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#TransPride to be electric, but work is far from over




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KPCC Forum, Tuesday, June 23: "Being transgender – barriers to health care beyond the spotlight"

Transgender people in Southern California are riding a high, with Caitlyn Jenner and her transition story at the crest of the wave.

That energy is fueling this weekend's Trans Pride celebrations at the LA LGBT Center.

"Our theme for this year is, 'Our time has come,'" says organizer Gina Bigham. "Things are happening and visibility is at an all-time high."

For decades, trans issues have often been overlooked even within the LGBT world.

"The trans community has been, for many many years, been at the back of the bus, so to speak," she says.

Festivities start Friday and continue until Saturday, with highlights including a talk by an originator of trans studies Sandy Stone and a cavalcade of performer in a "VarieTy Show." (schedule of events)

Many trans people say that their activism is far from over. While thousands call Los Angeles home, they say even basic facets of life pose obstacles.

Finding a doctor, for example, can be troublesome. Currently, only two clinics specialize in care for trans adults – the LA LGBT Center and St John's Clinic. There are more options open to you if you're eligible at Kaiser Permanente or Children's Hospital Los Angeles, too.

But several trans people tell KPCC of times when they were discriminated by doctors outside of those facilities.

Michelle Evans, a trans woman who takes hormones, described how she once broke her legs and needed to stay at a nursing home. Her care took a dive once she met her doctor.

"One of the very first things she told me was, 'You're never going back to estrogen,'" Evans recalls. "'That's just wrong. What they allowed you to do was wrong.'"

To better understand the struggles faced by trans people, KPCC hosts an event Tuesday, June 23 at 7 p.m. at the LA LGBT Center.

Panelists will talk about how health care professionals can be better in providing services and support.

FREE RSVP: Being transgender – barriers to health care beyond the spotlight