Transgender IndivIduals’ BARriers to health care

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, transgender people are people “whose gender identity is different from the gender they were believed to be at birth.” They explain how most people who were labeled as either a male or a female are most likely to continue to carry this gender identity throughout their lives, however, some people feel the gender they were given at birth does not fit their identity and these people identify as transgender.

When it comes to healthcare for transgender people they are more likely to face additional barriers when trying to get the care they need. This can include difficulties with treatment, hormones, reproductive health care, or expert healthcare, and trans patients in general often do not receive the care they need without tackling an endless number of obstacles or repressing their identities. 

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Discrimination against trans people is also a big factor, many people still hold prejudiced or old-fashioned ideas about them, even their health providers and since they work closely with patients, this can cause an uncomfortable environment, possibly leading them to refuse treatment for personal reasons. Another possible explanation is that health professionals are not prepared to assess the unique health requirements of transgender patients and are held back for fear of giving the wrong treatment. Health data from The National Transgender Discrimination Survey: Report on Health and Health Care which concluded of around 6,450 transgender and gender nonconforming individuals reveals how they feel when it comes to their health care allowing us to see how many are affected. The findings conclude that “19 percent of survey respondents nearly 1 in 5 reported being refused care outright because they were transgender or gender non-conforming, 28 percent reported very high levels of postponing medical care when sick or injured due to discrimination and disrespect, 28 percent of respondents were subjected to harassment in medical settings, and 50 percent of the sample reported having to teach their medical providers about transgender care.” These high percentages truly show how much the United States needs to change its ways in order to be able to make a safe and helpful environment for these individuals.

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A Texas Tribune article written by Sneha Dey in March 2022 states, hospitals all over the state of Texas started restricting vital care for transgender people as health providers began not providing care made to help and affirm a person’s gender identity. This includes not providing hormone therapy to transgender children. As a result of this, many are suffering, and this caused one family to flee the state. According to a Texas Tribune article written by Jordan Vonderhaar, a Texas transgender teen tried to take their own life. As their letter was read at a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Council meeting where they said “I just can’t take it anymore. Do not resuscitate me, please. I want this.”, Governor Greg Abbott began child abuse investigations on parents who supply gender-affirming care to their children. After the teen’s suicide attempt, they were diagnosed with gender dysmorphia and began obtaining gender-affirming care. The teen states now that her move to Minnesota has been a hard transition and wishes others understood how much it is hurting. 

At the end of the day, it is a hard realization that so many transgender individuals suffer these consequences simply because of who they are and it is hard to see that all of the discrimination they face causes them to also have higher levels of sadness, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide than others. With this being said I believe there are still many ways in which the world needs to do better when it comes to providing transgender people with the sources they need.

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2 thoughts on “Transgender IndivIduals’ BARriers to health care

  1. This was a very informative and enlightening article. I can’t believe we live in a country that denies people healthcare for who they are, specifically thinking about the Texas article you mentioned. Great article with tremendous purpose. Thank you!


  2. This was super educational. Transgender discrimination isn’t just apparent in social prejudice, but also in health necessities.


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