This Teenager Is Speaking Out Against President Trump’s Proposed Repeal Of Transgender Protections

By | August 14, 2019

13-year-old Eva Gold, center, poses with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, right, and her mother, Alisa, on Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019 in Hartford, Conn.

Dawn Ennis

The hours are ticking away toward the closure of the comment period for sweeping changes in federal health care policy, proposed by the Trump Administration. At 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, the portal at regulations.gov will no longer accept comments about the administration’s plan to repeal and replace an Obama-era regulation prohibiting health care providers from discriminating against transgender people.

The new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule would eliminate the currently accepted expanded definition of sex, which recognizes gender identity in cases involving sex discrimination. The Affordable Care Act forbids discrimination based on race, national origin, disability, age or sex in health-related programs that receive federal funding. The language includes gender identity as an aspect of sex.

Connecticut is the latest state to join a multi-state alliance that has formed objecting to the change. One week ago in Hartford, Connecticut’s capital, federal and state lawmakers joined local LGBTQ advocates in denouncing the proposal. 

One of those affected is 13 year old Eva Gold of Ridgefield, Conn.

“This would mean that I would not have blockers or hormones,” Gold said. “This is important to me because these services and medications make me my whole self.”

Before she transitioned, Gold said she considered killing herself because of how others treated her.

“I felt out of place. I was made fun of daily and discriminated against so I tried to take my life because my body did not match who I am,” Gold said. “How would you feel if your loved one took their own life because they couldn’t get the emotional or medical support they needed to live their best life as their authentic self?”

Connecticut State Health Care Advocate Ted Doolittle stands with federal and state lawmakers and LGBTQ advocates Ace Ricker (far left) and Tony Ferraiolo.

Dawn Ennis

One of Gold’s mentors, trans man, author and advocate Tony Ferraiolo, delivered a grim message at the news conference.

“Eliminating the general prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity, as well as specific health insurance coverage protections for transgender individuals will literally kill members of the transgender and non-binary communities,” Ferraiolo said. “We can’t go back to the days when health care providers and first responders could stand around a trans person and watch them die.”

While Connecticut’s state laws offer civil protections from discrimination for transgender citizens, the federal government still holds sway when it comes to health care for many residents. Without a federal umbrella of protection, anyone with a self-insured plan would be at risk. The new rule would impact approximately 12,400 transgender people in Connecticut, according to state officials.

“This administration, in effect, wants to turn back the clock, roll back the law and enable rampant systemic discrimination,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal told reporters at the news conference organized by State Health Advocate Ted Doolittle. “The consequences here are severe and immediate. One out of every four transgender people reports some serious discrimination based on their gender identity. This is not some hypothetical problem in the future.”

From left to right: Rev. Aaron Miller of Metropolitan Community Church, Diana Lombardi , executive director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition, and author and advocate Tony Ferraiolo, in Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

Dawn Ennis

The health care coverage at issue is medically necessary and supported by the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and the World Association of Transgender Health, among other groups, according to Diana Lombardi, executive director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition.

“We are concerned about health care providers being able to invoke religious exemptions and refusing to give medical care to us. There have been a number of cases where medical providers refused to provide care and resulted in death or serious injury,” Lombardi said. “In Connecticut, one woman was denied health care when she went into the emergency room and they found out she was trans. They told her to go home and take two Aspirin. She later found out she had a broken hip and spine.”

Connecticut’s lieutenant governor said she saw a pattern emerging in rollbacks by the Trump administration that target transgender Americans,  from the administration’s gutting of anti-discrimination prohibitions at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the ban on transgender people serving in the military.

“I just want to put this in context because this is a constant battle against discrimination that we are fighting at the state and the federal level now,” Susan Bysiewicz told reporters. “What the president is trying to do is to institutionalize discrimination in yet another federal law and so we are here today to stand up and forcefully and clearly say that transgender people in our state and our country should have equal access to health care.”

To read the entire proposal, click here.

This is the link to click to write a comment about the proposal. 

Forbes – Healthcare