You knew it was coming. The only question was how frivolous and besides-the-point it would be. Vice has answered with an article on how the Wuhan virus is inconveniencing “transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
Specifically, Vice related that “trans communities on Reddit and Twitter are being flooded with reports of postponed and canceled surgeries in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Thailand, and elsewhere, leading to enormous stress and disappointment on top of a global health crisis.”
Um, huh? Nearly all international travel has ceased, entire cities are on lockdown, wealth and jobs are evaporating at a staggering rate, and in Italy they’re re-enacting the “Bring out your dead!” skit from The Holy Grail. “Enormous stress and disappointment” is currently the baseline emotional state of a vast portion of the global population. Whatever you call the level above “First World problems,” Vice has found it.
Really? In what way can waiting a few months before mutilating your body be life threatening? In fact, how does Vice justify calling the procedures “Life-Saving Trans Surgeries” in its headline?
Well, Vice isn’t saying. Instead, it offers the example of “a 29-year-old trans woman and assistant professor in New York,” who “has a procedure scheduled for May that hasn’t been cancelled yet, but she feels it’s imminent.”
So what are the consequences? They answered:
“A change to the date would pretty radically alter my plans and overall security around the procedure. The surgery was scheduled to allow recovery during [my school’s] summer months without a gap in pay.” She said that rescheduling may result in lost pay, as her recovery from surgery would conflict with the school year.
What kind of closed-minded religious bigots would inflict such suffering on an assistant professor? “Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an executive order delaying all non-emergency surgery for the next few weeks.”
De Blasio is an ass on stilts, but he got this call right. And Vice admitted “cancellations and postponements are taking place as medical systems across the U.S. are facing a shortage of supplies and beds. Hospitals are discharging patients faster than usual, and systems have quickly moved to postpone any non-urgent procedures to free up space.”
Furthermore, voluntarily entering a hospital during an epidemic to be sliced and diced would seem foolhardy at the very least.
So … really, there’s no story here. A tiny sliver of a tiny sliver of the population is being temporarily stymied in its short-term aspirations -- just like the rest of the planet. But it’s never a bad time to underscore the victimhood and marginalization of America’s most trendy grievance group.
Even in relatively normal circumstances … gender-affirming care comes with long waitlists due to limited research and specialists, and patients often face an uphill battle in fighting insurance companies and doctors … Many trans patients already battle with insurance companies over which procedures are considered “medically necessary”, and health providers often use words such as “cosmetic” or “elective” to deny coverage, language that is mirrored by those unfamiliar with trans care in ways that can be hurtful.
“Hurtful.” Well, sorry about that, but get in line. We’re grappling with truly important questions right now -- like what we’re allowed to call the pandemic that’s making you sad.