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Being Transgender in Healthcare is Dangerous: A Call for Reform

by | Nov 24, 2023

The LGBTQ community is a large spectrum and we all fall somewhere on it. Each color off our flag represents a unique narrative, a distinct struggle. Yet, in recent times, the transgender community faces a crisis that calls for immediate attention and action. Being transgender in healthcare is dangerous. 

We must act with heartbreaking urgency, epitomized in the story of Alice Litman. She was a 20-year-old trans woman. Her life and dreams cut short due to systemic failures in healthcare.

Alice Litman’s Tragic Journey

Alice’s story is a grim reminder of the struggles many in the trans community face. She waited an agonizing 1,023 days for gender-affirming treatment. It was a delay that her family vehemently describes as an “act of aggression” by the healthcare system. 

During the three-day inquest into her death, her family spoke out, hoping that their daughter’s case would serve as a wake-up call. A cry aloud about the state of transgender care. Her mother, Caroline Litman, expressed a desperate need for change in the NHS (National Health System in England) and systems involved in the care of trans people. The government finally acknowledged the extent of the waiting list, revealing a disturbing reality. A person in their 20s referred for gender-affirming care today, might not receive support until they are nearing forty.

Being Transgender in Healthcare: The Larger Picture

Alice’s story is not an isolated incident but a reflection of a larger, systemic problem. The NHS’s gender identity services lack funding. Therefore, people experience overextended waiting lists. 

The coroner at the inquest, Sarah Clarke, points out the following. The UK government insufficiently resources the NHS for the level of need in today’s society. This systemic neglect is not just an issue in Brighton and Hove (two small English towns) but a nationwide concern that demands immediate reform.

The Devastating Impact of Neglect on Transgender Lives

The consequences of such neglect are dire. Trans individuals, are often vulnerable. They are in desperate need of support and face a grim reality of mental health crises, self-harm, and even suicide. 

Alice’s case, as presented, shows the catastrophic impact of inadequate care. Her family’s heart-wrenching testimony and the evidence of her struggles signals urgent needs. The need for a healthcare system that genuinely supports and cares for its trans patients. A system where being trans in healthcare doesn’t equal death and depression. 

A trans person holding a trans pride fan in a Pride parade.

A Call to Action

What can we, as a community, do? The answer lies in our collective action. We must advocate for policy changes, support local LGBTQ organizations, and make our voices heard by those in power. It’s about creating an environment where transgender individuals feel seen, heard, and supported. We must stand together and demand that our governments reform healthcare systems. They should cater to the needs of every person – trans or cis.

Rally With Us In This Fight?

As we rally for trans rights, we are fighting for the rights of all. Our community’s strength lies in our unity and our unwavering commitment to support each other. 

Alice Litman’s story is a painful reminder of the cost of inaction and neglect. Let us honor her memory by working tirelessly towards a world where no trans individual has to endure what she did. Let’s band together for a future where everyone, regardless of gender identity, feels dignified and receives the healthcare they deserve. Being transgender in healthcare is dangerous, but so is being gay, disabled…

Lastly, If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out for help. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can change the world.

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Brian Webb

Brian Webb

Author

Brian Webb is the founder and editor-in-chief of HomoCulture, a celebrated content creator, and winner of the prestigious Mr. Gay Canada – People’s Choice award.An avid traveler, Brian attends Pride events, festivals, street fairs, and LGBTQ friendly destinations through the HomoCulture Tour. He has developed a passion for discovering and sharing authentic lived experiences, educating about the LGBTQ community, and using both his photography and storytelling to produce inspiring content.Originally from the beautiful Okanagan Valley in the southern interior of British Columbia, Brian now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. His personal interests include travel, photography, physical fitness, mixology, drag shows.

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