It's been an interesting few days in Nova Scotia vis-a-vis sex reassignment surgery, or SRS. As previously reported, on Sunday, the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project posted a letter from Health Minister David Wilson stating that "due to the lack of high quality scientific evidence to support the efficacy of the long-term outcomes of these procedures and lack of a strong economic argument for their benefit," it didn't look like SRS would be covered by the province anytime soon.
Fast forward to Wednesday, when the CBC and other local media began to report on this story. By that afternoon, it was announced that the minister has changed his mind and would repeal section 4.8 of the Health Insurance Act, which denied trans people from having their surgeries covered. On Thursday, it was announced that the province would cover SRS.
It looked like good news and sunny days to all sorts of people, both transgender and cisgender, but there were clouds ahead.
CTV Atlantic posted a story about the recent changes on its website. Directly below the story a survey was posted, asking readers, "Do you believe provincial governments should pay for gender reassignment surgeries?" Although some individuals may find the question to be journalistically unwarranted and (arguably) in poor taste, the fact that the vast majority of respondents voted "no" demonstrates that even though the fight may be won, it doesn't mean that the victorious – the individuals who support and fostered this change – should not be supported.
In that spirit, the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project has created a toolkit for this very occasion. According to the release,
"The Nova Scotia government’s recent decision to fund sexual reassignment surgery has attracted a lot of media attention (both good, and not so good) and the public is starting to respond via letters to the editor, email, voicemail and twitter. It is important that members of the LGBTQI community (especially our trans members) and allies ensure our stories and opinions are out there as well."
They have created a comprehensive list of emails and contact information so that concerned individuals can voice their support, from letters to the editor to radio stations and more.
I'm lucky enough to have this platform to voice my opinions, interests and concerns. And I am grateful for it. But not everyone can. So make your voice heard.