Change Your World-NOT your Body

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Portland Health Care to Cover Gender Transition

Portland's mayor wants the city's health care system to cover transitioning for city employees.

The mayor said, "making health care benefits  "trans-inclusive" will help the city attract the best and brightest employees to Portland."' So self-hating, mentally ill women and men who pathologically believe in maintaining strict gender norms at any and all costs, are according to Portland's mayor, "the best and the brightest!"

If the male medical machine bothered to see beyond the homophobic gender norms it is drugging and butchering people into and develop instead a serious course of therapy to help those with gender related issues, I could understand extending medical coverage to help them. These are, after all, real people in real pain, painfully uncomfortable with their own bodies. And for females during menstruation, that uneasiness doubles, triples, quadruples literally to the point of suicidal feelings in some cases. 

But there is no proof that transition cures gender uncomfortableness. In fact, transition can make the perceived incongruencies all the more apparent, worsening body dysphoria. Trans people themselves have said repeatedly that transition isn't a cure all. It is physically and mentally painful, it never ends, and the reason for transition (dysphoria) returns to greater or lesser degrees, along with feelings of depression and even suicidal feelings.

Transition, as it stands now, is nothing more than gender cosmetics, and last I checked, cosmetics aren't seen as something medical insurances should have to pay for. Because when it comes right down to it, in truth there are women who are so pathologically consumed/concerned with their looks, that they will not leave their homes without a full face of make up on. Should tax payers cover these women too? And if not, why? If their self-esteem is so tied up in how they look, and how they look so tied up in how they feel about their bodies, why shouldn't lip gloss and eye shadow be covered by medical insurances if transition is going to be? Because that's the door that is being opened here- nose jobs, boob jobs, ear jobs, face lifts, labiaplasties, etc. would all have to be covered if transition is.

Or it could go the exact opposite way, as we have seen in some of the Common Wealth countries, whereby transition is fully covered but other procedures aren't. Medical issues that are not considered life or death, like transition is, are paid out of pocket or put on a waiting list for up to several years if national health care is to cover it. I know someone whose mother had a severe incontinent problem. There was a fairly simply operation that could fix this, but because the male medical machine doesn't see this as life or death, if she wanted the surgery asap, she had to pay for it herself. If she wanted her country's health care to cover it, she would have to wait a minimum of a year.
This was a very vital and active woman who had a healthy social life and many commitments to many needy organizations. She felt so ashamed of her problem, she stopped volunteering, stopped all socializing, and became more a less a depressed hermit. It broke her children, but they pooled their resources to pay for the surgery so she could have her life back. If that isn't life or death, then I don't know what is! The short off it, had she wanted her tits cut of and her vagina sewn shut, the state would have paid for it in full in a hot NY minute!

The current (mis)treatment for GID is initially costly with growing expenses due to transition needing to be maintained through the lifespan of the individual. Because there are no long term studies on potential risks caused by long term use of hormones at levels not designed for the body of the transitioner, we don't know what future health issues could develop for the transitioner. So lawsuits concerning the city that provided the (mis)treatment may also be in the city's/tax payer's future.

This article was emailed to me last week, and along with the same concerns I wrote about here, the sender had concerns about the public online voting site. That link has found its way to tons of trans tumbl accounts in hopes of swaying the vote their way. Disgusting, I know, but when you lie daily about who you are, including to yourself, should we expect anything less?

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50 comments:

  1. ""trans-inclusive" will help the city attract the best and brightest employees to Portland.""

    I believe what they were saying is an all-inclusive pool of people so the don't miss the best applicants simply because they were Transgendered. I don't think they were saying *only* transgendered people are the best and the brightest.

    Taking it a little out of context dontcha think?

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  2. "The mayor said, "making health care benefits "trans-inclusive" will help the city attract the best and brightest employees to Portland."' So self-hating, mentally ill women and men who pathologically believe in maintaining strict gender norms at any and all costs, are according to Portland's mayor, "the best and the brightest!""

