Dear WPATH Members,

It’s an exciting time at WPATH when we have so many huge successes to report in one week!


We begin with breaking news from Canada regarding an amendment to the Vital Statistics Act: Royal Assent for a legislative amendment to the Vital Statistics Act was received Thursday, May 29th and the new BC Services Card gender change policy will officially come into effect with all program partners by end of day on Friday May 30th.

Please visit the new gender change web content on the BC Services Card website. This information may be found, by end of day on Friday May 30th, at BCServicesCard.ca/genderchange

On behalf of all of us at WPATH we recognize WPATH members Dr. Gail Knudson, Dr. Jamison Green and Dr. Daniel Metzger for their significant contributions and collaborative efforts to this important amendment.

Nikki Sieben, Executive Director, Health Sector Information Management/Information Technology Ministry of Health stated, "After two years of hard work, significant change management across all our organizations, and extraordinary collaboration, we are delighted to announce the imminent implementation of a common gender policy between the BC Services Card program, ICBC driver licensing and BCID programs, the Medical Services Plan, and the Vital Statistics Agency. This is a landmark achievement for the BC Services Card project, and a significant human rights victory for transgendered communities. The common forms developed to support the new gender policy are the first of their kind in Canada, as are the legislative changes to support the new laws that govern how gender is represented on a BC birth certificate.”


US Based Time Magazine Released the June 9th issue with a significant Cover Story:

"THE TRANSGENDER TIPPING POINT

America's Next Civil Rights Frontier”

This week TIME examines the radical rise in awareness of transgender Americans and how this movement is reshaping our definitions of gender. Of the estimated 1.5 million trans people in the U.S., nearly one in four say they have lost a job because of their gender status; trans activists are now pushing for new policies in schools, hospitals, workplaces and the military. TIME's cover story traces this cultural sea change, telling the stories of trans people across America, including Orange Is the New Black actor Laverne Cox, a Google software-engineer, a former National Guardsman and a 17 year-old trans girl who made history as homecoming queen.

Although the article will not be published in the international print edition, it does reference WPATH and a quote from our President Jamison Green, and we are grateful for the exposure.

You can see related stories at www.time.com, and subscribers can read the full text of the article. To see the cover featuring Laverne Cox, click here: http://ti.me/IEzEyt. Watch your newsstands!


In Washington, DC today, May 30, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services Appeals Board, Appellate Division determined that the National Coverage Determination (NCD) denying Medicare coverage of all transsexual surgery as a treatment for transsexualism is not valid under the "reasonableness standard”.

Since the NCD is no longer valid, its provisions are no longer a valid basis for denying claims for Medicare coverage of transsexual surgery, and local coverage determinations (LCDs) used to adjudicate such claims may not rely on the provisions of the NCD.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has issued a fact sheet on the ruling and what it means for transgender individuals.

WPATH and the Standards of Care were cited in the argument.  Special thanks and recognition to WPATH members who served as expert witnesses: Dr. Randi Ettner, Dr. Katherine Hsiao, Dr. Marci Bowers, and Dr. Sherman Leis.  Also, WPATH submitted an amicus brief in the case, which was heavily cited in the decision. We view this decision as a huge victory!  


Also this week the WHO published a joint statement against forced and coercive sterilization that is inclusive of transgender and intersex people's issues. Please feel free to use in your advocacy and distribute widely. The statement very clearly condemns sterilization requirements for legal gender recognition or as a prerequisite for gender-affirming treatment.

The statement is co-signed by OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF, as well as WHO as the lead organization.

You can find the statement at: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/gender_rights/eliminating-forced-sterilization/en/


We encourage our membership to send any important newsworthy articles to the attention of Sue O’Sullivan, WPATH Communications Director at sue@veritasmeetings.com or directly to the WPATH President, Dr. Jamison Green at jamisong@earthlink.net