New transgender equality initiatives

Last February, the school district launched a new initiative that instructed administration and teachers on how to support the transgender students within the Shorewood community.

Some of the new efforts put in place include allowing students to use the restroom of the gender they identify with, as well as increased privacy for any locker room usage. Many transgender students in the high school have already utilized these new opportunities, and feel more accepted throughout the faculty and student body because of them.

Shorewood should be proud that they allow students to be who they want to be; however the same cannot be said for the rest of the U.S.

The Obama administration recently passed a law prohibiting health care providers and insurance companies from discriminating against people because of their gender identities. Although this law will help somewhat, the Obama administration was, unfortunately, unable to require healthcare providers to provide gender transition surgeries. The majority of insurance companies do not cover these procedures claiming they are elective procedures and “not necessary.”

Due to a lack of clarity within the American Psychology Association on whether being transgender is a medical condition, there’s room for discrimination. Pamela Merritt, of National Rural Health Resource Center (RHRC) says many insurance companies discriminate against transgender people seeking coverage for the cost of surgery even if the company through which they are insured approves coverage.

People should never be discriminated against. Being transgender is not a reason to discriminate against anyone, much less prevent them from being who they are.

The government needs to continue to push for a strong law that prevents health insurance discrimination based upon one’s health problems, sexuality, gender, race and/or previous medical history. If this is to be, it will be a great and important leap for the LGBT community, as well as discriminated individuals or groups affected.

by Sibs Says (Michael Sibila)

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