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Rollbacks Of Protections For Transgender People Has ‘Marginalized the Community Even Further’

Carolyn Kaster
True T PGH and SisTers PGH, two local groups serving the LGBTQIA+ community, say a new rule on housing from the Trump administration could hurt an already marginalized population.


On today's program: A new rule from the Trump administration could put homeless transgender people at greater risk; the Historic Review Commission considers six sites in Pittsburgh for historic designation; and some COVID-19 patients’s symptoms last beyond the expected two week range.

Local LGBTQIA+ groups brace for a surge in the need for aid amid pandemic, new Trump administration rules
(00:00 — 7:46)

The Trump administration recently announced rollbacks of protections for transgender people in health care and housing.One of the new rules would allow federally-funded, same-sex homeless shelters to exclude transgender people from facilities that correspond to their gender identity. This proposed change comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended civil rights protections to transgender people

Forty percent of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ, and advocates worry that the policy will put more transgender people at risk. 

“So this only marginalized the community even further. It’s going to cause those numbers to go higher,” says Ciora Thomas, founder and president ofSisTers PGH, a transgender-focused drop-in space.

SisTers PGH andTrue T PGH, a community platform for LGBTQ resource sharing and more, offer emergency and transitional housing for trans and non-binary people in Pittsburgh. Both organizations predict the need for those services will rise.

The Trump administration’s proposed rule will go into effect after a 60 day comment period

City looks at new sites for historic preservation
(7:54 — 12:53)

TheHistoric Review Commission is considering six structures in the city including private homes, public buildings and a church for historic designation. Buildings that receive historic designation are important to the community and the city as a whole, says Matthew Falcone, president of the board forPreservation Pittsburgh and a Review Commission member.


“Usually it’s a point of pride, civic pride,” he says, and the building or site has “some kind of historic importance that tells Pittsburghers about our past and played a significant role in our history.”

Nominated sites include the Hanauer-Rosenberg House, where Pauline Hanauer Rosenberg lived when she founded the Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania sections of the National Council of Jewish Women, the Herron Hill Pumping Station in North Oakland, and The Shrine of the Blessed Mother (a.k.a. Our Lady of the Parkway) in South Oakland.

The nominations still need to go through to the Planning Commission, City Council and then to the Mayor for approval.

“Long COVID-19” patients experience lingering symptoms
(13:00 — 18:02)

If you ask someone how long it takes to recover from COVID-19, they’ll likely tell you somewhere in the two week range. That’s how long people are expected to quarantine, and it’s the time it takes to recover from the flu.

But some patients have symptoms that persist for many weeks beyond that. WHYY’sNina Feldman reports, six months into the pandemic, doctors aren’t sure that for some patients thesymptoms will ever go away


The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at jzenkevich@wesa.fm.
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