One hour ago, with other members of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project I participated in a direct action at HX Refactored, a health care conference in New York City, attended by the new NY State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. We went to stop business as usual at the Department of Health. 16 years of transgender exclusion from medically necessary healthcare is far too long! It was truly an amazing action and we received waves of applause from conference participants and incredibly support tweets from attendees as well as long term SRLP community members who couldn’t attend but supported us from outside the conference.
Let me give you some background:
In 1998, the New York State Department of Health proposed a regulation that specifically denied necessary healthcare to transgender people, people whose gender identity doesn’t match their assigned sex. At the time, advocates and medical experts told the Department of Health that healthcare for transgender people is affordable, safe, effective, and medically necessary. They also explained that the regulation would cause serious harm because, as you may know, when transgender people don’t have access to necessary healthcare, our suicidality rate goes up and our overall health outcomes go down.
The regulation barring transgender people from accessing healthcare was passed in 1998 and is still in place today.
Working with the Audre Lorde Project, Make the Road New York, the Trans Women of Color Collective, and other partner organizations, we have mobilized thousands of people to sign petitions to demand that the Department of Health repeal the regulation. Advocates and activists have met with the deputy governor who oversees these policies. We have written letters and filed lawsuits. And we have marched outside the Department of Health’s offices. Yet the Department of Health continues to deny transgender people necessary healthcare coverage.
Join us TODAY to demand TRANS HEALTHCARE NOW! You can help us put pressure on the Department of Health to ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable care by sharing this email, sharing SRLP’s news post, and posting on Facebook and Twitter.
Here is a sample post:
Because trans lives matter: @HealthNYGov stop denying trans people necessary healthcare!http://srlp.org/healthcare #transhealthcarenow #hxr2014
Please look out for photos and videos from the conference and more ways for you to help join us in the movement to ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable healthcare!
p.s. You can also support our work by making a donation to SRLP through Give OUT Day! Any donation you make on or before May 15 (tomorrow!) counts toward our Give OUT Day fundraising drive. Please make a donation today!