Transgender people have a unique set of physical and mental health needs that seem to be compounded by prejudices against them, within both the health care system and society. The discrimination limits access to timely, medically appropriate, culturally competent, and respectful care, which eventually translates to increased risk of depression and suicide.
Transgender people also have medical needs related to gender transition, such as surgery and hormonal therapy that usually create an inevitable and undesired reliance on the health system for basic identity expression. The combination of high medical needs and challenges to access to proper care may give rise to a self-inducing cycle of prejudice, stigmatization, risk exposure, and ultimately poor health outcomes.
The situation in Canada
Transgender access to health care continues to be a highly contentious topic in Canada, even as activists run out of new ways to get the people who can do something about it – doctors and politicians – to take action.
Out of the ten provinces in the nation, nine of them offer some trans-related surgeries, though only one hospital provides the complete gamut of treatment in Montreal. New Brunswick province does not offer any funded procedures to trans people, which has made the fight for fair treatment in the healthcare system a nightmare. You would expect fewer struggles for trans people to access medical care in bigger cities, yet the challenges remain the same nationwide.
Access to healthcare looks different from province to province, though there are still evident barriers at the national level that can have a huge impact if the relevant people were to take the necessary action.
This documentary explores the challenges faced by trans individuals in the country with the view to make the people who matter to take the necessary action and humanize the health care system, but to address the serious situation in New Brunswick, Ripley has set up a crowdfunding campaign online called “Take my Breasts Away” that will aid in top surgery.
The documentary attracts thousands of viewers every day, which will hopefully provide the public with an understanding of the situation of transgender Canadians trying to access health care within the country. Transitioning needs good access to proper health care, and without it, people begin to feel marginalized, vulnerable, and insecure in their own country. However, with more media coverage than ever before, transgender people in Canada are hopeful that the situation will change for the better.