Transgender Healthcare in Texas (or the lack thereof)

  • Gender reassignment surgery is medically necessary.
  • The cost of these surgeries are anywhere from $18-45K, depending on which state and clinic it is preformed at.
  • We need to provide transgender healthcare and gender reassignment for all transgender Texans, and we need to do this for their health.

I have seen numerous Facebook posts, articles, and comments about allowing Medicaid or taxpayer insurance policies to pay for or to cover gender reassignment surgery for transgender individuals, and people stating they would not pay taxes to allow transgenders to get surgery.

As a transgender myself, I know firsthand how this affects these individuals. Texas Medicaid does indeed cover these sometimes life-saving surgeries. but no clinic in the state of Texas will accept Medicaid for these procedures.

Multiple states allow Medicaid to provide these surgeries and have clinics that accept the state Medicaid. I am not running for the Texas House of Representatives, only for Transgenders. I am running for all people, so please don’t think that by me talking about this, this will be the top priorities.

The thing is, for those who do not understand why a transgender person is transgender; well, many feel like they are the opposite gender, this is not a sexual preference, it is gender identity, nothing sexual about it.

Like me, for example. I was born male but developed breast as I hit puberty, I developed the feelings and hurts of a woman, I hid and finally came out in 2018, to become the woman I am today.

The thing is, while my dysphoria is mild compared to some individuals, I am still needing the surgery to complete the transition. It does bug me and disgust me that I have the male genitalia.

The cost of these surgeries are anywhere from $18-45K, depending on which state and clinic it is preformed at. Most people cannot afford this and that’s where insurance comes into play. However, for states like Texas, the insurance covers these procedures but no clinic that provides gender reassignment surgery accepts insurance, only cash/check.

Orchiectomy (also named orchidectomy, and sometimes shortened as orchi) is a surgical procedure in which one or both testicles are removed (bilateral orchiectomy). The surgery is typically performed as treatment for testicular cancer, in some cases of testicular torsion, and is sometimes used in the management of advanced prostate cancer.

This puts several thousand in jeopardy. While some people state that this is elective surgery, and is not necessary, depending on the dysphoria that the individual is suffering from, this could result in the feeling of loss, depression, and finally the feeling they don’t belong, and ultimately, they end up taking their own lives.

While others will simply move out of Texas to get the services that they need to survive. Why would we as a state want our citizens to move out of state, instead of getting the services in their home state?

Some, like me, choose to get hormone replacement therapy, and in the process, these hormones can cause damages to the kidneys or liver, especially for male-to-female transgenders, because the T-blocker being used, Spironolactone, it is known to cause kidney issues. This can simply be avoided by getting an Orchiectomy (also named orchidectomy, and sometimes shortened as orchi). It is a surgical procedure in which one or both testicles are removed (bilateral orchiectomy) but this is also costly– somewhere between $5-11K– depending on where it is performed.

So, the choice in this matter would be: stop taking the hormones, or suffer kidney damage. And these individuals choose what they feel is right, like me and continue the hormone replace therapy even though it could cause kidney issues in the future, simply because they cannot even afford to get an Orchiectomy. But this is a one-time procedure and would stop the monthly cost of the t-blocker. But for many, this is not an option.

We need to provide transgender healthcare and gender reassignment for all transgender Texans, and we need to do this, not just to make people happy, but for their health. This is in most cases, whether it be kidney or health-related or for the severe dysphoria, life-saving and is a much needed and medically necessary procedure.

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Addison Perry-Franks

Addison Perry-Franks is a proud Texan and Scurry County resident, active in her community. She has built a thriving small business that has successfully delivered IT solutions to national retail chains since 2008. She came out as transgender in May 2018 and has been happily married to her wife, Lacey for 11 years.  They have five children. 

Addison is also running in 2020 for Texas House of Representatives, District 83.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com
  • Website:   https://addison4tx.com
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https://addison4tx.com/

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