Do you really need more information than this to believe it’s still true? Check the article out, then.
Do you really need more information than this to believe it’s still true? Check the article out, then.
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.
If you’re trying to come up with a plan to pay off debt, I found this handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet, that’s downloadable.
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.
JD Freeman of the Alabama Gender Alliance sent me a copy of a letter he wrote to The Advocate:
Dear Editor -
Regarding this article:
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.
You owe Kimah an apology.
J D ‘Ox’ Freeman
Alabama Gender Alliance
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.
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 didnâ€™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 Inaâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ well, weâ€™ve got a machete and a spot on the edge of the wood we mean to get through.
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 durableâ€”sleazy, shabby after a single wearing, short-livedâ€”yet for a few ephemeral minutes “up to date.””
90 years later, & nothing has changed, has it?
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:
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 â€” a lost tribe from the early â€™70s era of communes and radical feminism.
(thanks to Joanne for the first three)
The Femme Fever Gala Ball will be held on April 18, 2009 from 8pm to 12am & has been compared to a prom-like event. Betty & I have been to a few Femme Fever events & Karen hosts a great party.
All the info you need is below the break. More
Barnard College is hosting a conference on reproductive technologies on Saturday, February 28th; I wish I were there, but I’m not. Hopefully someone will go & report back!
All the info below the break.
This just in, from Roy Blount of The Authors Guild (of which I’m a proud member). I’ll add that all this is especially true for your local independent bookstores, so if you love, go buy books! Even if you aren’t a writer, it’s still a good idea – and tell them an Author’s Guild member sent you!
I’ve been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren’t known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don’t lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn’t in the cards.
We don’t want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let’s mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas presents, but that’s just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!
There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; they’re easy to wrap: buy those books now. Buy replacements for any books looking raggedy on your shelves. Stockpile children’s books as gifts for friends who look like they may eventually give birth. Hold off on the flat-screen TV and the GPS (they’ll be cheaper after Christmas) and buy many, many books. Then tell the grateful booksellers, who by this time will be hanging onto your legs begging you to stay and live with their cat in the stockroom: “Got to move on, folks. Got some books to write now. You see…we’re the Authors Guild.”
Enjoy the holidays.
Roy Blount Jr.
It only seems right that I should blog from the LGBT bloggers’ initiative, even though the schedule leaves precious little time.
Last night was the introductory mixer at the HRC offices – which are very fancy & chic, in case you haven’t seen them, I know I wasn’t the only one who thought “so that’s where the money goes” – and I got to meet a few staffers, as well as Allyson Robinson, the new(ish) trans outreach coordinator for HRC. I also met my roommate (more about her lovely self at another time) and the organizer of the initiative, as well as James from www.gayagenda.com, who was very very cold (since he’s from FL), Alex Blaze of Bilerico.
& I met Pam Spaulding briefly when I hung up her jacket for her. (It’s a glamorous life.) So far it’s been fun, but wow do the days start early! It’s downright unnatural to be up this time of day.
& So it begins: the holiday season.
Did any of you go shopping yesterday? I didn’t, but then, I never do. My holiday shopping is (at best) erratic, and usually kind of last minute. Many Xmases ago, Betty & i went shopping together, & since then that’s closer to what we do: decide on whatever amount of money we can spare & then we just go out shopping together, & buy each other stuff we like.
But mostly I’m not big on stuff anymore; we have too much already, & our 1BR apt is packed to the gills. What I’d like is for someone to come clean our place, instead. Maybe it’s a sign of age, but stuff just means I need to clean out some stuff I already own to make room for the new stuff. & Somehow I feel a George Carlin routine coming on.
I’m a little sad because Betty returns today to Colorado to finish the dental stuff she started a few months back. She was already away working a few days this past week, & will be gone working once she gets back from CO. This making money thing is necessary, I know, but I really hate that we end up apart because of it.
Likewise, she may not be coming with me for the whole time while I’m in Lawrence, again, because of the making money thing. But then I think about all the people even on our message boards who have already lost their jobs and feel thankful that both of us can get work, even if it comes with temporary separations.
Though I do have a lot of stuff to get done, and I may have a better chance of that while she’s not here. Hopefully, anyway. Lemonade, lemons: you know the drill.
Easy come, easy go: I got word last week that OurChart.com is no longer, or will soon be no longer, or will no longer be updated, or something like that. So no, I wasn’t fired; everyone was.
So here’s the last column I wrote for them. It went up today, as planned, but there will be no more to follow.
(If anyone knows of a magazine that needs a queer relationships columnist, you know where to find me!)
FDR’s 1st Inaugural Address, better known as the “Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself” speech, seems incredibly relevant right now:
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankindâ€™s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
Read the whole thing here, or listen to an excerpt.
The state of Connecticut has now made same-sex marriage legal! It’s the third state to do so, after Massachusetts & California, although of course Vermont has civil unions and New York is now recognizing same sex marriages that were performed elsewhere.
It’s exciting. It’s human. It’s patriotic.
That said, the forces for Prop 8 in California – which would repeal same-sex marriage rights – have a lot more money & are spending it on ads & whatnot trying to undo last year’s ruling. To get more information, doante, or find out what you can do, try noonprop8.com.
Oh, we haven’t quit. We made our goal of 200 yesterday, and today decided to try to oust the next group on ActBlue’s list, too, if we can, and we only need 42 more people to do that. Here are some more incoming Trans for Obama blog posts:
This is so damned impressive, and as Joanne Prinzivalli has poined out: it’s not too late. So do send me more links to more blog posts if and when you put them up. We’re not really done until Election Day, as far as I’m concerned.