March 20, 2020
my latest for @VICE:
I spoke w/ trans patients dealing with surgical cancellations due to COVID-19 after waiting years and fighting insurance, red tape, and doctors. The pandemic has shed light on how trans healthcare is often treated as “non-essential.”https://t.co/LfeScT2SpC
— Kaye (@TimeWharp) March 19, 2020
It is the human right of transgender people to have their sexual organs mutilated by doctors, and human rights are not going to wait for this coronavirus crisis to end.
We must act now to ensure that dicks and tits continue to get chopped off left and right.
For transgender and gender non-conforming people, gender-affirming surgeries are life-altering procedures, which, for many, can greatly reduce gender dysphoria and improve their quality of life. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, trans communities on Reddit and Twitter are being flooded with reports of postponed and canceled surgeries in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Thailand, and elsewhere, leading to enormous stress and disappointment on top of a global health crisis.
This underscores a common experience amongst trans people seeking medical care or surgery: Research has suggested that gender-affirming surgery, in particular, has a notable and long-term impact on mental health, but far too often, trans people already wait far longer than is safe or healthy for this care. Further delays can be dangerous and even life-threatening.
By “life-threatening” they actually mean that the transgenders are likely to kill themselves if the surgery is delayed.
Transgenders are also likely to kill themselves after going through those surgeries. More likely, in fact.
Even in relatively normal circumstances when it comes to public health, gender-affirming care comes with long waitlists due to limited research and specialists, and patients often face an uphill battle in fighting insurance companies and doctors to receive care in the first place. Despite the American Medical Association, and increasingly, insurance companies, recognizing treatment for gender dysphoria as medically necessary, trans people often go through an enormous amount of stress, physical preparation, and administrative red tape to have procedures approved.
Many trans patients already battle with insurance companies over which procedures are considered “medically necessary”, and health providers often use words such as “cosmetic” or “elective” to deny coverage, language that is mirrored by those unfamiliar with trans care in ways that can be hurtful. In strictly medical terms, “elective” surgery doesn’t just encompass “cosmetic” procedures, but includes anything non-emergent, even surgery for tumors and leaky heart valves. Many gender-related surgeries also fall under this category. Doctors and patients obviously want any necessary procedure performed, but currently, the idea is that they are not immediately life-threatening, and limited space in hospitals could be better used for patients affected by COVID-19.
If someone who appears to be mentally unwell comes running your way demanding that you immediately chop off a couple of their body parts in order to make them feel better about themselves, the obvious humane response is to simply comply with their demands.