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Hopkins to resume gender-affirming surgeries

Move follows flap over anti-trans report



Johns Hopkins, gay news, Washington Blade, anti-LGBT report

Two Johns Hopkins officials have been criticized for writing an anti-trans report. (Photo by Matthew Petroff; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Reacting to criticism over a controversial anti-LGBT report written by two Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty members published in The New Atlantis, a letter from Johns Hopkins Medicine dated Oct. 7 was sent to colleagues that reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to LGBT health and, in particular, to transgender individuals.

The letter indicates that the institution will be resume gender-affirming surgeries, something that has not taken place in nearly four decades.

A petition signed by nearly 700 current and former students, faculty and staff demanded that Johns Hopkins disavow the report by faculty members Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Lawrence Mayer for their “misguided, misinformed attack on LGBT communities.” In addition, the Human Rights Campaign threatened to substantially reduce its Healthcare Equality Index score if Johns Hopkins does not correct the record and insist that McHugh and Mayer’s opinions do not represent Johns Hopkins Medicine. McHugh, for example, believes that trans people should be treated as disordered.

The letter does not specifically address the two authors by name. Instead, it states, “In recent months, some have questioned our position, both inside and outside the institution, not because of any change in our practice or policy, but because of the varied individual opinions expressed publicly by members of the Johns Hopkins Medicine community. We have taken these concerns seriously. We want to reiterate our institutional support for LGBT individuals and update you on the work we are doing to further that commitment.”

The letter also explains, “When individuals associated with Johns Hopkins exercise the right of expression, they do not speak on behalf of the institution.”

After touting the work Johns Hopkins Medicine has done with the LGBT community, the letter announces, “We have committed to and will soon begin providing gender-affirming surgery as another important element of our overall care program, reflecting careful consideration over the past year of best practices and the appropriate provision of care for transgender individuals.”

Some remain cautious.

“As a former employee of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, I know that the Johns Hopkins Hospital system is uneven in its approach to transgender health,” Chris Adkins, a Ph.D. candidate, told the Blade. “There are some strong voices within the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that do not believe in gender affirming surgeries, but the community should focus instead on the faculty members in place that are advancing trans competent health care such as Brandon Lau, MPH, Chris Beyrer, MD, Stefan Baral, MD and Tonia Poteat, PhD PA-C and who have done great work such as the EQUALITY Study.



Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep



Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday



Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work



The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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