Trans activist Aydian Dowling has helped drive the conversation around what it means to be transgender in America today. The husband and father of one, who has 190,000 Instagram followers, weighed in on a pressing issue: the hurdles Americans, especially trans Americans, face in accessing high-quality and inclusive healthcare.
Considering the reported 31 percent of transgender Americans who lack access to healthcare, what do you think their greatest barriers to care are?
The greatest barriers for trans Americans who are seeking care are not knowing if the establishment they’re walking into is friendly, and not knowing if they are going to a provider who is knowledgeable about their healthcare needs.
What is your vision for a more inclusive and accessible future of healthcare? Can you speak to any particular trends that you think are especially hopeful?
Affordability is key, and that doesn’t just affect low-income populations — it affects the middle class as well. As far as trends go, I wish more things were on a sliding scale. Also, I think some type of mental health care within basic coverage plans would be great, but it varies from state to state and needs to be affordable.
What is the most helpful advice you have gotten on accessing high-quality affordable care for your family?
Every family’s needs are different and, for families with transgender people in them, that care is something not offered in places that need it. For people looking for high-quality, affordable healthcare, I usually advise taking advantage of resources at your local LGBT center, if you have one. But again, you have to have one in your community and, if you don’t, that’s another obstacle.
How can people better advocate for inclusive quality care for all?
Share your story over and over again. The only way for us to make affordable, inclusive healthcare a reality is for people to show, in detail, how they suffer and how they’re forced to manage their lives without the care they deserve.
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