Friday, December 9, 2011

A Victory in Trans* Legitimacy

When you’re not part of a marginalized group then there are certain things that you may take for granted; things that may seem commonplace or trivial, but really aren’t if you have certain kinds of identities that restrict your access to those “simple” things.

One of these things is safe and accurate healthcare. Do you ever have anxiety about a doctor’s appointment because you don’t want to deal with potential discrimination? What if they’re dismissive about a problem that you bring up because they don’t “understand” it? I mean, how do you know they’ve been trained to handle someone with your identity?

This week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement addressing these fears from the trans* community and pushing for doctors to provide adequate services for individuals with these identities. Part of the reason for this improvement  is a discrimination survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force that found “nearly 30% of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients postpone care due to discrimination concerns.” The ACOG is now expecting its doctors the be knowledgeable of the health issues  that trans* individuals face. A Denver ob-gyn  sums up well what type of impact these changes implicate: “[b]y increasing the number of ob-gyns providing care to transgender patients, we can help improve the overall health of the transgender community.

by Che J. Hatter

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