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Transgender Healthcare with Callen-Lorde

What are our transgender healthcare options?

There are at least 1M transgender individuals in the US. And yet, trans healthcare is not included in most medical training programs. So, what obstacles do members of the trans community face in accessing quality care? And what does it cost them?

Hear Finn’s advice on transgender healthcare

Here’s how to find and afford transgender healthcare

Finn Brigham is the Director of Project Management at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, the global leader in LGBTQ healthcare. Finn began his career with an HIV service organization, and today, he has 20 years of experience as a nonprofit executive working toward health justice. Finn has been with Callen-Lorde since 2011, and his team recently opened the clinic’s fourth site in Brooklyn, New York. On this episode of Queer Money®, Finn joins us to explain what makes transgender healthcare different and walk us through the top three issues that trans individuals face in getting access to competent care. He weighs in on the difference between transition costs and transgender healthcare more broadly, describing the limited resources available to trans people seeking surgery—even if their health insurance does cover it! Listen in for Finn’s insight on which subpopulations in the trans community face the biggest barriers to care and find out what YOU can do to support Callen-Lorde’s mission and promote health justice for the LGBTQ community.


Topics covered on transgender healthcare

How Finn got into the field of LGBTQ healthcare

  • Work for HIV service organization out of college
  • Align with mission and values of Callen-Lorde

What makes transgender healthcare different

  • Few providers trained in transgender care
  • The stigma associated with being trans
  • Most insurance excludes trans care

The common healthcare issues transgender people face

  • Discrimination = biggest barrier
  • Lack of access to competent care

How governments impact trans access to healthcare

  • ACA prohibits discrimination based on sex
  • New York expanded to all insurance

How Finn thinks about transition costs vs. trans care

  • Surgery only one aspect of transgender health
  • Should treat like any other medical condition

The best-case scenario for seeking transition care

  • The insurance covers hormones and surgery
  • Still need to find a competent provider who takes insurance

The worst-case scenario for seeking transition care

  • Pay for surgery out-of-pocket
  • Some travel out of the country (can be risky)

What happens when gender markers conflict with the sex-specific care

  • Examples include prostate care or gynecological exams
  • Mismatch in the system, the insurance company denies care

Who in the trans community’s faced with the most pressing healthcare issues

  • Trans women of color
  • Aging trans individuals

The huge need for providers like Callen-Lorde

  • Available in some major metro areas, university health systems
  • Need far outweighs available LGBTQ health centers

How Capital One supports the Callen-Lorde mission

  • Donate to youth programs, events
  • Staff volunteers at Callen-Lorde

What we can do to support the Callen-Lorde mission

  • New York residents fight proposed changes to 340B
  • Speak up about LGBTQ care (e.g.: inclusive intake forms)
  • Promote training in LGBTQ health

Connect with Finn


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