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EVENTS

How can we improve transgender people's access to health care?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Renberg Theatre, Los Angeles LGBT Center The Village at Ed Gould Plaza 1125 N. McCadden Place Los Angeles, CA 90038 Map and directions
On Tuesday, June 24, KPCC’s Leo Duran and his guests convened at the Los Angeles LGBT Center for KPCC’s “Being transgender: barriers to health care beyond the spotlight” to discuss financial and social barriers to safe and reliable medical services of any kind for trans people, cultural and generational misunderstanding, and ways to raise awareness and solutions that would address those barriers. Panelists included Tisha Chere Baird, MD, Alexander Fuller, and Aydin C. Kennedy.
On Tuesday, June 24, KPCC’s Leo Duran and his guests convened at the Los Angeles LGBT Center for KPCC’s “Being transgender: barriers to health care beyond the spotlight” to discuss financial and social barriers to safe and reliable medical services of any kind for trans people, cultural and generational misunderstanding, and ways to raise awareness and solutions that would address those barriers. Panelists included Tisha Chere Baird, MD, Alexander Fuller, and Aydin C. Kennedy.
KPCCRadio (via YouTube)

"I'm looking for the same respect and quality of care that would be given any other patient. I'm human just like everyone else." -Alexander Fuller, member of the transmen fraternity Alpha Omega Nu

Millions watched as Bruce Jenner told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.” Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner. And transgender characters seem to be everywhere on TV — and celebrated for it.

Still, many people who identify as trans or gender non-conforming do not have the resources that Caitlyn Jenner has. Trans people are four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, often subsisting on less than $10,000 a year, according to a report by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Even though transgender people are in the national spotlight, one of their most basic needs – health care – remains out of reach for many, even as demand for trans health services continues to grow.

Associate Clinical Social Worker Aydin C. Kennedy started a trans-friendly program at his South L.A. clinic at St. John’s in January 2014. At the time, they had 9 patients. When he left this January, they had just under 450.

“When I first came to L.A. I was under the impression that probably many people have: this is Los Angeles, there are probably a plethora of services,” Kennedy said. “The reality is that there’s not. And the programs that exist right now are having a hard time keeping up with the demand and have huge wait lists. It won’t be slowing down. The need is vast and big.”

On June 23, KPCC’s Leo Duran convened a panel of guests at the Los Angeles LGBT Center to discuss the barriers trans people face when trying to get the healthcare they need. We’ve rounded up a few of the issues discussed below.

Trans clinics taking the lead

As much of the medical establishment falters, Dr. Tisha Chere Baird said, clinics that serve trans people have been taking the lead in providing direction in how to address the mental and physical health needs of the community. Baird offered a few ways they’re raising the bar:

Are there other barriers you have encountered or resources available to the trans community that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Guests

Tisha Chere Baird, MD: Kaiser Permanente Southern California Lead Endocrinologist for Transgender Care and an Inter-Regional LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Intersex) Committee Member and Champion

Alexander Fuller: member of the transmen fraternity Alpha Omega Nu and the Brown Boi Project. Co-founder of KingsMen Court

Aydin C. Kennedy: Associate Clinical Social Worker in the state of California; he has been working with the queer and transgender community since 1995