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.

Just a pretty face and nothing more.

Can we for a moment talk about that part of the internet where people have been tagging #thisiswhattranslookslike everywhere? It’s a visibility campaign to show others that we are just every day people just like everyone else. It’s a wonderful thing to do and I fully support and back it.
But when does it turn from a good thing to a hurtful and possibly dangerous thing?
When ‘famous’ transpersons decide that the selfie train shouldn’t stop. That instead of taking part of their visibility and following to do something good with it, they decide that they’ll turn a buck and potentially harm others instead because their ‘selfie’ was too important to pass up.

I am livid. Infuriated, that this is what it’s boiling down to. That this is somehow accepted vs actual help for the community. When do we draw the line?

Confused? I’ll show you. Example A: Screenshot 2016-02-05 22.15.57

This is what has me set off. Here we see ‘famous’ Aydian Dowling, lack of smile, sad big doe eyes.. and the caption mentions he was taken a back by a trans murder that he was e-mailed about. This of course warranted for him to /show you/ how upset he clearly is and then promptly followed by 4 emoji heart icons and than a bunch of spewed hash tagged words.
I mean come on! Look at how upset he is everyone! That’s the face of a man who clearly had to pull out his camera and just /shoowww you/ how awful he feels. That warrants something right? I mean, clearly this is somehow helping the community. All the swooning comments of how handsome he is, obviously got the message across.

Can you feel my sarcasm from across the internet? Good. So I of course, obviously sighting something missing, decided to chime in. I’m apart of the community, I surely have a voice I can use. Let’s go for it. Example B:
Screenshot 2016-02-05 22.12.16.png

Here you see the wild Hex in his habitat. Putting in a word of advice or even just a suggestion. One that I wasn’t seething hate from, not a curse word in sight. In fact I give my self a small pat on the back for not blowing up. (thanks me!)
And then que his fans. Ones who clearly missed the point I was trying to make, just like Aydian did. Surprise surprise!

Yeah, sure.. that sad selfie is surely going to save someone… not.

When did people think it was ok to stick their necks out for their communities and than fall completely off the bandwagon, off the road, out of the ditch and into a river? When did it become acceptable to be allowed to a mass a shit ton of followers, whom you could have a positive sway over and instead whore yourself out for the likes? And people think Caitlyn is bad for the community. Let’s take a nice hard long look at this guy shall we?

Dear Aydian here runs a clothing company that claims they ‘help’ the trans community. They give free binders to those in need and help raise funds for the lucky few who win their lotto to get surgery. That sounds amazing right? Until you dig a little deeper.
That free binder program? Free sounds so great, especially to the dirt poor trans person who can’t even keep a job because they keep getting fired for BEING TRANS! Well think again poor trans person! Aydian wants you to buy one of this T shirts first! You’ve gotta spend that money to get that free binder! Gotta look swag in his apparel. Oh don’t have money for that $20 T-shirt? Go beg somewhere else!

So you say to yourself, ok I’ll just enter his once a year drawing to get top surgery! I won’t even need a binder than if I just get the funds right? WRONG! Oh boy I even looked into this one because, as previously mentioned in another blog post, I can’t afford top surgery. Insurance doesn’t cover it, my state hasn’t made it legal and I have 2 kids to take care of on the already limited income we do have. So you bet your bottom I went looking to apply to be in his top surgery drawing. It went great until I read the list of requirements to apply. To apply, applicants must have saved up past a certain goal of money! On top of that, the funds he gives are meant only to get you to the rest of your end goal and you have only so long to get that top surgery or else he wants that money back!
Welp, count my ass out and god only knows how many other transmen in my position.

So, let’s recap! If you’re poor(which makes up 15% of trans, (vs 4% of the general population of the US) or even struggling to make ends meet, been fired recently from a job because you’re trans etc, than don’t turn to Aydian Dowling. He’s not going to help you.
If you’re in a dire situation, you ran across his page just recently and needed some help, but low and behold didn’t find any but a bunch of selfies and self positive messages, well.. you’re screwed as far as he’s concerned.
If you really needed that number for the trans suicide hotline but couldn’t remember it because Aydian decided his lean muscle was more important, you’re not alone.
And oh if your parents are kicking you out and you needed to remember that shelter number for trans youth? Welp.. out of luck again. Your hunky Aydian didn’t decide you were important enough because his gym selfie was.

Do you see the issue here??! When do we get to stand up and say, “Hey, this isn’t what the community needs!” It’s great you’re visible. So much so you were on TV. Congradulations Aydian. Honestly, I do mean that part. You’ve come leaps and bounds as far as the trans community goes for visibility. Other than that? You haven’t done shit with it. You haven’t grassrooted correctly. Instead of helping the lesser of us wallowing on the bottom, just trying to make ends meet, you decided you’d be the pretty face instead.
You’ve lost my support and two years of looking up to you. God only knows how many lives have been lost instead because someone looked up to you and didn’t get the help they really needed. I know I couldn’t live with that guilt.