Personal website of Corey Prachniak: healthcare policy, HIV, and LGBT rights attorney

To you, on your birthday

There, in darkness, thousands of miles away,
I thought I felt you near…

Your wandering hair,
Your lucid skin,
Your warmth so tangible I might wear it.

What is it about you that makes me feel younger
And yet wonder more about what age will bring?
It pours out like wine when our eyes meet in silence,
But just as real in my own quiet dreams.

Time means only what we allow it to mean;
This goes for people, too.
And though I couldn’t possibly love you more,
I feel myself forever trying.

Do you remember those days we spent stranded by snowfall?
For me they’ve lasted ages,
And I do not mind.

Letter from my Shipwrecked Savior

image

And you will find as you grow older
If you stay young,
Like me

No truth whatsoever 
In their belief
That less lonely is the road
Accompanied

I love you
But tethered to your whim
I am much more alone
Than I am alone and free

And though I long for your embrace,
The greater yearn is to succumb to the sea.

For shipwrecked on some ancient shore
I find souls who love but leave
Always passing, never neverending;
Never all you’ll always be

There, in life’s few true depths of solitude
When I remember I am, or are not me,
That sense of oneness is worth so much more
Than safety’s finality

And yet these waves will always take me home
In their own way,
Eventually

Preview of my presentation at Trans-Health

Next Saturday, June 14th, I’ll be presenting at Trans-Health in Philly on the rights of trans older adults with respect to healthcare (and I’ve already started compiling resources you may find helpful).  With the help of two colleagues joining who graciously agreed to join the panel, I will tackle some of the major issues that many trans people will face as they age.  Hopefully the presentation will be helpful both for older trans adults themselves, as well as those interested in advocating for this community.

What are these key issues?  To start out, I’ll address the range of laws that can protect trans individuals from discrimination across a variety of healthcare and elder care settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in their own homes with the help of home healthcare aides.  I will explain how ongoing changes in the law raise questions but also present opportunities for trans older adults and their allies.

Next, my colleague Amy Nelson will tackle public benefits access issues for trans adults, with a special focus on Medicare - including the groundbreaking change last week that will allow coverage for more transition-related care - and Social Security.  Both programs are significant for the trans older adult community, which is more likely to be low-income and thus rely on public benefits than the population in general, and both programs offer challenges specific to trans people.

Tackling issues relating to changing one’s name and gender marker, with Social Security and Medicare and beyond, will be Arli Christian.  Given that older adults - trans or not - can have trouble accessing IDs, this is very important.

And finally, I’ll talk about why it’s so important for trans older adults to plan for their healthcare needs in advance by signing a power of attorney, living will, and disposition of remains.  These concrete steps are relatively simple and can make a world of difference when someone requires medical care and (either temporarily, or in an end-of-life setting) can’t make their own decisions.  And it’s great information for advocates of trans individuals - who may know an older person who would benefit from this service - to take away.

If you’re in Philly for Trans-Health, I hope you’ll join me on 6/14 at 12:45pm for the presentation (details are available here).  If not, feel free to reach out to me at corey@lgbtadvocacy.com for more information.  

This website is not affiliated with any organization or entity.  Opinions are solely those of the author in his private capacity.

Want to be part of something awesome?

My good friend Elana Baurer has just launched PALY, a new organization facilitating mentorships between lawyers and young people who are exiting incarceration and reentering society.  Given the staggering stigma of incarceration, and the horrific rates of recidivism that result, it’s hard to think of a more worthy cause.  And I can literally think of no one better equipped to take on this challenge than Elana.  Please support PALY today and help them engage in this critical work!!

Check out my author page (and “fan” me) on HuffPo!

Thanks to everyone who read, liked, and commented on my story earlier this week, I’m now added as a contributor to Huffington Post’s Gay Voices.  You can view my author page here and by clicking the “fan” button at the top, you can get notified of new posts.  If you haven’t read the post, you can read it here!

In case you missed it - my first story for Huffington Post was above the fold all day on Wednesday, 5/21!  You can read it here.

In case you missed it - my first story for Huffington Post was above the fold all day on Wednesday, 5/21!  You can read it here.