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A Piece of My Mind
January 25, 2012

Of What Am I Afraid?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Internal Medicine Residency Program, McLaren Regional Medical Center, Flint, Michigan (

JAMA. 2012;307(4):371-372. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.1

When a physician has a question about a transgender patient, he or she often looks to me. They seek me out, not only because I teach behavioral medicine, but because I belong to the clan, GLBT.1 They expect me, as part of that family, to understand the transgender experience. Certainly, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals are united, in many ways, by the bond of shared oppression. As a bisexual woman married to a woman, I know what it's like to be different, to be misunderstood, to shoulder the burden of legal inequities, but there is much about the transgender life that I don't understand.

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