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Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee

Minutes of the September 19, 2006 Meeting



Committee Members Present: Commissioner Mark Dunlop, Jane Aceituno, Whitney Bagby, Dora Balcazar, Blue Buddha, David Cameron, Billy Curtis, Calvin Gipson, Erica Newport, Roberto Ordeñana, Anthony Philip, Ren Phoenix, Aleem Raja, Stephen Schwichow.


Committee Members Absent:Commissioner Cecilia Chung (excused), Ted Guggenheim (excused), Christopher Gomora (excused), Martin Rawlings-Fein (excused), Jason Riggs, Morningstar Vancil (excused).


Staff Present: Marcus Arana, Larry Brinkin, Jane Edmonstone (intern), Hadas Rivera-Weiss, Domenic Viterbo.


Guests Present: Diana Farmer, Kieran John Flaherty, Ed Stewart, Meredith Trauner, Peter Trinkl.


1.      Call to Order and Roll Call:


Commissioner Dunlop called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m. Mr. Brinkin called the roll.


Ms. Newport announced that she will be moving out ofSan Francisco thereby resigning from the Committee, but will continue working with the Anti-Racism Workgroup.


Commissioner Dunlop welcomed Commissioner Khaldoun Bhagdadi, Chair of the Commission, who thanked members for their hard work and dedication on the Committee.


Mr. Brinkin introduced Jane Edmonstone, who is interning with the LGBTH Division and is a third year law student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.


2.      Public Comments for Items Not on the Agenda:


No public comments were made.


3.      Approval of August 15, 2006 Minutes (action item):


Mr. Cameron pointed out that the name Monty Bruce Mitchell, under Announcements on Page 5, needs to be corrected as Mani Bruce Mitchell. Mr. Schwichow moved to approve the August 15, 2006 minutes as amended. Mr. Cameron seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


4.      Presentation: UCSF Intersex Task Force:


Diana Farmer, MD, the pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital and Chair of the Intersex Task Force at UCSF (“Task Force”), said that the Dean and CEO at UCSF had asked the Task Force to specifically review the HRC report, examine current national practices, look at parental support and education in the treatment of infants and children with intersex conditions, review UCSF’s current practices, and recommend guidelines for the socio-economic support and education of parents with intersex infants and for the treatment patients receive at UCSF. She said that the state of practice at UCSF is that their policies and procedures are in line with recommendations from the HRC’s Intersex Report in terms of multi-disciplinary teams, patient-centered care, and the focus on not making assumptions that having an intersex condition is an emergency of any kind.


There have been few individuals who’ve had specific scientific interest in issues on gender assignment, gender identity, and the physiology of gender formation as well as sexual formation, both on a physical and psychological basis. The formation of the task force has attracted a lot of attention. She reported that the incidence of babies born with birth defects of any kind is about 1 in 5,000 births and the incidence of births with intersex conditions is even rarer. The Task Force formed a committee that is made up of pediatric endocrinologists, newborn nursery intensivists, urology doctors, and adult oncology colleagues whom they later found didn’t have much familiarity with this issue. She said the committee has met seven times in the course of the last year and has since added additional people. They started out by reviewing the HRC Intersex Report and went through it step by step so that everyone could be educated. The second phase was exploring practices both nationwide and in the area. One of the first questions asked was that since this is not a big area of business for UCSF, should this be a bigger portion of what they do and did they want to continue being involved in issues related to intersex patients? Or should they refer patients to Johns-Hopkins, the major center on intersex and gender- and trans-related issues in the U.S. ?


Most infant patients with intersex conditions come from rural communities in Northern California . There also are older patients – kids at different ages who have either been operated on in small hospitals or treated in community environments where there was no support for babies born with ambiguous genitalia. The conclusion from the Task Force was that they felt it was their responsibility at UCSF to maintain an area of expertise and to be a resource for families and for patients with birth defects because of their expertise in prenatal and afterbirth diagnosis. Though the team is comprised of an endocrinologist, social worker, and child life specialist, what is missing is psychiatry and psychology. They have social workers who work with a lot of children with gender related issues, but they aren’t psychiatrists. The feeling was that there wasn’t a role for child psychiatrists until the child was at an age when he/she can communicate. They realized that it would be important to include a psychiatrist when a baby is born with an intersex condition so that the family can have this resource from the start. Since the committees are ad hoc, it is important to try to establish a team that is consistent so that they can develop some expertise.


