Jiovani Carcione

By TMPlanetThere’s another name in our community to familiar yourself with, Jiovani Carcione, but just call him Jio. He’s the all around guy, that’s down for his family, friends, and community. A man meant to be in a uniform, be it his work uniform as an exterminator or as paramedic student, or just modeling some. His Instagram/modeling page has become one of the guys in the transborhood to watch and follow. A face and humble charm that’s catching the eyes of modeling scouts. Yet, that’s just the awesomeness on the surface.

Jio, another Chicago native on our list, is a proud single parent, who made the conscious decision to enjoy the gift of life just before beginning his transition, two years ago. On if being a single parent of a three-year old and transitioning is more difficult? Jio says,

I feel it’s the same as any single parent. Because honestly. She doesn’t know any better and my family knows not to say anything unless I tell her myself. Outsiders don’t know the difference of what’s in my pants and so I keep it that ways. I’m just the adorable dad that does his job and makes sure his daughter is loved and cared for, how she’s suppose to be. She Is my life. I waited to transition for her. I wanted a mini me in this world and frankly I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.

Jio  is open on his views of revealing trans status. On living undetected he says,

All my past gfs knew… even this recent one she knew after the first date because I told her. If I didn’t think the date was gonna go anywhere, I wouldn’t have told her.. so when I first meet or talk to people they don’t know anything unless I tell them. And majority of people don’t know unless they knew me before.

He  aspires to be more involved with in the community and continue speaking on a transgender person’s right to disclosure, and continue the education as an EMT, that he began in Savannah GA.

He is a TMP Role Model, for being an example to youth everywhere that you can have a fulfilling life as a trans person, who embraces the joys of being a parent, and despite the obstacles of single parent hood he is beating the odds. Get to know him, and you will see the joy and love between him and his beautiful daughter. He keeps a positive and hopeful outlook for the future and his passion of being a chef with his own restaurant.

 

We have dreams, we have a right to those dreams and we have the right to pursue those dreams. Jio is an inspiring example of that truth.

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Still too Many Insurance Companies Still Deny Trans Health Care

By TMPlanet

An investigation by the California Department of Managed Health Care found that Health Net, a health insurance company in the state, discriminated against seven transgender people between 2013 and 2015. The patients were denied coverage for gender-affirming surgeries such as testosterone injections, bilateral mastectomy, facial feminization surgery, and gender reassignment surgery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle¹. One of many insurance companies that still want classify transgender health care as an elective cosmetic procedure.

Health Net was ordered to pay $200,000 for violating state anti-discrimination laws, and to update their policies to comply with state law by September 30, according to a letter of agreement. It’s a huge win for transgender rights to healthcare in California, but also highlights out how difficult it is for transgender people to access gender-affirming treatments.

California is one of only a handful of states that has anti-discrimination laws requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for gender-affirming surgeries. Last year, the most recent data, shows that 14 states had laws explicitly banning transgender exclusions in both private health insurance and Medicaid, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality. Five more had laws offering some protection for transgender people, banning discrimination from private insurers or Medicaid but not both. The other 31 states had no protections whatsoever.

 

Health issues of trans
Higher rates of depression and suicide. Higher rates of smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. Higher rates of physical and sexual abuse. Lack of basic primary/preventative care (refusal/harrassment or postponed care) Higher rates of HIV. Unsupervised hormone use. Poor access to health insurance and coverage of needed services. Task Force National Transgender Discrimination Survey (6450 participants): 41% suicide attempt rate compared with 1.6% general population. 26% physically assaulted and 10% sexually assaulted due to transgender bias. 28% reported harassment in medical setting, 2% physical violence. 2-4x the national unemployment rate, worse for people of color. 4x national HIV rate. 19% reported refusal of care based on transgender/gender non-conforming status. 50% reported teaching their healthcare providers. Over 25% report abusing drugs/alcohol to cope with mistreatment because of gender identity. One Colorado – Becoming Visible, 73 -> 86% covered by insurance from 2013 to Sanchez, et al. Health Care Utilization, Barriers to Care, and Hormone Usage Among Male-to-Female Transgender Persons in New York City. Am J Public Health April; 99(4): 713– Unsupervised hormone use prevalence 30-60% among M-F transgender persons in urban settings.

Yet, even in a state that has had a law explicitly banning discrimination from health insurers since 2012, transgender people still faced discrimination and restrictions to coverage.

