Disney Offers to Cover “Gender-Affirming” Procedures for Employees’ Children

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As Disney has found itself in the center of the culture war surrounding sexuality and gender identity, the company is working to provide health benefits that would cover so-called gender-affirming treatments for employees and their minor children.

Conservative activist and author Christopher Rufo recently obtained several leaked videos from a company-wide Zoom call that was organized to respond to the fallout from LGBT activists who were frustrated that Disney did not immediately condemn Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which, having since been signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis has been mischaracterized by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The law restricts sexuality and gender identity instruction in younger grades in Florida schools and, since Disney’s Walt Disney World conducts major business operations in the state, activists and some employees were displeased that the company waited to officially weigh in on the bill.

Since then, top brass at the historically family-friendly entertainment giant have vowed to fight to have the law repealed as well as to work to make sure that children’s productions and television programming contain more LGBT characters.

This was widely discussed during the Zoom meeting Rufo exposed, as producers discussed infusing “queerness” into programming, acknowledging the power they had to influence young minds with their stories and characters.

Also reportedly discussed during the meeting, as The Western Journal shared, was the company’s desire to provide benefits to employees which would cover gender-affirming treatments for their children who might be “transitioning.”

“The other big area is gender identity and expression, so doing all of this work to ensure that our employees and cast can express their gender here authentically and proudly at the company,” an employee can be heard saying in a video shared by Rufo.

“So, you know, coming up with guides on how to change your photo, information about pronouns, working with our benefits team to give information about gender affirmation procedures both for our employees who are transitioning and trans, but also our employees who have kids who are transitioning.”

Fidelity Investments, which administers Disney’s employee benefits program, detailed the coverage on their website, explaining that it would apply to “adults (age 18 and over)” and cover “procedures and services include breast augmentation/reduction, chest contouring, hair removal/transplantation, facial feminization surgery, genital implant or prosthesis, rhinoplasty, trachea shave/reduction, and vocal surgery/speech therapy.”

For “adolescents (younger than age 18), coverage may include puberty-suppressing hormones, for those who have reached a certain stage of sexual development, under direction of an experienced pediatric endocrinologist.”

Several states have considered bills similar to Florida’s in regards to education, as well as bills that would restrict or ban gender treatments for minors.

Last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed bills that respectively classified issuing transgender treatments for minors as a felony and also banned sexuality instruction for grades lower than 5 as well as mandated that public school restrooms be classified according to biological sex only.

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