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Iowa’s LGBTQ policies offer protection, but there’s still work to be done

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Health care, health insurance, firmer workplace policies needed for better inclusion

When Kwynton DeLarm came out as a transgender man on Facebook in 2016, he prepared himself for a backlash.

Instead, he received love and support from his friends and family as he began navigating health care, health insurance and the workforce as a transgender man.

DeLarm, 31, of Cedar Rapids, always knew he wasn’t straight. But growing up in Delmar with a population of 500, there wasn’t much room to explore his gender identity, he recalled.

“Growing up in a small town where it’s man, woman, children, cat, dog and cow, that’s the way life was. If you’re interested in a woman, you’ve got to be a man, and if you’re interested in a man, you’ve got to be a woman,” DeLarm said.

It wasn’t until he got the internet when he was around 10 years old that he learned about what it means to be transgender and realized he could affirm his gender.About 3.6 percent or 87,000 Iowans are LGBTQ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer — according to a 2018 Gallup data by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.Even at a young age, DeLarm knew […]

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