Transgender people in Central Missouri face a unique set of challenges that can have a significant impact on their physical and mental health. The presence of violence against transgender people in many settings contributes to minority stress and mental health consequences. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, 46 percent of transgender people reported verbal harassment because of their gender identity, while nearly 1 in 10 reported being physically assaulted in the past year. The rule clarified by the Department of Health and Human Services (132) states that the protections against sex discrimination in Section 1557 explicitly protect transgender people based on their gender identity.
This means that people must have access to health care centers and programs consistent with their gender identity. TransPop data shows that only 1 in 3 transgender respondents identify with their authentic pronouns, and 1 in 2 do not identify with their real name. The survey also revealed that parents of K-12 students in urban, suburban, and rural areas, as well as in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West, say that their school-age children have learned about people who are transgender or that they don't identify as boys or girls. However, preliminary research indicates that 30 percent of the transgender people in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were asked specific questions about their sex that conflicted with their self-stated birth sex.
This can be problematic, as it excludes transgender and gender nonconforming (GNC) adults who live in some of the most hostile political environments for transgender and GNC people. Feldman and others recently published a study comparing the health and access to health care of transgender and cisgender people. The study found that more than 30 percent of cisgender and transgender adults had a minor child in the household; 24 percent of adults in the GNC group had a minor child in the household. Structural, institutional, and individual barriers to access to care, along with the lack of cultural competence on the part of many healthcare providers, contribute to large health disparities between transgender and cisgender populations. The challenges faced by transgender individuals living in Central Missouri are numerous and complex. From violence to lack of access to healthcare services due to discrimination, these issues can have a profound impact on physical and mental health.
In order to ensure that all individuals have access to quality healthcare services regardless of gender identity or expression, it is essential for healthcare providers to be culturally competent and for policies to be put into place that protect transgender individuals from discrimination. It is also important for communities to come together to support transgender individuals by providing resources such as support groups, safe spaces, and education about gender identity. By creating an environment where everyone is respected regardless of gender identity or expression, we can help ensure that all individuals have access to quality healthcare services.