BTL COVID-19 Resource Guide

As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]

A Message to BTL Readers and the Greater Michigan LGBTQ Community

By | 2020-03-19T23:28:38-04:00 March 19th, 2020|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The message could not be clearer: respond to the COVID-19 crisis by staying home whenever you can, wash your hands frequently and do whatever you can to not spread the virus. But there is also a much larger message to spread: take care of each other, reach out to people who are isolated and fearful, and let's open our hearts to each other – even if we can’t physically open our arms.

Reading About Love

By | 2020-01-22T16:21:37-05:00 January 22nd, 2020|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The romance genre is a billion dollar plus industry and it’s finally starting to look like there’s a little something for everyone. That includes new adult — post high school/early college protagonists — more mature adults and second chance love stories, LGBTQIA relationships and protagonists who are people of color.

Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Silent Shame

By | 2020-01-22T16:18:14-05:00 January 22nd, 2020|Opinions, Viewpoints|

This past year in my practice, I began to see both male and female clients who presented with a past history of child sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the statistics prove that someone misusing alcohol or other drugs most likely has some form of child abuse in their past as well. Add that this person identifies with the LGBTQ community, and the numbers change dramatically.

How the Trump ‘Medical Conscience’ Rule is Harming LGBTQ Liberty

By | 2020-01-07T16:22:36-05:00 January 7th, 2020|Opinions, Viewpoints|

In November a federal district judge in New York found that the Trump Administration lied. The Court also held that the Administration had overstepped its authority. Let me explain. In May 2019 the Administration issued its “Medical Conscience” rule. We’ve had medical conscience rules in the past that have protected health care employees who refuse to participate in performing abortions, sterilizations and assisted suicides, based on their sincerely held religious beliefs.

The Trans Body

By | 2019-12-11T14:29:06-05:00 December 11th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Transphobia, like homophobia, isn't generally using the suffix "-phobia" to mean "fear," but to mean "aversion." It's the same notion as hydrophobic surfaces refer to their ability to repel water. That said, I feel there [...]

We Must Not Betray Their Sacrifices

By | 2019-11-27T15:41:20-05:00 November 27th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The New York Stock Exchange. St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The National Institutes of Health. All three locations are icons in America not just because of their status in the broader culture but because of their seminal roles in bringing the urgency of our community in addressing the HIV crisis.

One Day After

By | 2019-11-20T15:15:20-05:00 November 20th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

On Nov. 20, transgender and non-binary people — and our allies — across the world come together to honor those murdered due to anti-trans violence. This year marks the 20th since a group of people [...]

Revealing, But Not What You Think

By | 2019-11-06T16:05:38-05:00 November 6th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

In 2008, a woman named Jenna Karvunidis sliced open a cake, revealing pink frosting within the layers. With her, the "gender reveal party" entered the popular lexicon. A decade or so later, the gender reveal has gone a long way from those humble beginnings becoming something far different from that cake.

On Being Trans at Halloween

By | 2019-10-23T16:08:58-04:00 October 23rd, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Halloween is a time of magic and mystery. Traditionally, it once served as the end of the year, where autumn — and the abundance of the harvest — gave way to the dark and dim days of winter. In that liminal space between the seasons, one could get a moment to pierce the veil between other states, even between life and death itself.

A Transgender Woman’s Take on Aimee Stephens’ Supreme Court Case

By | 2019-10-16T16:20:28-04:00 October 16th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Last week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases that will determine if people can discriminate against LGBTQ people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The future of our community's rights is at stake here in the U.S. The three cases that are before the Supreme court are Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, Altitude Express v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home v. EEOC. The first two cases involve plaintiffs who were fired for being gay. The Harris Funeral Home case involves plaintiff Aimee Stephens, who was fired for being transgender.

The Time for Trans Pitches is Now

By | 2019-10-02T15:13:35-04:00 October 2nd, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Every week, in my email, I receive dozens of story pitches. Some are quite good, connecting me with engaging people and interesting stories that I might otherwise have missed. Most, however, are pretty useless to me in the overall scheme of things. A lot only tangentially veer into any topic I write about, or are blatant product pitches or just an overall bad fit.

Rapid Onset

By | 2019-09-18T15:03:54-04:00 September 18th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I have always been intrigued by history. I love to look at how things came together over time, and how advances in knowledge, technology and society — for both good and ill — helped to [...]

