Transgender Awareness Week (November 13 to 19) aims to raise awareness and visibility of transgender people, celebrate their resilience, and advance advocacy around issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community. The week leads up to November 20, the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which commemorates the lives lost due to anti-trans violence.
Two-spirit, trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people continue to face marginalization and discrimination in the form of transphobia. Transphobia can manifest as negative attitudes and beliefs about trans people, irrational fears and misunderstandings, a disbelief or discounting of a person’s pronouns or their gender identity, misgendering, derogatory language and name-calling, and bullying, abuse, and violence.
Transphobia and associated stigma can also create barriers (and deterrents) for two-spirit, trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse people’s access to and inclusion in services, resources, and communities. Barriers commonly encountered by trans folks accessing health care include unavailability of trans-competent care providers, mistrust toward care providers, and an institutional lack of trans-inclusive policies, services, and facilities.
Northern Health (NH) is committed to identifying and addressing persistent systemic barriers, biases, and inequities experienced by 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals. Current and future work to address these barriers includes, but is not limited to:
- Ensuring that NH employees’ personal information on employee records, directories, and platforms reflects their lived gender identity and expression.
- Ensuring that NH employees, students, volunteers, and patients can use the bathroom/changeroom of their lived gender.
- Providing on-site signage for staff and patients communicating that NH does not tolerate discrimination based on gender identity or sexuality.
- Providing gender-inclusive resources, training, and support to NH employees and managers.
- Reviewing NH policies and procedures to ensure they are gender-inclusive.
- Supporting and partnering with staff and medical staff to tangibly improve health outcomes for 2SLGBTQIA+ patients.