Being Transgender

Being transgender is no more a choice for me than the natural color of my eyes, hair or skin. It is no choice. While scientist and doctors are still not completely sure what triggers transgenderism in people, it is widely believed that the issue begins while the fetus is in the mother’s womb.

Research suggests that there is a mix-up with what chemical baths the fetus is to receive and what baths it isn’t to receive and the outcome is a body of one sex, while the mind is another. There are also studies being done that correlate FtM transgenderism with some form of autistic spectrum disorder. (Approximately 40%) No matter the cause, the fact remains that we would never choose this lifestyle for ourselves if we were indeed given a choice.

On Monday May 11th, I turned 31, and in these 31 years I have faced more discrimination, isolation, threats of violence, vandalism, and verbal abuse that most people face in their entire lifetime. Who I am as a transman may affect people around me, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am human just like everyone else. I have hopes, dreams, fears, and worries just like everyone else. I don’t want special treatment, I want equal treatment, and most of all I don’t want anyone else to have to face what I have.

Right now, I am fighting with my insurance company to cover my medical care. I am having issues with my female reproductive organs (which I unfortunately still have) and I have been informed by Anthem Healthkeepers that if I want them to cover my medical care, I would have to change all my gender markers back to female.

A little back story with Anthem, my gender markers with them were female when I first got coverage under them, it was about four to five months after I was covered by them that I changed my gender markers. Before this, they denied me coverage for my testosterone until I had changed my gender marker to male. I can’t just change my markers from male to female depending on the type of healthcare that I need.

My wife and my OB-GYN’s office called Anthem better than ten times trying to work out a way for me to be provided coverage for normal routine care that they would provide anyone else that was born with female reproductive organs. Time after time, we were told that the only way they would provide coverage was for me to return my markers to female. Finally, during one conversation the doctor’s office managed to get an answer along the lines of Anthem would provide coverage if I could prove that I had female reproductive organs. I’ve given birth! I don’t know what other proof they want or need, but at this point they are still refusing coverage.

All this fight, just for me to see a doctor, I’ve ended up having to see the doctor as a self-pay patient because of this. What fight would I have on my hands if, like many other transmen, I decided that I wanted to have another biological child and was pregnant? Would I be denied healthcare for my unborn child because I am transgender?

A lot of people think that it is a choice to be trans*; that we, as trans people, have chosen this way of life. That common belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Why would anyone choose a life that they knew put them at a high risk of suicide, murder or assault coupled with the often traumatic amounts of discrimination, negativity and isolation that being trans* often means? The answer, they wouldn’t.

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