Transgender Awareness Week, observed annually from November 13th to November 19th, serves as a crucial time for reflection and action. It is a week dedicated to increasing visibility for transgender people and addressing the challenges they confront daily. As we approach the end of the week on November 20th, known as Transgender Day of Remembrance, it becomes imperative to honor and remember those who have lost their lives due to acts of anti-trans violence.
The Real Threats
While Transgender Awareness Week provides a platform of retrospection, it is essential not to overlook the constant threats and discriminations faced by transgender community. According to GLAAD, 2023 has witnessed the filing of over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills, with more than half specifically targeting transgender people. These bills extend beyond singling out the transgender community from medical care, they challenge gender equality as a whole, and pose a significant threat to the very existence of transgender individuals.
The challenges faced by the transgender community are not limited to the legislative sphere, they extend into socioeconomic realms. Statistics reveal that transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty, encountering barriers to accessing healthcare due to costs, state bans, and anti-trans bias. The U.S. Trans Survey of 2015 highlighted that 14% of respondents were uninsured, compared to 11% of the general U.S. population. Lack of insurance leads to inadequate medical care and fewer preventative measures, putting transgender individuals at higher risk for STIs, HIV, and compromised physical and mental health.
The Right to Quality Care
In the face of escalating transphobia across various aspects of life, the transgender community deserves access to high-quality, compassionate healthcare services. At Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties (PPOSBC), we are committed to providing safe, affordable care to the transgender community. Services include STI testing and treatment, HIV/AIDS testing and prevention, and online behavioral health (mental health) through Melody Health where primary care is also offered. Planned Parenthood ensures that all patients receive confidential, compassionate reproductive healthcare no matter what, and regardless of an inability to pay for services.
As Transgender Awareness Week commences, Planned Parenthood reaffirms its solidary with the transgender community. Our commitment to providing affordable, quality care remains unwavering. However, collective action is essential to make a lasting impact. Everyone can contribute by getting involved locally or supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood through donations. By ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable care, we collectively take a step towards building a more inclusive and compassionate society.