Come Out Orlando is fully committed to equality not only for lesbian, gay, and bisexual citizens, but also the often-overlooked T that punctuates the acronym: transgender. Healthcare is an important issue for most Americans these days, but especially so for trans-people. Due both to the unique challenges that they face, and the lack of education as to exactly what those challenges are. Transition from one sex to another is a long, arduous process. That means a lot of time spent somewhere in between. This can make for some awkward situations if, say, a transgender man complete with baritone voice and facial hair must check female on his intake form and hope that the correct pronouns are observed.

Or when he has to explain to his doctors why he is wearing a chest binder, and hope they can be sensitive to his need to keep it on. If his name hasn't yet been legally changed, one would hope that the employees he interacts with regularly would be respectful of his desire to be called by his preferred name. Even in the case of someone who has completely transitioned with all documents changed, but may not be completely passable in their true gender, would any of these hospitals go out of their way to see that a transgender patient is treated with the same level of respect and dignity as any other? You wouldn't know it by their policies...

Across the board in our major hospitals here in Orlando, our transgender community is not represented. Florida Hospital's Patient Bill of Rights states: "A patient has the right to impartial access to medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment."  ( available online here:   http://www.fhwat.org/PatientsAndVisitors/PatientBillofRights.aspx). Notice that gender identity (and also sexual orientation) are conspicuously missing. Health Central and Orlando Health follow suit.
The transgender community of Orlando deserves better than what its hospitals are offering them. Help us to help our trans friends! Come Out Orlando is working to educate the public about these issues. We will be at Lake Eola 12PM Sunday, June 27th to spread the word. Join us!
 


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