education, and healthcare.”   
In a newsletter about the activities of the South Dakota Legislature, Deutsch is reported to have been at the summit. He said that “an idea or solution discussed at the meeting that could benefit South Dakota was to establish legislation to criminalize doctors that provide sex-change operations in children. [emphasis mine]”
Stephanie Curry, a policy manager for Family Policy Alliance, said the event aimed to equip parents and educate them on how their children are “exposed to sexual ideology in school, medical healthcare, mental healthcare.”
Curry said there will be more legislation coming to places like California and Washington State. “As long as a child is a child, their parents have a right to raise their children as they see fit,” she said. 
When pressed about parents wanting to make sure their transgender children were treated by doctors, she backtracked. “This legislation isn’t about parental rights at all,” she said. “It’s about helping and protecting kids.” 
Deutsch’s bill, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, was introduced in January with language similar to bills drafted in Georgia in November and another introduced in Florida this month. The bills would do the same thing: criminalize the medical professional who treats children with gender dysphoria.
Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a principal sponsor of Florida’s House bill, said he wasn’t able to go to the Heritage Foundation and FPA summit. He also said that the language of his bill was taken from the Florida Senate version and that he’s not married to it.  “My only motivation,” he said, “is to protect children.” 
A study published in the journal Pediatrics on Thursday shows that transgender children who receive medical interventions like hormones and puberty blockers are less likely to have suicidal ideation over their lifetime. 
Dr. Madeline Deutsch, MD, MPH, the director of transgender care at the University of San Francisco and not related to the South Dakota representative, says if young people can’t get treated by doctors, they might turn to unregulated hormones bought on the street or online.
“These laws will harm children,” she said. “These laws will not only be harmful, because of denying children access to treatment, but laws like this will discourage many providers from providing treatment anywhere and could result in people who are treating adults to think twice.”
Cover: Young doctor giving medical consultation - stock photo, Getty Images

November 7, 2014

The Gays in Iran, Admit to Sex Reassignment or Hanging

They show how easy it can be... They promise to give you a loan to pay for the surgery”

