Prison Nurse Who Identifies as Male Files Discrimination Complaint Against Iowa Department of Corrections

Vroegh-compressedDES MOINES, Iowa — A prison nurse who identifies as a man has filed a discrimination complaint against the Iowa Department of Corrections alleging that she was not permitted to use the men’s facilities and that she was not provided with insurance coverage for a sex change operation.

According to reports, Jesse Vroegh, 34, was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2014 and informed her employers at Iowa Correctional Institution for Women that she would be transitioning into a man.

“I requested that my employer establish policies related to issues affecting transgender employees but nothing happened,” Vroegh explained during a press conference on Thursday.

Last November, she asked for permission to use the mens’ restroom, but was denied due to concerns about “the rights of the male officers.” Vroegh was asked to instead use a unisex restroom, but the restroom didn’t include a shower, so she says she wasn’t able to shower at work, including this past April after being pepper sprayed during a training.

“I asked to be able to use the men’s restrooms and locker rooms like my male co-workers, but instead I was forced to use a separate facility from everyone else and denied the use of a shower entirely,” she said.

Vroegh additionally sought to have her breasts removed, but discovered that the state does not include sex change operations in employee insurance packages.

Therefore, she filed a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging discrimination. The document alleges that the Department of Corrections violated her rights “by denying me access to male restrooms and locker rooms and insurance coverage for medically necessary surgery and other medical treatment because of my sex and gender identity.”

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“In this country and in Iowa, everyone should be treated fairly in the workplace — especially when your employer is the state,” Vroegh said in a statement. “Rather than setting a good example for other Iowa employers, the state has denied me the use of gendered spaces as well as the health insurance coverage I need, simply because I am transgender. I hope my fight for fairness in the workplace will make a difference for the many other transgender people who have faced similar discrimination at work.”

The Department of Corrections says that it cannot comment on the case at this time, but did remark in a statement, “As a very important part the Department of Corrections mission, the Department strongly focuses to protect and treat with respect the public, staff and offenders.”


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  • Amos Moses

    “I asked to be able to use the men’s restrooms and locker rooms like my male co-workers, but instead I was forced to use a separate facility from everyone else and denied the use of a shower entirely,” she said.”

    It is not the states job to cater to mentally dysphoria ………….

    • Grace Kim Kwon

      Nudism is a destructive mental illness, too. These people truly hurt men’s manhood and the women and children’s safety.

      • Amos Moses

        Today on Charisma ………

        When Nude Television Becomes the Norm
        6:00AM EDT 7/26/2016

  • TheBottomline4This

    Thank you Christian News for using the proper pronouns when referring to those who think they are the opposite sex.

    Ms. Vroegh was born a female and will die a female.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Not according to medical science.

      • TheBottomline4This

        Do you think medical science is always 100% right?

        • Ambulance Chaser

          No, they can be wrong. You think the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Amercan Psychiatric Association are all wrong? Go ahead, prove them wrong.

          • TheBottomline4This

            I don’t have to prove anything to you. They are wrong.

            Ms. Vroegh was born a female and will die a female.
            THAT is fact whether you accept it or not.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Your stomping your foot and insisting does not supersede science.

          • TheBottomline4This

            You stomping YOUR foot and insisting that your view is right does not supersede the Truth. The Truth PROVES you wrong Amby.
            Truth always wins!!!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Then I guess it’s a good thing I have peer reviewed evidence.

            Hare, L; Bernard, P; Sanchez, F; Baird, P; Vilain, E; Kennedy, T; Harley, V (2009). “Androgen Receptor Repeat Length Polymorphism Associated with Male-to-Female Transsexualism” (PDF). Biological Psychiatry 65 (1): 93–6. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2008.08.033. PMC 3402034. PMID 18962445.

          • TheBottomline4This

            The Truth PROVES you wrong Amby.
            Truth always wins!!!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Uh huh. I guess “The Truth” is what you have when you don’t have evidence.

          • TheBottomline4This

            No, I don’t feel so insecure in knowing the truth that I have to meet your need for some kind of “proof” that we both know won’t change your views. Why waste all of that time with you on it?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So, you feel “secure” with your Truth, despite the fact that, by your own admission, you have no evidence for it? Why?

          • axelbeingcivil

            I had a gander at the study and I’m curious as to the effects. The median difference is so small between the two populations, but that can make all the difference when it comes to DNA; a single nucleotide change is, after all, the difference between sickle cell anemia and wild type blood cells.

            That said, the frequency of occurrence of transsexuals who fall well within the “normal” range for this polymorphism is >40%, which, while not removing a clear genetic correlation, indicates this might be a relatively minor contributor.

