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  • Writer's pictureElaine Martin

Fear of Healthcare

On average, Trans people are among those who can least afford healthcare and are most likely to avoid it due to access, and a healthcare industry poorly educated to our needs and fears. Institutionalizing discrimination in the healthcare system further alienates us from the care we need exposing us to yet another source of death. Trans man Robert Eads died in 1999 of ovarian cancer for fear and lack of care. All people deserve healthcare. We are people too and the ACLU has our back. Read here:

But, we have so many fears that we must confront in order to receive healthcare and we must confront them. Its a matter of life and death. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) exposes us to certain risks. Both transmen and women face the potential for crippling bone loss. Both face the potential for liver malfunction. Transwomen of color, especially, face high rates of infection by HIV/AIDS. Hep-C is a risk faced by all Baby Boomers. We face higher rates of assault and domestic violence requiring care. That's just a few of the medical needs.

What is the source of this fear?

  • Care-giver's lack of specialized knowledge in the care of trans people.

  • Remember "first do no harm"? We're afraid they might.

  • We are almost certain we'll be mis-gendered because our bodies betray us.

  • We're embarrassed that our bodies sometimes do not match our gender identities.

  • They'll find "something"

  • And, the invasive procedures to which we will be subjected, such as pelvic exams for transmen and prostate or hernia exams for transwomen. These are the ultimate in mis-gendering.

Adding humiliating discrimination to this list creates an almost insurmountable barrier to the care we must receive.

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