Friday, November 20, 2009

You-Tube Video Gives Voice to Aboriginal Women Struggling with Drug Addiction:

This story came through on a community based participatory research listserv I'mon.  I was so impressed with the video and it's pretty unique to see a song/video as part of a project so I thought I would pass it along.  I'd be curcious to see how they use this video with policy makers, treatment providers, etc. 

A powerful new music video From Stilettos to Moccasins was released this week, the culmination of a unique project that gave voice to Aboriginal women healing from drug abuse, addictions and problems with the law, together with those who are helping them on their journey.

The video is part of a community-based research project conducted by the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), National Native Addictions Partnership Foundation (NNAPF), and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).  The research project examined the role that identity and stigma have in the healing journeys of criminalized Aboriginal women in treatment for drug abuse at centres across Canada. The video is being used by the research team in the development of a discussion guide for workshops at addiction treatment centres across Canada.

“By creating a music video, based on the findings of academic research, we can increase our capacity to strengthen understanding about Aboriginal women’s treatment needs among a broad range of service providers and the general public,” said U of S sociologist Colleen Dell, Research Chair in Substance Abuse. “It also offers a unique and personalized message of hope and inspiration to women on their healing journeys.”

The song featured in the video was created at a workshop in February at Cedar Lodge on Blackstrap Lake, SK., with the professional collaboration of singer/songwriter Violet Naytowhow, a Woodland Cree from Prince Albert. Naytowhow and others who composed the song perform in the music video, which was presented in Halifax this week at the national conference “Issues of Substance” during National Addictions Awareness Week (Nov. 15-21).

“As a way of informing treatment practice, capturing the unique experiences of Aboriginal women who have recovered from their addictions in song is most inspiring,” says Rita Notarandrea, deputy chief executive officer of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

“We are merging these messages with academic literature and sharing this research with others, in the hope of achieving a greater impact on policy and practice of addictions treatment in Saskatchewan and across Canada,” says Carol Hopkins, NNAPF executive-director.

The team worked with Mae Star Productions, an independent Saskatchewan-based company, to produce the music video.

The multi-year collaborative research project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Aboriginal Peoples’ Health. The project involved interviews with more than 100 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women in treatment for illicit drug use.

For more information, please see the website of the research project at:

For more information, contact:
Colleen Dell
Department of Sociology/School of Public Health
University of Saskatchewan

Kathryn Warden
U of S Research Communications

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knoll's brain wakes up...

I got word that I now have a faculty sponsor from the School of Public Health (1 official and 1 unofficial sponsor) for my independent research beginning in Jaunary. 

I'm sure I'll elaborate more on this; the details still have to be worked out in November.  The work will be related to community based participatory research (CBPR), community-academic partnerships with LGBT health and social service orgs., LGBT reaseach ethics, and CBPR ethics, etc.     

I'm also planning on taking a course or two this winter or spring/summer.  UM pays 75% of the tuition for me as a staff member.  I have a good sense now what I might need more work on to prepare for a post-masters fellowship, doctoral work, or just more responsibilty at my current job.

Both of these things make me very, very happy on this sunny fall afternoon. 

Drexel University School of Public Health Launches Program for LGBT Health

The Drexel University School of Public Health has launched a major academic research center focusing on the health disparities and health behaviors of LGBT people and communities: the Program for LGBT Health. Drexel joins an exclusive roster of universities in the United States where an academic unit has been established to conduct LGBT research, training and advocacy in a public health framework. Only a handful of such programs exist that specifically aim to improve the health and well-being of LGBT populations. 

The Program for LGBT Health is designed to address health and wellness issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research and evaluation, education and training, partnering with health and social
services providers, and public health policy and advocacy. The program will leverage the expertise of faculty and professionals in multiple disciplines at Drexel University, as well as experts from outside the university. A
significant feature of the program will be curricula leading to a Certificate in LGBT Health Awareness for the school’s graduate students.

