Transgender people face multiple issues with regard to our full equality and inclusion. In addition, the worst of the worst anti-LGBTQ violence is reserved for transgender individuals, especially transgender women of color. On a regular basis, we are potentially subject to discrimination, hate, and/or violence. Our health, safety, and well-being are constantly at risk. We must also make extra efforts to find informed, culturally competent healthcare providers. Furthermore, we deal with a complicated process to apply for and receive proper documents pertaining to our identity. Repeated efforts by legislatures to pass laws targeting transgender people (such as the so-called “bathroom bills” that marginalize us even more) also add to our burden.
Because the struggles of a transgender individual cannot be seen or measured scientifically, society has considered us mentally ill. Many of us consider physically and socially transitioning (living as the gender with which we identify) to be the most effective way to manage gender dysphoria. Gender itself is a social construct. The social repercussions of transitioning are many and burdensome.
To remove the stigma of being a mental disorder, the DSM-5, published in May 2013, replaced the term “disorder” with “dysphoria.” Now the condition is recognized as a medical issue for which a person can seek appropriate medical treatment and support, including counseling, cross-sex hormones, gender reassignment surgery, and social and legal transition to the desired gender.
Historically, most employer insurance plans have not covered the cost of comprehensive medical and surgical treatment for gender dysphoria. Such treatment is still considered cosmetic, despite groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) recommending coverage for these treatments. This barrier to insurance coverage may be removed in the near future, but not without more committed advocacy work and action. Likewise, employment discrimination of transgender people is an epidemic.
OBERGEFELL V. HODGES VICTORY IN 2015
On June 26, 2015, two years after DOMA was overturned, the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marriage is guaranteed to all couples. This was a monumental victory for families everywhere -- but ther's still work to be done. Currently 11 counties across Alabama are rufusing to grant marriage licenses.
Equality Alabama will continue to fight for the proper implementation of the Supreme Courts' decision.
We still have more work to do for all couples to enjoy the same protections in all counties across Alabama.