iOS app Android app

Joanne Herman
Joanne Herman retired from transgender advocacy work in 2013. From the time she affirmed her true gender in 2002 (in her late 40s), she wrote actively to help others understand what it means to be transgender. During that time, increased transgender acceptance led to gender affirmations at ages much younger than Joanne’s. Joanne retired so that voices with more current experiences could come to the forefront.

A great example of one of those voices is Wayne Maines, the accepting dad of a teenage transgender daughter.

Entries by Joanne Herman

Some Transgender People Are Not Gay

(9) Comments | Posted June 29, 2011 | 5:29 PM

This should not be breaking news, and yet it will be for many. Why is this so?

Back in the 1990's, lesbian and gay organizations started adding transgender people to their missions. It seemed to be a reasonable expansion -- transgender people face many of the same prejudices that gay...

Read Post

When Parents Reject Their Transgender Child

(135) Comments | Posted June 11, 2011 | 2:15 PM

In my last post, I highlighted an amazing dad who supports his transgender teen daughter. Sadly, parental support is not common. Few parents have heard about transgender issues, and some react so strongly to their child's gender nonconformity that they force their child to leave home.

I've wanted...

Read Post

A Dad Testifies for His Transgender Teen Daughter

(735) Comments | Posted April 24, 2011 | 1:46 PM

It's not uncommon to see a mom speaking out for her transgender child, but April 12 saw a dad front and center. The scene was a Maine Judiciary Committee hearing about proposed bill LD 1046, would allow the operator of a restroom or shower facility in that state...

Read Post

A New Tool for Treating Transgender People

(36) Comments | Posted April 17, 2011 | 11:27 AM

Last week saw the release of a very important new resource for medical providers serving transsexual and gender-variant patients. The Primary Care Protocol for Transgender Patient Care is a web-based resource that goes beyond hormone treatment and surgery options to cover important topics such as sexual health and...

Read Post

Can Transgender People Bear Children?

(10) Comments | Posted March 28, 2011 | 8:40 AM

For those who are not transsexual, the answer is generally yes. But for those in the part of the transgender population who feel the need to bring their anatomy in line with their deeply held belief of being the opposite gender, this is a challenging question that's increasingly important.

Read Post

Should We Introduce Children to the Concept of Transgender People?

(157) Comments | Posted January 9, 2011 | 11:40 AM

Should we introduce children to the concept of transgender people? The answer is yes according to an article published in the December 2010 issue of the peer-reviewed Graduate Journal of Social Science.

The article by Natacha Kennedy and Mark Hellen, entitled "Transgender Children:...

Read Post

More Employers To Cover Transgender Surgery, But New Hurdles Expected

(189) Comments | Posted January 4, 2011 | 7:46 AM

One year from now, more employers than ever before will cover transgender surgery as part of their health insurance plan. While this is much-needed progress for transgender people, implementation issues will unfortunately create new hurdles to living in one's true gender.

The coverage is a requirement in the 2012

Read Post

Transgender Issues: The Additional Challenges of LBGT Aging

(131) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 8:37 AM

Throughout November, public television's "In The Life" program shows the incredible challenges faced when a person who transitioned to live in the opposite gender, and who lost the support of family in the process, is confronted with a terminal illness.

The November program presents excerpts from the new...

Read Post

Rethinking Gendered Bathrooms

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2010 | 9:18 PM

Law professor Carlos Ball made a legal case for rethinking gendered bathrooms in his recent Huffington Post blog. I think there is a marketing case to be made, too. Bear with me on this.

If it's one thing we are good at in America, it's market segmentation. Before...

Read Post

A Wedding Just for the Kids

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2010 | 3:00 PM

Normally I'd be posting something about transgender issues, not writing about weddings. It's not that there is nothing transgender-related on my mind. For example, in the past month we had the horrific story of trans woman Erin Vaught at the emergency room of Ball Memorial Hospital...

Read Post

The Sorry State of Transgender Health Care

(10) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 4:27 PM

I often write about how transgender people who need to access hormone therapy and/or surgery (not all do) must go through one of the most rigorous pre-qualification processes of any medical procedure. But while medical and mental health professionals have focused much attention on setting the hurdles of...

Read Post

Mental Illness and Transgender People

(20) Comments | Posted June 11, 2010 | 10:58 AM

Many transgender people, me included, bristle at the notion that we are mentally ill. This was especially the case when Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition spoke out in April against allowing teachers who transition genders to retain their jobs:

Why are we giving our schoolchildren over...
Read Post

New-Age Parenting for Transgender Youth

(3) Comments | Posted May 4, 2010 | 5:27 PM

Parents have a new and welcome option this summer for their transgender or gender non-conforming child -- a weeklong, overnight summer camp called Camp Aranu'tiq. Its organizers recently held a reception in the Boston area to introduce the program. In attendance were several new-age parents who, instead of...

Read Post

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Transgender Care

(4) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 2:02 PM

The part of the transgender population wishing to transition genders can be subject to some of the most rigorous pre-qualification requirements of any medical procedure. A Boston organization thinks there's a better way.

The Standards of Care issued by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health are intended...

Read Post

Transgender or Transgendered?

(25) Comments | Posted March 11, 2010 | 11:57 AM

I've increasingly been seeing and hearing the word "transgendered," and I have cringed every time. What's wrong with the seemingly subtle difference between saying "transgendered" and "transgender?" Actually, a lot.

Readers of my age and older will remember a sad time when this country labeled African-Americans as "colored people." One...

Read Post

Planning a Transgender Wedding... My Own

(3) Comments | Posted February 15, 2010 | 9:44 AM

Valentine's Day this year found me dreaming about my upcoming wedding. What's different about a transgender wedding? Nothing, if I have my way.

Terry and I will be married later this year in a combined religious and civil ceremony at Old South Church in Boston (UCC). The church...

Read Post

Transgender Surgery is Deductible; Medical Coverage Coming

(4) Comments | Posted February 3, 2010 | 11:52 AM

The United States Tax Court, in a decision reviewed by the full bench, has affirmed that medical treatments for Gender Identity Disorder (GID), including surgery and hormone therapy, are deductible medical expenses. The Court found that the Internal Revenue Service's existing position that such treatment is cosmetic in nature "is...

Read Post

Can One Be Transgender and Catholic?

(3) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 1:12 PM

A recent article in the Des Moines Register reported on the firing of Susan McIntyre, a transgender social worker, from her job as a housekeeper at the St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center at Drake University.

What interested me about this story was not the fact...

Read Post

Amanda Simpson: A Transgender Rocket Scientist Goes to Washington

(15) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 3:47 PM

Defense industry veteran Amanda Simpson of Tuscon, Arizona, who really is a rocket scientist, was just appointed by President Obama to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security as a senior technical advisor. Her job will include managing exports of dual use technology as well as conducting press...

Read Post

No Home For The Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2009 | 5:19 PM

When I told my family in early 2002 of my plan to transition to live as a female, they were shocked, to say the least. But I am one of the lucky ones. My family and friends worked hard to understand, and as a result I continue to be part...

Read Post