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Letters to the Editor

Illinois finally recognizes the healthcare needs of the LGBTQI community

More than two-thirds of Americans say they would be likely to dole out their dollars at businesses that take a public stand for LGBTQ equality, according to a recently released survey.

A new survey shows family building is just as much a possibility for the LGBTQ community as those who are non-LGBTQ, | Adobe Stock Photo

At the Center for Gender Confirmation Surgery, located at Weiss Memorial Hospital, we congratulate Gov. J.B. Pritzker for recognizing the importance of providing medically necessary and life-saving care to a population in need: the LGBTQI and gender-diverse communities.

Illinois is joining the states and countries that have acknowledged the importance of gender-confirming medical and surgical treatments.

Recognizing gender identities that differ from accepted societal norms is part of an appreciation of gender diversity across the globe. Gender dysphoria is a medical diagnosis that refers to the distress caused by conflict between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth. Gender diverse identities are an example of the rich variety present in our community.

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Such diversity should be celebrated.

Unfortunately, the healthcare needs of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals are often overlooked and/or neglected (witnessed by the elevated rates of suicide and suicide attempts in these communities). TGD individuals suffer discrimination on a daily basis, and this expanded healthcare coverage is a substantial step forward.

Gender affirmation/confirmation surgery, previously termed sex reassignment surgery, is a medically necessary, life-changing treatment for many transgender and gender diverse individuals.

According to recent population statistics, in Illinois approximately 49,750 individuals identify as transgender and gender diverse. Expanded health care coverage is life-altering news to the thousands of individuals who suffer due to a lack of access to healthcare.

We are heartened that Illinois residents will have access to the health care they need.

Loren S. Schechter, MD, FACS, Director, The Center for Gender Confirmation Surgery, Weiss Memorial Hospital
Alexander Facque, surgical fellow, The Center for Gender Confirmation Surgery
Shalyn Vanderbloemen, PA-C
Mira Ebalo, PA-C
Rachael Johnson, PA-C

William Barr’s word choice is no coincidence 

Language matters, as does one’s rhetorical choices. In testimony on Apr. 10, Attorney General Bill Barr, after pausing and carefully deliberating, declared: “I think spying did occur.”

Using the non-legal term “spying” and making such an obviously loaded and inflammatory claim without any supporting evidence is an example of how another appointee of President Donald Trump is shaping the political narrative, rather than talking like the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

A person of Barr’s experience and expertise, having served as an attorney general twice, who normally speaks formally and with legal precision, would never employ such language casually and without thought.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, prior actions predict future behavior. Over 20 years ago, New York Times columnist William Safire referred to Barr as “Cover-up-General Barr ” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in Iraqgate and the Iran-Contra scandal.

A clear and worrisome rhetorical pattern is emerging: Trump’s appointees and supporters strategically invoke the exact political language and arguments the president has used to counter charges against him. This is not a coincidence.

Richard Cherwitz PhD, Ernest S. Sharpe Centennial Professor, Moody College of Communication, Austin, Texas

Felicity Huffman’s college admissions act 

The party line being put out now is that actress Felicity Huffman is sincerely “ashamed for the pain she caused” in this collegiate fraud scheme.

To compound the fiasco, public relations executive Ronn Torossian opines that Huffman’s transgressions will soon be forgotten by all, given her “heartfelt apology.” According to Torossian, Huffman eventually will have the public’s empathy despite the current “misgivings.” And he is hoping that Huffman’s contrition will resonate with the American people, given the public’s understanding of this sincere desire to help her daughter into college.

What a bunch of nonsensical crap!

Plain and simple: Huffman and her Hollywood elitist cronies cooked up this ruse with their Hollywood handler to get their children into college at the expense of those who actually deserve a college experience.

Yes, Huffman is currently publicly ashamed. But, that’s only because she got caught attempting to “game the system!” And nary a word would have been said had Huffman gotten away with this scam.

As the woman is an actress, she, of course, acts. This “ashamed” stunt of hers is nothing more than another Hollywood act.

Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Indiana