More information at

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wanted: Mammologists

One of the faculty I work for/with contributed to an Op-ed piece in the New York Times published today.  I had wondered, in a more abstract way, about treatment expereinces for folks with breast versus gynocologic cancers.  Brings up some useful info I was unaware of about training if medical residents.  Very interesting.

"The breast is something of an orphan in our health care system. We have cardiologists, nephrologists, hepatologists, proctologists and neurologists — but we have no “mammologists.” How did the breast get lost?

Women with breast cancer get lost in the mix, forced to make several different appointments, sit in various waiting rooms and see multiple doctors. In most cases, a woman with a breast problem will start with her obstetrician-gynecologist, who will then refer her to a surgeon (for a biopsy) or a radiologist (for a mammogram). The referring obstetrician-gynecologist may never see or hear from the patient again, and may not know if she kept her appointment or got adequate care.

Contrast this with the care given to women with gynecologic cancer. Because there is a subspecialty of gynecologic oncology, women see the same doctor from diagnosis to post-surgery follow-up. Breast malignancies outnumber gynecologic cancers 10 to one, and yet we have no subspecialty for breast care....

The whole article HERE

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Sign of the times...

In a scene that spoke volumes about the despair of one of the nation's poorest cities, about 50,000 Detroiters descended on downtown to pick up 5,000 applications in hopes of enrolling in a federal program that pays a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to low-income residents to help pay rent and utilities.

In fact, some 60,000 residents applied for the aid over two days, although the city will only be able to help about 3,400 families.

Detroit received $15.2 million from the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program that helps pay rent, utility assistance and security deposits for families with incomes of less than $35,500. In Detroit, that's 58 percent of the households, states the U.S. Census.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

City of Kalamazoo adds 760 new voters before election

Cheers to The One Kalamazoo campaign who apparently busted their butts who registered 670 new voters.  Here's hoping many of those are affiliated with WMU and supportive of the city ordinance. 

By Kathy Jessup
Kalamazoo Gazette
October 07, 2009, 6:48AM

KALAMAZOO — A record-setting number of new voter registrations from Kalamazoo’s two college campuses have been submitted by supporters of a gay-rights ordinance that will be decided in the Nov. 3 election.

The Kalamazoo City Clerk’s office reported nearly 760 new-voter applications were filed by Monday’s deadline, compared to fewer than 50 that are typically received in an odd-year city election.  Kalamazoo City Clerk Scott Borling said that “nearly all” of the new voter registrations submitted Friday and Monday listed addresses on or near the campuses of Western Michigan University or Kalamazoo College. City workers were in the process Tuesday of recording those new voters.

On Nov. 3, voters will decide the future of a city ordinance to ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals in housing, employment and public accommodations. City Commission candidates and a Metro Transit tax also will be on the ballot. 

Jon Hoadley, campaign director for One Kalamazoo, the organization formed to push for passage of the nondiscrimination ordinance, said the group has been working to register new voters.  “Staff and volunteers had voter registration forms on hand in the office, at events, and in key locations around the city like Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College,” Hoadley said. “We definitely made a concerted effort to register more voters at as many events as we could.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Still Black: a protrait of black transmen

In case you haven't had a chance to see this at the Philly Trans Health Conference last year, or any of the other places it's been screened at: 

Still Black: a portrait of black transmen
Thursday, October 15th, 7-9 pm
Affirmations Community Center (Part of Coming Out Week festivities)

The film explore the lives of six black transgender men living in the United States through the intimate stories of their lives as artists, students, husbands, fathers, lawyers, and teachers.  The film offers viewers a complex and multi-faceted image of race, sexuality, and trans identity.

For more info visit:  Still Black Film Site

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gay and Bisexual Identity Development Among Transmen

A new journal article is out on FTM sexuality.  Thought it might be of some interest to everyone.  I read the article, which is deecent.  My favorite part, however, was when the authors describe that roughly (maybe the wrong word to use here) 33% of the sample like it in their front hole.  Cheers to that fellows!

Bockting W, Benner A, Coleman E.,

Gay and bisexual identity development among female-to-male transsexuals in North America: emergence of a transgender sexuality.

