Drowning in the swamp

So I’ve been contemplating what to post here for about the last week as the dread keeps settling in as news articles clamor on top of one another on my feed.
It’s hard to put into words your anger and distress sometimes. I’ll try and not go on a full tirade as I’m sure a lot of you might feel the same way but I digress. This isn’t going to be easy for me.

As each day passes since the 1st of this year, I feel like I’m already drowning in this country. It’s not even the 20th yet and already I’m sick with anxiety, worry and thoughts of how to escape. Half baked plans of desperation, trying to find holes in the system so we can move before we’re completely stripped of our rights we’ve worked so hard to get.

The first strike: Health insurance in the state I’m in. We obviously had to sign up with the ACA again as none of our employers offer insurance. The issue with that is, our selection was cut in half and rates doubled. I couldn’t continue through United healthcare and had to find one that we could afford that had an obtainable deductible for us. We got stuck with Cigna for literally over double what we paid last year. Cigna doesn’t offer coverage for trans individuals. Plain and simple.
The exert from their 2017 exclusions: “Procedures, surgery or treatments to change characteristics of the body to those of the opposite sex including medical or psychological counseling and hormonal therapy in preparation for, or subsequent to, any such surgery. This also includes any medical, surgical or psychiatric treatment or study related to sex change.

I’m already fucked as far as my transition goes it seems. Feeling hopeless right off the bat this year, this wasn’t going to help my year off with a good note.
But then let’s add the syrup to the shit ice cream sundae and watch a Texas Federal judge block transperson’s rights the day before they’d fully take effect for the ACA!
Link: The BUZZ story

So that’s now 2 hits this first week. Oh and than you have Paul Ryan and the screwed assholes in congress who vow to repeal the whole damn ACA. Bam, 3 strikes we’re out.

What do you even do with this? I mean.. what can we do?

I sat and pondered this pretty much the last couple days. It’s only the 9th. 9 fucking days and I’ve watched my rights stripped and my health coverage go under fire.

Well, fuck it. I’m fighting. I’m not going down without a battle.
I happen to scroll past the Trans rights group on FB posting an article and I spoke up and commented. I’ve since then been in touch with a lady from PROMO and in the talks of trying to sort out the blatant discrimination in my healthcare.
I’ll be contacting Lambda Legal as well to see where and how far I can go.
Granted, I don’t have the funds at all to hire a lawyer. I’m living on a strict budget. So I suppose we’ll see. But if they find my case noteworthy enough to make waves, I’m gunning all the way. Court dates and all. I’m tired of sitting at home, watching as everything is set on fire around me, expecting others to make my and other’s ways in the world.

How can our legislation deny the AMA(American Medical Association), APA(American Psychological Association) and countless other accredited organizations? I know.. it’s a rhetorical question. These same people deny 98% of scientists on climate change. *Que eye roll x 1000*

As you can tell, I’ve hit my fuck this shit, mark and I’m fed up. Let’s cross fingers and hope I have some good news for once come soon.

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When it comes crashing down.

I just looked back at my last post and feel like everything crashed down around me again. You know that excitement of the last post? It’s gone and I highly doubt it’s going to come back for many years now.

I didn’t update sooner, especially on my surgery part because a series of events took place on Oct 19th that sent me into a spiraling depression and I’m still stuck there. It’s like a nightmare I can’t wake from and with no end in sight.

So… I’ll try and keep this fairly short. I was denied my surgery. My surgeon sent in my paperwork and they denied it even though previously they told me otherwise.
I was told I’d have to appeal it and I was midway into that when I noticed an email from the marketplace saying my tax coverage is being lowered because my kids are on medicaid. Uh.. Wha??? So I spend two weeks trying to get a hold of the medicaid office to figure out what happened and to fix it.
By the time I got replies and a letter etc.. the damage had been done. My insurance company raised my rates, kicking my kids off the coverage and my deductible skyrocketed by $2,000. I called the market place and they had to redo an entire application for us and I was devastated. I told them just to cancel my insurance. There was no point in keeping it. It was back to useless for us again.

I cried so hard that day. I’ve been on the edge of suicidal and lingering on quitting everything. So.. surgery is now out the window for who knows how long.
And then.. the election happens.

I have spent the better part of it now arguing with people who think it’s ok to invalidate my fear.
I can’t write anymore on this. I’m terrified beyond belief right now, sad and depressed. I have no energy left in me to keep speaking to privileged deaf people.

I thought I’d update everyone over here though. No surgery. No insurance right now. Barely a will to live.

 

I’ m covered!

So my paranoia ended up being a good thing!

I got a bit antsy at not knowing whether or not my insurance was going to cover my top surgery. The lady I spoke to yesterday wouldn’t give me a definitive answer and that really bugged me.
So I went looking and asking around for surgery codes today.
Ran across Dr Garramone’s site where they actually listed the codes (what they meant and were for etc) and jotted them down and called my insurance.
I asked for a case manager but was told none was available but the lady said she’d check the codes for me.
After being on hold multiple times, clarifying things and reminding them that they can’t deny me on the basis of being transgender, she came back saying that the surgery and fees are all covered for me!