    @DIRT

    i didn't even read the rest of your post. here you are making a number of wild and ridiculous assumptions. you're pretending that someone with a mental illness, ANY mental illness, cannot be bright or smart. this is a huge prejudice held by many individuals which seriously and adversely affects those suffering with mental illnesses of ALL kinds and it's absolutely false. just because someone has a heart condition, does that mean they, too, are not one of the best and brightest? it works the same way. please recognize your privilege. additionally, those who are trans do not have a mental illness. as someone who considers themself transgender with no desire to physically transition my body, i am smart as fuck. i am a senior in my university's honors program, about to write my thesis, graduate with honors, and go on to rock the shit out of my life, thanks. i am, indeed, one of the best and brightest. and i've also bucked the gender binary and gender roles, so you're wrong on that point, too.

    oh, and portland was already attractive to me, but including trans-friendly health care certainly does sweeten the deal, that mayor is right.

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  3. sawyer,
    do you use medication/surgeries to 'buck the binary and gender roles?'

    ha! portlandia, of course

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  4. anon 8:15

    read sawyer's post again, you seem to have missed something.

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  5. sawyer,

    what makes you 'transgender?'

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  6. People keep confusing transgender and transsexual. It's actually very annoying. Transexual is when you have the desire to get the sex change. Transgender is basically having just the feelings but you don't have to have the desire to change your body. Thank you Sawyer for pointing out that you can be transgender and not want to change your body.

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  7. As usual... more generalizations.

    "growing expenses due to transition needing to be maintained through the lifespan of the individual."

    Transition does not NEED to be maintained throughout ones life. I have had no medical treatments/expenses related to my transition for YEARS. I have had all the physical changes - all of which are irreversible and therefore, do not require anything further. Please stop with the assumptions, inaccuracies & generalizations. Since I would venture to say, the majority of your readers who are anti-trans know little about what they're talking about, these inaccuracies are very misleading. You are perpetuating ignorance.

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  8. Of course it happens in Portland not in Nebraska ;)

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  9. interesting

    if a ftm shaves off her beard or other body hair but has stopped taking testosterone, does it grow back?
    if she hasn't had a hysterectomy, does menstruation come back?

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  10. to 11:15 am,

    what does 'having just the feelings' mean exactly?

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  11. EN


    ...GOOGLE is a magical thing. So is education.

    Do both.

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  12. is being an asshole a magical thing?

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  13. This post reeks with privilege and supremacy.

    Apparently mentally ill people (by your nonsensical uneducated definition) are not equipped to by any means be associated with intelligence.

    Also, apparently ALL trans people, no matter what, are mentally ill, you know, according to your nonsensical uneducated definition).

    Also, apparently you are equipped to know what ANY human being "pathologically believes".

    Please get an education, Dirt. Please. You have no idea how ignorant you truly are and that in itself is stupidity incarnate.

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  14. dear elistist anon who wrote the following:

    "This post reeks with privilege and supremacy.

    Apparently mentally ill people (by your nonsensical uneducated definition) are not equipped to by any means be associated with intelligence."

    Do you not grasp the hypocracy of your own statement?!
    Telling someone (many times) how uneducated they are- really?!
    Talk about privilege and supremacy.
    Not all people can afford the insanely expensive (and growing) college education that you seem to think only entitles one to a opinion.
    There is such a thing as working class folks, that do other things like trade school, where there are not 'gender studies', etc.
    There is such a thing as poor people who don't go to any higher learning at all. Does that make their opinions less important that your sweet educated ass?!

    puh-lease.

    One of the reasons that I agree that they should not be covering transition costs, are that hellooooo, not sure if you were aware, but healthcare costs are rising for all. Many poor people can't afford any. I guess you think it's ok for those educated people (best & brightest) that can afford a education, which would then get them a job there- only they are the ones that should get their transitions covered?!
    what insanity.
    Talk about privilege!

    I guess they should also cover breast inplants, nose jobs, etc. As I'm sure you could find many that claim that they are soooooo utterly depressed with their lives that they have become agorophobic because of their noses.

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  15. @ anon 1:43

    "Not all people can afford the insanely expensive (and growing) college education that you seem to think only entitles one to a opinion."

    "Not all people" need to open their mouths about trans people being "mentally ill" either. That doesn't at all seem to be important to you. DIrt IS uneducated. In the field of psychiatry, psychology, medicine, and morality. She is not equipped to deem ANYONE mentally ill. WHat about that? It isn't elitism to call someone out about being ill-equipped to assess something they have no business assessing.

    This blogger is famous for just that


    Never mind what those silly psychologists and doctors say, believe your beloved Dirt.


    Your whole rant was a deflection tactic. It didn't work.

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  16. to 1:17

    why bother discussing anything anywhere if all the answers are googleable?

    and 1:58

    don't transsexuals count on being labeled mentally ill in order to receive treatment?

    oh i'll just google it i guess...

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  17. or is the entire body considered a physical birth defect to be corrected?
    or is it now just accepted (and covered?) as a cosmetic procedure?

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  18. Anon@1:22pm,

    Education has zero to do with intelligence or mental capabilities. And as someone with a mentally retarded brother, a lower "IQ" doesnt equal ignorant, in fact, in often equals insightful.

    dirt

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  19. (my education was in fine arts and way back then in the 80's and 90's queer theory was not a part of everybody's curriculum)

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  20. So now mentally ill is synonymous with mentally challenged...

    (use of the word 'retarded'...are you kidding me?)

    "It isn't elitism to call someone out about being ill-equipped to assess something they have no business assessing."

    Exactly!
    Dirt, you are ill-equipped. Period.

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  21. Dirt, why do you say trans people lie about who they are? I've been questioned several times on my sex and gender several times in the last few weeks and every single time I've answered with 'I'm biologically female, but I know I'm not a woman', which people seem to take to far easier than me saying 'yeah, I'm transgender', even though they realise it's the same idea.

    Do you still consider this lying?

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  22. GID is considered a mental disorder. Mental Disorder is the same way of saying mental illness. You have to prove you have a mental illness to receive any SRS/HRT.

    I may disagree with how some people are poking fun here but let's be realistic with the definitions and health coverage.

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  23. Seriously guys are we arguing about peoples mental capacity. Being mentally ill does not mean your incapable, being mentally handicapped does not mean your incapable. Education does not amount to how smart you are. There are professors at colleges who are not worth a shit, but you can find someone on the street who can give you a way better education. The major thing comes down to, if you actually know your subject. You can do all the research in the world but it doesnt mean you know anything. Knowledge comes from reading and hands on experience.

    I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
    -Mark Twain

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  24. @3:53 PM

    Retard is Latin for slow. It wasn't even until 2006 that the AAMR changed its name to AAIDD. Truth is we can coin a more popular phrase but really focusing on improving people's lives should be the focus. As the word came into play not from a negative background.

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  25. *GID is considered a mental disorder. Mental Disorder is the same way of saying mental illness. You have to prove you have a mental illness to receive any SRS/HRT.*

    Do you know until 1974 Homosexuality was a Mental Illness and homosexuals were considered social deviates?

    I suspect in the end GID will go where it belongs. Which will be a physical and chemical imbalance, rather than a mental health disorder.

    Last but not least. Dirt comes across as an expert in the field of psychiatry, the medical field, science, and the ability to know what all transgendered people are thinking. She has even claimed to be a tharapist on this blog, which is a slap in the face to all those who busted their behinds in college to become legitimate therapists.

    It is fair to confront her with the lack of education; regardless of how this lack of education occurred. There are plenty of programs which will assist in helping you get a college education OR you can do what I did.. Work and go to school part time. Now if your disabled and cannot work, the government recently gave the State Departments of Education a stimulus package for education.

    The reason we know Dirt is uneducated is because of the bizarre things she states on this blog which make it stick out like a sore thumb. If Dirt were to sit down for a final essay exam in an entry level english class, she would definately have flunked the course. Your english classes are your lifeline in college and until you go to college you have no business coming off as an expert in the field.

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  26. lol Most organizations are now seeking ways to limit the number of applicants who apply, because the high unemployment rate guarantees that any organization who lists a new job opening will be swamped with more applicants than they know what to do with.