Arch Sex Behav. 2009 Oct;38(5):688-701.

(I've figured out how to allow folks to download the PDF from my blog!) 


We studied a North American sample of female-to-male (FtM) transsexuals sexually attracted to men, aiming to understand their identity and sexuality in the context of a culture of transgender empowerment.

Sex-reassigned FtM transsexuals, 18 years or older and attracted to men, were recruited via an FtM community conference and listserv. Participants (N = 25) responded to open-ended questions about identity development, sexual behavior, and social support.
Data were analyzed by content analysis. Scores for sexual identity, self esteem, sexual functioning, and psychological adjustment were compared to those of a comparison group (N = 76 nontransgender gay and bisexual men). Of the 25 FtMs, 15 (60%) identified as gay, 8 (32%) as bisexual, and 2 (8%) as queer.
All were comfortable with their gender identity and sexual orientation. The FtM group was more bisexual than the nontransgender gay and bisexual controls. No significant group differences were found in self esteem, sexual satisfaction, or psychological adjustment. For some FtMs, sexual attractions and experiences with men affirmed their gender identity; for others, self-acceptance of a transgender identity facilitated actualization of their attractions toward men. Most were “out” as transgender among friends and family, but not on the job or within the gay community. Disclosure and acceptance of their homosexuality was limited.
The sexual identity of gay and bisexual FtMs appears to mirror the developmental process for nontransgender homosexual men and women in several ways; however, participants also had experiences unique to being both transgender and gay/bisexual. This signals the emergence of a transgender sexuality.

Re-post from roham a. bear, "My Tranifesto: An Ongoing Self Exam Sans Stirrups"

An amazing individual I know wrote this, "My Tranifesto:  An Ongoing Self Exam Sans Stirrups"  and, becuase I feel like more folks should get the chance to read it, they gave me permission to repost it here. 

A little sample....(I really am putting this on my bathroom mirror!)

4. i have a right to be in this body, and to use the language i choose to define it. i will consistently challenge myself around the words i choose, i will continue to learn, to listen, to adapt, to honour.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fat Love on Display

A website dedicated to displaying images and stories of couples (where at least one of them is fat self-identified). 

Check it out and submit your story.  There are a couple of queer couples, but they could always use more! 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ferndale Magic Bag and Royal Oak Music Theatre Go SMOKEFREE!

Cheers to both businesses!  More employees and concert goers can breathe easier. 

The Royal Oak Music Theatre will kick off its smoke-free rule this Saturday night during their Kemons Night event, which will raise money for the American Cancer Society.

APPALLING anti-trans ad out of Kalamazoo

This is APPALLING.  I can't believe this is actually being used in Kalamazoo.  This is all becuase of an Ord. up for a vote on Nov. 3rd, sexual orientation and gender non-discrimination.  I wasn't following what was going on to closely, but after seeing this I'm planning on donating money to the One Kalamazoo campaign/org

(Ad paid for by Kalamzoo Citizens Voting No to special rights discrimination. )

APPALLING anti-trans ad out of Kalamazoo-- donate so we can c... on Twitpic

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sarah Graham: My Intersex Experience

I like this a lot....

In an open letter to the South African athlete, Sarah Graham, who was born intersex, offers advice and encouragement for the years to come

"You are a very special woman: an extraordinary athlete and an inspiration to your South African nation. That has not changed and nothing the International Association of Athletics Federations tests find under their microscope will ever take that away from you.

Whatever happens in these next few weeks, whatever the truth behind all the rumours, media leaks and gossip, I promise you will discover the truth that most human beings are kind-hearted and that the human heart is by far the most important human organ; it has no gender and it's not interested in your sex.

When I was 25 I found out suddenly that I am an intersex XY woman. I have a very rare condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS). This shocking revelation, after years of lies from my doctors, nearly killed me."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"I saw this really, really interesting documentary last night."

