Wisconsin Transgender Health Summit held at Fitchburg Public Library

Group gathers at Wisconsin Transgender Health Summit.

Photo provided to The Clarion

Group gathers at Wisconsin Transgender Health Summit.

Natalie Connors, Editor in Chief

Awareness and action continue to snowball around trans rights. Bruce Jenner gave their last interview prior to transitioning in April and more people than ever before say they know a trans person. The Madison community is home to many trans individuals and multiple groups have organized to help people looking to get involved and informed.

Transgender: to identify with as a different gender than one assigned at birth.

Cisgender: to identify with the same gender as the one assigned at birth.

It’s not a disease or a condition or ailment, but a healthy natural way of being. It’s estimated that between 2-5 percent of the population is trans.

Trans people need the same basic medical care as cis people but they often face extensive challenges in getting adequate healthcare.

This was one of the top priorities addressed in the Wisconsin Transgender Health Summit, held at the Fitchburg Public Library on May 2. Several dozen community members gathered to discuss issues of interest and concern for the Wisconsin Trans Community.

One of the biggest challenges is finding knowledgeable healthcare providers who understand transgender healthcare needs.

This is an unnecessary problem.  Common desires for trans health care are Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which cis people may easily access for birth control, fertility problems, and hormonal issues. But when a trans person seeks these out, they are met often met with confused or even transphobic responses.

The providers who are knowledgeable are often overbooked with patients.

How can these challenges be addressed? Right now, event like the Wisconsin Transgender Health Summit bring together people for brainstorming solutions. But there’s solo work available as well. Educate yourself and support trans* people.  If you are a healthcare provider, use resources to help yourself, and fellow staff to respect and compassionately care for trans people. Raise awareness and speak up when people talk down.

Healthcare is a human right; we all deserve to be happy and healthy. It shouldn’t be harder just because of gender identity.