Transgender Dying Young Project
This semester, I have my community health class. I have to spend 56 hours volunteering and gathering data about a population in my community and a disease that affects that community.
I’ve thought all week about where I should focus my project on, and I’ve come to a decision.
Individuals who are trans face incredible odds, particularly if they are people of color. They also dying younger and by more violent causes than the general population.These are my friends and neighbors I am losing.
I identify as genderfluid but generally do not bring it up because to do so would invite scrutiny, accusations, and mockery. But I am saying this here because even though I have the privilege of passing, passing limits my free expression of who I am and one day I truly hope to be free in that expression. I would love to have a closet divided into thirds. One for woman. One for man. One for the days when I don’t feel like any gender expresses who I am.
Reasons for this project:
We have the horrible last days of Dr. V, now etched into a webpages walls for clickbait for all the world to see and judge and mock. (Note: link posts to @ParkerMolloy‘s eloquent synopsis and take down of how the article could have been written without outing Dr. V. and causing her and her loved ones so much distress.
We experience hate crimes all over the world. Countries where being trans is a death sentence.
We experience higher rates of STDs, especially HIV among trans individuals.
Most members of the medical community receive ZERO training on the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the trans population. Because of this, trans individuals are often afraid to go to a hospital or doctor’s office, even in an emergency. This must stop.
I am going to make my Community Health project about death in the trans community and what could be done to prevent the early deaths of my trans friends and family. I am going to be able to present to at least 60 nurses and my professors what can be done to improve the mental and physical health of the trans community. While I am doing this, I am also going to create a presentation that can be easily emailed and blogged and shared about the healthcare needs of the trans community.
I am going to tweet about my project and the work I am doing under the hashtag #transdyingyoung.
Because I am new to this, I am going to enlist the help of anyone who would like to review my project and my posts. If you would, please email me at grimalkinrn at gmail dot com. I will not out anyone. I will not post personal, identifying information about anyone who does not want to be identified. I WILL listen to members of the trans community and solicit their instruction and advice.
I have a pretty good idea why I think trans individuals are dying so young, and of so many things that cis individuals do not, but I also know there are cultures that embrace multiple genders. We have people that embrace multiple genders.
My hope is that with this project I will bring education to more than 60 people. I am going to share my research and blog about these 56 hours of data collection and service. And by sharing this blog post, I am going to out myself to my classmates, and fellow nurses. I am genderfluid, and I am not going to be silent about it anymore.
This is not going to be a journey down a rabbit hole where things get stranger and stranger. I am going to work to put the healthcare needs of the trans community into the light of day, and move the practice of medicine FORWARD.
Posted on January 26, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.
I applaud you for taking the time and effort to educate the healthcare community about this topic. As a member of the healthcare community (respiratory care), I would like to know how to talk to these patients without judgement and with tact. The only suggestion I have is to define some of the terms used by the transgender community. That would help greatly when dealing with diagnosing, assessing, and treating this population.
I am definitely going to include that in my project, but that’s going to take months. In the meantime, here is GLAAD’s glossary of Transgender Terms
Smoking, drugs, pumper parties, prostitution,HIV/AIDS, homelessness, unhealthy eating habits all resulting in the early demise of our community. I’ve written over 2,000 articles in the past 10 years and sadly many of them are about our family who’s deaths included one or more of those causes.