Premier Horgan made a statement this week about the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
He said, “At a time when the human rights of transgender people are under sustained attack in the United States and elsewhere, it is more important than ever to affirm our commitment to fight for safety, inclusion and justice for trans people in our province.
“We will not be silent in the face of injustice. We will not let the memories of our trans friends, family and neighbours be lost to violence. Together, we remember, and pledge to do better.”
On Nov. 6, I sent a letter to the Minister of Health Adrian Dix, asking that the BC Medical Services Plan fund facial feminization surgeries, which are considered medically necessary and not cosmetic surgery by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
These surgeries fix the otherwise irreversible changes to the faces of people going through male puberty that are subconscious indications they are transwomen (or feminine non-binary people).
This surgery would directly reduce the threat of violence against trans women and feminine non-binary people.
I concede that I sent this letter only recently and it’s possible Dix hasn’t even read it.
I also acknowledge the B.C. government recently announced improved availability of gender-affirming surgeries.
However, there was no indication of the relaxation of stringent requirements for breast augmentation for trans women.
Facial feminization surgeries are not covered at all and so are only available for those who are rich or willing to go significantly into debt.
I ask that the government continues to act, not just pledge to do better, but actually do better.
I again ask that the government fund facial feminization surgeries through the MSP and relax the requirements for breast augmentation.
Trans women shouldn’t need to be rich to be safe.