Earlier this month, Kasen shared with us some great resources for trans folks and allies to use in 2020. Here he shares even MORE amazing resources with us!

If you missed the first part of his resources series and don’t know what this is, click here to check it out!

2020 Trans Resources: Part 2

4. WPATH Standards of Care

When I decided to transition one of the biggest concerns for me was healthcare coverage. I wondered how much this was going to cost me, and would everything be covered by my insurance. As I dug into my company’s Humana plan, I kept hearing and reading this acronym: WPATH. My plan said it followed the WPATH standards of care — what the heck is that?

I disclosed that I’m a researcher. I want to know my rights and coverage to take full advantage of that bi-weekly paycheck deduction, so I sought out to better understand (WPATH) The World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s “Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and GenderNonconforming People”.

Aug 5, 2017: I saved this screenshot from the WPATH Standards of Care 

to help me know what to expect from my testosterone shots.

This 120-page document does a deep, deep dive into trans healthcare – the best practices, the best procedures, effects, and outcomes. It answered a plethora of questions for me. It also helped to give me the medical lingo to better understand the coverage of my own healthcare plan.

**Keep in mind that every healthcare plan is different. Luckily, my company’s Humana plan is pretty inclusive. I asked my HR benefits manager to get me a copy of the specific trans coverage within my personal policy. It was a good 33-pages, but it was helpful in outlining what would and would not be covered. I recommend researching both for your own coverage.

5. Yelp

We’ve all heard of Yelp, right? When you check-in to a business on Yelp, you will sometimes be prompted to quickly answer questions about the business. It’s pretty common to get questions about the price range, ambiance, parking and if there is wifi. All cool and valid stuff, but in the spring of 2017, Yelp added a question that offered me more safety as it helped alleviate some anxiety as a trans person. Yep, Yelp now offers info about if a business offers a gender-neutral bathroom

In addition to the gender-neutral bathroom attribute,Yelp responded to things like the “Colorado Gay Wedding Cake” scandal by rolling out the “open to all attribute”. Business owners can distinguish themselves as a safe and open space for everyone, right on their business page.  

Source: https://blog.yelp.com/2018/07/business-owner-guide-open-to-all

6. Trans Stories on TV

Everyone wants to see themselves represented on tv. When I was a kid, that meant watching characters like Tommy, the Green/White Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Cory Matthews (Boy Meets World) and Brad Taylor (Home Improvement), as role models and representations of myself and who I wanted to grow up to be.

In the 1999s and early 2000s, I can’t name a single time I saw a transgender person on tv. It wasn’t until 2006 when season 3 of the L Word introduced someone that I could truly relate to, Max Sweeney. Later, in 2015 I remember seeing my first real-life trans story on ABC News, as a couple from Louisville, KY, of all places, shared their story.

Now, in 2020, I can name more than a handful of tv shows, even mainstream, major network shows that have included trans people as characters — even as the show’s main characters. Seeing these characters, and the real people behind them has been a really validating resource for me. It’s also been helpful for my cis-allies to see. 

TV has the power to communicate and normalize a person’s experience in a digestible fashion, and often to people that would not otherwise understand, or who are too timid to ask the questions themselves. When I started to transition, I remember a phone call from my youngest brother when he told me he was watching Amazon’s Transparent to try to understand my need to transition. (It’s a touching show about a trans woman, who is being played by a cis male actor.. But still, it’s the thought that counts). For real stories being told my real trans actors, look to shows like Pose, The Fosters, Good Trouble, Shameless, Sense8, The L Word: Generation Q, and even Grey’s Anatomy to name a few. 

Some of my favorite trans actors:(L to R)  Brian Michael Smith, Jamie Clayton, MJ Rodriguez, Elliot Fletcher

I know a “Happy New Year” is a little late, but happy new year all the same. I hope 2020 is shaping up to be amazing for you and your loved ones. As always, thanks for taking the time to read about my trans experience.

Want more but can’t wait? You can follow my transition on Instagram account here!

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