Fights Over Transgender Coverage In PA Could Delay CHIP Reauthorization

HARRISBURG (WSKG) — A Senate committee has moved a bill to reauthorize Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program–or CHIP. CHIP has existed for decades in Pennsylvania. But this time, the bill is controversial. It includes a component that would prohibit the state from insuring transgender kids’ transition surgeries and related needs, like counseling. In August 2016, the commonwealth’s longstanding policy to not cover reassignment surgeries and associated services changed, when the Obama administration issued a rule saying Medicaid and CHIP couldn’t exclude or limit coverage for gender confirmation-related services.

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Life Lessons Learned from a ‘Real Boy’

June is unofficially Pride Month in the U.S., a celebration of the LGBTQ community. General acceptance of the community has increased in recent years, but not for everyone. Several states have written and/or passed laws banning transgender people from going to the bathroom that matches their gender identity, and advocates have seen an increase in the number of transgender people being killed in recent years.Despite this, many people have strived to become better allies to the transgender community, and more transgender people are making their presence known in media. A recent example of this is 19-year-old Bennett Wallace, the star of the Independent Lens documentary “Real Boy.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_lynBiuvI0]Bennett’s story is that of sadness, love, hope, and acceptance. The doc starts with excerpts from two videos – a home video from a six-year-old Bennett (who’s birth name is Rachael), and a YouTube video from 19-year-old Ben.

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Guidelines Aim To Halt Transgender Discrimination In NY Schools

School can be a minefield for transgender youth. Teachers may not know which gendered pronouns to use. There’s bullying. On Monday, New York released new guidelines to make school easier for these students. They’re a response to a report last month from the New York Civil Liberties Union that found widespread problems in the state.

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Transgender Students Face Harassment Despite Anti-Bullying Law

Transgender students in New York continue to face harassment and discrimination at school, according to a recent report from the New York Civil Liberties Union. That’s despite a five-year-old anti-bullying law called the Dignity for All Students act, or DASA. The law bans discrimination based on a whole list of characteristics, including race, religion, gender and gender identity. But when it passed in 2010, the social climate was different. “There was, when DASA was passed, less visibility among transgender students,” says Melanie LeMay, who works at Binghamton’s Identity center for LGBTQ youth.