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Trans People Are Using #TransHealthFail And It's Making A Difference

From being denied medical care to doctors who use anti-trans epithets and much more.

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Some trans people on Twitter have been using the hashtag #TransHealthFail to share the bad experiences they've had with doctors and other health care providers.

There was a time I had to take a pregnancy test before getting a chest x-ray despite lacking uterus. #transhealthfail

People tweeted about experiences that were insulting and offensive...

This doctor then told me that at med school in NYC, he would take new students out to sightsee "transvestite prostitutes". #transhealthfail

That created barriers to transition...

3 years ago I saw a gender therapist (a cis woman) who told me I wasn't "trans enough" to transition. #transhealthfail

That showed that even some facilities that claim to specialize in LGBT patients need more training:

getting misgendered in my discharge papers from a psych unit that specialized in lgbt patients #transhealthfail


The hashtag was started by MyTransHealth, a new organization that wanted to make the public more aware of the barriers to good health care trans people face.

We’ve all experienced a trans health care fail. Here are a few we’ve heard since announcing MyTransHealth. Share yours with #transhealthfail

Lack of quality health care is well-known in the trans community, MyTransHealth co-founder Amelia Gapin told BuzzFeed Life.

That's why MyTransHealth — which, once launched, will connect transgender people to medical providers who have been vetted and found to provide good, respectful care to trans people — shared some of these stories in the video for its Kickstarter.


"We wanted something that really started the conversation we think needs to happen and we wanted to involve more of our community," Gapin said.

Using the hashtag, trans people shared stories about therapists who seemed to lack some basic training:

Me: "I'm trans. Non-binary." Psych: "You don't LOOK transgender." "Wait. So does that make your boyfriend a homosexual?" #transhealthfail

Doctors who didn't know how to treat transgender patients...for ailments that had nothing to do with their status as trans:

"I don't know how to treat a transgender." "... I'm here about joint pain I've had since before starting HRT?" #transhealthfail

Front office staff who didn't understand why it might be uncomfortable or unsafe for a person to have their previous name on display in a waiting room:

GP receptionist says theres nothing they can do about your full legal name on a big screen in the waiting room to call you #transhealthfail


The serious delays in getting hormone replacement therapy (HRT):

The only way to prescribe HRT meds to a minor without a 6-12 month wait time in Mass. US is to lie to the state. #transhealthfail

Lack of affordable options for gender confirming surgery:

My body holds me back. I cant afford the medical care I need to change this #transhealthfail #transgender #topsurgery

Life-threatening errors made by doctors who might not fully understand hormone replacement therapy:

Whem my self-medicating friend caught a life-threatening mistake my pcp made re: hrt, I decided I'm safer self-medicating #transhealthfail

The frustration of not even having a box to check on intake forms:

Going to Planned Parenthood and not having a gender option that fits, or a write in. #transhealthfail


And the trauma caused by a doctor who won't acknowledge your identity:

Saw private clinician. Tells me he doesn't think I'm trans, consistently misgenders and deadnames me in report afterwards. #TransHealthFail

And intentionally disregards your gender and name, instead referring to you by your assigned sex and name at birth.

The #TransHealthFail tweets illustrate just how much trans people need quality medical care, but so do the statistics.

"Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey" states that in the transgender community (a number MyTransHealth pegs at about 750,000 people in the U.S.), the rate of HIV infection is four times the national average, that one in four people experienced delays to medical care, and that 19% were refused care altogether. And that 50% of transgender patients educate their own doctors.

This is exactly what MyTransHealth wants to fix. And now it can start: On July 30 it announced that its project was funded.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who’s supported us! We couldn’t be more excited to announce MyTransHealth IS FUNDED!

"We were floored by the response and that people trusted and believed in us enough to do that. This actually gave us a lot of momentum and helped us reach our funding goal that night. I was shocked, myself," Gapin said via email.