One of the main ongoing goals is to educate medical students on this issue; that the intersex aspect of newborns isn’t life-threatening. Also, protecting the privacy of families is critically important. The current recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that a team stays involved to give updates to the medical community and its students. They use the term ‘disorders of sex development’ in order to prevent stigmatism. The other big piece is the ad hoc resource materials for families: though they’re appreciative of the informational materials available to nurseries, their main goal is education to their first responders and students. Social support is critical because a person born intersex may feel alone with their anomaly. A separate consent form is necessary to inform the family of non-surgery being an option; however, this is rare.


Dr. Farmer entertained questions by the Committee members. Peter Trinkl, with Bodies Like Ours, wants UCSF to be a model in this field. Mr. Cameron offered to join the Task Force.


5.      Work Group Reports:


Anti-Racism Task Force: Mr. Buddha reported that the four dates for the rap sessions were selected: two in October and two in November. The agenda has been approved and they need to come up with verbiage for the flyers that will be printed in several languages. He asked that Committee members who can translate English into other languages see Messrs. Brinkin, Gipson, Ordeñana, or himself. They are also looking for facilitators and co-sponsors for next year’s public forum and asked that Committee members speak with him directly if they are affiliated with organizations that might be able to co-sponsor the event. Mr. Gipson said that since the rap sessions are specifically targeting people of color, everyone is invited to attend, but to be mindful and listen to the voices of people of color. Mr. Brinkin said that their next meeting date is yet to be determined since it falls on a holiday.


Immigration and Asylum Task Force: Mr. Curtis reported that Mr. Schwichow drafted a letter that would be mailed to religious organizations in the City polling them on their knowledge of what “sanctuary” is and to talk about the City of Refuge issue. Mr. Guggenheim has been researching stories of bi-national, same-sex couples and their continuing struggle to remain together in the U.S. Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 4, at 5:30 p.m.


Native American Discrimination Task Force: Mr. Arana reported that the public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 12, and that a draft agenda had been presented to the Commissioners for discussion. He said that the speakers have been identified and it’s now down to logistics. A court reporter has offered her services pro bono and they are looking for support to help cover SFGTV costs. An HRC intern has invited her classmates to record the recommendations made by speakers so that they can be included in the report. Lastly, he reported that Mr. Brinkin was able to secure the Board of Supervisors’ chamber to hold the public hearing. Mr. Arana distributed sign-up sheets indicating various tasks that the Committee members can volunteer to do in order to have a successful public hearing.


Outreach (Standing Sub-Committee): Mr. Bagby reported that they discussed how the Committee can be more visible and came up with the following: 1) having member bios and pictures on the HRC’s website, and 2) having at least one community meeting and one social event each year. Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 27, at 5:30 p.m. Mr. Brinkin said that staff will be at next month’s LGBTAC meeting to take photos of Committee members for the website.


6.      Commissioners Report:


Commissioner Dunlop reported that former Commission Chair Malcolm Heinike has been sworn in as a Commissioner with the Taxi Commission and that Linda Richardson has been sworn in as a new Commissioner with the HRC.


7.      Staff Report:


Mr. Brinkin reported that there’s been concern about the attendance of the work groups so he gave a brief report on the attendance from each work group meeting. He reported that the Housing and Public Accommodations investigator position, vacated by Carmen Herrera, was saved by the Board of Supervisors who voted in favor of refunding it. He reported that the group And Castro For All had received a Vanguard grant and is working on a project looking at the HRC, as well as other government agencies that handle complaints on how they conduct business. They hope to have the project finished by the end of the month. Lastly, he reported that staff will conduct exit interviews with Committee members who decided to leave.


8.      Old/New Business:


Mr. Gipson asked that the Committee revisit having Committee meetings in other City neighborhoods. Mr. Cameron announced that Mani Bruce Mitchell will be attending next month’s meeting to give an update on intersex issues in New Zealand.


9.      Announcements:


Ms. Phoenix announced that the Folsom Street Fair will take place on Sunday, September 24. Mr. Cameron announced that the LGBTQI Cancer Conference will take place at the LGBT Community Center on October 13-14. The conference will be opened up to the community on the 14th and that a film on intersex entitled “XXXY” will be shown. Mr. Brinkin announced that he will be part of a panel sponsored by the Senior Community Partnership to talk about LGBT senior issues at the Castro Senior Center on Monday, September 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.


10.  Adjournment:


The meeting was adjourned at 7:13 p.m.