Most children who are transgender face more challenges than their peers. One of the most heartbreaking is having to suffer through a puberty that does not mirror their affirmed gender. The answer is to have Medicaid cover puberty blockers for these children. Once that occurs, other insurances will begin to cover this life-changing medicine.
My daughter is one of the lucky ones though it didn't come easy. After legal battles with her absent father, we were finally able to put her on a puberty blocker just in time - right after her 13th birthday. As a result, she did not have testosterone flowing through her young body. Her voice didn't change, she didn't develop an Adam's apple or other physical changes that would have devastated how she saw herself.
Because she didn't have to spend as much energy on hating her body (though she still hates her genitals), she has been able to concentrate on school - putting her consistently on the honor roll all through middle school and now through her junior year in high school. This is a picture of her dressed for her junior prom.
More than 50% of Transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday. These statistics come from the national Youth Suicide Prevention Program. We know these numbers are even higher for our transgender children of color.
I am not saying that this is a panacea for all our transgender children's problems. I am, however, saying that this medication, Lupron Depot, is a life-saver for many of our children. The current cost for this medication is exorbitant, over $2,600 per month, and most insurances don't cover any portion of it.
For the naysayers out there that think these children are going through a phase, once the medication is stopped, puberty kicks in just as it would for any teenager. The only known contraindications are possible loss of bone density and stature.
All of our children deserve to live their life in the least pain possible. Please, make this medication affordable so that our transgender children can avoid the nightmare of puberty. This will only be one way that we can hope to reduce the suicide rate of our transgender children. Isn't it worth it, if we save one child?
Medicaid - cover puberty blockers for transgender children
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