Trans community vs. the world
Imagine being 13 years old, lying in bed staring at the ceiling and wondering what is wrong with you because you have an unexplainable, almost uncontrollable attraction to those of the same sex. Now imagine that you are staring at the ceiling feeling you were born the wrong sex. I won’t even pretend to think I know how that feels. Trans women and trans men are well aware that discussions around transgender make many people feel uncomfortable. Hell, most of the time they feel uncomfortable, too. They’ve spent most of their lives wishing they lived on another planet, one populated with people who would accept them for who they are. Here are some facts surrounding transgender health: In a 2010 survey of 7,000 members of the trans community by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force more than 40 percent of transgender people in the United States have tried to commit suicide. About 20 percent have been refused medical care, and one in 50 have been violently assaulted in a doctor’s office. Yes, you heard correctly, in a doctor’s office! Because of the risks and fears associated with coming out as trans, it is difficult to target critical mental health, HIV and STD prevention messages to the trans community, and it’s even more difficult to reach those who don’t identify as a particular gender or sex. During a White House symposium I attended last year, a couple of trans females said they know lots of trans people who intentionally become infected with HIV in order to obtain healthcare. Those remarks were met with a standing ovation because they spoke out publicly. That confirmed to me that much work needs to be done to assure the trans community feels supported and included in the AIDS and LGBTQ communities. Read more..
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