Donald Trump’s election into office and eventual inauguration was met with a lot trepidation more so among the LGBTI community across America (and by extension, other LGBTI communities around the world). Transgender folk were dashing to get reconstructive surgeries before Trump’s administration could take away their freedoms. In 2010, the affordable healthcare act popularly known as Obamacare, made it illegal for insurers to turn away those with pre-exisiting conditions such as those who identify as transgender. Those who were broke, trans and living in conservative areas would finally have access to better healthcare. Eight years later, the gains made on behalf of transgender community will be lost as the Trump administration has repealed the healthcare act. Those who benefited from the cover through provision of affordable hormone correction drugs, therapy and surgeries are now left to their own devices. They are now more susceptible to fake drugs and debt.
However, the repeal of Obamacare is merely a tip of the iceberg. The relationship between transgender community and healthcare providers has been fraught with conflict, dread and misunderstanding.
Most transgender folks do not seek out healthcare for fear of being ridiculed and profiled. According to the National Center for transgender equality; 27,000 transgender people have had a negative experience with a doctor and a quarter of those who took part in the survey avoid going to the doctor altogether.
There are medical practitioners who often ask intrusive questions via questionnaire. This causes anxiety that only adds to the patient’s stress. The questionnaire seems to imply that once completed the patient is more deserving or worthy of certain care once they jump through these hoops.
Healthcare practitioners need to have a thorough understanding of these life changing decisions and should even see themselves as guides for those who are transitioning, looking for answers and seeking medical help. One transgender man said he felt seen and validated when his doctor confirmed that indeed he was a man something he knew all along.
There’s need to continue fighting for proper healthcare for all transgender folk more so within our country. Not only proper healthcare but also, affirming and humane healthcare that ensures transpeople feel protected and included.
To read more on the transgender fight for healthcare in America find the full article here
If you face any discrimination as a transgender person at any healthcare facility, please report via http://www.utunzi.com or send an SMS to 22069.