The 16th Annual Trans Health Conference in Philadelphia, addressed transgender health issues within the fields of law, behavioral health, and medicine. “Developing and integrating a comprehensive curriculum for transgender health,” students from Mayo Medical School discussed an educational model for incorporating trans health into medical school curriculum. In presentation titled “Talking to young children about gender,” I learned about an elementary charter school in Oakland, CA that has incorporated non-binary gender discussions into classroom curriculum. “Mammo-Watch” discussed barriers preventing access to cancer screening in transgender populations. I learned that trans men are often denied insurance coverage for PAP smears and mammograms, and the psychological barriers associated with gender-specific cancer screening. “No body needs gender” discussed sex education without an emphasis on gender. The lecturer described the processes of puberty in relation to estrogen-dominant and testosterone dominant bodies. “Effects of sex hormones on cardiovascular disease” discussed health outcomes of hormone therapy on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and BMI. “Sex positive trans sexuality for providers” explored ways that providers can educate and empower trans patients to embrace their sexuality throughout their gender transition.
By understanding the health implications of gender affirming therapies and trans-specific barriers to receiving care, healthcare practitioners have the ability to provide respectful, safe, and culturally competent care to transgender patients. Now, I have a better understanding of how I can discuss and promote sexual health, and empower patients to care for their bodies regardless of their anatomy or gender identity.
-Maggie Steinmann, ‘18