Yesterday I was at an all day training for NVivo8 (a qualitative data analysis software). There happened to be two folks from my department, or at least folks that work with the faculty that I support. Anyway, we all decided to go to lunch together. While eating, the conversation turned to movies and documentaries. Colleague 1 is Indian, and they were talking about representations of gender in bollywood films with colleague 2. Suddenly colleague 2 announced,

"I saw a really really interesting documentary last night"

Suddenly, I knew it was trans related. I don't know how, but I just did. This could not go well...I thought. Every time someone says a sentence like that I brace myself. lol.

"It was all about these transvestites....errr, I suppose they were transsexual women from somewhere in Southeast Asia who were now in Israel, who performed in dance/drag shows in the evening and worked as caretakers for very orthodox older adults during the day to make a living."

Now, if you can follow all of that, you win. They discussed trans identity (awkwardly) for the next few minutes. It was very strange. But I mean, what was I going to say, "Hey, interesting....and guess what?...I'm transgender too!"

I feel so torn in those situations. It's not that I want to be "stealth" for goodness sakes, but having intense conversations with colleagues, who I'm not even sure how long, or how well I will get to know, about my identity seems very strange. It's not relevant, but again, it is. I mean, if they ever ask me about my own personal research interests I don't think I would be able to fully share with them my passions without providing some sort of context.

Eventually I'll talk to folks at this new will just be interesting to see what that eventually looks like....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is health care reform an issue for nonprofits? (Duh)

Reposted from MNA's blog:

Is health care reform an issue for your nonprofit?

Michigan Nonprofit Association says yes and nine out of ten responding nonprofits to our recent health care survey agree. MNA and the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University assessed how the current health care system is affecting nonprofits as employers.

If you agree health care reform is an issue for your nonprofit, the results may seem obvious, but there are two striking findings that deserve repeating:

1. Health care costs impact Michigan nonprofits’ ability to attract and retain talent while responding to shrinking revenues.

2. Reform of the current health care system is near universally important to Michigan nonprofits.

It is critical the nonprofit sector has a voice in the health care reform debate. Today, MNA’s Board of Trustees met and adopted the following statement in regards to MNA’s position on health care reform. Michigan Nonprofit Association believes that health care reform should embrace the following set of principles:

• Health care reform should ensure high-quality health care;
• Health care reform should have as an ultimate goal to provide universal access to affordable health care;
• Health care reform should address the needs of the nonprofit community and the people it serves; and
• Health care reform should not add financial burdens to the nonprofit community that are not shared by other sectors of society.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Are Cripples Screwed?"

(Sex)abled: Disability Uncensored celebrates people with disabilities as sexual beings.

Check out this great short (15 minute) student video here.

This new student film features participants of the discussion panel sponsored by University of California Berkeley's Disabled Students Union called "Are Cripples Screwed?" The film also features other Bay area community members and comedian Josh Blue (winner of Last Comic Standing) as they share their personal experiences with sex, dating and intimacy. (Sex)abled reveals that while not everyone will choose to be sexually active, everyBODY is capable of being sexual.
This video is posted at a great site called "Sex Smart Films:Promoting Sexual Literacy"

I think one of my favorite lines (by Jackson in the film) "until I sees Stephen Hawking on the cover of a trashy romance novel, I'm forced to make beautifully crafted dick jokes."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sick-Leave Racial Disparities: A Flu Endemic's Best Friend

Sick-Leave Racial Disparities: A Flu Endemic's Best Friend

I see endless reports on Flu prep in public health news, but I've seen very little on the impact racial disparities have on workplace benefits (sick days) and the H1N1 public health impact.

I did a little checking, and Nationally--the numbers are pretty similar to California: across the country, 38% of African Americans and 53% of Hispanic workers do not receive paid sick days - a much higher rate than among white folks.

I'm interested to see what happens with the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. (introduced this year by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. This bill is a commonsense public health prevention strategy that would guarantee all California workers the right to earn and use paid sick days for personal illness, to care for a sick family member, or to recover from domestic violence or sexual assault, without fear of losing their jobs.)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

No laughing matter

No laughing matter

Shared via AddThis

I'm so excited about this. very impressed that business are taking initiative before a state law is passed. Seriously, they will get so many more customers!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

UM Faculty weigh in on healthcare debate

Check out the new U of M webpage on the healthcare debate.

