Transgender people and trans issues are getting visibility lately, which is unquestionably positive news. The White House hired its first openly transgender staffer and the Caitlyn Jenner effect endures. However, words don’t always match actions. The transgender community is still facing several challenges namely in the field of healthcare — but hopefully here to change that is startup MyTransHealth.
For trans people by trans people: Why healthcare?
Healthcare providers fail trans patients far too often. The proof is in the hashtag #TransHealthFail launched by MyTransHealth on July 30 to reveal the many barriers trans patients face.
The new survey, the U.S. Trans Survey (USTS), conducted by and for trans Americans is expected to be “the largest, most extensive study ever undertaken of trans lives” in the country. The USTS is a follow-up to the much-cited Transgender Discrimination Survey, which unveiled that one in four transgender people delay seeking healthcare due to discrimination. How many American citizens know that?
“We’re at a critical moment for trans people in America, but there is basic, fundamental knowledge that we do not have,” Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, which is conducting the survey, said in a press release. “While we’re aware that trans people face extraordinary challenges, we cannot discern how frequent or widespread they are without up-to-date data. The survey will provide us with robust, fresh data, which will translate into significant knowledge about the trans community.”
To bridge the healthcare gap affecting transgender people, MyTransHealth came up with a plan: offer a free service, fully funded on Kickstarter.
More than “trans-friendly”
The startup already raised $31K, and will launch this fall in New York City, Miami and San Francisco, connecting the transgender community with qualified healthcare providers, according to TechCrunch.
“MyTransHealth seeks to eliminate barriers and increase access to quality healthcare for the trans community, so that they can lead healthier, happier lives,” the company explained.
“Access to quality healthcare is a universal need, yet lack of adequate care is a crisis in this community. For a population of over 750,000 Americans, this is unacceptable.”
How does MyTransHealth work?
MyTransHealth will link transgender people with qualified, culturally competent doctors in their neighborhood. Individuals in need will be able to choose from four different categories: medical, mental health, legal, and crisis care. Users will be able to filter results based on need including (but not limited to): resource type, language, insurance, and accessibility.
Over 50 healthcare providers have passed a screening process allowing them to join the project.
Trans health reality check
Transgender people still lack adequate access to healthcare, most can’t afford health insurance and realize that their public or private plans exclude transition-related services. The community is still victim of invasive questioning and of a permanent and unapologetic misgendering.
Many trans people, have been reportedly denied care, physically abused or sexually violated while in care. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which surveyed more than 6,000 transgender individuals, 28% of trans people report being harassed in medical settings.
A recent study by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute also reported that suicide attempts are alarmingly common among transgender individuals; 41% try to kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the general public.
“When I tried to kill myself and was taken to a suicide center, I was made fun of by staff and treated roughly,” said one trans person in the National Trans Discrimination Survey.
The time has come to ripple change through the health profession and finally integrate transgender people into the patient-doctor equation.
What do you think of MyTransHealth and the mistreatment transgeder people experience from health professionals? Share your views in the comments section below.
More transgender news from Clapway:
Hydration is quite pivotal for health. Keep that a plus with HidrateMe: