Why Gender-Affirming Care Matters

Ravi IyengarBy Ravi Iyengar, MD

Transgender and gender-diverse individuals are not a novel concept, and the idea of existing beyond the binary of female or male is centuries old. However, this population has notoriously faced discrimination, verbal and physical abuse, some of which still continues in the health care community.

A 2015 national survey of almost 28,000 transgender and gender-diverse individuals demonstrated that a third had a negative experience with a health care provider and a quarter of patients have had to educate their own providers about care.

When we look at the complexly layered barriers to care, we have to ask ourselves — would these numbers suffice for any other population seeking care? Encouragingly, there have been great strides within the past decade driving greater advocacy for and research surrounding gender-affirming care.

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