Background and Context
Our community faces huge barriers to appropriate health care treatment. Trans people often must contend with the individual prejudices of doctors, clinic staff, insurance companies or public assistance organizations. Additionally, trans people are more likely to be low-income or poor and thus lack insurance or have trouble paying medical bills. Further increasing the economic burden placed on often already impoverished trans individuals, most forms of public and private insurance do not cover any transition-related expenses, such as hormone therapy, at all.
Even when it comes to other kinds of care, too many doctors remain ignorant about the specific needs of trans patients. The lack of availability of trans-sensitive doctors and clinics who are supportive and understanding makes it hard for us to find somewhere safe to get the treatment we need, whether we’re seeking a routine check-up or a major surgery. When trans people show up to an emergency room, we often have to fear whether we are going to be insulted or treated unfairly just for being who we are.
Sometimes, we even have to worry whether we will be given necessary treatment at all. Here in DC, an African-American trans woman named Tyra Hunter was seriously wounded in a car accident in 1995. When Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene, they began to treat her. But when they discovered her trans status, they uttered derogatory statements and ceased providing life-saving measures. She later died in a hospital, and a court also found that emergency room staff at DC General had not delivered adequate care either. Although these events took place in 1995, similar stories continue to surface.
History of Our Campaign
We have recently revived our healthcare campaign and are looking for your support! Our trans health care working group aims at ensuring all trans people have access to trans affirming and competent healthcare. We are currently working to ensure that DC Medicaid and Medicare cover transgender health care services as well as ensuring appropriate provider care. To get involved please email: Nico Quintana at email@example.com
If you have faced any kind of discriminatory treatment by a health care professional, please contact us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282).