8 Ways to Get Involved Advocating for Trans YouthNov 07, 2022
As clinician’s we know the work we do is not political. It has been politicized to pander to the religious right conservative voting block. This politicization means that just showing up and doing our job is an act of resistance and advocacy. Here are some other ways we can show up for trans youth:
- Take care of ourselves- we cannot take care of our patients if we are not well. For me this actually entailed leaving traditional employed medical positions because the minority stress in addition to the moral fatigue was too much. For others it might mean the advocacy they do is their work and voting. We cannot give what we do not have. Find what you need to have a sustainable career. You help way more individuals if you can practice for 30 years versus if you burnout in 10.
- Vote- we can vote for officials who support access to healthcare for trans and gender diverse folx.
- Share our experiences and the research with individuals- many people need a human face, a personal connection to find empathy and compassion. Be that connection for your friends and family so your patients don’t have to.
- Don’t assume name or pronouns in any setting- as a clinician you have social collateral that you can leverage by setting an affirming and inclusive example.
- Sign-on- the ACLU and The National Center for Transgender Equality both have great take action pages on their websites that link to current next steps. Join their action mailing lists to get updates on when you need to take action.
- Call legislatures- the APA has a great guide on calling here.
- Make comments- Many proposed rules have a public comment period (like Florida’s Medical Board’s proposed ruling).
- Donate- the ACLU and NCTE usually lead the efforts in opposing anti-trans legislation. And your local LGBTQ+/trans non-profits and grass root organizations provide support for the community.
*Special note to the other “Both Ands” out there: this politicization and advocacy can be exhausting, overwhelming, and essential for us because it affects us on both a personal and work level. I recently organized an every other month virtual support meet-up for “Both Ands”. You can sign up for the invitation and mailing list here.
For allies doing this work, you may need additional support too! Please remember not to seek that support or validation from your more marginalized colleagues. The GAHC listserve and the Transgender Medicine- clinicians’ group on Facebook might be great places to reach out.
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