            Just the same, we already know about plenty of confounding factors in the development of sexual identity and orientation, like, say, birth order. Homosexuality has been studied far more at length and very similar discoveries have been made about it, to the point that the evidence is very heavily in favour of nature over nurture.

            Thanks for sharing!

          • Bob Johnson

            “Go ahead, prove them wrong.”
            Yep. That is how science works. And while these groups are sometimes wrong, it is more often the case that they were not completely right.

            They are not trying for Truth, but instead knowledge.

  • D Sims

    “Dysphoria” is a “feeling” of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and restlessness. There should be no health insurance provided based on peoples feelings, dissatisfaction or anxiety. If this is allowed then you open up a black hole to a plethora of feelings we humans have to struggle with on a daily basis. There is one hope and that is the presence of God. Christ in us and with us. Anyone that is willing can find peace, joy and the willingness to do the right things through the power of Christ’s comfort, counsel and direction.

    • TheBottomline4This

      Sadly feelings are an idol for some.
      Being someone they really aren’t is an idol for some.
      Not being tolerant of who they were born is an idol for some.

      If I allowed my feelings to control me, I wouldn’t show up for work as often or pay bills as often or stop at a stoplight when in a hurry as often because my feelings were not agreeing with reality at the time. This is something satan is really having fun with and it seems there are a lot of willingly ignorant participants taking the bait.

      • Amos Moses

        Bingo ………….

      • axelbeingcivil

        In what way do your feelings not control you? It sounds like you’re just letting some override others – for example, a preferential desire to, say, not become homeless overcoming your desire to sleep in and stop going to work.

        Everything you do is the result of an emotional drive. Just because you can use reasoning to clarify those drives and sort them hierarchically doesn’t mean they don’t ultimately control you.

    • axelbeingcivil

      Mental health isn’t just some idle fancy or whim, Sims. How people feel about themselves and the world structures their actions. Development of coping strategies to deal with problems and provision of medication to deal with neurochemical troubles are both necessary to ensure people who are suffering from a malady can lead productive, happy, and healthy lives.

      Yes, most feelings are normal – though coping strategies for dealing with negative ones never hurt – but in many cases they aren’t. When a negative disturbance persists well beyond natural bounds, it becomes a disorder and, at that point, it is time to seek assistance to solve it.

      Health insurance should absolutely cover these needs because mental health and physical health are arm in arm. Health is more than just physical soundness; it is also psychological well-being.

      • TheBottomline4This

        This woman was born the gender/sex she is. Thinking otherwise is a mental illness.

        • axelbeingcivil

          Biological sex is an objective feature of reality. Gender is a social construct.

          • TheBottomline4This

            They are the same. I know some are trying to change that, but it’s not the truth.
            Gender is a sex, male or female..
            Sex is the distinction between male and female.
            That is what the Dictionary on my shelf says. If you are going by a recent Dictionary, it doesn’t count. The original meaning of a word is what counts, not a rewritten version to appease your view.
            They are the same…
            People ask expectant parents…
            What is the gender of the baby?
            What is the sex of the baby?
            Same thing.

          • axelbeingcivil

            If they’re synonyms, why have two words at all?

            Gender is related to sex traditionally but the two aren’t synonyms; gender is a social role that is often – but not always – determined by sex. This is why many societies around the world have had exceptionally diverse concepts of gender. As far back as Sumeria, you have terms like kur’gar’ra for non-binary individuals; Egypt had the sekhet; Indian cultures refer to pums-praktrti and stri-rakrti (male nature and female nature, respectively) that can be different than a person’s sex, and acknowledges hermaphrodites and neuters; and that’s just a handful of examples. Most cultures even classified eunuchs as being a different gender. You can find variation like this around the world and all throughout history.

            Gender as a concept is a societal one. Anthropologists have agreed on this for over a century now. This is not a recent idea, either in history or in a technical study. It’s just only entering the mainstream recently.

            You can ultimately dicker about the word if you want, that’s your business, but the thing the word represents – gender roles, pronoun use, identity, etc. – isn’t something you can just jam your finger on in a dictionary definition.

          • TheBottomline4This

            Gender is a sex, male or female..
            Sex is the distinction between male and female.
            They are the same.
            If you were born a male, you will die a male.
            If you were born a female, you will die a female.
            Nothing one does to change that between birth and death changes the person’s gender/sex.
            You die what you were born.

          • axelbeingcivil

            And if you were born intersex, what then?

