This is fantastic Rick. Thank you so much for sharing. This information seems spot-on to me, based on my own learning and reading. At the same time, I have to acknowledge that my lived experience is not as a transgender person, so I am not an expert in that field.

I have a friend who could share some personal experience with these challenges with healthcare. The partner of one of my PRN chaplains is transgender, and my chaplain (a millennial, who identifies as gender queer / nonconforming) has shared that she has a hard time getting her partner to request health care services due to the oppressive environment healthcare has created. It’s really quite devastating to understand the level of abuse and harassment and discrimination that still goes on. It’s like we finally make some progress for the L and the G, and now the huge inequalities experienced by the T in our list is really beginning to surface. In some ways, it seems silly to include the T in with LGB, because the issues are so different and they are really very different experiences.

Also, Rick, I like what you included about not assuming the sexual orientation of transgender people. As I understand it, sexual orientation is completely separate from gender identity. So just as cisgender people can be straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, pansexual, etc., etc., a transgender person may be any of these as well. But it does seem clear that our younger generations are leading the way in moving beyond the strict binary categories our society has set up.

My hospital’s ethics committee recently dealt with a situation where a member of our Wellness Center, who transitioned from one gender to another during her membership, was requesting her membership to be reinstated about the time North Carolina government was passing HB2, the “bathroom bill,” that made people use the restroom that corresponded to the gender they were born with. Our Wellness Center still has not resolved all these issues in terms of providing respectful treatment of all its members while still abiding by the law.