Vaginal Discourse

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I think I’m previously on record as really, really not being a fan of the Human Rights Campaign. I’m also not a fan of their Corporate Equality Index (CEI). It’s not that I have a problem with all corporations– I’m starting a job with one in a few weeks. It’s just that it’s going to take a lot more than acceptable policies on LGBT equality to give me a boner about Dow Chemical.

Despite both of these facts, the latest CEI contains some good news.

The number of companies (out of 636 surveyed) that provide insurance coverage for trans* people’s medical care has more than doubled in the past year, to just under a third.

Unlike previous years, HRC’s criterion was fairly realistic. Here’s what it took to get the 10 points (out of 100 overall) for trans* medical coverage, companies needed to…

extend to transgender individuals [the following benefits] including… services related to transgender transition (e.g., medically necessary services related to sex reassignment):
* Short term medical leave

* Mental health benefits

* Pharmaceutical coverage (e.g., for hormone replacement therapies)

* Coverage for medical visits or laboratory services

* Coverage for reconstructive surgical procedures related to sex reassignment

* Coverage of routine, chronic, or urgent non-transition services (e.g., for a transgender individual based on their sex or gender. For example, prostate exams for women with a transgender history and pelvic/gynaecological exams for men with a transgender history must be covered.)

*Plan language ensuring “adequacy of network” or access to specialists should extend to transition-related care (including provisions for travel or other expense reimbursements)

The dollar maximums on this area of coverage must meet or exceed $75,000. [Emphasis original]

I’m skeptical of HRC, but that strikes me as a pretty fair criterion.

As I’ve written about at my [temporarily quiet] fundraising blog, even with insurance coverage, it’s pretty difficult for many trans* people to afford any surgical care they may require. Because insurance coverage is rare and insurers are notorious for not providing surgeons with adequate compensation, those surgeons that are willing to work with insurance companies typically require payment up front. That $15,000 I’m raising? That’s what I needed to raise with insurance coverage through New York State.

And of course, even with more and more companies enacting trans* friendly non-discrimination policies, all sorts of interacting bigotry still help ensure that trans* people are disproportionately un- and under-employed.

There’s still plenty of rain for any planned parade. Still, a rainy parade is better than no parade at all.

H/t to the Twitterverse et. al.,

9| December 2011

From the article I read about this: ‎”Dallas-based American Airlines, which has maintained a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index since it was created, not only augmented its insurance coverage but amended its family leave policy so workers could take time off to care for a spouse or partner undergoing sex reassignment surgery” … I may have to start flying American.

9| December 2011

I know there are issues with pretty much every airline, but I generally try to fly American when given the choice. They have a habit of doing neat things like hiring women to fly planes and giving trans* people jobs.

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