- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by April Ingram
Tuesday, Feb. 08, 2005 at 9:09 PM
Transgenders discuss how the health care system falls short of their needs.
A crowd of over 300 people including members of the state legislature and the West Hollywood City Council packed a West Hollywood auditorium on Friday, February 4 for a town hall meeting addressing issues of transgender health care.
The conflab at the Gay and Lesbian Center Village Campus was sponsored by the offices of state assembly members Jackie Goldberg, Paul Koretz, Mark Leno, and state senator Sheila Kuehl, who could not attend. Also in attendance were West Hollywood City Council members Abbe Land, Jeff Prang and Mayor John Duran.
“Transgenders experience unique barriers to accessing health care,” said Jenny Gross of the FTM (Female to Male) Alliance. Negative experiences in a medical setting, such as being laughed at by medical staff, make a patient uncomfortable and less likely to seek treatment from medical professionals in the future. Often transgender patients do not mention they are taking hormones if they are seeing a doctor to treat a cold, for example, to avoid the discomfort of a negative comment or reaction. Nearly 60% of transgenders do not discuss being transgender with their health care provider, according to a needs assessment survey by the Transgender Health Project of San Diego.
Discomfort and dissatisfaction with medical staff are not the only barriers that transgender people face. Low income is one of the largest barriers to accessing health care. About 50% of transgenders have an annual income of less than ,000 according to a 2001 Los Angeles study of transgender health.
About two-thirds of transgenders in the study reported having no health insurance. Poverty is not the only reason transgenders lack health coverage. Some transgenders are denied insurance after they disclose their transgender status. When Lando Thomas had disclosed taking testosterone to a health insurance company, he received a letter of denial a week later. The insurer listed “gender identity disorder” as the reason for the denial. “I was just looking for basic coverage in case of an accident or if I got cancer,” said Thomas.
Having insurance does not guarantee that transgenders would have their health care needs met. Transgenders are not only denied coverage for hormones or sex reassignment procedures, but also for medical complications and for routine exams. An activist cited an example of a patient who was denied treatment for a silicone leakage from an implant received three years prior, despite the fact it could be life-threatening. Transgenders who have not fully transitioned often encounter problems when they ask for routine exams such as mammograms and pap smears, because insurance coverage only recognize one gender for these procedures.
Another issue is training of medical staff. Some continue to address the patient with a wrong gender pronoun, despite being corrected. Often doctors are ill-informed and uneducated on how to treat transgender clients’ needs, such as hormone therapy. Tracie O’Brien of the Transgender Health project of San Diego said she once saw a doctor who prescribed a hormone dosage recommended for post-menopausal women.
As a result of these barriers to health care, many transgenders resort to non-medical or “street” sources for medical needs, often putting their health at risk. In the Los Angeles study, 72% of the transgenders who inject hormones did so without medical supervision. Some inject other substances as silicone to enhance their appearance, as well.
Inadequate funding continues to plague the transgender community. Many community-based organizations receive funding for specific programs that only help a narrow spectrum of the transgender population. One example of such a organization is the Transgender Youth Consortium, which provides services for transgenders between ages 13 and 24.
Prevention case manager Alexis Rivera said, “After age 24, there are no more services. I have no place to send these women.” Furthermore, the agency has funding to only serve a caseload of 35 people. “This is inadequate because there are more than 35 transgender women in L.A. County,” says Rivera. “The waiting list can be six months to a year.”
Solutions to dealing with these frequently occurring problems of health care were suggested. Herb Schultz, former deputy director of department of managed care, said that people who are denied coverage or have complaints against insurance companies could ask for an independent medical review. The Department of Managed Healthcare offers 24-hour toll free assistance at (888) 466-2199 in over 153 languages. Another resource is the Department of Insurance, which can be reached at 1-800-927-HELP.
Los Angeles Transgender Health Study: Community Report. May 2001.
Transgender Health Project. Family Health Centers of San Diego. 2003
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
||Wednesday, Feb. 09, 2005 at 9:50 AM
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Architect Stephen Francis Jones
UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for
Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
More Breaking News...