Saturday, May 24, 2014

Transgender Vets

On this Memorial Day weekend, this is one of the posts here in Cyrsti's Condo when we take the time to put the party aside and really take a look at what is important about the weekend which kicks off summer.(Thanks Lexie!)

As I write this post, transgender military members must stay deeply in their closet or risk losing careers in jeopardy.  The fact remains trans women and men don't have the right to serve but do have the right to die doing it. If they don't come out.

On the other hand, there is the Veteran's Administration who is currently going through a rough time now with revelations of poor care in their system.  According to the USA TodayIn 2013, the Veterans Affairs department treated 2,567 veterans with the diagnosis of gender dysphoria with transgender-specific care, according to Ndidi Mojay, a VA spokeswoman. The department does not have a cost estimate for the treatment, which can include male or female hormones depending on gender."Few transgender individuals pursue a goal of transformation to the other gender that also includes the complete set of sex reassignment surgeries," Mojay said in an email. "The VA does not pay for or support sex reassignment surgeries."

I question how the VA came up with the idea "that few transgender individuals pursue a transition goal which includes SRS."  If you use me an example, since the VA does not cover any surgical procedures, I will never be able to afford them anyway.  I don't recall anyone at the VA sending me a questionnaire asking me if I would or wouldn't..

I am not one of those vets who has had bad care from the VA and in fact, they were a life saver when I lost my business and had no access to health care at all at my age.  I am however a Viet Era Vet who saw first hand how the VA/US Government stonewalled veterans with Agent Orange health problems for years.  In fact I knew more friends who died an early death from exposure to the chemicals than died in actual combat.  

I also know the VA has a tough job but I'm NOT naive enough to think a portion of the problem comes from a congress we have (and president-how much did it cost to send wife and kids to China?)  who are too willing to not cut back on their own perks, run the government efficiently and not screw over the ones who fought for the right for them to do it. 

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A Life in Gender Flux