Transgender Awareness Week is a time to protect, advocate for, celebrate, uplift, understand, and honor our trans community.
Why is this important?
There are many reasons to celebrate and cultivate awareness of issues around the transgender experience.
Let’s start with a crucial goal of public health efforts: investigating and addressing health *hazards* and root causes.
What are the health hazards that trans folks experience? One is violence. Another is the lack of access to inclusive healthcare. Another hazard is the toll on mental health. (This list is far from complete, but it’s a start.)
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), LGBTQ+ high school students experience more violence than their heterosexual and cisgender peers—both at school and at home. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than half of transgender people experience intimate partner violence (IPV). See our recent post on IPV among the LGBTQ+ community.
In terms of healthcare, many LGBTQ+ students don’t get appropriate health education. Only about 51% of schools nationwide provide information on HIV, STDs, or pregnancy prevention that’s relevant to LGBTQ+ students. CDC link here.
According to the American Heart Association, trans folks have a disproportionate risk of cardiovascular disease compared to their cisgender peers.
Transgender people are often stigmatized, which can lead to psychological distress and higher rates of depression, substance use, and suicide. (See link here.) A 2022 Canadian study reported that compared with cisgender, heterosexual adolescents, transgender adolescents showed five times the risk of suicidal ideation and eight times the risk of suicide attempt. (See link here.)
These hazards take a steep toll on the trans community.
Did you know that every leading medical association in the U.S. supports inclusive and affirming care? This includes the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychiatric Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. That’s lots of trusted, legit organizations made of lots of trusted medical folk and scientists urging us to learn more and support our transgender neighbors: (See link here.)
Shout out to Public Health Madison & Dane County for pointing us to this info!
What can you do?
Learn more. Be curious. Listen to their/our stories.
If you are curious about what transgender means for the people who identify as trans, nonbinary, agender, genderqueer, etc., here is a link to StoryCorps so you can hear directly from these people.
If you are interested in the science behind gender identity, here is our post on the subject.
If you would like to learn more about the difference between sex and gender, here is our post on that subject.
For more about basic terms and faqs.
In science and solidarity, we celebrate you just as you are.
Those Nerdy Girls+&