Skip to main content

In the middle of July I posted a diary about transgender related films:  LGBT Film Festivals feature Jennifer Leitham in I Stand Corrected, other transgender-themed films.

One of the films mentioned was TRANS:  The Movie, a relatively new movie from Sex Smart Films, a film production company which promotes sexual literacy.

The trailer:

The film has a Facebook Page to aid in keeping up with recent events.  Since I posted that diary, for instance, TRANS has won some acclaim:  Best Documentary, Audience Award at Philadelphia Q Fest; Best Documentary, Jury Award at Louisville LGBT Film Festival.

The video is now available.

One of the foci of the film is Dr. Christine McGinn of New Hope, PA.  As the link indicates, Dr. McGinn has "intense suspicion of the news media", so she didn't just participate in this project on a whim.

If you are not familiar with Dr. McGinn, there is a reasonable account of her story at  Before she transitioned she was a navy flight surgeon who served as flight surgeon for two NASA shuttle flights in the 1990s.  On Oprah, she was The "Mom" who fathered her own children (Season 25, Episode 13).

In case you are wondering how that happened, Christine had some sperm frozen before her surgery, which was used to impregnate her later partner Lisa. They now have twins.

Now a surgeon who specializes in gender confirmation surgeries, Dr. McGinn has also appeared on Dr. Oz, Anderson Cooper, and Sirius Radio's Derek and Romaine (.mp3).  She runs the Papillon Gender Wellness Center in New Hope, PA, where she treats both mtf and ftm patients.

Christine is also the pro bono surgeon for the Jim Collins Foundation.  If you are not familiar with the Jim Collins Foundation, it's time for me to educate.

Jim Collins was a licensed clinical social worker and certified group psychotherapist as a faculty member in Yale School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry.  He was a staunch supporter of the transgender community.  He died in 2006.  To honor his legacy, Tony Ferraiolo and Dru Levasseur created the foundation, which has a mission to provide financial assistance to transgender-confirming surgeries.  You may know Dru from Lambda Legal.

The Jim Collins Foundation recognizes that not every transgender person needs or wants surgery to achieve a healthy transition. But for those who do, gender-confirming surgeries are an important step in their transition to being their true selves.  However, access to gender-confirming surgery is impossible for most.  Discrimination against transgender people is so prevalent that many transgender people struggle to survive, never mind save for surgery costs. Even for those who have health insurance, coverage is systematically denied.  Many insurance policies contain a “Transsexual Exclusion Clause” which excludes all medical procedures related to a person’s transgender status.  For many transgender people, access to surgery is out of reach.

The Jim Collins Foundation raises money to fund gender-confirming surgeries for those transgender people who need surgery to live a healthy life, but have no ability to pay for it themselves.  We recognize that for those people who require surgery for a healthy gender transition, lack of access to surgery may result in hopelessness, depression, and sometimes, suicide.  The Jim Collins Foundation is a community-based initiative promoting the self-determination and empowerment of all transgender people.

They have an application process, which closed for this year on August 10, but will reopen next April.  There was one grant recipient in 2011 (Drew Lodi) and two grant recipients in 2012 (Aramentha Jones, NYC, and Nick Lawrence, California.

Drew Lodi:

Victoria Michaels has more:  We Need More Foundations for Transgenders.

Back to the movie.  

The movie will be available for viewing in the coming months at the following venues:

Phoenix, AZ, Casa de Cristo Church and Apostolic Center, September 8
Roanoke Diversity Center LGBT Film Fest, Roanoke, VA September 14
Chesapeake Film Festival, September 21-23
Indiana Cares Campaign, October 14
Florence Queer Festival, October 26

Finally, some recent good words from someone important.

August 20, 2012

Hearing the stories of people transitioning - including their struggles and triumphs - brings new insight into my understanding and appreciation of human sexuality and diversity.  I am now better prepared to contribute to enhancing sexual health.  Human sexuality is definitely more mental than physical.

Our goals should be to work to make the burden of transitioning as light as possible.  In the words of Oscar Wilde, as quoted in TRANS:  

Be yourself…everyone else is already taken.
--David Satcher, MD, PhD
Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Morehouse School of Medicine
16th US Surgeon General [1998-2002]
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site