Newsflash: Transgender Discrimination Rampant in Health Care

According to a new report released by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, transgender and  gender non-comforming people face severe discrimination when they try to access health care. The study is the largest study of transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the U.S. to date, surveying more than 6,450 people.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

— About 1 out of 5 survey respondents reported that they had been denied care because they were transgender or gender nonconforming.

— Half reported that they had to teach their health-care provider about transgender care.

— 41 percent of respondents reported having attempted suicide, contrasting with 1.6 percent in the general population.

— 28 percent reported postponing care for fear of discrimination.

— Nearly half were unable to afford health care.

— 28 percent reported harassment in medical settings.

— 2 percent reported being attacked violently in a doctor’s office.

— 2.64 percent reported having HIV–4 times the national average of .6 percent. The rates were even higher for transgender women (3.76 percent), unemployed transgendered people (4.67 percent) and sex workers (15.32 percent).

The study also found that being a person of color compounded the difficulties of accessing health care for transgender and gender-noncomforming people.

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. There will be events all over the world to commemorate transgender victims of violence. Some of whom may have experienced violence in an unexpected place, such as a doctor’s office.

Photo from user Sam T through Creative Commons License 2.0


Kathleen Richter is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego in the field of International Studies. She has been a feminist ever since kindergarten when she proved that she too could belch with the best of them. When she is not engaged in life-sustaining activities, she is most likely either drawing feminist comics or writing feminist sentences.