I’m now tasked with getting 3 letters from my pcp, therapist and surgeon on my documentation of transition, a referral from my pcp to the surgeon and a referral from the surgeon and that’s it.
That’s freaking it. I’m.. so fucking ecstatic. I’m over the moon with delight that over 2 years later, pain, embarrassment, aches and dysphoria, I finally get to have this done and I don’t have to pay a cent.

Just.. going to thank Obama (in the sincerest way, along with the department of justice) because literally without them, I’d still be fucked.

So I have my consultation with the surgeon is on the 19th and the office lady said if everything goes through the insurance smoothly and without issue, I could be scheduled for surgery as early as the 2nd week of October this year.

I’m going to go have a mini celebration of screeching internally for the next hour.

Get angry and doing something about it.

This is what I try and live by most of the time when injustice or discrimination happen to me now a days. I’m tired of laying back and just taking the beating. So I did something about it.

My last journal was about the fact I had called a surgeon in my area to inquire about top surgery, only to find out they don’t offer to put in claims for insurance on trans top surgery. I was livid and hurt that day. I stewed for a couple hours, turning what had happened in my head over and over and finally said, enough is enough.

I called first the Department of Justice. Did the whole ring around the transfer line until I had to leave a message and that pretty much ended up in a dead end.
So I decided the best route would be to call the hospital’s administration office. I did just that and spoke with a really nice lady who was pretty concerned that I was told these things and picked up a claim for me.
The next day I get a call and it’s all been sorted out.

Turns out that they filed so many claims through insurance that kept getting denied that they quit offering to do it. They FAILED to explain that to me which I hope in the future they start to. Also, I ended up educating the office staff about the new ruling that took effect July 18th. Which I hope will be passed along more. It sadly isn’t that big of a thing when it should be!

So thankfully my irony turned into a positive outcome. I’m expecting to schedule my consultation tomorrow and get seen in the next week or so and hopefully get surgery approved and scheduled for next month. Crossing fingers!

Irony at it’s best, or worst.

Want to hear something fucked up? DOJ (Department of Justice) made new declarations this year that protect transgender people when it comes to coverage and insurance. This took into effect July 18th.
My insurance has to cover my transition related surgeries now and can NOT deny me on the basis that I’m transgender.
I of course have to find a surgeon in my area that’s in my network for this to go through. I have the option to go to an out of network but that’s going to cost me money I don’t have.
I call this surgeon that works under Truman medical here in the KC Metro area. Her top results looked great and I was really leaning on her as my surgeon now.
My shoulder has been hurting a lot lately due to the fact I wear my binder 14-16 hours a day cause fuck my chest.
So I call her office to set up a consultation appointment. The lady says it’ll be $50 up front to make that appointment and I say in my head, “Oh.. well can’t pay for that now but in a few weeks maybe,” and then she goes on to say the dr doesn’t file trans surgeries with insurance. She didn’t say.. she didn’t accept insurance for any other surgery she did.. just trans ones.

What.. the.. fuck?

Like, I’m such a basket of emotions right now. It’s so ironic to me that I wait.. over 2 years to see if I can get insurance that covers trans surgeries because my family and I have been scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck for the last 5+ years so saving on a strict budget is freaking impossible.. and I FINALLY get insurance and they agree to cover it because of the new ruling.. and the one fucking Dr I found in my area that I like.. doesn’t fucking take insurance for TRANS?!

Can you tell I’m just utterly pissed off and dumbfounded?
I’m also seriously crushed right now. It hit me pretty hard when I heard that and then had a fellow transman tell me, “Well insurance should reimburse you!”
Oh, I’m sorry. Did you just assume that I had $7,500+ laying around to get surgery? Did you just.. assume that because you could, everyone can? Cause last I checked, I’ve been living on a strict budget so much so that we barely make food appear before we get paid again. Illness, car issues, my kids.. among just some of the few things that keep fucking up our chance to even save $50 for that consultation let alone seven fucking grand.

So there’s the irony. Get insurance to pay for my top surgery. Get told Dr doesn’t take my insurance because I’m trans.
Wonderful.

If my fucking transmission hadn’t gone out 3 weeks ago and my tax return wasn’t needed for a new car.. AGAIN.. I’d gladly just fucking pay for my surgery. But it looks like.. another year has to go by. Just fml.

Started a new job, already outed.

Why can’t people just keep shit to themselves? Information that they had no right to even express to anyone else? Not even there for over a week and already half or more of the crew I work with knows I’m trans now all because the area manager/hiring manager decided to open his big mouth for no reason what so ever but to create that “shock” value.

