Healthcare Experiences of Transgender People of Color
Author(s)Howard, Susanna D; Lee, Kevin L; Nathan, Aviva G; Wenger, Hannah C; Chin, Marshall H; Cook, Scott C; ... Show more Show less
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Abstract Background Transgender people and racial/ethnic minorities separately report poor healthcare experiences. However, little is known about the healthcare experiences of transgender people of color (TPOC), who are both transgender and racial/ethnic minorities. Objective To investigate how TPOC healthcare experiences are shaped by both race/ethnicity and gender identity. Design and Participants Semi-structured, in-depth individual interviews (n = 22) and focus groups (2; n = 17 total); all taken from a sample of TPOC from the Chicago area. All participants completed a quantitative survey (n = 39). Approach Interviews and focus groups covered healthcare experiences, and how these were shaped by gender identity and/or race/ethnicity. The interviews and focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and imported into HyperRESEARCH software. At least two reviewers independently coded each transcript using a codebook of themes created following grounded theory methodology. The quantitative survey data captured participants’ demographics and past healthcare experiences, and were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Key Results All participants described healthcare experiences where providers responded negatively to their race/ethnicity and/or gender identity. A majority of participants believed they would be treated better if they were cisgender or white. Participants commonly cited providers’ assumptions about TPOC as a pivotal factor in negative experiences. A majority of participants sought out healthcare locations designated as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)-friendly in an effort to avoid discrimination, but feared experiencing racism there. A minority of participants expressed a preference for providers of color; but a few reported reluctance to reveal their gender identity to providers of their own race due to fear of transphobia. When describing positive healthcare experiences, participants were most likely to highlight providers’ respect for their gender identity. Conclusions TPOC have different experiences compared with white transgender or cisgender racial/ethnic minorities. Providers must improve understanding of intersectional experiences of TPOC to improve quality of care.
Springer International Publishing