Jaiowyn Robinson, a 35-year-old man who identifies as a transgender woman, appeared at the Warren County Board of Commissioners in Ohio, following their recent actions to ensure that sex reassignment surgeries (“SRS”) are not covered under the county’s employee health plan. County Commissioner David Young, who signed the letter directing the county’s insurance provider to remove SRS coverage from their plan, said of their decision, “If someone wants to do that (gender reassignment surgery), that is between them and God. It’s just not something I think taxpayers should be paying for.”
Although not employed by the county, Robinson nevertheless felt entitled to attend the commissioners’ meeting and read a prepared speech in response to the updated health plan for county employees. Before the meeting, Robinson told a reporter, “Fighting these systems gives me purpose.”
Commissioner Young cited “the federal government’s overreach” as the inspiration for the change, saying “It’s in the last six months someone is telling us what we do have to do, which we don’t like.” Robinson then responded, “Maybe someone needs to tell you to treat people like a (expletive) human being,” apparently failing to conceal the rage brought on by being denied access to surgeries under a health plan he didn’t qualify for in the first place.
The next day, Robinson posted a “Letter to the Commissioners” on Facebook “with intent to open discussion and offer education from my unique insight into these issues from perspective of the afflicted.” In the letter, Robinson estimates the transgender population of Warren County, alleging “that is 33 human beings you’re potentially denying medically necessary care for.” Robinson also makes the argument that providing additional coverage that most of the individuals covered under the county’s health plan won’t even use is actually “cost reductive, beneficial and equitable when compared to the lifetime of therapy and treatment of mental health disorders that arise from lack of treatment.” At the end of the letter, Robinson expresses particular discontent at the idea that the county’s changes to their health plan might affect county workers’ children, “who are also directly denied care while ironically having the premier care facility for treatment and wellbeing of trans youth in Children’s hospital, just down the road.”