And guess what’s happening now that they know? My shift leads are misgendering me. I get funny looks from people and I’m ignored. I’ve corrected them and am simply ignored. Couldn’t even make it a week without being outed. And of course my husband and family doesn’t understand. The anxiety I get from being disrespected and treated differently is through the roof. I just want to go to work, work and go home. No one needed to know I was trans in order for work to get done. But here I am.

Can you tell I’m angry? To those who read my entry about working last year at Coleman, you can already probably see the path this is going to head down to eventually. So guess what I’m doing this weekend? Applying for yet another job.

It’s already bad enough I have to pick up work on top of everything else going on in my life, just so I can pay to get my teeth fixed and save for top surgery, but to be treated like a walking freak along with it? Nope, not going to happen.

I noticed the Target in my city is hiring. Maybe I’ll get lucky. And this time if I get hired, I’m making it crystal clear, I don’t want to be outed. I want to be seen as the male I am. I want others to see the hard work I do and that’s it.

On a mild unrelated note, the psychologist I’ve seen now 3 times is either forgetting what mental disorders are, or hasn’t schooled herself in anything new in the last 5 years. I’ve been diagnoised with bipolar(in 2008) adhd(in early 2000’s) and severe anxiety disorder(this year). She seems to think, even though I have all the signs and symptoms of bipolar (at least a milder case of it) that instead it’s all just my adhd and I may not be bipolar! I’m face desking right now just fyi. Yes, anxiety/adhd/bipolar all have bounce off symptoms that can overlap into one another. It sucks that I suffer from a lot of the symptoms that all 3 disorders cause. So I get it, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing what. But to just dismiss my 8 years of bipolar to shove it off onto my other disorder? That seems a bit wonky and ill informed.
Speaking she wants to put me on Adderall which isn’t great for bipolar or anxiety. Don’t get me wrong. The anxiety, a good chunk of it, is caused by the adhd. It’s a miracle I can get through these posts without shouting, “Squirrel!” 5 times and back pedaling the backspace key 50 million times. I know I suffer from the conditions. I’m ok to get medical help seeing as the “natural green” medicine isn’t available nor advised seeing as it comes with the 10 year jail sentence. It was just pretty frustrating hearing that from someone I had placed my trust in. And the thought of ditching her for someone else so soon, makes my stomach turn. It feels rude to me. I don’t want to be wishywashy.

So that was my day/week. I just needed to get that out of my head properly.
With so much of the bathroom rights things circle jerking my FB feed daily, a lot of people forget there are other hurdles transgenders have to face, such as being respected at work.

Let’s talk about bathrooms.

I figured it was time to update the blog look again. Something cleaner, less notebookish. I have to make a new banner later because my face plastered that large up at top kind of makes me feel weird. But other than that, I’m digging it.

I’m going to kind of go on a small tangent about bathrooms and all those laws trying to pop up recently. If you haven’t kept up with the news recently, North Carolina is receiving backlash lately because their governor is a transphobic man who decided that trans persons weren’t really people and thus must go to the bathroom that corresponds with their both sex at birth. I’ll catch you up to date: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/30/nc-transgender-bathroom-ban-is-a-national-embarrassment-says-ag-as-pilloried-law-becomes-key-election-issue/

North Carolina of course isn’t the only one pushing bills around willy nilly and trying to get them passed. 28 states have introduced bills similar to NC this year! My state included! Kansas wants to reward those who can even catch transpersons using the “wrong” bathroom! How ludicrous is this? I’d say “Trump crazy” levels.
Here is a great article covering the bills: http://www.hrc.org/blog/anti-lgbt-bills-introduced-in-28-states

I’m not one for going willy nilly on politics but I’ll be damned if I let them run rampant against so many of my brothers and sisters and even my self. My own coward of a state is following the trend and it’s sickening. It pains me to see these bills, some passing, popping up everywhere. A lot of these bills are being passed mainly against transwomen because of this religious and blind fear of the unknown. Attempting to ban us from the public, like it’s going to make it better for everyone. They tried it with the gay/lesbian movement and now it’s popular to target the trans.
The issue here is trans isn’t as supported as the gay/lesbian movement. We don’t have nearly the large upswing as it has garnered over the years. Even some of our LG sides have fallen short in helping. We need all the help we can get. We really do.

I want to link one last site that is an action site, explaining per state, what bills are in and how to take action. http://www.transequality.org/action-center

I’m wanting to go to college this year. I don’t want to be driven away from my education because I’m not allowed to use the restroom I identify with. I don’t want others in that same position either. My children need a better future to live in. This lunacy has got to end. If you could take a moment, share, speak up or contact your local state and voice your opinion, it’d mean the absolute world to all of us. And when it comes time to vote? Vote to get these narrow minded idiots out of their seats. Not just on the presidential level, but your state level, city level and so forth. You have the right to vote and change the future for so many. I urge you to do so.