            Gender and sex aren’t synonyms. You can keep using the word as you wish but the technical term has been used in the way you object to for over a century. Likewise, nothing you’re saying affects the notion that social roles, ways of presentation, pronouns, or anything else like that are somehow de facto associated with the sex you’re born as. Those things are all social.

          • TheBottomline4This

            Gender/sex are the same.

            And the intersex question I’ve been asked a ton of times. Specialists can perform an ultrasound, blood test, chromosome analysis, and even do exploratory surgery to find out the baby’s true sex. Once that is discovered, that would be the gender/sex they would live as.

            Why do you support trans thinking?

          • axelbeingcivil

            You can keep saying they’re the same. Anthropologists and people from around the world would disagree with you. You’re just using a common definition of the word but not a technical one. Gender’s root etymology just means a classification.

            As for intersex individuals… That’s not really the case. Some people who are intersex are so because of genetic mosaicism; having cells that are both XX and XY. In other words, they have no “true” sex, because some parts of them are one, some the other. They possess both ovarian and testicular tissue, both of which may be functional. It’s called 46, XX/XY.

            And that’s just one example that kinda stumps the idea of sexual binary thinking hard.

            As for trans-people, I’m just happy to accommodate them. I recognize that there is a distinction between sex and gender and, if people don’t identify as their assigned gender, I’m not going to make life harder on them by forcing them to live as it. I fall pretty solidly into sex and gender conformity but that just means I’m lucky; other people don’t have it as nice as I do.

            A better question is why I wouldn’t want to accommodate them. What harm does it do me to make their lives a little easier? What harm does it do anyone?

          • TheBottomline4This

            You can keep saying they’re not the same…they are.
            The rarity (low %) of intersex can be diagnosed by the testing I mentioned.
            You are not lucky. You are conforming to wrong thinking. You are conforming to something you probably aren’t even aware of.
            Have a good evening Axel.

          • axelbeingcivil

            You keep saying they’re the same. They aren’t.

            See how easy and how futile that is to do? The term has a technical meaning. You are free to disagree with it but that doesn’t make you right. That there have been countless different gender concepts around the world – and that we refer to them as gender concepts – should illustrate this.

            As for intersex people, you really didn’t answer the question. There’s no possible diagnostic test to sort out people who are 46 XX/XY because they outright have two different cell lines within their body. They are a chimera; they have cells that are both XX and XY. They have both male and female gonadal structures. They have both male and female chromosomal structures in different cells across their body.

            It’s not possible to determine whether they are physically male or female because they aren’t either; they have features of both and the genetics of both. This isn’t just a case of deformed gonads or genitalia; this is outright possession of both reproductive systems and the closest thing humans have to true hermaphrodism.

            You can’t “sort that out”. There is no test in the world that can determine “which way” those body structures go. Actually read up on this stuff, please.

          • TheBottomline4This

            You are wrong.

            Have a nice day Axel.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            It’s like arguing with a 4 year old.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You’re the one who needs to read up on it. You are seriously misinformed. What else can we expect from a nominal biologist? (Did you even graduate yet?)

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Wrong. Again.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You can’t stop making things up. Again.

      • D Sims

        I agree it is not some idle fancy. On the other hand, mental health is a world of disagreement even among the brightest minds. You cannot trust feelings but their are varying levels of mental issues from very light to completely dysfunctional in basic society.

        There is much help out there on all levels, spiritual, emotional and physical that are either free or affordable. I work with many and direct them on a monthly basis to help that they might need.

        • axelbeingcivil

          There might be a great deal of disagreement but some methods have more demonstrated backing than others. Psychological methods have demonstrated effectiveness, while other methods… Less so.

          Likewise, insurance creates a financial incentive for the provision of care. Not everyone lives in an area where effective treatment is available, but providing financial justification for that treatment to be made available in a region helps it appear.

  • bowie1

    If the non-coverage applies to all then there would be no discrimination.

  • Sonokar

    Better get used to this — these people need a lot of attention and their favorite way to get it is to be provocative and then cry foul.

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    If individuals would deny their birth gender with a society endorsing such falsehood, there cannot be any kind of quest for the truth and honesty in such a world. How can they do any job properly? The USA must keep the unconditional quest for the truth, the Christian West’s fundamental values, instead of nurturing the sinful inclination to falsehood and taking amusement in each new level of absurdity.

  • Amos Moses

    i identify as a dinosaur ……… they should allow me to go to the Ark Experience ……….. for free …..

    • Nidalap

      Heh. Well, if your name really IS Moses, you should definitely get a discount at least! 🙂

      • Amos Moses

        ROTFL ………… No …… it aint …. just a screen name …. 😉