Vaginal Discourse

In a totally random format, because I have to wash my pussy after he spent two days hiding in my neighbors’ garage (for realz).

Did you know that the Jim Collins Foundations funds gender confirming surgeries for needy trans people? They do! You can submit a scholarship application or donate here. Via @radicalguy

Supreme Court refuses to hear state’s appeal, ending Wisconsin’s ‘Inmate Sex-Change Prevention Act.’

The ACLU and Lambda Legal jointly filed a case in 2006 on behalf of several transgender inmates entitled Fields v Smith who were experiencing severe physical and psychological harm after the medical treatment they had been receiving under prison doctors’ care was abruptly cut off due to the new draconian law.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin then struck down the law as unconstitutional based on both the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) and on the Equal Protection Clause after a four day trial. The state of Wisconsin appealed the ruling in 2010 and in August of last year, a unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the previous Lambda Legal court win, stating: “Refusing to provide effective treatment for a serious medical condition serves no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture.”

Monica Roberts via @AutumnSandeen

In Defense of the C-Word by Laurie Penny

For me, “cunt” is, and will always be, a word of power, whether it denotes my own genitals or any obstreperous comrades in the vicinity. The first time I ever used it, I was 12 years old, and being hounded by a group of sixth-form boys who just loved to corner me on the stairs and make hilarious sexy comments. One day, one of them decided it would be funny to pick me up by the waist and shake me. I spat out the words “put me down, you utter cunt”, and the boy was so shocked that he dropped me instantly.

Trans man Louis Birney requested that the New York City Department of Health correct his birth certificate. When they refused, he took them to court. He won.

From the Washington Post, emphasis mine:
[In order to grant the correction] The Health Department called for more details on the “reconstruction procedure,” plus a psychiatric evaluation and a physician’s record of a post-operative examination.

The ruling, made public last week, orders the city Health Department to re-evaluate [Birney’s] request and questions the agency’s understanding of “the lives and experience of transgender people.” It marks something of a victory for advocates seeking to make it easier for people who have changed gender to change their identity documents.

“I hope that the Department of Health will really take this to heart and really see that the court is, in this decision, recognizing the importance of respecting the identities of transgender individuals,” said Erica Kagan, a lawyer for the man, Louis Birney, who declined to be interviewed.

“It does not seem very likely that an individual would go through all the years of required preparation for surgical transition, including psychotherapy, undergo major surgery, assume life under his or her new gender, and then decide it was all a mistake and change back,” Feinman wrote. “This apparent assumption tends to suggest a certain ignorance by the department of the lengthy transition process and the lives and experience of transgender people.”

The other week I was looking at my medicine drawer. Certainly, I’m quite privileged in that I’ve had not one, but two different insurance plans in the past year.

My collection of prescription bottles

I’m not posting this to play Drug Olympics (certainly not on a weekday). What gave me pause was that all these bottles represent just five prescriptions– three anti-depressants (go team!), estradiol, and a testosterone blocker.

It took me close to a year to find a doctor that would prescribe me hormones. Eventually, I decided to drive to Chicago (150 miles away) to get my script. When I moved to Upstate New York, it also took me a while to get settled in with a new doctor.

Basically, I’m paranoid (or justifiably anxious) about losing access to my medication. Maybe I won’t be able to find a doctor to write a prescription. Maybe my insurance company will decide to stop paying for my hormones. Perhaps there’ll be conscience clauses.

I subconsciously hoard pills. As soon I’m eligible to refill an order, if I can afford it, I do it (hooray for tax returns!). Over time, that can lead to quite a surplus. I hold on to old pill bottles just in case I ever need to prove to a pharmacist that back in ought-eight such-and-such doctor wrote a certain prescription. I’m not sure what sort of situation would lead me to desperately whip out a four-year-old prescription bottle. I guess it’s best to be prepared.

Every day I hear of more and more laws that chip away at bodily autonomy. The less privileged the person, the higher the likelihood of finding oneself without healthcare. I’m worried that in one of the most affluent nations on Earth, hoarding and scarcity will increasing define our experience with medicine.

Four months after deciding to move back to the Midwest, things are finally taking shape. Our house is mostly unpacked, I’m somewhat used to my job, and our daughter has a grown up bed, courtesy of an IKEA road trip. Plus, it’s a bazillion degrees and sunny out, and we live well inland. Things are looking up.
Allen keys and aquavit.

[Me 1, IKEA Ø]

For those of you wondering about the fundraiser, it’s still very much on. The tally is at the same place it was in December. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of folks making monthly donations (thank you!), but that I add the full value of subscriptions to the tally at the time they’re made.

On of the hardest things about quitting my gig with New York State was losing health insurance for surgery. As I’ve said before, this was kind of a tease, given that I don’t know of any surgeons that accept insurance.

Given the low rates at which many insurance companies reimburse providers and the massive number of folks desperate for surgery, I don’t necessarily blame surgeons for being cautious with their finances.

In any case, I no longer have Blue Cross covering my hospital expenses, which means the cost (to me) of surgery is back in the much more typical range of $20-$25k (plus travel, pre-operative care, and unpaid time off work). Still, I stand by my decision to leave the academy (I’m sure I’ll be writing plenty about that at Shakesville or my other blog).

I’m cautiously optimistic that my new career in IT (coupled with the improving economy) will eventually make it possible for me to pay off past loans for medical expenses, or even save on my own. In the meantime, that’s the reason for the new goal on the right.

Needless to say, I’m pretty blown away that I’ve been able to raise what I already have. I wasn’t really expecting to raise the full amount I need (let alone doing so while taking an extended break), so I’ll see how it goes.