That can mean that transgender people aren’t able to afford hormone replacement therapy that, for example, would deepen a transgender man’s voice and facilitate body hair growth. Trans people have also been denied coverage for top surgeries that would augment breasts for a transgender woman or remove them for a transgender man, and other treatments to aid in transition on the misguided idea that these treatments are not medically necessary.

Even health screenings that are considered medically necessary for everyone else, like prostate exams for transgender women and pap smears for transgender men, are more difficult to access once a person has legally changed their gender identity.


Cole Hayes, a transgender man who was seeking a hysterectomy, wrote about his experience in The Advocate in May. “Initially, my insurance said no to paying for the hysterectomy — not because I hadn’t completed the list of medical prerequisites, but because I was a man,” he wrote. “It didn’t matter that I was a trans man with a uterus. The insurance company doesn’t give men hysterectomies; there was nothing else the people there could tell me other than that their policy hadn’t been updated in quite a few years.”

The California law, as well as guidelines the governor of New York sent to health insurance companies in a letter on Wednesday, forbid health insurance companies for denying coverage for gendered screenings and treatments like these just because a person’s legal gender doesn’t match the gender of those who typically need the treatment.

But California, New York, and the 12 other states that have forbidden discrimination from health insurance companies are the standouts, and there’s so much more work that needs to be done to ensure that Hayes and other transgender people have access to the care they need. “Feeling human, healthy, and comfortable shouldn’t be considered cosmetic,” Hayes wrote. “In my case, the removal of my reproductive organs is a medical necessity, not only for my transition but for my overall health.”

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  1. The coverage by the San Francisco on the California Department of Managed Health Care.
  2.  Map: State Health Insurance Rules by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
  3. My Health Care Is Not Cosmetic: COLE HAYES,  a 25-year-old trans man living near Seattle, recently told The Advocate.
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Le’O Wallace

Le’O Wallace,  is a 27 year old trans male originally from Chicago Illinois. He currently lives in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, with his younger sister and fur baby, (his cat). He serves in the military as a reservist and also works for Panasonic on the civilian side. He is very passionate about his career in the military, civilian job, family, his lady (sorry ladies), and about helping others when he can. Le’O started his transition in November 2015, when he decided what exactly he wanted for himself and who he truly was as a person.

“I remember when I was younger always hanging out with the guys, not so much girls and it never phased me one bit. For the longest time I thought for sure I was one of the guys. Even when my mom dressed me up in girl clothes. I didn’t care because I was one of the guys, did what they did,  and didn’t feel weird about it. It wasn’t until I got older, and my body started puberty as a female, did I realize, that I’m really not like the other guys. Though that bothered me some, I just continued to live my life as a masculine individual. I played all kinds of sports while I was in school. I had the most fun playing wrestling, football,  and was even the only female on my high school football team for 3 years and wrestling team for 2 years. Of course, I had to continually prove myself because, some of the guys didn’t think I should be there. Yet, I surely gain their respect after making it through 2 weeks of hell week, when I played football. When high school was over I continued to struggle with trying to find a place where I fit, and for people to see me as another man. Even though that’s what I wanted, when people would use male pronouns, because I was assigned female at birth, I’d correct them as if it wasn’t right. I didn’t know at the time, what I was feeling then was actually called gender dysphoria. I just thought I needed to keep suppressing those feelings of wanting to be this guy that I wasn’t assigned at birth,” says Le’O Wallace.

It was a few years ago while on Active Duty that Le’O says he started watching YouTube videos on other people like himself. Listening to what they were going through. It was through those videos that he says he  learned what transgender meant. At that time being active duty and coming out as trans was not an option, so he left his position and kept it to himself. Later he would join the reserves, feeling it would be easier to transition while continuing to serve, and continued his education. That November in 2015 was when he decided to go see a therapist and figure himself out. After attending therapy session, support group for other trans guys, he decided to live his truth. On 6 April 2016 Le’O says he had his first shot of testosterone and began living his authentic truth, while serving his country ever since.

Last week #notourpresident tweeted a ban on transgender service, though currently unofficial, it has halted the hopes of many transgender military service members. Our country is plagued by division at an all time high. Records numbers of African American men have been victim to police violence and the murders of transgender women of color continues to be an epidemic, largely ignored by our own black community. Division plagues even the trans community. The voices of trans men of color often goes overlooked or out right ignored. Trans men of color are among the most courageous, silent heroes of  our community, as well as trans military personnel that are the most ignored and under appreciated people serving this country with their lives. For these reasons and many more is why Le’O Wallace is TMP’s Role Model of the Month.

 

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