Increasing knowledge about and sensitivity to the unique needs of transgender medical patients and massage clients was the topic of discussion at the Pride Medical Alliance club (PMA) meeting on March 4 at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Ill.
Speakers Emma J. Vosicky and Jaime T. Pagano discussed the physical and emotional challenges they faced before, during and after transitioning to their gender identity. They specifically addressed their concerns and experiences with medical professionals, from doctors to dentists.
Vosicky, an attorney, discussed the necessity to “out” herself to medical professionals when they asked about medications taken or previous medical history. She shared her experience of loss of family, church and children and carries a fear of who will betray her next into medical offices, where she said she is terrified of how she will be taken care of by everyone from the front desk staff to the doctors themselves.
In response to a question about visit intake forms, Pagano, a licensed clinical professional counselor, said he feels safer when he sees a form that includes options such as gender non-conforming, non-binary, trans-female and trans-male, in addition to male and female. He said it helps to feel that the provider he’s seeing is aware and cognizant that we are not living in a male/female only world. He also feels more confident that the provider will be more clinically aware of his needs. The speakers suggested that health care providers consider ways they can let their clients or patients know that they are non-discriminatory.
The program video is available on the PMA Facebook page.