Action Steps YOU Can Take to Improve Trans Folks’ Access to Healthcare

We’ve written a lot about the importance of ensuring access to health services for trans folk, and of the discrimination they often face when trying to access said services. And a few weeks ago, a new study by youth advocate Neha Sood was released on the health hurdles transgender women and men, and gender non-conforming people, face in Asia.

Given the information presented in that report, it seems as good a time as any to ask ourselves, as feminists, as trans and cis gender people, as gender non-conforming people, as SRRH advocates, and as allies in a movement for better access to health and rights for all, what can I do about this systematic denial of healthcare to an entire community of people? How can I help ensure access to health services for transgender men and women, in Asia and around the world?

As Sood points out, “Urgent as well as long-term sustainable action needs to be taken in order to protect, promote and fulfil transgender people’s rights, as well as empower them to access these.” She’s worked with IWHC to produce a list of actions that can be taken by members of the general public (that’s most of us!), state governments, and donor agencies, to help address some of the access problems she outlines in the original report. A few samples of action steps she recommend folks like me and you take right now:

“Build understanding on gender, sexualities, sexual and reproductive rights and the links with all human rights, including on transgender issues, and educate society on the same. This would include dispensing with binary thinking about gender, as well as sexual hierarchies.”

“Ensure that our own organizations, networks and partnerships have affirmative and non-discriminative policies, including for transgender women and men and gender non-conforming people.”

Click here for the whole list, and pass it on to anyone you think has the power to change our reality- that is, everyone you know!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to serving as an Executive Director at Feministing, Lori is the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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