Transgender Coloradans face a "complex set of barriers" including mental health challenges and social stigmas, a new report from an advocacy organization says.
The LGBT advocacy group One Colorado Education Fund surveyed more than 400 transgender Coloradans. The survey was web-based, but its findings mirror scientific national surveys.
Compared with the general population, transgender Coloradans report much higher rates of depression, suicide attempts and thoughts of suicide.
“It’s not because these folks identify as transgender," says Leo Kattari, the group's health policy manager. "It’s because of the daily occurrences of discrimination, bias and stigma that transgender Coloradans experience.”
The report also finds many more transgender residents now have health care coverage since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the expansion of Medicaid.
The group's report finds the health of transgender Coloradoans depends on whether they find a sympathetic health provider.
"We know that finding a transgender-inclusive provider is a big challenge for many transgender Coloradans," says Kattari.
The report lists recommendations for advancing transgender health, including these:
- Educate the public, providers, communities, and individuals about transgender people, health disparities, and how to achieve health equity for transgender Coloradans.
- Take an integrated care approach to health care, especially for transgender people, by recognizing the relationship between physical health and mental health.
- Advocate for transgender-inclusive laws, policies, and practices at all levels of government, employment, health care, and community.