Recently my physician suggested I get a mammogram and gave me the phone number of a local program that offers mammograms. I called and spoke with the woman in charge and she said that I would be accepted for a mammogram through their organization and asked to schedule an appointment.
Being the honest person that I am I informed her that I was a transgender woman. After I told her that I was transgender, she informed me that the program does not work with transgender women and that she could not help me. I was in shock. This is a program that gives mammograms… but not to transgender breasts? I have normal 34C breasts with no implants, and they can be affected by cancer just as any genetic woman’s breasts.
I was so upset that I contacted a couple attorneys to inquire if I would have a civil rights case, and they just blew me off and refused to help me. I even called my local American Civil Liberties Union chapter where the man actually tried talking me out of pursuing the matter any further saying he didn’t think it would go anywhere. So, what I’ve been told is that my life does not matter because I am transgender. Who cares if I get cancer and die? This entire matter has really upset me more than I can say. I am an American citizen and deserve equal basic civil rights just as any other American. I wish I knew how to proceed with this matter, because I am will to fight for change.
Hi you all: My name is Jose and I am a 57 year old gay man with AIDS. I work towards a better understanding amongst all of us as a GLBT, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights advocate. I have had two sentimental relations in my lifetime, one, who I was with for seventeen years, who died of AIDS and my present hubby who has been fighting against discrimination, stigma and prejudice for fifteen years come May 12. I am a happy man, full of life and ideas which I usually put to work, and usually they do.
I was brought up by two avant-garde aunts, who knew as for what we are and most of all, backed us. I live in the beautiful but controversial Puerto Rico, even though we travel a lot to the States and internationally, basically to HIV/AIDS Conferences. Our family consists of a third member: our 2.7 pound, one year old chihuahua named, of course, Peewee. Personally I am working on a book about the embezzlement of $2.4 million HIV/AIDS’ dollars in which we both became spokepersons for patients. This took us to Congress and the White House to make sure that what had happened would never happen again!
My partner and I had been together for 12 years, in 2003 he was diagnosed with “Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma”. He started chemotherapy, which was exhausting and took a tole on his body. His doctor suggested that we spend as much time together as possible so I quit my job and we struggled to live off of his Social Security Disability of $600.00 per month. He was also HIV positive, but undetectable. It was a struggle just to survive physically for him and financially for both of us. We couldn’t have survived without the help of AIDS Organizations who helped us with food, utilities, his HIV meds and rent sometimes.
We thought we had everything covered as far as legal stuff, Medical Power of Attorney but no will (we refused to give up hope). When I thought it couldn’t get any worse on May 25, 2005 the nightmare begun. The person that was the love of my life and with whom I would spend the rest of my life passed away at home in my arms. The people from Hospice were wonderful and the staff of UNC Chapel Hill (treatment hospital) were incredible. I found out about an hour after he passed just how little rights we had. I could not make his arrangements for cremation because his father (who he had a strained at best relationship with for 20 years) was still alive.
For the past two and a half years of my life, I have lived with my aunt and her partner, which I also consider my aunt. They have always been like parents to me and in the summer of 2004, held a commitment ceremony to celebrate their 20 year anniversary.
Well, this ceremony wasn’t recognized as a legal union in the state of Florida, and therefore, my aunts don’t have the same rights as married people have. This is frustrating in such that if my aunt Tori becomes ill, she can’t go to the doctor because she doesn’t have insurance because she can’t be covered by her partner. NOT FAIR!!!
The simple fact that people cannot even be covered by their partner’s insurance only because of their orientation is POINTLESS!!! The government might as well say gay people can’t vote either, because homosexuality does cloud one’s judgment to pick an appropriate leader of our country!! UGGH!!!
Our country was founded on the principle of freedom, and this denial of rights is simply unconstitutional.
I love my aunts dearly and I believe their love will last forever, and one day I would love to see them be able to have a wedding where they are officially married and share the same rights as heterosexual partners.
First, I identify as ‘queer’ – I noticed that is not a ‘choice’ when I registered. I have been sexually and romantically involved w/ gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, and transsexual individuals. I do no think “bisexual’ covers it any longer. Anyway…
I met the woman of my dreams who happens to have a life-threatening chronic illness. We lived in Virginia a short while while I was working on a nursing degree. We heard too many stories of people who had not been allowed access to their partners in the hospital, even when their partner was critically ill.
We moved to Massachusetts when it was the only state in the nation that recognized same-sex marriage as a legal institution. I believe marriage is as much a community ritual as a personal one – it tells the community that this couple has made a public commitment to one another. But, I no longer have to worry if my wife becomes critically ill. Access to her will not be blocked during her most trying times, when she and I would need each other most.