Also, my supervisor was on a Flashpoint roundtable discussion on Local4 about ethics and healthcare. It's about a 15min video. Check it out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Birthday concert fun

On Wednesday night Carrie and I headed to the Palace for a concert for a birthday present (for me!) Yes, I celebrated my 30th birthday at the American Idols Live concert, me and thousands of screaming tweens. Let's be honest, I was really just there to see Adam Lambert and he didn't disappoint me. I think he played the longest set, and got the most cheers, way more than Kris! Check out the review

Friday, August 21, 2009

When I was a 6 year-old anti tobacco/smoking activist

While I was eating lunch the other day I noticed a whole slew of kids who had come to work with their parents. They seemed to be having a great time and asking their parents all sorts of questions about their job(s).

Suddenly I remembered a time I came to work with my mom. she was working as an academic advisor/counselor at a community college in Southeast Michigan. On the day that I was visiting the president of the college just happened to stop by the building for a visit.

I can imagine my mom may have been concerned--having her kid with her..or maybe not. She always worked full time as we were growing up, and there were rarely any childcare snafus. Anyway....I remember looking up at this really tall man in a black suit and bright tie (It was about 1985 and I was about 6 years old.) He was smoking a huge cigar (inside). Before getting intorduced I blurted out "Ewwww, that stinks! Get away from me." My mom was appalled, and clearly embaressed by my outburst. She tried to scold me and brush it off. I remember him laughing, and saying, "yes, it is pretty stinky and not good for you either."

I'm not sure where this random membory came from...LOL

But I kept thinking...WHAT...this was in the early 80's and someone was smoking inside a college? I quickly looked up The Michigan Clean Indoor Air Act that passed in the 80's, and was shocked that it wasn't passed until 1986. It seems so strange that before then people were smoking inside all kinds of buildings.

It makes me hope that in 10, 15, 20 years from now-someone will remember a time when folks smoked a bars and restaurants in Michigan, and it will seem so unbelieveable.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"sex-determination testing" for athletes

I don't typically read the sports section, but this headline made me stop:
Caster Semenya Faces Sex-Determination Testing After Winning World Track Title

Aside from the ignorant quotes from the other athletes, I think the article is pretty well written and makes some good points.

“It turns out genes, hormones and genitals are pretty complicated,” Alice Dreger, a professor of medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University, said in a telephone interview. “There isn’t really one simple way to sort out males and females. Sports require that we do, but biology doesn’t care. Biology does not fit neatly into simple categories, so they do these tests. And part of the reason I’ve criticized the tests is that a lot of times, the officials don’t say specifically how they’re testing and why they’re using that test.”

Also...I had no idea that sex-determination testing was obligatory for female athletes at the Olympics up until 1999. Now the testing is just reserved for "special cases". It really does seem like they are just going to make a social decision about what "counts" as male or female and say that it was really scientific.

I'll be interested to see what comes of this...

Friday, August 14, 2009

What the hell is Bioethics?

A lot of people in my life have been very confused as to what I am doing now, what bioethics is, and why I took this research job. In an attempt to offer folks some more information I thought I would write a blog entry.

First, my undergraduate degree and coursework focused on medical sociology. I would describe medical sociology as the sociological study of of medicine-as a social institution, its knowledge, practice and effects on socieity. Medical sociologists investigate the social organization and production of health and illness, sociology of the health professions, and science and technology studies that relate to medicine and health care. They are also interested in lay experiences, or how everyday people expereince health and illness.

Bioethics is simply the study of ethics applied to the medical field. It often focuses on ethical controversies brought about by advances in biology and medicine. Bioethicists are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, philosophy, and theology.

The field of bioethics addresses a broad swath of human inquiry, ranging from debates over the boundaries of life (eg. abortion, euthanasia) to the allocation of scarce health care resources (eg. organ donation, health care rationing) to the right to turn down medical care for religious or cultural reasons.

