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Transgenders trying to transform opinion

Despite a small victory at the Alberta legislature this week, a groupof transgendered Edmontonians say their battle has just begun.

Despite a small victory at the Alberta legislature this week, a group of transgendered Edmontonians say their battle has just begun.

A dozen climbed the stairs of the human rights commission office yesterday and filed individual complaints in protest of the provincial decision to axe funding for gender reassignment surgery.

“Unless there is something written in stone that says people will be getting funded, they’re screwed,” said Sarah King, 33, in response to Health Minister Ron Liepert’s promise the province will fund sex-change operations for 46 already-approved cases.

King filed a complaint yesterday, and is considering a class-action lawsuit and plans to sue the province to recoup costs associated with her gender reassignment, which will cost upwards of $100,000.

She added the financial burden is impossible to bear, because she expressed concerns whether decent employers would hire a transgendered person.

She said de-listing is a calculated political move by a government that doesn’t consider surgery a medical need.

“It’s devastating to be seen by society as one way,” said 39-year-old Michelle Drinkell. “But every time you hop in a shower or look in the mirror, you see it staring back at you that it’s not the case.”

 
 
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