Transgender Awareness Week falls between November 14-20 every year and is meant to help raise visibility of a vulnerable and underserved community. ‘Transgender’ is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned at birth; ‘gender identity’ is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither.
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people can face significant problems with accessing health care. Finding a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable of transgender health issues can be a hurdle itself; some healthcare professionals may believe that there is something wrong with someone because they are transgender—they are wrong. Even after finding a knowledgeable and sympathetic doctor, insurance may not cover the cost of treatment. Many transgender people are on a dosage of hormones which can affect one’s blood pressure, blood sugar, or in rare cases contribute to cancer. Some cancers found in transgender people can appear atypical—trans men are at risk for ovarian and cervical cancers, and trans women can be diagnosed with prostate cancer.