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Transgender state employees in Maryland can now access transition-related healthcare under their state-provided insurance.
The decision comes after 31-year-old Sailor Holobaugh sued the state when he was denied reimbursement for a mastectomy he got as part of his transition. Maryland is only the third state after Oregon and California to extend these rights to trans state employees.
"It’s a pretty sweeping change," said Jer Welter, managing attorney at Free State Legal. "It is going from care for gender transition being completely, categorically excluded in all of the plans, to being fully covered under all of the plans."
Welter said a 2007 executive order by Gov. Martin O’Malley banning discrimination against transgender state employees set a clear precedent under which to challenge the health insurance carve out, and that officials at the state were more than willing to work with him to change the policy when they heard about Holobaugh’s case.
Woohoo! Way to go, Maryland! (For real, only three states do this?!)
The late, disabled playwright John Belluso had a theory about why actors who play disabled characters often win Oscars: It is reassuring for the audience to see an actor like Daniel Day Lewis, after so convincingly portraying disability in My Left Foot, get up from his seat in the auditorium and walk to the stage to accept his award. There is a collective “Phew” as people see it was all an illusion. Society’s fear and loathing around disability, it seems, can be magically transcended.
john oliver is really not fucking around
"The worst thing one person can do to another is to reduce their identity to being only half of something. When someone is treated as half or less than half of one identity, they’re not being treated like a human at all. Everyone should have the right to individuality.”
[The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning, 289-291]