US Tax Court Rules GID Expenses Deductible

From TaxProf Blog:

In a long-awaited decision, a fractured (8-5-3) Tax Court today ruled in O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. No. 4 (Feb. 2, 2010), that male-to-female gender reassignment surgery qualifies as a deductible medical expense under § 213, reversing the IRS’s position in Chief Counsel Advice 200603025.  The 8-judge majority held that:

  • TP’s gender identity disorder is a “disease” within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B).
  • TP’s hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery were for the treatment of disease within the meaning of  § 213(d)(1)(A) & (9)(B), and thus not “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).
  • TP’s breast augmentation surgery was directed at improving her appearance did not meaningfully promote the proper function of her body or treat disease within the meaning of § 213(d)(9)(B), and thus was “cosmetic surgery” excluded from the definition of deductible “medical care” by § 213(d)(9)(A).

Judge Gale wrote the 69-page majority opinion, joined by Judges Cohen, Colvin. Marvel, Morrison, Paris, Thornton, and Wherry.  Judge Halperin (12 pages), Judge Holmes (joined by Judge Goeke) (23 pages), and Judge Goeke (joined by Judge Holmes) (6 pages) wrote separate concurring opinions.  Judge Foley (joined by Judges Gustafson, Kroupa, Vasquez, and Wells) (8 pages) and Judge Gustafson (joined by Judges Foley, Kroupa, Vasquez, and Wells) (21 pages) wrote separate opinions concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Amazing news. GLAD is having a community conference call with the attorneys who worked on the case, and NCTE is supporting the call. For more info on how to participate, check after the break.

Continue reading “US Tax Court Rules GID Expenses Deductible”

Divorce Resources

Yes, it’s a depressing thought, but I’ve seen so many of them in the trans community over time that I thought I should share these two articles I found on the topic.

One of called “What Every Married Woman Should Know About Money,” by Carol Mithers and has a bulleted list of 7 items:

  • 1. Carry your own plastic.
  • 2. Read the fine print.
  • 3. Define what’s yours, mine, and ours.
  • 4. Don’t give up bill-paying duties.
  • 5. Get to know your financial advisers.
  • 6. Make plans for the future.
  • 7. Keep your professional hat in the ring.

The other is “What To Do When You Can’t Afford a Divorce” also by Carol Mithers and has this useful bit of advice about credit:

Credit is a different story. “Shred joint cards and get a new one in your own name,” recommends Lisa Decker, an Atlanta-area-based financial analyst specializing in divorce. “It can be hard for a woman to get credit after a divorce, especially if she hasn’t been working. If you have a balance you can’t pay off on existing credit cards, freeze the account so that neither partner can run up the debt further. Also put freezes on home equity so that neither of you can take out a second mortgage or line of credit.”

Not cheery, but still important reading.

Advocate Screws It Up

JD Freeman of the Alabama Gender Alliance sent me a copy of a letter he wrote to The Advocate:

Dear Editor –

Regarding this article:
http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid90450.asp

Here you have a self-identified transgender person, and you have refused to honor that person’s affirmed gender, making the bigoted editorial choice to call Kimah a man and to apply the masculine pronouns “he” and “him”.

You should know better. How are we to achieve liberation when our own publications mistreat us?

It’s time for me to renew my subscription. Guess you don’t need my money after all.

I’m copying GLAAD. Clearly, you need to re-read their media guide. I’m also copying NCTE and every major trans blog.

You owe Kimah an apology.

J D ‘Ox’ Freeman
President
Alabama Gender Alliance

Babeland!

Babeland now has an Affiliates program, & since I regularly recommend sex toys (though usually in the Sex & Sensibility forum of our message boards), I thought it would be a good idea for me to sign up! So the next time you’re in the market for a new toy, if you click on the Babeland link from here, you help support our work, you make Babeland some money for being the cool retailer they are, & you get – orgasms.

Not a bad deal.

For now I wanted to recommend the basic silver bullet vibe : it’s discreet, it works, & it’s a great way to use up your batteries that are too old to do anything else. No, really: a lot of people find they don’t need it at full throttle, so you can use your half-used batteries in it & still get off.

Trans Couples Talk

This is the text of the talk I gave at the Liberty Conference on May 2nd, 2009:

How We Love You: Let Us Count the Ways

There are partners who are male, female, and trans; there are partners who met their trans person before the trans person knew what was going on; there are partners who married crossdressers who had sworn off crossdressing who purged and then dressed and then purged and then dressed again; there are partners who met their husbands crossdressed; there are partners who met their trans person during transition; there are partners who met their trans person long after transition; there are partners who didn’t know their trans person was trans when they met.

You, the individuals who are in love, were in love, who are seeking companionship and partnership and occasionally a good spanking, are said to be like snowflakes. Flawless Mother Sabrina told me that one night at the now defunct Ina’s Silver Swan, and she was right. Each of your stories is unique, even when there are similarities; each of you realizes your transness, as I like to call it, in a different way: some crossdress, others do drag, others transition. Some do all three, and others – none of these, but you express your genders in some other way. But you have your stories, your characters in movies, even if and when they are comically or tragically or unfairly drawn, but those you love have – well, we’ve got a machete and a spot on the edge of the wood we mean to get through.

Continue reading “Trans Couples Talk”

Pitiful Spectacle

This vocational guide for girls was published in 1919, a year before women got the right to vote. Note that they’re talking about adults or young adults, and hardly children. I love this passage:

“We have no right to interfere with the woman’s instinct to make herself beautiful. Rather we should encourage it, and should carefully instruct her in her impressionable years as to what real beauty is. It is almost safe to say that at present the principle by which the modern woman is guided in deciding the great questions of feminine attire is imitation. Incidentally, we may remark that nobody profits by such a mistaken foundation except the manufacturer, who moves the women of the world about like pawns on a chessboard merely to benefit his business. The society woman brings the latest thing “from Paris.” The large New York establishments sell to their patrons copies of “Paris models.” The middle-class shops and the middle-class women copy the copies. The cheap shops and the poor women copy the copy of the copy. Every copy is made of less worthy material than its model, of gaudier colors, with cheaper trimmings, until we have the pitiful spectacle of girls who earn barely enough to keep body and soul together spending their money for garments neither suitable nor durable—sleazy, shabby after a single wearing, short-lived—yet for a few ephemeral minutes “up to date.””

90 years later, & nothing has changed, has it?

Money & Gender Stories

Here are some things that have crossed my path in recent weeks that I didn’t have time to blog about in any depth, but they are things that might interest you:

  1. A NYT article about lesbian communes:

    Behind a locked gate whose security code is changed frequently, the women pursue quiet lives in a community they call Alapine, largely unnoticed by their Bible Belt neighbors — a lost tribe from the early ’70s era of communes and radical feminism.

  2. The DABA Girls’ blog (DABA stands for Dating a Banker Anonymous. Briefly, this blog is the whining of women who are used to dating rich guys whose dates are a lot more broke than they were a year ago.)
  3. Why Natalie Dylan is selling her virginity
  4. Queercents’ series on transgender finances

(thanks to Joanne for the first three)