Transgender health

The difficulty in finding a safe medical home--where one can talk freely with a healthcare provider without fear of being judged--can cause difficulty in managing the unique health care needs of transgender individuals. Even in settings that aren't hostile, transgender persons might be understandably hesitant to lower their guard. This can complicate good health care, as it's important to trust and be open with your healthcare providers.

The effects of stigma, shame, and discrimination can be devastating to physical and mental health. The Healthy People 2010 Companion Document for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health reports that among LGBT (especially youth), "...alcohol, drugs, food, sex, and/or work [are used] as vehicles for dissociating from the painful realities of living in a society with a strong homophobic element." This can potentially place transgender persons at risk for mental health issues, obesity, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

If you aren't comfortable with your doctor, find someone with whom you can talk openly about your sexuality Your provider should be open, accepting, and respectful of your sexuality. If not, find a new provider. The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association offers a provider locator to help you find a provider in your area.