Iran is one of a handful of countries where homosexual acts are punishable by death. Clerics do, however accept the idea that a person may be trapped in a body of the wrong sex. So homosexuals can be pushed into having gender reassignment surgery - and to avoid it many flee the country.
Growing up in Iran, Donya kept her hair shaved or short, and wore caps instead of headscarves. She went to a doctor for help to stop her period.
"I was so young and I didn't really understand myself," she says. "I thought if I could stop getting my periods, I would be more masculine."
If police officers asked for her ID and noticed she was a girl, she says, they would reproach her: "Why are you like this? Go and change your gender."
This became her ambition. "I was under so much pressure that I wanted to change my gender as soon as possible," she says. 
For seven years Donya had hormone treatment. Her voice became deeper, and she grew facial hair. But when doctors proposed surgery, she spoke to friends who had been through it and experienced "lots of problems". She began to question whether it was right for her.
"I didn't have easy access to the internet - lots of websites are blocked. I started to research with the help of some friends who were in Sweden and Norway," she says.
"I got to know myself better... I accepted that I was a lesbian and I was happy with that."
But living in Iran as an openly gay man or woman is impossible. Donya, now 33, fled to Turkey with her son from a brief marriage, and then to Canada, where they were granted asylum.
Donya and her son Daniel in Turkey
It's not official government policy to force gay men or women to undergo gender reassignment but the pressure can be intense. In the 1980’s the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa allowing gender reassignment surgery - apparently after being moved by a meeting with a woman who said she was trapped in a man's body.
Shabnam - not her real name - who is a psychologist at a state-run clinic in Iran says some gay people now end up being pushed towards surgery. Doctors are told to tell gay men and women that they are "sick" and need treatment, she says. They usually refer them to clerics who tell them to strengthen their faith by saying their daily prayers properly.
But medical treatments are also offered. And because the authorities "do not know the difference between identity and sexuality", as Shabnam puts it, doctors tell the patients they need to undergo gender reassignment.
In many countries this procedure involves psychotherapy, hormone treatment and sometimes major life-changing operations - a complex process that takes many years.
That's not always the case in Iran.
"They show how easy it can be," Shabnam says. "They promise to give you legal documents and, even before the surgery, permission to walk in the street wearing whatever you like. They promise to give you a loan to pay for the surgery."
Supporters of the government's policy argue that transgender Iranians are given help to lead fulfilling lives, and have more freedom than in many other countries. But the concern is that gender reassignment surgery is being offered to people who are not transgender, but homosexual, and may lack the information to know the difference.
"I think a human rights violation is taking place," says Shabnam. "What makes me sad is that organisations that are supposed to have a humanitarian and therapeutic purpose can take the side of the government, instead of taking care of people."
Psychologists suggested gender reassignment to Soheil, a gay Iranian 21-year-old. 
Soheil in Istanbul
Then his family put him under immense pressure to go through with it.
"My father came to visit me in Tehran with two relatives," he says. "They'd had a meeting to decide what to do about me... They told me: 'You need to either have your gender changed or we will kill you and will not let you live in this family.'"
His family kept him at home in the port city of Bandar Abbas and watched him. The day before he was due to have the operation, he managed to escape with the help of some friends. They bought him a plane ticket and he flew to Turkey.
His family kept him at home in the port city of Bandar Abbas and watched him. The day before he was due to have the operation, he managed to escape with the help of some friends. They bought him a plane ticket and he flew to Turkey.
"If I'd gone to the police and told them that I was a homosexual, my life would have been in even more danger than it was from my family," he says.
There is no reliable information on the number of gender reassignment operations carried out in Iran.
Khabaronline, a pro-government news agency, reports the numbers rising from 170 in 2006 to 370 in 2010. But one doctor from an Iranian hospital told the BBC that he alone carries out more than 200 such operations every year. 
Many, like Donya and Soheil, have fled. Usually they go to Turkey, where Iranians don't need visas. From there they often apply for asylum in a third country in Europe or North America. While they wait - sometimes for years - they may be settled in socially conservative provincial cities, where prejudice and discrimination are commonplace.
Arsham Parsi, who crossed from Iran to Turkey by train in 2005, says that while living in the city of Kayseri, in central Turkey, he was beaten up, and then refused hospital treatment for a dislocated shoulder, simply because he was gay. After that he didn't leave his house for two months.
Arsham Parsi on train tracks in TurkeyArsham Parsi on the train track that brought him to Turkey
Later he moved to Canada and set up a support group, the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees. He says he receives hundreds of inquiries every week, and has helped nearly 1,000 people leave Iran over the past 10 years.
Some are fleeing to avoid gender reassignment surgery, but others have had treatment and find they still face prejudice. Parsi estimates that 45% of those who have had surgery are not transgender but gay.
"You know when you are 16 and they say you're in the wrong body, and it's very sweet... you think. 'Oh I finally worked out what's wrong with me,'" he says.
When one woman called him from Iran recently with questions about surgery, he asked her if she was transsexual or lesbian. She couldn't immediately answer - because no-one had ever told her what a "lesbian" was.
Marie, aged 37, is now staying in Kayseri after leaving Iran five months ago. She grew up as a boy, Iman, but was confused about her sexuality and was declared by an Iranian doctor to be 98% female. 
After that, she thought she needed to change her gender.
Hormone therapy seemed to bring positive changes. She grew breasts, and her body hair thinned. "It made me feel good," she says. "I felt beautiful. I felt more attractive to the kinds of partners I used to have."
But then she had the operation - and came away feeling "physically damaged".
She had a brief marriage to a man but it broke down, and any hope she had that life would be better as a woman was short-lived. 
"Before the surgery people who saw me would say, 'He's so girly, he's so feminine,'" Marie says.
"After the operation whenever I wanted to feel like a woman, or behave like a woman, everybody would say, 'She looks like a man, she's manly.' It did not help reduce my problems. On the contrary, it increased my problems...
"I think now if I were in a free society, I wonder if I would have been like I am now and if I would have changed my gender," she says. "I am not sure."
Marie starts to cry.
"I am tired," she says. "I am tired of my whole life. Tired of everything."
Watch Ali Hamedani's report on Our World at 16:10 and 22:10 GMT on Saturday 8 November and 22:10 GMT on Sunday 9 November on BBC World News. Assignment is on BBC World Service from Thursday.

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