For the last year and a half we have had a running battle with Group Health over his gender designation. Don’t get me wrong they have covered everything so far for his transition, but no matter what we do his gender designation remains female with them.
We have talked with the receptionists, medical staff, etc and finally they have told us that the problem lies with HR designation for the Department of Defense.
So yesterday I start what is always a Herculean journey through the behemoth of DoD human resources. Although this time it goes quicker, I am only on hold and surfing through menus for about twenty (20) minutes when I get a nice gentleman who answers.
I briefly go over the situation with him. That our HMO has said that Wolsey’s gender designation keeps getting changed due to HR’s designation. The gentleman is very nice, but obviously stunned at a transgender situation and has no idea what to do. I explain that our HMO says that the female designation is coming from their system.
He puts me on hold twice to talk to his supervisor, comes back and is trying very hard to be careful about his words. I can’t tell if he is nice because he is trying to be nice or if the DoD has been harping on this subject, but I guess it doesn’t matter either way.
Eventually he comes back, admitting he doesn’t know how to change the gender in the system. I suspect I am better off with him not messing with the system and I tell him I understand, that open season is in a month and that we will change it then.
Then something dawns on me, I ask him does all the HR systems say he is a female or just the medical. He disappears for a couple minutes and comes back. He is very quiet, almost sheepish and explains that Wolsey is listed in male in all of the systems.
You heard me right, when I asked him in the beginning about the gender, he never checked to see what Wolsey was listed to begin with. It is partially my bad, I had assumed if I was wrong and Wolsey was listed correctly they would correct me. It turns out last January they did update his files. I should know better than to make rational assumptions about the DoD.
So that means Group Health is messing this up and it has nothing to do with the DoD, but it also means that the man didn’t even check the system… I wasn’t mad at all, but I should have expected it.
Talk about red tape! It’s great that you guys are being proactive about this. It will help other employees in the future, too!
We say that to each other when we get really frustrated :).
Medical providers and medical systems are extremely bad when it comes to accurately reflecting trans people. Once you check that “male” box, often the option for like mammograms and pap smears goes away unless providers are creating/customizing their systems. HR departments on the other hand have no excuse.