Starbucks Announces They’ll Pay for All Surgeries of Transgender Employees

Starbucks, mother of frappuccinos and wielder of pumpkin spice, has announced that it will cover all transgender-related surgeries for its employees.

In addition to bottom surgery, which the coffee company has covered since 2012, Starbucks will now foot the bill for additional surgeries like top surgery, hair removal, hair transplates, and facial feminization surgery.  These more comprehensive surgeries are usually deemed cosmetic by insurers and thus aren’t normally covered in insurance plans.  But not with the Siren, honey.  She got you!

The coffee company partnered with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) in order to determine exactly which surgeries were the most helpful to their transgender employees.  It was the first company in the world to do so.  Jamison Green, the former president of WPATH, worked with Starbucks as a rep for the health company.  “Starbucks was not afraid to ask all the right questions and demand that people get the best possible care,” he said.

“I view this as a diagnosis with a treatment path,” said Ron Crawford, vice president of benefits at Starbucks, saying the improved coverage was simply the right thing to do.  “You have to think of it from an equity perspective.”

This policy makes Starbucks the world leader in comprehensive trans healthcare.

Why Trump Gotta Be Hatin’ on Trans Folks?

Much to the shock and horror of the trans community, the current administration made the shitty-as-fuck announcement that trans men and women are now banned from military service.  President Strange-Cross-Between-A-Troll-from-the-Animated-Hobbit-Film-and-a-Disguise-a-Wayans-Brother-Might-Wear-in-a-Movie literally tweeted that the U.S. Government “…will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

What year is this?  What in the tragic foreshadowing fucking year is this?

His major reason for the decision was the cost of medically supporting these individuals.  In his ambush of tweets this morning he said that the military needed to focus more on winning that be “burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

The Lord of Oranges is modeling both a full re-enactment of the prologue of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and a sentence containing his favorite word.  I’d wager that there was never a time in the history of the United States when its people weren’t more self-conscious of the word “tremendous.”

Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project said, “The thousands of transgender service members serving on the front lines for this country deserve better than a commander in chief who rejects their basic humanity.”

It also bears pointing out that “total military spending on erectile dysfunction medicines amounts to $84 million annually” while “typical health care costs for gender transition-related medical treatment… would cost the military between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.”

While it’s clear that the current administration is busy with dealing with the many consequences of their actions (one of them possibly being a big consequence that rhymes with “Scriminal Dinvestigation”), they may not be prepared for the backlash of opposition on this issue.  LGBT groups have been uniting in protest since January, and as long as groups have the constitutional right to an assembly, there will be some heavy assemblage on this issue as well.  It’s a date, Hobbit Troll.

LGBTs for Trump Not Really Feeling All These Marches

This past weekend saw numerous marches across the country.  During Pride Month, the multi-faceted face of the LGBT community and their allies has come out in droves to spread a message of strength and a declaration of unity.

The marches – not all pride weekend parades – sent a message to the current administration on its first year:  Don’t bother coming for us, because already see what you are doing, and we’re not in the mood to be messed with this time around.

Some members of the LGBT community have a problem with the marches: specifically, the members that support that 45 guy.  They love the rainbow, but don’t love its seeming partisanship.

As an LGBT 45-Noper that has a platform that may or may not only be read by my family and close friends (Also my husband as soon as he returns from catching that Ampharos) let me acknowledge that Republicanism is not bad.  Conservatism is not bad.  However, that’s not what the marches were protesting.

The LGBT community was letting the world know that we see the actions of the administration.  We marched to oppose the administration because its views don’t line up with ours, not because they were the wrong party.  We were calling out to the world that we would be ready to defend ourselves and all members of the community if the need arose, and as they are arising.

When my husband and I were marching this weekend with that amazing crowd, the energy wasn’t hateful.  It was formidable.  We’re here, we’re queer, and other stuff!

US Stammers Regarding Chechnya While Lithuania Slays

The gay and bisexual men that are seeking refuge from the atrocities of the Chechen gay purge are finally starting to see some support from the world.

The US had the chance to be the hero and grant visas to the fleeing men, but left them in the cold like that one munchkin in the Wizard of Oz that wouldn’t let Dorothy in to see the wizard, because nobody gets into the US, not nobody not no how.

The nation of Lithuania granted visas to two of the refugees, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia no less.  Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, winner of the Most Awesome Name contest that I just made up, made the announcement himself and called on other European nations to do the same.

Linkevicious tweeted:

Today is zero-tolerance day against hatred, fear, discrimination of all forms of sexuality. Denying reality is not an option |

After which, at least in my mind, he punctuated his tweet with a fab Tongue Pop.

Camps in Chechnya

Concentration camps are real.  Like, REAL real.  And happening right now.  Like, RIGHT NOW right now.

Normally I would try to throw in some jokes to gussy up a story involving members of the LGBT community losing their rights or being threatened.  There’s no joke in this.  There is no way I can use humor to ease the situation.

If you haven’t heard the latest on Chechynya’s gay concentration camp, know that the stories are pretty horrific.  100 gay men were rounded up purge style and held prisoner in camps.

Razman Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, is thought to have given the order to have these men carted off, although he denies the accusation, claiming that he’d never give an order to purge gays from Chechnya because Chechnya doesn’t have any gays.

Alvi Karimov, Kadyrov’s spokesperson, also denied the camps, saying,  “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.  If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

Fucking bone-chilling, man.

The men face various forms of torture.  Accounts say they are detained in the same crowded room.  They are beaten.  Their hands are electrocuted.  One account even mentioned being forced to sit on bottles.  Some of the men are confirmed dead, or feared to be.

Earlier today a protest was organized at the Russian Embassy in London to combat the existence of the camps and to call on it’s leaders to do something.

Tanya Lokshina from Human Right Watch in Moscow posted an in depth article about the horrific events.

‘It is difficult to overstate just how vulnerable LGBT people are in Chechnya,” She says, “Where homophobia is intense and rampant. LGBT people are in danger not only of persecution by the authorities but also of falling victim to “honour killings” by their own relatives for tarnishing family honour.’