Lots of people are preening with moral outrage that FW city leaders will consider covering gender reassignment surgery in the employee health plans. That’s only one in a list of 20 recommendations by a post-Rainbow Lounge raid task force, but it’s the one with the juiciest mob appeal: A scapegoat must be found for another torch-lit “traditional values” crusade, or next year’s harvest will be blighted. And transgenders – many of whom are outsiders even in the gay and lesbian community – make very easy targets.
After a few conversations with pre-op, post-op, and no-op transgender people over the years, I’d like to offer smelling salts to the Tarrant County Republican Party: Even if gender reassignment surgery was covered under city employee health plans – and I seriously doubt that will happen in the foreseeable future – a stampede of selfish, excitable trannies isn’t quietly waiting to pillage the city budget. A tiny portion of the general population pursues painful surgical and hormonal methods to relieve so-called gender identity disorder, and that’s only when they feel their lives cannot continue unless their bodies match their mental, emotional, and – some say – spiritual understanding of themselves. This is way more complex – and far, far more unusual – than botox at a Fort Worth Republican Women’s gala.
But since local right-wingers are so concerned about the budget-busting effects of sexual health treatments in a dire recession, I trust they’ll also campaign vigorously against Viagra, Cialis, and other erectile dysfunction treatments being covered as taxpayer-funded city benefits. Popular pharmaceutical shortcuts for achieving “the one gun salute” are a much bigger drain on the city budget than rare gender reassignment surgeries ever could be. C’mon, boys – no more boners on the public dole!