This month, there are Winter Pride events in Guelph, and Pride events are all about promoting visibility and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. But while the Pride movement’s come a long way, there’s still a long way to go for complete equality. Consider healthcare. We like to think our healthcare system in Canada is barrier-free here, but the barriers for trans people can be immense.
According to a report from TransPulse Canada last summer, 1-in-3 non-binary people said that their primary healthcare provider had no knowledge about trans or non-binary health needs. On top of that, 1-in-4 reported that they do not have access to in-person spaces specifically for non-binary people, only 47 per cent said they were comfortable discussing non-binary health concerns with their doctor, and 59 per cent said they were misgendered daily. And that’s just the beginning of the struggle.
It’s one of the reasons why New Democrat MPP Suze Morrison brought forward a private members bill called the Gender Affirming Healthcare Advisory Committee Act to Queen’s Park. It directs the Minister of Health to create an advisory committee to review gender-affirming healthcare in Ontario, and come up with a list of recommendations to improve access and coverage for trans people. It’s in committee now after passing unanimously at second reading, but time’s running out because of the pending election.
This week, we’re joined by Fae Johnstone, executive director of Wisdom2Action, to talk about the gaps in health coverage for trans people in Ontario, and why they need Bill 17 to become law now. Johnstone will talk about the specific barriers to healthcare that trans people are facing, and the places in Canada doing trans healthcare better than Ontario. They will also discuss the economic barriers to healthcare that many trans people face, and whether there’s such a thing as systemic transphobia in healthcare.
So let’s dig into how we can do trans healthcare better in this edition of the Guelph Politicast!
Bill 17, the Gender Affirming Health Care Advisory Committee Act, is presently in committee at the Ontario Legislature. You can learn more about Johnstone’s organization Wisdom2Action by clicking here. You can also see the bi-annual updates the health and well-being amoung non-binary people by visiting the TransPulse Canada here.
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