An affirming newsletter for the gender variant community
In This Issue
Health News
Community Events
Movie Review
Feature Article
Real Life Inspiration
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Health News

Two new regulations  that the Bush administration has enacted in the final days of office  could impact  the ability of Transgender and Gender Variant people to access health care. 
The "Provider Conscience Regulations" ensures that  medical professionals 
can refuse to provide procedures if they are in conflict with that professionals religious or moral beliefs.  
The changes to the Family Medical Leave Act may also have an impact on the gender variant community in the form of reduced protection of privacy. You can learn more about these changes and the efforts by the National Center for Transgender Equality here:
Trans Affirming Health-care
The Transgender Law Center Healthcare Access project is a resource for you to advocate for yourself and  for providers interested in advocacy for the trans community. You can visit them here:Healthcare Access
For links to endocrinologist's, surgeons, and other resources visit the OCTransgender Coalition Resources.
Dr. Maddie Deutsch has a practice in LA devoted to Transgender and Gay and Lesbian Health. You can visit her here:  
Trans HIV Equality and Parity Health Conference
January 26-28, 2009
Los Angeles
Free conference with scholarships available if you
have an address 50 + miles from where it takes place. Register online or learn more about the conference :

Community Events

Outfest Wednesday, January 28,
7:30pm - Rigler Theatre @ The Egyptian
Dirs. PJ Raval, Jay Hodges, 2008, USA, 86 min. Tiny Trinidad, Colorado (pop. 6,500) is one of the world's leading centers for gender reassignment surgery. TRINIDAD  introduces us to prestigious surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers - who has undergone the procedure herself - and to two fellow transwomen building a post-operative recovery house for Dr. Bowers' patients. These three women face challenges from each other as well as financial issues and battles with the local clergy as they pursue their professional  and personal dreams. 

Movie Review

 Milk Movie
You can still catch MILK at the movies. I highly recommend seeing this film. You will get a sense of the history of the LGBT movement from Stonewall on and see the inspiring life of Harvey Milk as he steps out of the closet and becomes a powerful advocate for himself and his community. Even after his death, Harvey inspires us for the work today. In our continued struggle, we are standing on his shoulders and many others. For show times click here: 
Quick Links
Check out the updated Books & Resource sections!  A free downloadable Resource Directory is now in the works!   If you know of additional resources you would like to see added, please email me the information
I've designed this newsletter as a way of staying in touch with clients and colleagues and to provide informative articles,  community events and book links that may be useful to you in your journey towards spiritual and emotional growth.  Feel free to contact me regarding my therapy practice, professional consultation, or my speaking services.
Issue: # 4 Jan/2009
Happy New Year! 
Welcome to the January 2009 edition of PATHWAYS, from the office of Lisa Maurel, MFT.  I hope as you read, you will come away with both inspiration and information.   If you know of someone you think would benefit from this newsletter, please forward this edition to them.
winter gate
"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'"

George Bernard Shaw
Here's To Your Health!
Afraid of seeing your doctor because you still haven't had the conversation with them about...your transition...or hormones...?
In my work with gender variant and transgender clients, one of the major concerns that they bring in is finding a doctor with whom they feel confident disclosing their gender status. Health care is a critical issue for all of us but it has specific challenges for transgender people. Disclosure to the doctor, access to medical treatment and creating an alliance with your medical specialist are all important aspects of transition as well as good health and disease prevention. Don't let fear or uncertainty keep you from seeing your doctor!
If you don't feel you can disclose your gender status to your current physician, take a closer look. Coming out to your physician is an important step in managing or directing your transition decisions and maintaining your non-transition related health concerns. Many people avoid going to the doctor either because they dread disclosing their gender status, or they anticipate a procedure that may trigger gender dysphoria. You can overcome this hurdle by thinking about your fears and identifying what part of the doctor visit you are dreading. Then you can identify how you might handle that situation. You could:
 a) have a discussion with the doctor about your concerns and our status, before undergoing any procedure
 b) decide the problem is you are not comfortable with this doctor and get a referral from your therapist, or the local transgender resource website. 
Either way, addressing this fear will enable you to take charge of your health care needs and develop a relationship with a doctor in which you make your voice heard.
 Creating an alliance with your doctor is an ongoing process. It includes finding a physician who is either informed about transgender health issues, or open to learning and able to refer you appropriately to other resources. It also includes you being informed about your health and your rights related to health care. This can sometimes be a daunting and even tedious process. But I have found that those who are most invested and informed in their health care, get the best treatment-in part, because they have a higher criteria for selecting their providers and also because they are involved in the the process and actively advocating for themselves. Even the most informed and outgoing people can become frustrated with the medical system though. So be prepared to get some help where you need it. For healthcare providers check out Orange County Transgender Coalition's Resources here: OCTC Resources 
Health Care Access is a Civil Right.
Perhaps the most crucial issue facing the transgender community is equality in access to health care. Currently, most insurance companies do not cover procedures related to transition. And post-transition procedures that are related to your biological gender can be denied. Getting informed and involved can help you be empowered to advocate for yourself and make appropriate financial plans for your health care. Until we have succeeded in achieving health care rights for transgendered people-this will continue to be a reality for you. You can learn more about health care rights and advocacy at
Here's to your Good Health in 2009!

Real Life Inspiration

heart in handWe are fortunate here in OC to have the voice of Christine Daniels,  a transwoman who shared her transition in the pages of the LA Times.   Thank you Christine for telling your truth. You can read more about Christine's journey here: Christine's Blog
lisa - headshotBe well & happy,
Lisa Maurel, MFT