Jersey City to expand healthcare coverage for transgender municipal employees

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Jersey City will become one of the few cities in the nation to offer transgender healthcare coverage for municipal employees.

“Transgender Americans face a unique injustice,” Mayor Steven Fulop said. “The care they need including gender affirmation surgery is as essential as a heart bypass or cholesterol medication. It keeps people healthy and lets them live as they were meant to be.”

The coverage will be offered in early 2016, Mayor Fulop expects it will cost Jersey City a few hundred thousand dollars per year.

Members of the non-profit Garden State Equality praised the change in Jersey City, Executive Director Andrea Bowen explained, “as a transgender woman before transition I had a sort of existential cloud over my head I knew I was a woman but I was living as a guy and I sort of felt myself slowly crumbling.”

After learning of Jersey City’s new policy, longtime transgender activist Melissa Sklarz said, “my reaction was one of gratitude.”

“We are seeing the march of history,” Sklarz said. “History for trans people has been more friendly and inclusive.”