Transgender people face can face an exceptional degree of anxiety and bias in healthcare. A large survey by Lambda Legal revealed that 70 percent of transgender respondents had experienced serious discrimination in healthcare. In a 2011 survey of over 6,000 transgender Americans, 19 percent of the respondents reported being refused healthcare due to their transgender or gender-nonconforming status, with an additional 28 percent having postponed necessary healthcare when sick or injured, and 33 percent having delayed or not sought preventative care because of experiences of healthcare discrimination based on their transgender status. As a report on transgender-affirming hospital policies by HRC and Lambda Legal notes: “From instances of humiliation and degradation to outright refusals to provide care, many institutions – consciously or not – have made it very difficult for transgender people to receive respectful, knowledgeable treatment. The end result often has been disengagement from the health care system that results in poor health outcomes for transgender people: rather than enduring abuse and poor treatment, transgender people often simply do without health care.”
Fortunately, culturally competent healthcare providers and administrators can help end the health disparities faced by transgender people through providing welcoming, knowledgeable and equitable care to the transgender community. Below, we have provided resources for healthcare providers and administrators to help provide patient-centered care to the transgender community.
Best Practices and Cultural Competency
- Visit Gender Spectrum for resources about working with gender-expansive children and their families, along with gender inclusive best practices for physical exams and other resources
- Read our report Supporting and Caring for our Gender-Expansive Youth for information and suggestions for those seeking to increase their comfort and competency with the evolving landscape of gender identity and expression.
Transgender Health-Related Videos
- View our four-part video series “Debunking the Myths: Transgender Health and Well Being” where transgender people, medical professionals and other experts team up to dispel some common and harmful misconceptions surrounding the lived experiences of transgender and gender nonconforming people.
- Transgender Tuesdays: A Clinic in the Tenderloin is a film about the first clinic in the country focused on transgender care, focusing on the lives of twelve of the patients who came to the clinic starting in 1993.
- Southern Comfort is a documentary about the last year in the life of a transgender man with ovarian cancer, who is turned away from care by over two dozen physicians in the south, who fear that taking on a transgender patient might harm their practice.