You must admit, it sounds like the title of the strangest Indiana Jones film ever. But read the article please; it’s both sobering and inspiring.
The setting is Africa, the victims are women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), and the heroine in this case is Dr. Marci Bowers, a preeminent transsexual surgeon from the United States. This interesting and topical BBC News article tells of how the Raelian movement, which some may call a “hippie UFO cult,” sponsored the construction of a hospital in Africa purely to help the more than 125 million girls and women who have undergone FGM. The hospital has the nickname “the Pleasure Hospital” because that’s what it hopes to provide – the ability of these victims of FGM to be able to be happy with their bodies and their personal appearance.
Sound like a familiar goal, anyone?
Thus the involvement of Dr. Bowers, who has championed the cause of ending the practice and helping the victims, to the point where she often does the surgery pro bono.
In the end, of course, there is some psychodrama as the government cracks down for contrived reasons, but 29 women’s lives were made better.
BBC News – The unopened ‘Pleasure Hospital’ of Bobo.
More and more lately, Washington D.C. seems to be cleaning up its image and its actions. In this latest news, by executive order of the Mayor of Washington D.C., all health insurance companies serving those who live and work in the District must offer coverage for transgender-related health services, including surgery!
One would assume that standard deductibles and co-pays still exist as they would for any surgery, and the insurance company can steer you towards specific surgeons who they feel are “economical.” Moreover, this executive order does not take effect until the next renewal period for all policies, giving time for Congress to interfere, should it choose to do so. However, for many transgender folks too poor to have their much-needed SRS, which has been proven to be beneficial to their quality of life, this is a hopeful godsend.
D.C. Mayor Makes Major Move Expanding Trans Health Care | Advocate.com.
Connecticut joins Colorado and a few other states and cities in requiring that SRS must be covered for transsexual patients!
Folks, this is huge news – most of you know I’m a serious student of transgender history, and when I think of the transpeople in the 60’s who were threatened with prison for having SRS, the ones in the 70’s and 80’s who had to travel to backwater clinics in third-world countries, and the rest of us since then who have had to scrimp, save, indebt, beg, borrow, steal, or prostitute ourselves to afford this necessary medical care – it makes me emotional.
Just imagine, a world where all of us can be eligible for SRS under health insurance. A rising tide which will life all out boats, in making more and more transpeople happier, healthier, and more productive in making our new American way of life!
The Connecticut Insurance Department is directing all health insurance companies operating in the state to provide coverage of mental health counseling, hormone therapy, surgery and other treatments related to a patient’s gender transition. – Courant.com.
This is a psychodrama where you either want to pull up a lawn chair and sip mint juleps while you watch it happen – or else you want to pull the covers over your head and pretend you never saw it.
The skinny: outspoken transman Buck Angel started a fundraising site (the provocatively-named “transgasm.org”) to help transgender persons receive SRS via a scheme of paying money forward to help seven people at a time receive surgery. The problem is, as best as many people can understand it, the site is an unintentional pyramid scheme, which is illegal in the United States.
So merely one week after the site was started, the two founders (Buck Angel and Jody Rose) shut the site down cold and have called in lawyers to go after the media who have reported on the incident. Furthermore, transgender women are commenting all over the internet, such as in the article linked below, venting their ire at Buck Angel. One target of their ire is a comment Buck Angel made in 2007:
“Ugh, don’t get me started,” he told the Village Voice in 2007. “That’s my hugest pet peeve. You want to be a man? Act like a man. Men take care of themselves. Very rarely do they fucking beg for money. Get a fucking job and save your money like a man. Asking for a handout for surgery — it really bothers me. It’s just wrong.”
Of course, people are allowed to change their minds, and grow, and learn. I confess, however, that there’s some entertainment value in reading Buck Angel sparring with commentators.
Buck Angel Shuts Down Transgender Surgery Fundraising Site | Advocate.com.
This is big news and good news for transgender Coloradans. The dominoes keep falling, one by one…note that this even covers surgery, but SRS is not specifically called out.
Kaiser Permanente now covering transgender services in plans – The Denver Post.
He loves she. She loves he. But both have had SRS, and as a result they can still be a hetero couple. I wonder if the purpose was to show photos of the girl, or to tell their story? I’m guessing “photos.”
Transgender teen lovebirds pose in swimsuit shoot after both having gender reassignment surgery | Mail Online.