Transgender people are individuals whose gender identity does not coincide with their designated sex at birth. Some transgender people take their gender and sexuality seriously and transition through medical and surgical procedures to align their minds and bodies. However, several change their lifestyles and do not opt for transition. Transgender people are further classified into different categories. Still, one thing in common; they do not relate to their gender at birth. Consulting a doctor for a mild health issue is not a straightforward process for them.
Health is the primary constituent of humankind. People agree that access to a healthcare facility should be a fundamental right of everyone. Transgender people face discrimination in many aspects of life. Despite many people raising voices in their favor and many movements that run to provide them with primary rights, transgender people continue to suffer. The health challenges that they go through are some of the most difficult for any population subdivision.
Moreover, transgender people are at a greater risk of suffering from psychological issues, drug and alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted, cancer, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases. Although people raise awareness and things are changing for the better for transgender people, there is still a long way to provide them with equal rights.
Below we are stating some points which will address the health disparities for transgender people and how people can work to overcome them:
1. Access to Healthcare
Many transgender people avoid going to medical centers as they fear rejection. They have heard or witnessed negative experiences of being turned away by healthcare workers. Besides, many face financial constraints as insurance policies generally do not cover many transgender people’s issues. That is why they often ask what is community health? And how they can benefit from healthcare services, as they may experience discrimination in public health centers.
Moreover, many health practitioners do not understand transgender people’s issues and fail to give them the required service. Transgender people need representation and the same access to healthcare services. Insurance policies should also develop a plan for their health-related issues to make it easier for them to access healthcare.
2. Hormonal Issues
The main issue with transgender people is hormonal imbalance. They often opt for hormonal therapy to either become masculine or feminine. The initial process may show some side effects. Testosterone has proven to damage the liver; estrogen can boost blood pressure or lead to blood clotting. On the other hand, spironolactone lowers blood pressure significantly, causes dehydration, and disturbs electrolytes. Transgender people may need to go for hormonal treatment. Still, they must do so under the proper guidance of medical experts. The appropriate dosage and adequate monitoring for transgender people’s condition are necessary to eliminate the risk of endangering transgender people’s health.
3. Substance Abuse
Gender-expansive people use substances at a higher rate than other people. The use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs is prevalent among transgender people. They often go for more potent substances, such as crystal meth, cocaine, ecstasy, or marijuana. Using these drugs can become a cause of sexually transmitted diseases due to the inability to make a safe-sex decision. Many transgender people suffer discrimination, rejection, and disrespect day in and day out. They take solace in tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. Furthermore, excessive and long-term use of these harmful substances can lead to cancer or many heart and lung diseases.
4. Silicone Injections
Silicone injections are becoming common by the day, but transgender women often use them excessively. They want to appear feminine and look beautiful without waiting for the implications of estrogen. Silicone injections provide them with instant curves and give voluptuous bodies. The dangerous part is that many non-medical people also administer silicone injections and can cause significant health issues in transgender women. These people may share needles and can transmit HIV or other diseases. The toxic ingredients in these injections may not have immediate adverse effects on health. Still, they can prove dangerous in the long run. Transgender people must take the proper long medical route for their transition to avoid any medical issues.
5. Anxiety and Depression
A vast majority of transgender people still do not feel comfortable, welcome, and accepted in communities. They find themselves unrelatable to people and go into their shells. People shun them away, reject them, and sometimes their humiliating behavior often leads transgender people to go into severe depression. Many transgender people say that they feel anxiety whenever they have to attend a social gathering. Sometimes, people do not shy away from throwing slurs at them. Transgender people must take therapy for their depression and must not let feelings bottle up inside.
6. Cardiovascular Diseases
Whether it is transgender males or transgender females, they are in danger of heart attack and stroke. Many transgender people suffer from fluctuations in blood pressure, and they are chain smokers. Furthermore, some transgender people can take an overdose of hormone therapy that can weaken their hearts. Transgender people must take their heart health seriously. If they feel palpitations, chest pain, or high cholesterol, they should see a doctor immediately and take medicines.
The world has progressed significantly in many aspects in the past few years. However, transgender people still face much discrimination. Multiple barriers to access healthcare are present. Many transgender people who do not go through the surgical process of changing their sex find it difficult to fill some primary forms to select gender. They do not feel related to the gender they were assigned. Since they have not gone through the surgical process of changing gender, they are not eligible for the other category. Workplace discrimination and general negative perception of people about them often become a cause of depression and anxiety. An appropriate system should be in place to give them primary health rights, and healthcare workers must be held accountable if they show any discrimination. Transgender people often face multiple health challenges, and they must be eligible to receive immediate care should the need arises.