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Transgender Health: Simon’s Story


At this year’s DiversityRX conference, I had the pleasure of chairing the conference Film Festival that included five very compelling and very different submissions.  The subject matter ranged from examining the role of cultural humility in healthcare to a Vietnamese American’s first-person account of living with mental illness.  While all the films were excellent and powerful, one in particular spoke to a subject that I think is often difficult for many of us to discuss.  This film was titled Transgender Health: Simon’s Story and was produced by the Center for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Washington School of Medicine.  In a quick six minutes, this video introduces us to Simon, “a trans patient in the Northwest who is searching for a provider for an immediate health need.” Simon describes his experiences while highlighting “simple ways we can provide better care to transgender patients.”

Simon Story (new)

I have been in numerous conversations about the complexities of discussing someone’s health and wellbeing when that person is not only a member of an LGBT community, but is also from a non-English speaking culture.  One thing that has struck me about these conversations is that, while they are often productive when discussing lesbian, gay or bisexual issues, they have been less productive when discussing transgender issues.  I think this is because many of us have a fairly limited understanding of the challenges members of the transgender community face, not only as they attempt to access healthcare, but also as they go through their day to day lives.

This is why I appreciated Simon’s Story so much.  It very quickly managed to humanize and personalize this issue for me in a way that nothing else has, while at the same time being highly informative with valuable guidance for healthcare organizations.  Right after the Film Festival concluded, I sent the video link to coworkers back at the office and later we had a really good conversation about it.  I cannot recommend this video more highly as it’s an excellent way to open up dialogue on this subject.

To read more about Simon’s story and all the submission to this year’s DiversityRX Film Festival, go to:

For a direct link to the video:

The GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (previously known as the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association), website resource page includes a link to a glossary on transgender health:\ColdFusion9\verity\Data\dummy.txt

Another, slightly less technical glossary for consideration:

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