Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MIT student health insurance now covers all trans health services


In news that will set further precedents in trans health services for students, MIT notes:

The MIT Medical Transgender Health FAQ website now lists a “Surgery” benefit of up to $50,000 per year as part of coverage available to transgender patients under the MIT Student Extended Insurance Plan. The added coverage is for gender affirmation surgery (GAS), also known as gender reassignment surgery, in which some transgender individuals undergo procedures to modify their physical sex characteristics to match those traditionally associated with their transitioning identity.


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 03/19 at 09:22 AM
PhysicalYouth IssuesPermalink

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Recent scientific studies on transsexualism summarized


Reader Cake Kidd has put together an outstanding overview of recent published research on trans (transsexual and transgender) issues.

Dear Andrea,

Your website has helped me a great deal to understand and to come to terms with my transsexualism. Thank you for putting so much time and effort in to help our community.

In order to give back a little to the web community, I have sorted my collections of recent scientific studies about transsexuality and put it online (

– Homepage:
– Homepage for transgender topics:
– Start of the main reference pages:
– A new reference page about disorders of sex development and what we can learn about transsexualism from them:
– And a what’s new section, listing new articles that I add:

Thank you for your support.

All the best for 2014,


This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 01/05 at 01:36 PM

Monday, November 04, 2013

Reminder: Letters For My Sisters submission deadline November 15


Would you like your words of wisdom to be published in a book alongside noted trans leaders and writers? Here’s your chance!

Our submission deadline is Friday, November 15, 2013. If you plan to submit something, please contact us via the information below this week.

Here is the original announcement:

Deanne Thornton and Andrea James are seeking submissions for a collection of letters from trans women to trans women. This is a companion piece inspired by Letters For My Brothers, the collection of wisdom from trans men edited by Megan M. Rohrer and Zander Keig.

Specifically, we are interested in letters that are:

• Written to yourself or others at the start of your transition.
• Discussions of why transition was the best choice.
• Things you found out about yourself through transition.

Other relevant topics on transitional wisdom in retrospect will be considered. Just follow these guidelines:

• Letters should be 1,000 words or fewer.
• Be searching and fearless.
• Be honest about your mistakes and heartaches as well as your surprises and joys. 
• Consider writing about things you did right as well as things you could have done differently. 
• Do not specifically name service providers, good or bad. 
• If you include people in your life make sure that they approve (in writing) or use aliases not real names.
• Humor is greatly appreciated, but we are not seeking vulgar or sexually explicit material.
• Include your name and title for your letter. If you do not wish to be identified, we may publish your work under a pen name, but we will require that you verify your identity.

The ideal letter will be about you, but it should be something to which others in the community can relate.

For more information, or to make a submission, please contact:
Deanne Thornton
Email: sister_letters at (change “at” to @, no spaces)
Phone: 620-332-6638

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 11/04 at 10:21 AM
InformationReal WorldPermalink

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children opens child and adolescent gender clinic


Carys Massarella M.D. (presenter of The Depathologization of Transgender Identity” ) notes two more important shifts in Ontario health services for transgender youth: a new clinic at Hospital for Sick Children, similar to the program in Ottawa at the Diversity Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. She writes:

The child and adolescent gender clinic just opened officially on Friday at the Hospital for Sick Children. The physician is Dr. Joey Bonifacio who I know well and uses a gender affirming approach to Gender Independent/Transgender youth. 

Also at the Diversity Clinic at CHEO (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) in Ottawa, Dr. Margaret Lawson and Dr. Steve Feder also provide similar care.  And finally I also see and provide support to children and families at my clinic at Quest in St. Catharines , Ontario and use a gender affirming model as well. Although I do refer to supportive providers for puberty blockers and cross gender hormone therapy. I also see adults in my clinic and provide cross gender hormone therapy in an informed consent model. 

Also I forgot to mention that we have a large group of intersectional researchers who have met twice in the last year (from across Canada) to discuss ways to engage in research with families to better meet the needs of Gender Independent Children. We also have a committee in Ontario through a Rainbow Health. Ontario that meets to improve care for gender independent children in Ontario.

Hope this helps update some of the exciting things going on in Ontario.

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 10/16 at 04:44 PM
Youth IssuesPermalink

Monday, September 23, 2013

New study on transition-related health care coverage in employee health benefits


The UCLA Williams Institute notes:

Employers report zero or very low costs and yet substantial benefits, for them and their employees alike, when they provide transition-related health care coverage in their employee health benefit plans,
according to a new study by Jody L. Herman, Williams Institute Manager of Transgender Research. The report, Costs and Benefits of Providing Transition-related Health Care Coverage in Employee Health Benefits Plans: Findings from a Survey of Employers, released today, finds that a majority of employers reported that they would encourage other employers to add the coverage, and none would advise against it.

“This study explored the experiences of 34 employers providing transition-related health care coverage for 2 million individuals,” noted Herman. “The findings based on such a large sample should reassure employers they will incur little to no cost when extending such coverage.”

Thirty-four employers participated in a survey to describe their transition-inclusive health benefits plans, how much these plans have cost them, and what, if any, benefits they receive from providing their transition-inclusive plans.  Key findings from the survey include:

• Eighty-five percent (85%) of the 26 employers that provided information on costs of adding coverage to their existing health benefits plans reported no additional costs to add the coverage.
• Two-thirds of the 21 employers that provided information on actual costs from employee utilization of the coverage reported zero actual costs due to utilization.
• Based on the experiences of surveyed employers, we would predict that 1 out of 10,000 employees (among employers with 1,000 to 10,000 employees) and 1 out of 20,000 employees (among employers with 10,000 to 50,000 employees) will utilize transition-related health benefits annually when they are available.
• The type, number, and cost of services accessed by individuals will vary, yet as described above, the costs of these benefits, if any, are very low, as is the utilization of the benefit.

The report identified some potential issues in regard to access to coverage and health care that would be medically necessary if clinically indicated for an individual, according to the WPATH Standards of Care. While 100% of the employers covered most hormone therapies and genital surgeries for transition, only 59% covered breast or chest reconstruction and only a quarter covered electrolysis, certain facial procedures, and voice-related procedures.  Further, 48% had some restriction on access to transition-related health care provided out-of-network.  Notably, providing broader coverage did not result in higher costs for surveyed employers.

“Ensuring that employees are covered for the full range of medical treatments or surgical procedures that they may need, and have access to the healthcare professionals that provide them, deserves additional attention from business leaders and policymakers,” said Herman.

Employers further reported a variety of positive motivations for providing this coverage:
• 60% reported it would help them compete as an employer within their industry and would help with recruitment and retention.
• 60% stated it reflected their corporate values, including equality and fairness.
• 48% said they were motivated to improve employee satisfaction and morale.
• 44% noted it demonstrated their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

These findings are consistent with prior research that has shown employers generally benefit from providing LGBT-inclusive workplace policies.

Survey participants for this study were all employers known to provide transition-related health care coverage for employees through their health benefits plans. To identify these target participants, we relied on the 2013 Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign and existing knowledge networks to identify city, county, and university employers. The survey was announced via email in December 2012 to a total of 243 employers, utilizing personal contacts and LGBT employee resource groups.

This is talk, not advice. See Terms of Use for details.
Posted by Andrea James on 09/23 at 03:08 PM

Page 1 of 123 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »