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This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Losing Rights

Via Slap Upside the Head I found out today that in Alberta, Canada, trans people are losing rights that I can barely dream of. Apparently, not only do they have public health care, but they in fact (until recently) had sex reassignment surgery as public health care.

That's right. The surgeries/hormones that U.S. (trans) citizens can only get after jumping through hoops to "prove" to medical gatekeepers that our identities are really truly real, and which are then explicitly NOT covered by various insurance (with the excuses that it's "experimental" or "cosmetic") are not only provided there, but seemingly free of cost.

Or were.

It's hard to be appropriately angry because this is clearly a blow to trans people in Alberta, but at the same time I'm exceedingly jealous. The fact is, the surgeries and hormones used by trans people to have our bodies match what we think of as appropriate are a medical necessity. Don't believe me?

Ask me (or probably just about any other trans person you know) about the crippling depression that can come with not being able to have one's body look appropriate to yourself.

Should I tell you about a friend of mine who basically lived entirely in a binder, and because of it developed sores? Should I tell you about the days I could barely leave my room to go make myself breakfast (among other things), because I was too exhausted to try and pass while in my own house walking around in front of roommates? Or how about the time that I read an account of a breast cancer survivor (who got a double mastectomy because of it) and had a more-than-fleeting thought of "if I could just manage to get cancer!" Maybe I'll tell you about the number of times I've looked down and just wondered if it'd be possible to knock myself out and use a kitchen knife, and then had to remind myself that it wouldn't work and I'd quite possibly bleed to death.

Oh. I guess I just did.

So, those and many others are the reasons that we need our surgeries, our hormones, etc. And that's why knowing that I won't be able to afford mine anytime soon (the cost is in the thousands, of course, and as mentioned, not covered by health insurance) makes me even more depressed than I would be normally. And that's why it matters that Alberta, Canada is going to take this away from its trans citizens.

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