This ruling creates a grey area within our laws that allows healthcare providers to refuse care for anyone that is transgender.
This post will explore why this ruling is so devastating. And how it will only further oppress a community that has been hurting, and targeted, for centuries. Let’s start from the beginning.
Who are transgender people?
What does “transgender” mean?
The word “transgender” – or trans – is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned at birth. Although the word “transgender” and our modern definition of it only came into use in the late 20th century, people who would fit under this definition have existed in every culture throughout recorded history.
Why is the trans community vulnerable?
⁃ LGBT Youth are disproportionately marginalized.
⁃ There is still no comprehensive non-discrimination law that includes gender identity.
⁃ In too many cases, this lack of legal protection translates into unemployment for transgender people.
⁃ The LGBTQ community still faces considerable stigma based on over a century of being characterized as mentally ill, socially deviant and sexually predatory.
⁃ Transgender people have few options for protecting themselves from violence or for seeking justice
⁃ The rates of police assault and brutality on transgender people, especially trans people of color is disproportionately high compared to other demographics.
⁃ Beyond facing barriers to obtaining medically-necessary health services and encountering medical professionals who lacked transgender health care competency, many in the trans community been refused medical care outright because of bias.
⁃ The widespread lack of accurate identity documents among transgender people can have an impact on every area of their lives, including access to emergency housing or other public services. To be clear, without identification, one cannot travel, register for school or access many services that are essential to function in society.
What can you do to offer support to a community that consists of your neighbors, friends, and fellow human beings?
• Educate yourselves. Read articles. Listen to the experiences of transgender people. (links below)
• Support trans-owned businesses (links below)
• Consider socioeconomic status in your education, practice, and research efforts.
• Stay up to date on legislation and policies that explore and work to eliminate socioeconomic disparities. Visit the Office on Government Relations for more details.
Trans and queer experiences:
Stories told by trans people about their journey:
How to understand the trans experience-
Does the struggle go away after transitioning?-