Health care discrimination for transgender people must end

Mistreated, misunderstood, and often marginalized, the transgender community has been forced to deal with plenty of scrutiny. For most individuals who are transgender, discrimination is something they have come to expect, and may even be considered normal in their daily lives.

While it is incredibly disheartening these individuals have been subject to such treatment, it does not come as a major shock. As unfortunate as it is, some choose to hate and cast judgement upon what they don’t understand. Though the transgendered might have become accustomed to intolerance, it mustn’t be treatment they should have to endure when seeking health care.

A letter to the editor was recently published by The New York Times, written by Karla Paschkis, who is the mother of a transgender child. She stated that she and her daughter have encountered several biased and transphobic health care professionals, and fears that a doctor who has differing views may deny her daughter care one day.

Paschkis believes the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights is an “open invitation” for further discrimination against a disparaged population.

If the process of receiving medical services is difficult or intimidating in any way, these individuals might be discouraged from doing so. Transgender people who are unable to transition medically are said to be at a higher risk for depression and developing self-destructive behaviors.

Fears of judgement or vulnerability may prohibit the transgendered from seeking medical attention, though a challenge for those who choose to is the availability of coverage, which varies by state. Numerous health policies are still using exclusions, some of which are “sex reassignment surgery” or “services relating to sex change.”

Those who were born in a body they don’t feel at peace in are already plagued by enough hardships, accessing health care should not be one of them. The process must be made simpler, with medical providers making an effort to increase their knowledge on the subject and more resources offered.

Every human has the right to be comfortable in their own skin and receive the medical treatment that will enhance their well-being.