James Doe was a Colonel in the U.S. Armed Forces and served honorably for twenty-seven years before retiring. He and his wife, Susan Doe, have a transgender son, John. TRICARE, the health insurance provided active and retired military members and their families, was refusing to cover puberty-delaying medications to treat John’s gender dysphoria due to an exclusion for treatment of gender dysphoria. Without that medication, John would have gone through the wrong puberty, which would have devastating implications for this mental and physical health.
On June 14, 2016, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Kirkland & Ellis LLP sued the United States and the Department of Defense to challenge that exclusion. Almost immediately after filing this lawsuit the Obama administration agreed to remove the exclusion and ensured that John would get the care he needs. The parties agreed to dismiss the case in March 2017.