Thursday, April 10, 2008

In which I Learn from Television

Well...somewhat. Watching the episode "Sophia Lopez", I was once again reminded of an aspiration I have had for about five years now: to start a foundation which helps fund sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

Through my work (well, one of my works) I have met quite a few transsexuals, pre- and post-op. The medical treatment they require used to be funded by the Ontario government, but no longer ("Ontario Isolated and Alone in Refusing to Fund Sex Reassignment Surgery"). Some other provinces do fund it, as do some states.

The thing with SR is that it's incredibly expensive. According to Lynn Conway's very detailed information site (NOTE: NSFW medical photos) the current cost is US $30-40k. What Conway notes (and which I have seen with my own eyes) is that the success of MTF SR is inversely proportionate to the age at which it is begun. Now, the good news is that increasing openness about transsexualism is making it easier for people to self-identify at a younger age, and access the information they need to make decisions about what, if any, procedures they wish to undertake to allow their external identity to better match their identity.

The solution is that some trans patients seeking affordable treatment go abroad. It's huge in Thailand, as this 2001 New York Times articles explains. Surgery abroad costs a tenth what is might here. Even including airfare, it's conceivably affordable. Eastern Europe is also a popular destination in my experience.

So anyway, I think this is a niche that needs to be filled. Like Shriners, you know?

This may have ceased to make sense...

No comments: