Trans-Friendly Doctors Just Got Easier To Find

by Eliza Castile

Transgender rights have been making historic strides in recent years, but transgender people still face discrimination at almost every turn. Astonishingly, this often includes the medical community, who often either refuse to treat trans individuals or don't have the education to do so effectively. Fortunately, that's where MyTransHealth, the website that locates transgender-friendly doctors, comes in.

According to GOOD Magazine, all doctors will be pre-screened in order to make sure they know how to treat transgender individuals, and the site will contain four sections: "medical, legal, mental health, and crisis." Kade Clark, one of four of the website's founders, has personal experience with the community's lack of adequate healthcare, and he hopes that the site will help the transgender community find the care they are frequently denied. "People get to a point where they stop looking for care, which is the biggest issue," he told the Daily Dot.

The website is still in the early stages, but a Kickstarter is planned to launch sometime in July. Beta testing will take place in New York and Miami because the cities represent two extremes: a variety of transgender healthcare options are available in New York City, but while Miami has comparatively few.

Despite recent civil rights victories, the transgender community needs any help it can get when it comes to the medical field. Many insurance companies specifically exclude transgender individuals from their policies, including Medicaid. Almost 20 percent of the transgender population in the United States is without health insurance, compared to just 11.9 percent of the overall population. The transgender suicide rate is horrifyingly high, but according to GLAAD, it drops significantly once they get the healthcare they need. More than a quarter of transgender people report being denied care outright, the National Women's Law Center reports, and almost 20 percent claim they have faced "harsh or abusive language" from healthcare providers. Clearly, MyTransHealth has its work cut out for it.

Fortunately, a similar start-up, RAD Remedy, is also available. According to its website, the organization's mission is "connecting trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer folks to accurate, safe, respectful, and comprehensive care," using the Referral Aggregator Database (RAD). Unlike MyTransHealth, RAD Remedy is more along the lines of ZocDoc in that it allows users to search for trans-friendly providers on their own.

"Ideologically we feel (and research-wise we know) that what folks are looking for in a provider differs from person to person and depends on the specialty," execute director Riley Johnson told Bustle via email. "We want to give folks the most information possible and empower them to make the best decision for themselves." He also added that although RAD Remedy doesn't vet its doctors, it does screen them first.

Another important difference is that the website allows users to find all sorts of providers, including acupuncture, therapists, and lawyers. "If it could be widely defined as care... we've got it or will get it," Johnson wrote. The start-up is currently largely focused on the United States, but it hopes to expand to other countries in the near future.Both MyTransHealth and RAD Remedy are non-profits and plan on remaining that way. "We want the site to remain free for the community and for it to be self-sustaining," Clark told the Daily Dot. "We want to be here to stay."