BREAKING NEWS Police: At least 11 wounded in mass shooting at Grenada biker club Full Story

Transgender identity, in their words

Six trangender individuals speak about their gender identity, and what it means to be transgender.

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 5:56 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 6:16 PM

Hilde Hall says she went straight from her doctor's office in April to a CVS pharmacy in her Phoenix suburb, eager to fill her first hormone therapy prescription.

The treatment would spur physical changes in Hall's body that would reflect her identity as a transgender woman, she said.

"I was finally going to start seeing my body reflect my gender identity and the woman I've always known myself to be," she said.

Her elation quickly turned to anxiety when the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription and humiliated her in front of other customers, she said.

Hall said she called the CVS customer service line twice. When no one addressed her concerns, she decided to file a complaint with the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy on Thursday.

In a statement to CNN, CVS Health said the pharmacist violated its policies and is no longer employed by the company.

"We also apologize for not appropriately following up on Ms. Hall's original complaint to CVS, which was due to an unintentional oversight," the statement added. "We pride ourselves in addressing customer concerns in a timely manner and we are taking steps to prevent this isolated occurrence from happening again."

The statement pointed out that CVS has a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Corporate Equality Index, which ranks businesses based on their support for LGBTQ equality.

What Hall says happened

The pharmacist did not give Hall a clear reason for the refusal, she said in a blog post describing the encounter published on the American Civil Liberties Union's website.

"He just kept asking, loudly and in front of other CVS staff and customers, why I was given the prescriptions," she said.

"Embarrassed and distressed, I nearly started crying in the middle of the store," she wrote. "I didn't want to answer why I had been prescribed this hormone therapy combination by my doctor. I felt like the pharmacist was trying to out me as transgender in front of strangers. I just froze and worked on holding back the tears."

The pharmacist refused to give her back the written prescription, she said, forcing her doctor to call it in to another pharmacy. She was able to fill the prescription at Walgreen's with no problem, she said. But she wanted an apology from CVS and an assurance that the drugstore chain does not condone discrimination against transgender customers or anyone else, she said.

"My family supports me, fortunately, and helped me work through the anger and humiliation this experience caused," she wrote. "But many other transgender people are not as fortunate as I am. I don't want to think about what might happen if this pharmacist mistreats a transgender person who does not have a good social support system."

CVS apologizes

CVS, for its part, made good on both requests. The chain said the pharmacist's action "does not reflect our values or our commitment to inclusion, nondiscrimination and the delivery of outstanding patient care.

"CVS Health extends its sincere apologies to Ms. Hall for her experience at our pharmacy in Fountain Hills, Arizona last spring," the company said.

The pharmacist violated company policies against denying patients access to medication prescribed by a physician based on a pharmacist's individual religious or moral beliefs, CVS Health spokesman Mike DeAngelis said Sunday.

"Under federal law and some state laws, we must accommodate a religious conviction that may prevent a pharmacist from filling specific medications. In such instances, the pharmacist is required to notify us in advance about such a religious conviction, so that we can ensure there are other arrangements in place to ensure the patient's medication needs are promptly satisfied," he said in an email.

ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Joshua Block said the assurances from the pharmacy chain are important at a moment in time when the Trump administration has signaled its intent to roll back health care protections for transgender and non-binary individuals.

After Hall filed the complaint, a CVS representative contacted her and apologized for the pharmacist's behavior, Steve Kilar with the ACLU of Arizona said Friday.

"Hilde hopes that CVS will make its nondiscrimination policies public, so that transgender and non-binary customers have some assurance the corporation will take appropriate action if similar discrimination occurs in the future," Kilar said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 149940

Reported Deaths: 3779
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10097104
Hinds9984199
Harrison7116110
Jackson6360119
Rankin5588103
Lee509195
Madison4799106
Forrest383186
Jones357688
Lauderdale3496147
Lafayette326051
Washington3179107
Lamar291550
Oktibbeha245462
Bolivar241384
Lowndes237364
Panola222350
Neshoba2206118
Marshall217250
Leflore205590
Pontotoc199928
Monroe198177
Sunflower191655
Lincoln190865
Warren176857
Tate169851
Union167325
Copiah164140
Pike162658
Yazoo156039
Scott154829
Itawamba152935
Pearl River152167
Alcorn151328
Coahoma150543
Simpson148353
Prentiss146230
Adams141950
Grenada140945
Leake134944
Holmes130861
George125524
Tippah125230
Covington123439
Winston122224
Hancock121139
Wayne117923
Marion116646
Attala113034
Tishomingo109442
Chickasaw107632
Newton105629
Tallahatchie97027
Clay91327
Clarke90553
Jasper82822
Stone77014
Walthall76928
Calhoun75513
Montgomery74525
Carroll72415
Lawrence71814
Smith71316
Yalobusha71327
Noxubee71017
Perry67026
Tunica61019
Greene60322
Claiborne58616
Jefferson Davis57017
Amite54014
Humphreys53619
Benton49318
Quitman4927
Webster44314
Kemper43618
Wilkinson39822
Jefferson35211
Franklin3395
Choctaw3357
Sharkey30917
Issaquena1164
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 244993

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32314500
Mobile19859361
Madison13223148
Tuscaloosa13049154
Montgomery12342236
Shelby1031577
Baldwin873398
Lee775766
Morgan662650
Calhoun6301119
Etowah627666
Marshall627255
Houston525638
DeKalb485536
Cullman439442
Limestone425145
St. Clair419555
Lauderdale407854
Elmore406864
Walker3657111
Talladega351454
Jackson320423
Colbert311942
Blount292240
Autauga273542
Franklin252633
Coffee245415
Dale232654
Dallas226232
Chilton223438
Russell22193
Covington218934
Escambia198331
Chambers176850
Tallapoosa176391
Pike158614
Clarke158419
Marion140236
Winston133023
Lawrence127936
Pickens123518
Geneva12218
Marengo121524
Bibb117917
Barbour117310
Butler116541
Randolph102921
Cherokee102224
Hale97031
Clay91924
Fayette91616
Washington91219
Henry8546
Lowndes79929
Monroe78911
Cleburne77214
Macon73722
Crenshaw71130
Bullock69619
Perry6886
Conecuh68414
Lamar6798
Wilcox63518
Sumter58122
Greene42618
Choctaw42213
Coosa3444
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 51°
Columbus
Overcast
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 42°
Starkville
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 46°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather