Developing Trans-Affirming Health Services in an Underserved Area: An Intersectional Approach
© Oralia Loza et al. 2018. Purpose: Gender-nonconforming patients are at higher risk for medical problems that require prompt medical and mental health intervention. Barriers to healthcare for transgender individuals have been well characterized in the literature, but not in low resource settings. The purpose of this paper is to present the barriers encountered when bringing healthcare to transgender children, adolescents, and adults in a medically underserved, predominantly Hispanic area of the United States. Methods: In this medically underserved area on the U.S.-Mexico border, there is a severe shortage of medical expertise for transgender individuals at both the primary- and specialty-care levels. Further, given the mainly Hispanic population, there is an additional culturally based barrier to obtaining medical care for transgender patients. Results: It is important for academic centers in these regions to collaborate to overcome these barriers through a multidisciplinary approach that includes providing education for medical students and physicians in training and identifying medical providers who are able and willing to provide transgender-competent care adapted to local culture and gender norms. Conclusion: In this manuscript, we will describe the efforts of various groups to address the needs of the transgender community in the region.