In The News

Princeton’s transgender policy furthers acceptance! Dec 8, 2015
The Board of Education in Princeton is grappling with ways to make the township’s public schools more accessible for transgender and gender nonconforming students – a discussion echoing in school districts around the country. Last month, the Department of Education gave officials at a high school outside of Chicago a month to resolve a dispute involving a transgender girl who sought to use the girls’ locker room for changing and showering, or risk forfeiting federal funding. Read more at The Jersey Journal.

NYCLU Applauds New Discrimination Protections for Transgender New Yorkers
October 22, 2015 — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced tonight an executive action directing the State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that would interpret existing protections against discrimination on the basis of sex and disability to cover gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria.

Gov. Cuomo’s executive action comes after the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA), which the New York Civil Liberties Union has long advocated for, failed in the legislature during the 2015 session. GENDA would explicitly clarify that gender identity and gender expression are protected characteristics under New York State’s antidiscrimination laws, alongside other categories including sexual orientation, race, religion and disability. The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “With this executive action, Gov. Cuomo has made it clear that his administration is committed to protecting transgender and gender nonconforming people in New York State.

Walmart Sued By Transgender Woman Who Says She Was Harassed And Then Fired
Walmart and one of its managers in a New Jersey store have been hit with a lawsuit alleging that a transgender employee was harassed and then fired over her gender identity. Samantha Azzarano began working at Walmart store in Deptford, New Jersey as a service associate in September of 2012.

‘Bring Your Own Body’ Exhibit At Cooper Union Showcases Transgender ArtistsOn display in New York City through Nov. 14. A new exhibit is on display at The Cooper Union in New York City that brings together the work of transgender artists and the famed Kinsey Archives.

Called “Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives & Aesthetics,” the event is curated by Jeanne Vaccaro, a postdoctoral fellow in gender studies at Indiana University and a scholar at the Kinsey Institute, and Stamatina Gregory, associate dean of the School of Art at The Cooper Union. It opens Oct. 14 is slated to run through Nov. 14.

Nation’s Largest Supermarket Chain to Cover Trans Health Care
Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States and one of the country’s largest employers, confirmed with The Advocate Wednesday that it will be providing full health benefits to transgender employees, including coverage of gender-affirming surgeries.

According to Kroger spokeswoman Patty Leesemann, the new health plan will be available January 2016 to non-union employees. She could not give an estimate as to what percentage of Kroger’s more than 400,000 employees that included.

Obamacare Now Pays For Gender Reassignment Surgery
The nation’s health law opens the door for transgender people to gain coverage for gender reassignment surgeries they previously could not afford. Devin Payne had gone years without health insurance—having little need and not much money to pay for it.Then Payne, who had a wife and four children, realized she could no longer live as a man.In her early 40s, she changed her name, began wearing long skirts and grew out her sandy blond hair. And she started taking female hormones, which caused her breasts to develop and the muscle mass on her 6-foot one-inch frame to shrink. The next step was gender reassignment surgery.

Obamacare, States & Insurers make Gender Reassignment Surgery Accessible
The good news: It’s never been easier for transgender people to access gender reassignment surgery — if they have insurance and live in the right state. More than two dozen major insurance carriers provide plans without blanket exclusions for transgender-related health care, either through fully-insured plans or as a third party administrator of self-insured plans, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit group that works for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights. They include Aetna AET, -1.48% , at least eight Blue Cross state programs, Cigna CI, -1.58% , UnitedHealth UNH, -1.43% and Emblem Health.

Regulators in nine states and the District of Columbia have also introduced laws banning insurance discrimination against treatments for gender reassignment. The other eight are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, according to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. “But some insurers still deny claims and flout the law until someone pushes back against them,” says Michael Silverman, executive director at Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. Last December, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told insurers in a letter: “An issuer may not deny medically necessary treatment otherwise covered by a health insurance policy solely on the basis that the treatment is for gender dysphoria.”

Ban Lifted On Medicare Coverage For Gender Surgery
The Obama administration on Friday ended a 33-year ban on Medicare coverage for gender reassignment surgery — a major victory for transgender rights and a decision that is likely to put pressure on more insurers to provide coverage for such services. The ruling by a Department of Health and Human Services board was in response to a lawsuit filed last year on behalf of Denee Mallon, 74, a transgender woman and army veteran from Albuquerque.

Andrew Cray Remembered for Contributions to LGBT Health
The life of Andrew Cray — and his work on LGBT health issues — was cut short upon his untimely death last week at age 28, but those close to him say his message of encouraging LGBT people to enroll for health insurance lives on. Among his accomplishments was co-launching Out2Enroll, a project aimed at encouraging LGBT people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Cray also worked as a transgender activist to ensure states would require health insurance companies to cover transition-related care.