He is a brilliant speaker, and his willingness to bring Stonewall into the spotlight—the first time a president has acknowledged this uprising—was a validation of all of the hard work of groups such as the HRC. But one eleven-year-old girl, Sadie, questioned President Obama’s exception of trans* individuals in his speech. Thank you, Sadie, for this elegant letter.
Now, President Obama has done a lot for the trans* community, but Sadie is right. The main thing the community needs right now is visibility and support. The President’s choice to mention Stonewall was a major victory, and hopefully in the future his vocal support for the trans* community will stretch into the public arena so visibility will help promote good works, such as this story out of Oregon, which I hope reaches Sadie and makes her smile.
Trans* kids do not have the same access to healthcare as many other individuals, but Oregon is becoming the first state to cover treatments for gender dysphoria in children and teens under Medicaid. Beginning in October 2014, coverage will extend to cover counseling, medication to suppress puberty, and other procedures and care to help trans* kids to handle dysphoria or to transition. Medication to suppress puberty can cost in excess of $1000 a month. Oregon’s steps to help trans* children and their parents will hopefully be followed by other states. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, on tumblr, or email me.