VICE News Complains Trans Surgeries Are Being Delayed Because Of the Coronavirus

Brittany M. Hughes | March 20, 2020
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Maybe they're just looking for a unique angle through which to write about the coronavirus pandemic. Maybe they’re just stupid and socially tone deaf. Maybe they're bored working from home.

The “why” of it is anyone’s guess, but VICE News has taken it upon themselves to “report” on how the coronavirus is affecting trans persons and their ability to get gender reassignment surgery. Because, as we all know, that’s what’s important in the middle of a global pandemic that’s killing people and taking a wrecking ball to the economy: how it’s keeping .2 percent of the populace from changing their outie to an innie.

In the piece, VICE writer Kaye Loggins laments that overcrowded and under-equipped hospitals clogged with patients suffering from the deadly coronavirus may end up delaying gender reassignment surgeries for trans patients because it's considered a "non-essential" procedure.

As VICE explains:

This underscores a common experience amongst trans people seeking medical care or surgery: Research has suggested that gender-affirming surgery, in particular, has a notable and long-term impact on mental health, but far too often, trans people already wait far longer than is safe or healthyfor this care. Further delays can be dangerous and even life-threatening.


Some patients who’ve seen their gender swap procedures delayed because hospitals are anticipating being overwhelmed by the virus are now complaining they’ll have to spend even more time in the “wrong body.”

Riley Cooper, a 23-year-old trans man in St. Louis, had his top surgery postponed, with no reschedule date. He says COVID-19 was the reason behind this cancellation, but it isn’t the first time. “This is the third time it’s been postponed. It’s getting more and more heartbreaking to keep getting so close to something that will make me feel better and feel like I'm in the right body for once,” he said. “Every time I feel like I've gotten close, something has to come along to take it away.”

…“I've spent my entire life falling asleep while begging any theoretical omnipotent beings to let me wake up in the body I need to feel comfortable, and, [in May], that was finally going to happen," Jones said. "To lose that security would really harm my mental health and make it feel like it may never actually happen.” 

Others who’ve already gone through the surgery and are recovering say their meal trains have been interrupted because their friends and family are now self-quarantined.

Of course, when this is all over and the dust has settled, after recovering COVID-19 patients have begun breathing easier and families have buried their dead, small business owners have picked up what’s left of their shattered livelihoods and the unemployed can once again find work, the stock market has begun to right itself and people can once again pay their bills, perhaps the country can finally pay attention to the real victims of this crisis: transgenders.

Until then, you’ll have to forgive us if we have slightly more pressing matters to attend to.