Transgender Journey

I just finished reading the newly published book, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt. It is a fascinating, well written story about what it means to be transgender in todays world. Nutt tells the story of the Maines family interspersed with chapters on the history and most current scientific understanding of what it means to be transgender. The book is a portrait of a family and their journey from the adoption of two male twins, and the belief by one of the twins, almost from his birth, that he was a girl inside.

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Transgender Benefits

As the executive sponsor for my company’s LGBT Employee Resource Group as well as an out gay executive in the company, I started to talk, last month, with the head of human resources, who is responsible for the health insurance that our employees receive, about adding transgender health insurance coverage. This year transgender benefits were excluded from health insurance coverage for our employees.

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Understanding Transgender

As much I have read about the transgender experience through a number of biographies of trans men and women, and through a few trans individuals I have gotten to know, the trans experience, while more known to me, still feels so different from my own life as a gay man. What I have found most meaningful in the biographies of trans individuals is seeing the similarities with men, like myself, who came out later in life, and being trans but hidden. We both went through parts of our lives hiding who we truly were before deciding we had to come out as gay or trans.

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Being Out Has Its Privileges

A few years ago, before I came out, and long before I came out at work, I studiously hid even the slightest mention of anything gay.  Since coming out at work last year and becoming the executive sponsor for my company’s newly formed LGBT Associate Resource Group, I have marveled as some of the LGBT related conversations I have had in the workplace.  Continue reading

Learnings from the Transgender Experience

I continue to be interested and read about the experiences of transgender men and women. Today it seems like trans is everywhere — in the news and on TV. Just yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed rules to extend nondiscrimination laws to cover transgender individuals under the Affordable Care Act. This is an amazing and important step that I could not have imagined a year ago. Continue reading