"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Sunday, March 26, 2017

At the Risk of Dating Myself

I'm old enough to remember when something like this just wouldn't happen. From The Guardian:

In the spring of 2016, Elijah Fischer called his insurance company to ask if his plan would cover a double mastectomy. A 27-year old Floridian and trans man, Elijah had mostly completed his gender transition, except he still had feminine breasts.
‘Move fast and break things’: Trump’s Obamacare failure and the backlash ahead
Read more

“I look down, and it’s not me,” Elijah recalled feeling. He felt foreign to himself. With summer approaching, he dreaded another season of avoiding the beach and kayaking with his wife, Brianna.

So it was a relief when his insurer, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, approved the surgery right away.

“Oh wow,” the couple said to each other, Brianna recalled. “That was easy. That was fantastic.”

In reality, it was just the start of a battle with Anthem that would stretch for more than nine months. The company backtracked, and revealed that Elijah’s policy specifically excluded “services and supplies related to sex transformation”. There were fraught phone calls and fine print before finally, Elijah contacted the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about filing a discrimination claim.

It's not that the story is marked by a lack of sensationalism, or anything like that. It's that it was published at all. When I was a young man (I still am, actually, according to everything but the calendar), you would have had to pick up your local version of The Advocate or Windy City Times to read a story like that. We -- and by "we" I mean the whole LGBT complex -- weren't "mainstream." I've noticed more and more coverage of "gay news" in mainstream outlets -- Crooks and Liars, TPM, even Hullabaloo, and Hullabaloo's focus is politics, period.

We've come a long way, baby.

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