Archive for April, 2012

It’s a conundrum.  What to do?  We’ve been baby sitting and niece sitting now for 6 months.  The house is filing up with more and more onerous vibes.  Negative and very unpleasant vibes.  How do you tell your 23 year old niece that she is fucking up her life?  That she has no concept of the importance of and the significance of motherhood.  That she does not connect with her daughter on an emotional level.  Hell, not even on a physical, help me stay healthy level.  I mean, how much longer can we tolerate this incursion into our life?  It’s  not like there are no other options out  there.  Go to your gramma and grampa.  Go to your birth mother for christ sake~!  Why are we burdened with this task of righting your ship?  Are you giving me any guidance in the handling of my father?  Are you helping your aunt in resolving and guiding her Alzheimer’s mother to some comfort  zone?   And your interaction with your child is so devoid of emotional connection I cringe to observe.  Fuck, it’s really time to get  a grip and make a move.  You have been hiding  here for long enough.  Time’s up,.  Make a move.  Show some respect.  Show some initiative.  Show some hope.

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I wonder if the name Charles Taylor even registers in conversation among Nazi hunters?


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Transgender man files human rights complaint in Nova Scotia after being asked to pay for hysterectomy

  Apr 23, 2012 – 7:55 PM ET

A transgender Nova Scotia man has filed a human rights complaint after the province refused to pay the cost of a hysterectomy it claims was voluntary.

Jessiah MacDonald said he was blindsided by a $3,400 bill from the province’s medical insurance provider while he was still recuperating in the hospital in October 2010.

“I was in shock,” he said. “There was no mention up to that point that it wouldn’t be covered.”

The province claims the hysterectomy was sexual reassignment surgery, a voluntary procedure that it does not cover.

But MacDonald claims it was medically necessary.

After complaining of abdominal pains, he was referred to a gynecologist in April 2010. She found multiple polyps in his uterus and recommended a hysterectomy.

MacDonald said many women in his family have had to undergo similar procedures.

“Given my family history, it was either then or a few years down the road,” he said.

“From the initial consultation, right until the day after the surgery, no one had made any mention that it wouldn’t be covered or that I would have to pay,” he said. “I felt like a second-class citizen.”

There was also confusion about who would pay for the followup care. MacDonald was forced to have a family member remove some surgical staples that normally would have been taken out at the hospital 10 days after the surgery.

MacDonald filed an appeal with the insurer, but the province came to the same conclusion as the hospital.

Kathryn Dumke, MacDonald’s lawyer, said the decision is clearly discriminatory.

“He simply relied on what was recommended by the surgeon,” Dumke said. “There has never been a denial of coverage for a female-identified woman for this procedure. It was only because MacDonald is transgender that this is a problem.”

MacDonald filed a complaint against Medical Services Insurance, the province’s health insurer, and the case is now before the Nova Scotia human rights commission.

If the two sides can’t come to an agreement, the case will be heard before a human rights tribunal. Dumke said she doesn’t anticipate an easy solution.

“At the moment, there is no indication that this might be settled,” she said.

Nova Scotia’s medical insurer and MacDonald’s doctor did not return requests for comment.

Dumke said MacDonald’s experience points to wider problems with how transgender Canadians are treated by the health-care system.

“Generally speaking, trans health is in an abysmal state,” she said. “Many regular services will be scrutinized or denied because people are transgender. There’s an adverse climate in Canada for trans people attempting to deal with their health issues.”

MacDonald filed a consumer proposal, an alternative to bankruptcy, after receiving the $3,400 bill. He is now paying back the money in monthly installments, under protest.

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A man doesn’t need to have his penis removed to legally become a woman, according to new order from the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

In a 95-page decision issued April 11, Sheri Price, a vice-chair with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, gave the Ontario government 180 days to “revise the criteria for changing sex designation on a birth registration.” Unless provincial authorities mount an appeal, Ontario will become the first Canadian jurisdiction to toss out genital surgery as a pre-requisite for a legal sex change.

Mercedes Allen, a writer on trans issues based in the Calgary area, said the decision is bound to spark some division within the trans community, particularly among those who have already undergone reassignment surgery.

“They have trouble sometimes understanding how a person could transition and not require [surgery],” she said. There is a sense of “why would you even want to be in that situation?” she added.

‘They have trouble sometimes understanding how a person could transition and not require [surgery]‘

She added: “Personally, I don’t think the ability to correct documents should be the reason to have surgery.”

Under current law, even if a man transitioning to a woman had undergone hormone therapy, grown a pair of breasts and developed a higher-pitched voice, they are barred from changing their sex without written proof of a vagina. “Even though you could be presenting as a female full-time, you couldn’t get your birth certificate changed to show you as female unless you had the male bits lopped off,” said Kay Lockhart, a woman-in-transition based in Ottawa.

If anything, said Ms. Lockhart, the new regulations will provide some “breathing room” for people in transition. Between saving up for the procedure (approximately $20,000 for a male-to-female, $60,000 for a female-to-male) can take between five and 10 years, leaving transgendered people in an uncomfortable limbo where they are living as a new sex — yet using the passport and health card of their old sex. The discrepancy leaves transgendered people open to a host of legal complications, most notably a section of Canada’s air travel regulations that requires airlines not to seat a passenger if “the passenger does not appear to be of the gender indicated on the identification he or she presents.”

For the small minority of transgendered people who end up regretting the decision to change sex, a non-surgery requirement also leaves the process somewhat reversible. “This is a one-way trip, dear,” said Ms. Lockhart. “Once the organ is lopped off, it’s not going to be put back on.”

The case was brought by a person named in tribunal documents as XY, a male-to-female transgendered person who was not able to secure legal sex reassignment until she had provided evidence that her testicles had been removed.

While the Tribunal ruled that the requirement was “discriminatory,” Ms. Price rejected calls from XY for a monetary award — or even an apology — on the basis that Ontario’s laws were not vindictive, just outdated. There is no evidence that the Ontario government “acted in a manner that was clearly wrong, in bad faith, an abuse of its powers,” she wrote.

‘This is a one-way trip, dear. Once the organ is lopped off, it’s not going to be put back on’

The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services was ordered to draw up a new sex-reassignment framework by autumn, but Ms. Price declined to set out any guidelines other than suggesting that third-party “guarantors” could be enlisted to decide when a person has officially switched sex.

The new framework will also apply to women transitioning to men.

“People want to be satisfied that the change is consistent and somewhat permanent,” said Susan Gapka, chair of the Toronto-based Trans Lobby Group. “Without the surgery, we’d want to know that this is a commitment that’s extended over a certain period of time.”

“We want to satisfy society and the laws of the land.”

National Post
• Email: thopper@nationalpost.com

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