I'm Trans. Trump's Health Care Rule Is Life-Threatening.

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August 18, 2020

My name is Charlie Brown. I'm a Lambda Legal intern in the Midwest Regional Office (although currently working from home).

In June, before the start of my internship, the Trump administration announced a new rule inviting health care providers and insurance companies to discriminate against LGBTQ people and other vulnerable communities seeking health care. Cruelty is the point of this president and his administration’s policies, and I was fearful of what was going to happen to me and my LGBTQ siblings.

I have pre-existing medical conditions that require extensive life-long care. I’m also transgender, the community this heinous rule targeted the most. I’ve seen the inside of more hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices than any 21-year-old should. Because of my trans status, I’ve had experiences seeking health care that would never happen to my cisgender counterparts. On a trip to the emergency room, a doctor watched as I writhed in pain and only offered Tylenol instead of any stronger medication, despite the pain making me barely coherent. Instead of focusing on the medical issue that brought me into the ER, he chose to lecture me on taking testosterone—a hormone that has saved my life many times over. I am one of many with similar experiences—check out this video of some members of Lambda Legal’s staff sharing my same fears of being discriminated against for being who we are.

We all deserve quality, equitable healthcare—a human right needed to breathe, live, and thrive. When the Trump administration proposed the discriminatory health care rule, Lambda Legal was the first to sue the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Our attorneys were recently in district court to stop the rule in its entirety—a decision is pending. While portions of the rule were stopped by an injunction from another case, the remaining provisions that eliminate access to care for people with Limited English Proficiency (LED) and allow for health care providers to elevate their own religious interests over the needs of their patients will go into effect today as planned. The battle is far from over.

As I near the end of my internship, I realize it’s not just our whip-smart lawyers and staff that push equality and justice forward in the courtroom—it’s all of us, including supporters like you, that make our crucial work possible. I’m ready to continue the fight and I hope you’ll join me. And if you believe that you’ve been subject to discrimination in health care because you’re LGBTQ, nonbinary, or living with HIV, contact Lambda Legal’s Help Desk.

I’m no longer as scared as I was back in June, because I know Lambda Legal is here to finish the fight to stop anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health care. And I know that whatever happens, Lambda Legal has my back and yours too.