Minorities’ path to good health is ridden with obstacles, but for some patients receiving the care they need is especially difficult since most physicians don’t know how to treat them. With low awareness and limited acceptance, transgender men and women face serious health problems rooted in the health system’s lack of knowledge and sensitivity toward their issues, further complicated by society’s discrimination.
Gender identity disorder is a conflict between a person’s physical gender and the gender he or she identifies with, as defined by MedlinePlus. So even though the person’s body has male or female sexual organs, their inner sense tells them they are really the opposite sex. This may happen in childhood, with kids that feel they are different. More common among adolescents and adults, years of struggle over this persistent conflict may cause emotional distress and depression, leading to risky behaviors and sometimes even suicide.
Transgenders: Born into the wrong sex
“It was years before I could clearly identify an incongruence between the sex I was physically born into and the gender to which I self-identified. I did however know that I was different from the other boys […] perhaps as early as four or five,” Ashley Moore tells Saludify.
Those who—like Ashley Moore—suffer the feeling of being trapped in the wrong body, follow many different paths to “resolve” the apparent incoherence between body and mind. Transgender men and women all share this inner conflict, but may express their identity in many different ways. Sexual reassignment, through hormone therapy and reconstructive surgery, is one of these options, which is being offered only recently by some insurance plans. This treatment starts with a mental health assessment and requires the approval of a psychiatrist or psychologist…