Equality California

I want to alert all California readers and those with loved ones in the state to an important series of initiatives being undertaken by Equality California (EQCA). EQCA is the state's largest LGBT civil rights organization. Equality California leads efforts for LGBT civil rights at the state level through an array of strategies including lobbying legislators, building coalitions and empowering other organizations and individuals to engage in the legislative process, and sponsoring bills and leading efforts to ensure their passage.

http://www.eqca.org

Trans-specific initiatives

On 4 February 2005, I had the opportunity to attend one of the most exciting and uplifting trans events I have ever attended. Sponsored by EQCA, it was called Transitioning Health Care: Health Care Access and the Transgender Community.

California Assemblymembers Jackie Goldberg, Paul Koretz, and Mark Leno were all involved in the event, which had an emphasis on the issue of insurance and managed health care.

If you live in California and have experienced discrimination or lack of access because of your transition status, you are encouraged to contact the following hotlines:

800-927-HELP (insurance)

888-466-HELP (HMOs)

These are maintained by state regulators who can help you resolve problems if they were caused by discrimination.

Insurance denial letters needed!

On 20 April 2005, Danny Kirchoof at EQCA wrote with an important request:

The Transgender Equality Alliance is currently in need of letters from insurance companies denying transgender people individual insurance plans because of their transgender status or having previously accessed transgender related treatments. If you have been denied coverage for the above reason and have a copy of the denial letter please contact Chris Dailey, Director of the Transgender Law Center as soon as possible.

Allied resources:

National Coalition for LGBT Health

They published an important white paper called "An Overview of U.S. Trans Health Priorities." [PDF: Requires reader]

This report was published in August 2004 by the Eliminating Disparities Working Group.

I consider this the best overview to date on trans health matters.

Transgender Law Center

They have put out a pamphlet called "Transgender Health and the Law: Identifying and Fighting Health Care Discrimination."