    So right off the bat, there is literally no need to sweeten the deal. It's an employers market, they've lowered the starting wage, increased the work load, and STILL have too many applicants.

    And pretty much every state and local government is aggressively making massive budget cuts, even closing schools and fire departments, so it's seriously peculiar when some government authority wants to add an entirely new expense to the budget.

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  27. It's an employers market, they've lowered the starting wage, increased the work load, and STILL have too many applicants.

    should have added "and DECREASED benefits accross the board".

    Really honestly, the Portland mayor just hates women and men who exist outside traditional gender norms. If you like pink lipstick then you must be a woman! I've heard the amount of strippers in Portland exceeds the national average, not sure if it's true or not. But for some place that claims to be progressive, it's the exact opposite.

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  28. when your argument is reduced to nothing more than an attack on a person's character, then you've lost the debate.

    And when you fail to notice the distinction between a personal attack and an actual argument, you are indeed quite stupid.

    Look at all the trannies spewing personal insults in this thread! What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you always this mean to everybody who doesn't bow down to your bullying behavior? Seriously, this display is nothing more than the dominant posturing of an abuser. Yuck, how utterly disgusting you are.

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  29. I'm sofa king proud of our city and our gay-ass mayor. I'm so fucking proud of the queers who live here and constantly strive to educate themselves about all types of oppression and learn to be better allies. It is absolutely wonderful to be part of a huge queer community that's so steeped in love and affirmation for all identities (except for those identities that have to trash others' to exist). I'm so fucking inordinately in love with our handsome butches who love themselves and their trans friends. I'm so in love with our hot femmes who share their experiences with bravery and honesty. I can't believe the extent to which people challenge their own thinking. I can think of maybe two female commenters here whose comments have been anywhere near as intellectual, thoughtful, compassionate and forward thinking as your average coffee-shop conversation between two straight men in Portland. The rest of you seem likely to die an early death from your rotting hearts. Good riddance, I guess, because you bring nothing to the table. GO PORTLAND! NOW HOW THE FUCK DO I GET MYSELF A SWEET JOB WITH THE CITY?

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  30. seems like it would be difficult to change the gid diagnosis to one of a physical and chemical imbalance when so much of it is sociological, based on how one's appearance is perceived by others.

    and all that queer pc portland brooklyn etc crap looks pretty silly to most people- not only to conservative jerks; to many culturally-aware people it already seems old-fashioned.

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  31. "I can't believe the extent to which people challenge their own thinking."

    to a point, I'm sure...

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  32. We should just have universal health care so people like Dirt can stfu

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  33. Well anon@8:31pm, clearly you didnt read the post or you would have seen the pitfalls of such health care.

    dirt

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  34. Sean,

    If you have changed any natural part of your female biology with drugs or surgery, if you have changed your name or legal sexual status, then yes.

    dirt

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  35. Mental retardation is only an insult to the PC nazis and academics who have nothing better to do that create useless rhetoric. I, nor my family or friends view retardation as an insult.

    That you do, speaks volumes.

    dirt

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  36. Retardation as a medical term isn't an insult, it's a medical term. However, applying that term incorrectly to someone as an epithet is insulting - to people that are Learning Disabled.

    It's also a term that's not been used medically in the UK for many years, possibly in part because, as you say Dirt "as someone with a mentally retarded brother, a lower "IQ" doesnt equal ignorant, in fact, in often equals insightful."

    As for the actual content of the blog post, particularly this point

    "But there is no proof that transition cures gender uncomfortableness"

    there is research that shows treatment for transsexuals works - it's been said that it's one of the few conditions in the DSM-IV with a treatment that reliably works for most people accurately diagnosed.

    Of course transition doesn't fix everything that's wrong - distress and difficult feelings are part of the human condition, but it does vastly reduce feelings of dysphoria for most - not all - but most transsexual people.

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  37. 'If you have changed any natural part of your female biology with drugs or surgery, if you have changed your name or legal sexual status, then yes.'

    I'm not going to talk about the 'drugs' or surgery part of this arguement - we're always going to disagree on this, but I'm failing to see how taking a different name is lying about who you are. No one is born with a name. If you want to use this as an arguement, then you have to agree that every single person who changes their name, for whatever reason, is lying.

