Vaginal Discourse

The best part of having breasts is being able to store stuff in one’s bra. It’s like a superpower.

Discuss.

Last month, a Calgary radio station announced a contest where women could compete for free breast implants by submitting a photo and a personal statement. Predictably, reviews were, um, mixed. Last week, Amp Radio selected ten finalists, from which online voters chose a winner.

The votes are in. Avery, a Calgary trans woman, won the ten-way contest with seventy-six percent of all votes cast. Beautiful.

This is how we work the system.

Societies are not generally open to paying trans* people’s medical bills. Those of us who live in the United States aren’t guaranteed health insurance. To the extent that we might have our own insurance, the corporations that profit from us typically don’t pay for the care we need. Medicaid and Medicare don’t cover our needs, even for qualifying individuals.

While Canadian society generally views health care as a fundamental human right, various governmental agencies determine what “health care” actually means. Some provinces (like Alberta) don’t cover SRS/GRS at all. It’s pretty typical for politicians to treat trans* people’s bodies as budget lines and political footballs. Thus, it’s never clear what various provinces will pay for at various points in time.

Toying with trans* people’s lives is not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. There are places that have “universal” health care that only allows an outlandishly low number of trans* people to access services each year. Some places have “universal” health care, but force trans* people to conform to narrow standards and submit to horrific psychological evaluations as a condition of their care. Often enough, both of these conditions exist simultaneously. Read more…