Counting Blessings

transgender symbol and flagI can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “we are so lucky;” lucky to be living in a community that has accepted and supported our family, and in particular, our son. And, even though we are living during a time where a transgender actor is featured on the cover of a national news magazine, movies and television shows are being written with trans characters and plot lines, we have a long way to go.

As parents, we want the best for our children. We have dreams for their future before they are born. We imagine and hope and wonder…we play the “what if” game. From conception, well-intentioned friends and family members ask, “do you know what you are having?”

My answer was always, “yes, a baby.” Honestly, whether that precious bundle of sweet-smelling joy was a boy or a girl, truly did not matter. What did matter, however, was that our baby was healthy. NOTHING else mattered. Not then, not now, not ever.

When Hunter mustered up the courage to come out to us, one of the first things I said to him was, “Our goal is for you to become a healthy adult – to be mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. We will do everything in our power to make sure that happens.”

If, “g-d forbid, your child got diagnosed with condition that required ongoing care and medication in order for them to live a normal, healthy life, you would expect your insurance company to cover most of the charges…without a fight. Children with Type 1 diabetes get insulin. Those with chronic asthma get inhalers and nebulizers. Kids diagnosed with ADHD get stimulant meds so they can concentrate in school. Transgender youth need hormones so they can transition. My FTM son wants “T” (testosterone) so he can become the man he desires to be. Did you know that this is NOT automatically covered by insurance?

Can you imagine telling your asthmatic child that they can’t get the medicine they need to BREATHE? No, I cannot either.

After a year and a half of researching doctors, regular therapy, name changes on official state and federal documents, we are ready; ready to say “yes” to the hormone therapy that Hunter needs to transition and feel whole. Guess what, people? I am not sure that we will be able to get this paid for. Can you imagine? How do I tell my son that even though he followed the protocol, did what he needed to do in order to get to the next step, that he might not be able to get the medication he needs to live his life?

Now, depending on where you live, your benefits will vary. Just like someone in Virginia can easily change name AND gender on a birth certificate and another in Florida cannot, we are finding that medical coverage varies by state as well.

By the way, Apple, the tech giant, has full transgender benefits for its employees who need it. That includes necessary and desired surgeries. WOW. Too bad my son is  not old enough to get a full time job with Apple.

Yes…despite all of this, we are lucky. Even though our journey continues on a steep, uphill path, we are able to share these baby steps and milestones with others. We are able to educate the community, advocate for our son and celebrate each victory, no matter how small.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Counting Blessings

  1. What an incredible and well written blog. Your kindness, unconditional love and caring for your beloved son brought me to tears. I am soo impressed with your writing and with you as a parent. There needs to be more parents like you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How many times are parents of autism told their kids don’t qualify for behavioral therapy because it’s often deemed medically unnecessary or not something they’ll cover?

    T is much more expensive for us trans men to take than it is for trans women to take estrogen.

    I need to ask my coworker if he can get me a job at Apple, which he also works at 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hear you! We’ve been paying for testosterone for 2 years now without insurance covering it. We signed up for Walgreens prescription plan that does give us a little bit of a break but not much. We explained to Kris that this might be an expense he will have to pay himself the rest of his life. It’s ridiculous how inconsistent everything is across the board- from name changes to insurance to just changing gender marker.

    Liked by 1 person

      • We pay $100 for 10ml- now I’m not sure what Kris’s dosage currently is. The prescription says :1 ml every 2 weeks but Kris actually has a shot every week. (I’m not sure if his shot is .5 ml then….) And then we pay $5 for syringes but I’m not sure how many he gets at a time. It’s not outrageous in cost but it does add up.

        Like

  4. I’d give anything to have grown up with parents like you! I’m 20 years old, and still live with my unsupportive parents (I’m not sure what will happen when I start going through the process)

    Like

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