Wednesday, June 11, 2008

political support

via Joe.My.God and the Slog:

Here at home, our newly anointed Democratic nominee likes the gays! And that includes us trans folks, whether we're gay our not. Nice to know that we will (hopefully!) soon have a president who will say the word 'transgender' out loud in a supportive context. "I am proud to join with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters..."

In a land far, far away, however, they're putting their money where their mouth is. The hotbed of Communism that we're still not allowed to visit has decided to provide free "sex change operations" to qualifying individuals. Goodness only knows what they mean by that, exactly- the details aren't posted yet, and anytime the AP starts bandying around terms like "sex change operation" I'm a little skeptical. But when health care is free and accessible to everyone (as it should be here!), it's important that ALL health care be free and accessible, including trans health care. Brazil is also implementing procedures to offer state subsidized transition-related health care; the President is quoted as saying 'When you pay your taxes, nobody asks you which is your sexual option. Why discriminate against you when you freely choose what to do with your body?'

Right on, man.

I believe in free universal healthcare, and I believe that trans health care (including hormone therapy and gender confirming surgeries) is not 'optional' but is medically necessary treatment for some transsexual and transgender folks. Notice I said not all! Too often in situations where trans folks are desperate to access the resources they need for transition, they're forced to jump through hoops, or conform to standards that they may or may not live up to.

And in Iran, "sex change operations" are endorsed by the government, subsidized, and common...but many are saying that it's due in part to the fact that homosexuality is still punishable by death, so some gay men are choosing to transition in order to lead a safer life, when in fact, they're not transsexual, they're just gay and/or feminine. So while trans folks do have access to necessary health care, other folks for whom transition is NOT necessary (because it's not wanted) are being unduly pressured into it. Not a good scene!

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