As we watch the transgender service bans crumble, it’s time to think about some more steps. One issue is transgender medical care. When one SPARTA member publically transitioned at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center a few weeks ago, she set in motion some behind the scenes changes that we should all be aware of and seek to control.
A friend is a senior psychiatric nurse at Walter Reed. After Jamie’s very public transition, she was told by her general to create a transgender care practice at Walter Reed. She reached out to me. I initially gave her a copy of “Trans Bodies Trans Selves”, the WPATH standards of care, and a few other documents.
I’m meeting with her on Sunday July 5th to further define care. I will be joined by Shannon Murphy, a Navy veteran and CTO for health care at a major multi-national firm.
I expect them to want to provide counseling and hormones. I will argue for a much broader suite of care including primary and secondary sexual gender characteristics. I work for IBM now, for male to female transition they cover primary, secondary, facial feminization, and body sculpting. But my former company covered trachea shave, breasts, gender reassignment, hormones and counseling. This type of coverage is much more prevalent. I’m using MtF as an example. I’ll also argue for appropriate FtM coverage.
I expect a little bit of push back here. Do you think primary and secondary characteristics is enough? Should I argue for more? Face work? Body sculpting? Hair removal or transplants (even very progressive plans don’t cover this).
I will be reaching out to members for help on this issue. I believe that what we define at Walter Reed could become the standards across the military.
Constance Rice USMC ’77-‘81