The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health

The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health is an organization located in San Francisco and run through UCSF medical center. It supplies services to better the lives and safety of transgender communities by supplying them with access to health benefits. Examples of the services they provide include hormone therapy and gynecology surgery.

This is along with their HIV prevention interventions which aim to stop the increase of HIV while providing knowledge and a range of solutions. As we saw in the reading for today, in past years STD’s were easily spread, protection was rarely used and awareness of the seriousness of diseases was unknown.

The center of excellence for transgender health also offers psychiatric therapy which is just as important as the physical health benefits offered. As we saw in Screaming Queens, the transgender community is also mentally affected by identifying as transgender and how they’re categorized in society. From this documentary we saw both the physical and mental abuse they suffered as well as the oppression they faced.
From course readings, for example “Sexile” by Jamie Cortez, we can understand that Transgender Health is a working progress, one in which takes years to develop and become publically acknowledged and accepted. For instance, in “Sexile” Transgender individuals themselves seemed to be unaware of health risks, but how could they, when the transgender community was not publically recognized and limited knowledge was obtained.  These days, the Center of Excellence aims to establish safe and healthy procedures to enhance overall transgender health within the community.

I found “Sexile” to also address the terms we’ve discussed in class through ways I haven’t considered before. This contributes to the difficulty of defining “Transgender”, for instance, Cortez identifies that being transgender often raises the question of homosexuality. However, with the emotional feeling of being born the opposite sex, if a transgender individual is attracted to the opposite sex they personally feel they are, this should be seen as heterosexual.

Personally I believe The Center of Excellence for Transgender Health works to get transgender individuals equal rights to others as it develops their right to healthcare specific to their mental and physical needs, for instance, the availability of hormone injections and surgeries suited to their body changes. The organization notices the difference in their health needs in comparison to the health needs of others. However, the ongoing debate will continue based on whether the individual should pay for their personal treatment to get body alterations or whether insurance companies would cover these types of surgeries. Depending on further research on progress, it’s hard to see where this route will take us, especially as currently, the high majority of insurance companies are reluctant to supporting surgeries for transgender communities as they do not specify these surgeries as necessities.

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