Duke University, has now added an extraordinary new initiative to its health insurance coverage policy. Students who so desire will now be able to undergo gender reassignment surgery under their school’s insurance plan. The school will cover up to $50,000 of the procedure, which may include facets such as hormone treatment, counseling, and the surgery itself. According to Sunny Frothingham, the outreach chair for Blue Devils United, “The addition of sexual reassignment surgery with a $50,000 cap makes Duke’s student health care plan one of the most, if not the most, transgender-inclusive plans in the country.”
Things sure have changed since I was in college. In my day, you’d walk into student health complaining about a muscle that you thought you pulled at the gym, then a random person in a white coat, who may or may not have been an actual doctor, would tell you it was a sinus infection and would prescribe antibiotics. Three weeks later, you’d have your leg amputated while simultaneously having a pretty severe pregnancy scare during which you weighed the cons and other cons of being a 21-year-old, one-legged mother, because you forgot that antibiotics render your birth control ineffective. Since when are schools offering to pay for serious surgeries?
Starting this fall, student fees will increase by .3% to fund the new campaign. Administrators are delighted at their progressive decision, citing that they “have had transgendered students that have been extremely successful at Duke, including merit scholars,” so they “hope that this will help us remain really competitive as an institution when recruiting students.”
Yes, Duke. It’s the fact that you’re willing to turn brilliant little boys into brilliant young women that compels people to attend your university, and not your academic reputation.
Other schools seem to be following suit. Thirty-seven other institutions are at least partially covering gender reassignment surgeries, and many more are covering hormone therapy — among them are: Purdue University, Rutgers University, Ohio State University and Princeton. While I have always wondered what it would be like to have a penis for a day, nothing would ever make it worth it to go to Rutgers.
Image via Huffington Post