One of my main interests in the field of bioethics is human experimentation-protection of vulnerable subjects, informed consent, community participation in research, etc. The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research was initially established in 1974 to identify the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects. However, the fundamental principles announced in the Belmont Report (1979)--namely, autonomy, beneficence and justice--have influenced the thinking of bioethicists across a wide range of issues.

Currently I am working with numerous faculty members at the University of Michigan’s Bioethics Program on a wide variety of research including:

-Physician discipline
-Healthcare rationing
-patient/provider communication and trust
-Community input in setting research agendas and distribution of funds
-End of life decisions

Anyway, I hope this answers some of your questions! Feel free to check out the department website

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Massachusetts Department of Public Health LGBT 2009 Study

Massachusetts Department of Public Health just released a new study. they frequently have pretty good needs assessments and LGBT health studies. The study compares the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents to heterosexual and non-transgender residents. Here's the REPORT in PDF.

Some of the more startling info: about 31 percent of transgender respondents said they have considered attempting suicide in the past year, compared to just 2 percent for heterosexual residents, 4 percent for gay and lesbian residents and 7 percent for bisexual residents.

Respondents were asked about their smoking history and current smoking status. Gay men and lesbians (11.3%) and heterosexuals (11.8%) had lower percentages reporting current smoking,compared to bisexuals (14.0%) and transgender persons (15.4%). I don't think this is shocking (although these usage rates are much much lower than what we have seem for Michigan in the LGBT community as a whole-31%) however, I do find it interesting that Bi folks have quite a few similar health behaviors and negative health outcomes as trans folks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The vanpool lane

So, since Carrie and I won’t be uprooted to Ann Arbor or Ypsi anytime soon I decided to join a vanpool. I decided to toss away commuter lots and 45 minute bus rides to and from my building (happily) peaceful me time, and listening to books on CD (sadly).

This whole vanpool thing that UM offers is pretty amazing. Each participant pays a small monthly fee ($25 pre tax) and they provide a brand new van, it’s like a Klatosch luxury van, for those of you who know what I’m talking about (lol). They pay for the maintainence and all other expenses related to the vehicle and the riders just share gas costs.

Of course you have to sign your life away and read the 20 page VanPool Program Manual which says some pretty funny things like: “We do not expect all participants to be great friends.” And “The choice of the radio station is at the discretion of whoever is driving the van and should be operated at a reasonable volume.”

This is just a little background leading up to today…My first day as the driver.

Initially I wasn’t too nervous about being the driver. I thought folks would drive carefully and slow 1). Since it’s a minivan; 2 )It’s owned by the University 3). Five of the other vanpool members are Asian Pacific-Islanders, some quite a bit older than me (I know…I know that’s a stereotype….)

Which proved to be horribly wrong. They all drive fast. Like…speeding, or just about speeding. They whip around turns and weave in and out of traffic. It’s not like a crazy out of control kind of thing, but there’s definitely a sharp contrast between my defensive, slow, and oftentimes terribly distracted driving.

(I want to mention here that I really like and respect all the members of the vanpool. Seriously, they are really funny and nice.)

All the way to the pick up location I keep repeating, “you can do this…you can do this” This makes me seem really really neurotic, and I’d have to agree with you.

As soon as I got in the driver’s seat I quickly adjusted my seat and mirrors and took off. (By observation of our/their vanpool culture there is no dallying, and you take off as soon as everyone’s ass hits the seat).

To make a long story short---because of the storms last night all the traffic lights were out for the majority of our commute. Of all the fucking days. LOL. This made for a hellish commute, with everyone watching every stop and go and lane change, etc. But after a while I got going and it was okay. I noticed people drifting to sleep or leaning back and play with ipods. SUCCESS, I thought. Now, I just have to drive home.

Thankfully I only drive once every 6 days. I don’t think I could take much more.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What a waste of time...

Yesterday we headed out in the crummy weather to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Expo in Detroit.