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  38. well it is changing your name for the sole reason of hiding your real sex-
    also claiming that you know you're not a woman is less accurate than saying you think you're not-
    maybe it's more difficult to ask 'how do you know that?' than 'why do you think that?'
    (of course most simple people (men especially) only need to see a little facial hair and hear a lowish voice on a woman to accept her as male)

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  39. she said she had a mentally retarded brother, she wasn't calling him a 'retard'
    (not that i agree with or defend everything dirt says)

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  40. If comments cannot remain on topic, they will be deleted.

    dirt

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  41. I know first hand having lived in Portland for over 10 years that the trans trend is in full effect there and has been for a good while.
    This is the city where I saw no less than 10 of my butch lesbian friends all transition within a short period of time. It was weirdly competitive, when seen from a distance. As they all sat me down and basically had a 'intervention'/pressure with me to ask/confront me when I was going to be coming out as trans!
    FFS.

    The "queer" communtiy in portland is very male centered, which is one reason why I moved.

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  42. http://qpdx.com/2011/06/portland-city-council-unanimously-passes-transgender-inclusive-healthcare-benefits-for-city-of-portland-employees/

    Sad to see that it did pass. This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money and only going to further the trend. To think they are passing this to get the better employees instead of just paying better wages. Absolutely ridiculous! And to think the "tumblr bomb"ing may have in fact influenced this is absurd!

    ~M

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  43. I think it's awesome! It's about time!!!

    I loved the article that the last person posted!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  44. There are some facts/assumptions that are quite misleading in this post:
    Waiting lists apply to SRS-treatment as much if not more so than to every other non-life-threatening condition.
    I do not know which country you took your Mother-with-incontinence-problem example from, but the two EU countries I have lived in and seen treatment provided for by the national health care organisations require quite some months of therapy in order to see if a transperson can live with their condition without changing anything medically. Only after at least 6 months usually more like 12 to 18 can HRT start. And only after AT LEAST 6 months of HRT can the person then apply for surgery. (For which there is then again a waiting list of usually 2 to 3 months) So ever so slightly more than a year.

    Sorry to spoil your argument there a bit. You guys really need to do your research more carefully.

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  45. @ 6:07 PM

    I am fully aware that homosexuality was on the DSM and removed. Believing that you are the opposite sex has nothing to do with sexuality. Transsexuality to some resembles that of the intersex but it can also resemble along the lines of BIID (Body Identity Integrity Disorder) to others. Plus I never even mentioned Dirt so telling me about Dirt is irrelevant to my post/point.

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  46. Chris-

    Did you not read the post? It's in Portland, Oregon. That's in the states. Where people can easily transition. Read!

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  47. I LIVE IN PORTLAND NOW! HAHA!

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  48. good luck finding any job in portland. it's has one of the worst ecomonies and has for quite some time. the job market there sucks. which is why the average white hipster with college degree-(which is overwhelmingly the majority there- i've never seen such a white city in my life!) works as a barista or bartender.

    in addition the city is grossly segregated.

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  49. Anon: June 10, 2011 11:20 AM

    I was referring to this passage:

    Or it could go the exact opposite way, as we have seen in some of the Common Wealth countries, whereby transition is fully covered but other procedures aren't. Medical issues that are not considered life or death, like transition is, are paid out of pocket or put on a waiting list for up to several years if national health care is to cover it. I know someone whose mother had a severe incontinent problem. There was a fairly simply operation that could fix this, but because the male medical machine doesn't see this as life or death, if she wanted the surgery asap, she had to pay for it herself. If she wanted her country's health care to cover it, she would have to wait a minimum of a year.


    Read yourself - Last time I checked Oregon was not part of the Common Wealth.

    ReplyDelete
  50. irritated psych postgradJune 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Mentally ill people can indeed be the best and brightest. After all, mental illness does not spare people according to their IQ or their value to society. Yes, it can destroy both intelligence and societal value, but the number of noted geniuses with some form of DSM identifiable disorder is actually extremely high.

    ReplyDelete

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