I shouldn’t have to say ‘thank you,’ but thanks anyway, people of Massachusetts.
Hello, my name is Jamie. I am a 33 year old transgender woman. My story is about faith in god and yourself when others just cannot or will not help. I don’t expect everyone to understand me, and I don’t wish for everyone to suffer like me. What I do wish is that people like me will be able to live openly, get the medical help we are denied by ignorant professionals, and have others take a leap of faith.
I have been passed over by one professional after another and was even told by a therapist that “We cannot help you here”. Honestly? I have had to self medicate which is more expensive than I can honestly afford. And to live behind these walls will not cut it any more. I have found faith in myself and in god. All I want is for people to have faith in me and those like me. I want to be a good woman, not a sick boy. If given the chance, I can show you a loving and trustworthy person who gives a damn. I GIVE SUCH A DAMN THAT IT IS UNREAL!!
I’ve been living with my partner Chris for almost 11 years. We had a handfasting ritual in 1999 which we count as our marriage ceremony. But we can’t get the same rights as married couples because as lesbians, we’re ruining the sanctity of marriage. Given the 50 percent ratio of heterosexual couples divorcing, I don’t know how we could make it any worse. Here are some of the things that are taken for granted by married heterosexual couples that gay partners do not have:
If Chris were to be seriously ill in the hospital, I may be banned from visiting her because I’m not “related” to her.
We have to pay lawyers fees for documents stating our intent for last wishes, living wills, etc. and get them registered in the court house because even having said documents still may not guarantee those wishes carried out because we’re not “married.”
We can’t adopt in our home state because we’re not a “man and a woman.”
Every time I fill out any official form, I have to put down “single,” even though I’m not.
Unless we work for a huge corporation who has domestic partner benefits, we can’t cover each other with health insurance.
I could go on and on. My straight friends try to understand but a lot of them don’t realize the hoops we must jump through to take care of each other legally. If two people love each other and want to commit to each other in a binding agreement, why does it matter if we’re gay?
The only choice I ever made about being a lesbian was to not live a lie anymore.
At 58 I guess I can qualify as an older adult. I lost my partner to AIDS back in 1992. I gave up the list I kept of those in my life who succumbed to the virus. It just hurt too much to look at the list of names. Emotionally I pretty much shut down.
Joe Jervis who writes the blog “joemygod summed up this condition with the term, “dead inside”. This term describes those who have stopped trying to love because of the pain they’ve experienced.
This morning I somehow linked over to the “wegiveadamn” site. This groundswell of support to combat teen suicides and bullying these past few months has awakened feelings that have been under wraps for too many years.
My fiance and I had to go through some things in the last 2 years that have made me think. I have diabetes, asthma & high blood pressure; and she has high blood pressure. No matter how in love we are and how much we care about each other the state we live in just doesn’t want to hear it. I have no parents, or grandparents therefore, technically no next of kin. We are middle aged and both have some health issues, last year I had to be admitted to the hospital and there were life/death decisions to be made and no one to make them.
I laid in the hospital until she could attain counsel to grant her an emergency medical power of attorney. If we had been allowed to marry that would have never happened. Why should we have to doll out money just to have the right for our significant other to make medical decisions, simply because were a lesbian couple? We must demand equal rights.
In our lifetime, we may never see the day where all American humans have the same rights. However the younger generation will so long as we as a community continue to fight the long fight. So if you think of giving up the fight please don’t, make us proud of you and show us your stamina. Life must go on even after our expiration dates. How proud we’d be to look down and watch all the fairytale weddings and husbands/wives making medical decisions etc! WegiveaDamn about you!
Mike was a great guy. When I was growing up, we had the greatest time. He was the older brother I never had. I never knew that he was gay until one night he was at my house, babysitting, and he told me that he wanted me to know a secret. I sat down beside him and he whispered three words, “I am gay.” He leaned back, wondering what I would do. I threw my arms around him and said, “I don’t care, I love you anyway.”
Fast forward ten years, Mike had a job working as an X-Ray tech, til he got sick. We never knew the AIDS had spread that quickly. When his job found out, they kicked him out, and treated him like he was an enemy. Mike died about 7 years ago. I still miss him, still love him, and still will never forget how he was treated. RIP Mike
Get informed and get involved. Register to join the campaign and let us know you give a damn about equality.
Spread the word about equality. Watch our damn videos and share them with the people in your life!play
Share your story with us and the people in your life. Tell us why you give a damn about equality!play
The following is a story by FOX59 in Indianapolis: GET INFORMED, GET INVOLVED Learn more about Health CareAuthor:
Our health is one of the most important things in life. But when it comes to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, our nation’s health care system can involve little “health” and even less “care.”