Our first hint that things were not going to be good should have been when we read "very limited handicap parking available" on their flyer. Hmmmm, that's odd I thought. Why would an event largely for people using/or looking to use medicinal marijuana and their allies/supporters disregard the needs of people with disabilities?

But when we got there, it was beyond terrible. The event had a total disregard for accessibility issues. You can read a full review on GreenCrip's Blog.

Something has to change so that patients and caregivers are placed at the front of this movemennt.

Friday, August 07, 2009


I heard yesterday that my sister who lives in Cincinanti was in a very bad bike accident.

She was riding a new mountain bike on a trail alone and it begun to get dark, faster than she expected. She was coming down a hill nearing the end of the trail and i guess was going pretty fast. She didn't see the trail posts (going across the start of the trail to make sure no cars or 4 wheelers can get through). She hit one hard-was thrown from her bike, shattered her fibula and cracked her head pretty hard.

Thankfully she was able to use her cell phone to call for an ambulance....she was taken to the ER and had emergency surgery to repair the her leg...she needed to have metal rods, etc. Thankfully she was wearing a helmut (which was cracked in half from the accident).

It's so scary and I feel terrible that she went through that alone. Times like these I wish she lived in state. I'm going to send her a care package this weekend. :(

Thursday, August 06, 2009


There is something difficult about saying this, but here goes...

I am completely happy about being mediocre.

I enjoy waking up early and commuting. Not being in charge. Being a supportive person and not a leader responsible for so much. Having a little role at a big place instead of a big role at a little place.

I just want simple things-to do intellectually stimulating work, research work with real world applications in an environment that's healthy and free of stress (the unhealthy kind of stress, that is)

I'm overjoyed to be working in the Bioethics program at U of M. I suppose, in reality, many people wouldn't consider Bioethics research a mediocre career move. Ah...the ever critical Virgo strikes again.

But there is something peaceful and nice about getting out of the LGBT focused non-profit (industrial complex) world---that's a bit dramatic, but I feel that way at times.

Also, everyone seems so interested and concerned about the fact that I'm no longer doing queer/trans first I was concerned as well, but then realized my response was only out of guilt. I guess I could argue that I am in some way doing "LGBT work" by doing the work I'm doing from a queer/trans perspective. But I don't need to tell myself that to feel okay. I already feel great...and know that I will find ways to contribute that feel good to me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Travel writing and eventually...blogging

I've got two little journals and am planning on writing about our travels and hope to upload it here with pics when we get back. I've beem missing writing more and hope this will be the start of more posts.

¡Una semana entera de diversión, el sol y la relajación. hasta luego!

Graphic Novels

***I already posted this as a facebook note a while back, but I know there are some folks that read this and not facebook. Here goes again****

Hey everyone....I'm looking for some good graphic novels

I've never been a fan of comics in the traditional sense so I've always stayed away from graphic novels. Then, last year, I read "Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story" by Frederik Peeters and feel in love with the story and the medium. I consider myself a "wordy" person and find myself very impressed by how much emotion, story, etc. can be told with so few words and a powerful image.

Thus far I've read:

-Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

-Blankets by Craig Thompson *AMAZING*

-Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

I highly reccomend you check out these great books! And now....does anyone have any graphic novels you would reccomend to me?????


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Puppers


Carrie and I are very excited and looking forward to our Mexico trip (we're leaving in 4 days).

The problem is...I'm a cheap and lazy tranny who has a passport that looks like my (non existant) twin sister.

See, since my name (knoll) has always been part of my legal birth name I've never really been that motivated to spend the money or time for a name change. Plus, I've been trying to keep everything consistant for insurace coverage purposes. I'm also not really a person who cares much about legal validation of my gender...I DO care in the sense of working for and understanding the importance of identity documents...

At least my liscense picture looks like me, currently. Plus I've read up on NCTE's page on travel tips and I seem to be doing all I can.

At this point there's really nothign I can do except hope that everything works out okay. Betwween Carrie's disability stuff and my gender stuff we're almost always searched/held up anyway.