Gender Affirmation and Health Equity for Trans/Gender-Variant People in the U.S.: Connecting Structural and Personal Dimensions
Monday, November 2, 2015: 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
The proposed speaker panel will discuss gender affirmation and health in transgender and other gender minority communities in the U.S. Transgender and other gender minority people have an assigned sex at birth that differs from their current gender identity. High prevalence of adverse health indicators in transgender and other gender minority people have been documented, including in mental health distress and suicidality, substance use and abuse, and HIV infection, with risk heightened by exposure to other forms of social inequality, including racism, sexism, and impoverishment, rendering transgender women of color especially vulnerable. Differential distribution of adverse social and structural exposures, including discrimination and mistreatment, lack of legal recognition of gender identity, and increased risk of violence/victimization, are hypothesized to drive health inequities in transgender and other gender minority people compared to cisgender (non-transgender/non-intersex) individuals, within and across racial/ethnic and economic groups, in ways that may vary by gender identity.
Gender affirmation refers to the process of being socially recognized and affirmed in one’s gender. Research on other forms of social inequality, e.g., racism, shows the value of framings that address resilience and strength, in addition to adverse exposures, including the strength to take on the structural determination of inequality and ill-health. For transgender and other gender minority people, gender affirmation often involves three dimensions: social, medical, and legal. The panel discussion will include: (1) a social epidemiologic perspective of gender affirmation as a key social determinant of health and wellbeing for transgender and other gender minority people; (2) a personal perspective from a transgender American navigating the medical, legal, and administrative systems that require–and promulgate rules related to–gender markers; (3) a public health policy description of recent efforts and strategies used to integrate gender equity into the Affordable Care Act (ACA); (4) a case study from New York City, New York on changing the Health and Administrative Code regulations to enable a more accessible gender marker change process; and (5) an introduction to a holistic program in Chicago, seeking to address structural and socioeconomic barriers to health and wellbeing for transgender individuals, including housing, employment, and legal services.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: LGBT Caucus of Public Health Professionals
Endorsed by: Ethics, Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Socialist Caucus, Spirit of 1848 Caucus, Women's Caucus, Caucus on Homelessness, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights