Dr. Sherman Leis, founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, one of the leading resources for transgender surgery and medical support in the United States, presented his annual list of the top 10 trends that will affect the transgender community in 2017.
“While cultural and public support for the transgender community and its people has grown tremendously in the last year, there is still much more to be accomplished,” Leis said in a statement released Monday. ” However, due to the changing political climate, there is an air of uncertainty among the transgender community and its advocates about the continuity and pace of this progression. That said, I remain optimistic and believe the achievements we have made through 2017 will continue to move in the right direction.”
For a report on the current status of the transgender community, here is the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey Report compiled from over 26,000 participants. This is the most comprehensive report to date on the status of our community. Also of interest is the most recent report from the Williams Institute on census and demographic data of our community. The Institute reveals that our transgender population is now estimated at 1.5 million and in my view, that still does not capture all that identify or present as opposite to their birth sex.
Dr. Leis’ top 10 trends for 2017 include:
• The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be curtailed or eliminated causing changes in health coverage for transgender people and others.
• There will be a reduction in priority for LGBTQ issues and actions as part of public policy and conversation.
• There will be a plateauing or reduction in health insurance coverage for transgender people, especially through government programs.
• Although public support for transgender issues may diminish, corporations’ and non-profits’ role as advocates and supporters may increase and expand.
• The establishment healthcare community’s focus on transgender people who are minors will continue to expand.
• 2017 will see major growth in the number of transgender surgeries scheduled, influenced by uncertainty regarding the future political climate in the U.S.
• More high-profile figures will share their coming out as transgender stories, influencing cultural standards of acceptance.
• There will be a continued reduction in the alarmingly high transgender suicide rate as awareness, education, institutional and societal acceptance, and transitioning increases and expands to create a more nurturing environment.
• Transgender care will be more available, due to a continuing rise in healthcare professionals being trained to practice transgender medicine, although it may become less affordable as government insurance programs are reduced.
• The attitudes and environment prevalent in the United States will influence and effect global attitudes towards transgender people.
Where’s the evidence?
There is great concern that LGBT, and in particular trans rights, will take a step backwards under President-Elect Trump as the political anti-gay and anti-trans organizations that voted for him were gearing up to fight the forward steps taken under the Obama administration.. It remains to be seen if this will happen or not, but I remember Trump’s remarks in his acceptance speech that he wanted to build a better America for all Americans, and it was emphasized. Perhaps this alternative view of Donald Trump’s position that he is not our enemy may also carry some weight.
It will be interesting to watch developments. We need to remain strong and unified to overcome both new and old obstacles, so I hope that you will support our rights organizations and be proud of who you are.