15 Things Black Trans People Face When Going to the Doctor
Racism and transphobia won't keep these people down.
Navigating health care appointments and insurance while trans can be challenging enough, but it can be especially difficult for trans people of color.
1. "I know I need to go to the dentist but I’m not going to go if they’re not going to use my preferred name."
2. "It went beyond what it seemed like a doctor would be interested in — I felt like an eccentricity when I was in his office."
3. "I don't have to go to therapy just so you can tell me I’m not crazy and that this is a legitimate thing."
4. "He was just always asking how you’d have sex, and it was almost like a pure fascination to it rather than something related to your health care."
5. "Before I found out I was autistic, mental health providers would tell me I was trans because I’m a sexual assault survivor."
6. "Because of the anxiety I get from how people treat minorities like me, I haven’t been able to go out and take care of myself."
7. "Multiple white trans people are telling me to go to you for a service I need, so why can’t you do the same thing for me?"
8. "To some people it probably seemed alarming or surprising to see this black dude sitting in a gynecologist’s office."
9. "It just seems like we have to do a lot more legwork than people who are not of trans experience."
10. "I had insurance, but once they found out I was trans, I guess they didn’t want to help me."
11. "Either they didn’t order the vials on time or they were on backorder. That would throw my injection date off for the week."
12. "My friend would order the testosterone online and bring it to me."
13. "Because I wasn’t able to afford insurance, I couldn’t see a doctor, and I was paying out of pocket, I moved to Portland to get the services I needed."
14. "Unlike a lot of trans folk of color, I make a decent wage and it’s still hard to find inexpensive resources around transitioning."
15. "Now the challenge that I’m having is that they’re so well known for serving the LGBT community that their therapy list fills up, and the wait can be literally months."
If you've had trouble finding good health care, here are some resources provided by the people above (plus some extras).
* Susan's Place is essentially a one-stop-shop for anything trans-related, with chat rooms, forums, and links to resources in the US and internationally.
* FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization based in Wisconsin that also provides directories to trans-friendly mental health providers and physicians.
* Louisiana Trans Advocates holds five monthly support groups across the state and connects people to trans-friendly health care providers.
* Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides quality health care to LGBT folks in the New York City area.
* The Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia is "the only health care provider in the Philadelphia region specifically targeting the health care needs" of the LGBT communities.
* Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition works to advance equality among trans people throughout Arkansas by providing legal help and directories for where to find health care providers.
* Lambda Legal is a national non-profit LGBT organization that works on impact litigation, meaning it takes on cases that will impact the most people and advance their rights.
* The Fenway Institute's National LGBT Health Education Center provides people in Boston and other parts of Massachusetts with health care resources.
* Family Tree Clinic in Minnesota provides sexual and reproductive health care —as well as limited primary care — to everyone, including LGBT folks.
* The Ali Forney Center provides food, medical care, mental health services and counseling support to LGBT youth.
Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.