Positive Thoughts: Three Cheers of Victory for Ol’ U=U!

By | 2019-09-11T14:34:19-04:00 September 11th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

For about the past decade, activists and advocates have been working hard to educate the world on a very important scientific fact about living with HIV: that undetectable equals untransmittable (U=U). U=U is a now globally accepted scientific consensus that simply means when a person living with HIV reaches an undetectable viral load (also sometimes called virally suppressed) for six months or longer, they are virtually unable to transmit the virus to a sexual partner — even without the use of condoms.

A Battle Won, but the War Rages On

By | 2019-08-21T13:23:58-04:00 August 21st, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Gavin Grimm, at long last, has won his case. When Grimm was a sophomore at Gloucester County High School in Virginia, he came out as a transgender boy. As soon as he opted to use the boys' restroom, the Gloucester County School Board decided to require that all changing rooms and bathrooms, "shall be limited to the corresponding biological genders, and students with gender identity issues shall be provided an alternative appropriate private facility."

Transmissions: Emerging victorious

By | 2019-08-07T15:35:16-04:00 August 7th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

At long last, North Carolina's House Bill 2 is dead. For those few who are reading who may not know the significance, I'll explain: The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, otherwise known as HB2, was a bill passed in North Carolina in 2016.

Which Stonewall? Whose Stonewall?

By | 2019-06-26T15:46:10-04:00 June 26th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

“Ho Ho! Hey Hey! We won’t pay to be gay!” The chant, led by Vivian Thompson on a bullhorn and in unison with a couple dozen or so other protesters, announced the stance of Lansing People’s Pride as they marched on June 17th through Old Town, home to this year’s Michigan Pride celebration.

Fighting for Our Rights 50 Years Post Stonewall

By | 2019-06-12T15:31:42-04:00 June 12th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

June 28, 1969. With no civil rights protections available for LGBTQ people and rampant harassment and brutality by law enforcement against our community and LGBTQ establishments, a group of brave men and women — including two transgender women of color, Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson — stood up to the New City Police Department and determined that they were not going to take it anymore.

Mombian: Transgender and Gender Creative Children Star in New Picture Books

By | 2019-05-29T15:45:32-04:00 May 29th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

"When Aiden Became a Brother," written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Lee & Low), is a sweet and joyous tale about a biracial (black and South Asian) transgender boy awaiting the birth of his new sibling. The book starts by explaining that everyone thought Aiden was a girl when he was born, but he later realized he was a boy.

Resisting the Dangers of Michigan’s Abortion Ban

By | 2019-05-22T16:16:26-04:00 May 22nd, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

For the past week, I haven’t been able to log on to social media without seeing controversy about the abortion bans that are sweeping the country. Even the most politically apathetic people are weighing in on it.I grew up in a cultishly tight Evangelical Christian community. I went to private Christian schools. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I was raised to be pro-life.

HHS Rule Allows Religious Discrimination in Health Care

By | 2019-05-08T14:23:12-04:00 May 8th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has finalized a new rule that will allow health care workers to refuse to provide or assist in providing medical services if doing so violates their religious or moral beliefs. In other words, it will allow them to discriminate widely and putting LGBTQ people and our families, among others, at risk.

As in a Mirror

By | 2019-05-01T14:08:21-04:00 May 1st, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

So often when people who are not transgender speak of transgender people, there is one important thing that is gotten terribly wrong, and I think it's a core part of understanding exactly what it is to be transgender.

Being Seen

By | 2019-04-10T16:58:53-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Opinions, Viewpoints|

I grew up in a Southern California suburb in the 1970s, a short distance from the smog-filled skies of Los Angeles. Right around the time of Fleetwood Mac's Rumors album, mood rings and bell bottoms, there was a veneer of patriotism brought forth thanks to the bicentennial.

Let’s Talk About Drinking and Health

By | 2019-04-10T16:02:47-04:00 April 10th, 2019|Health & Wellness, Opinions, Viewpoints|

I am often asked from clients and friends if I believe there is a healthy amount of alcohol that may be consumed on a regular basis. Of course, no one likes my response: actually no, there is not. However, I also like to reframe the question: How do you define healthy? More specifically, is there a use for alcohol?