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Rhode Island is now one of just nine states and the District of Columbia offering coverage for transgender medical services under Medicaid. The new policy went public this week.

Previously, Medicaid in Rhode Island offered no coverage for patients seeking hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery. Now, those patients can get those services and mental health treatment too.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

When you walk into a doctor’s office for the first time, you might be asked to fill out a slew of forms. Many include a box to check for your gender: male or female. But what if that’s not an easy—or a comfortable—question to answer? That’s just one example of what keeps many transgender patients from getting the medical care they need. 

Matthew Clowney

A Providence-based photographer has been documenting a family with a transgender grandparent. The photos are part of an exhibit destined for the Boston Children’s Museum in the fall.

The Crow's Nest / University of South Florida, St. Petersburg

Providence city officials say they want to be more inclusive of transgender employees and retirees. That includes extending health insurance coverage for gender reassignment surgery.

Providence officials say the city’s health plan will now cover a suite of services for employees and retirees who identify as transgender. That includes gender reassignment surgery, hormone therapy, and behavioral health care.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A few weeks ago we brought you the story of Hannah Rini, a transgender student in Pawtucket, who was bullied to the point where she left Goff Junior High School before finishing 7th grade. Pawtucket School officials declined to comment before the story aired, and they still say they can't discuss Hannah's story directly because of student privacy rules.

Michelle Rini

Last year, we introduced you to Pawtucket student Hannah Rini, who was about to start her first year of middle school as an openly transgender student. Before her first day at Goff Junior High she was filled with hope about the new friends she would make.  She felt confident because of the way her elementary school friends accepted her when she came out:

“I don’t know how they knew, but they knew I was trans. Maybe the way I was acting? They just weren’t surprised one bit,” Rini said at the time.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Transgender issues have been the the news quite a bit lately, following the announcement from Bradley Manning, the army private who leaked documents to WikiLeaks, that she is transgender and will now be living as Chelsea Manning.

Rhode Island Public Radio's education reporter Elisabeth Harrison speaks with All Things Considered Host Dave Fallon about a Pawtucket student she profiled, who has been openly transgender for a year now.  

Hanna Rini, who is 12, started junior high school this week. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s back to school season in Rhode Island. There’s an ever so subtle hint of fall in the air and schools around the state are opening their doors again for students after the long summer break.

With the first day of school comes that familiar mix of nerves and excitement. Will my friends be the same?  What new people will I meet? Will I like my teachers? And perhaps no start of school is quite as nerve-wracking as the first day of junior high.