Intersecting Experiences of Healthcare Denials Among Transgender and Nonbinary Patients

Published:January 28, 2020DOI:


      Transgender and nonbinary individuals experience high levels of health disparities and are more likely to experience denials of health care than their cisgender (nontransgender) counterparts. There is a lack of evidence on how healthcare denials vary by gender identity and other intersecting identity characteristics in the transgender and nonbinary populations.


      Using data from the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey (n=27,715), multivariate logistic regressions were used to analyze (in 2019) the increased likelihood of experiencing denials of trans-related care and standard care across socioeconomic and identity characteristics among the transgender and nonbinary population, including race, age, educational attainment, disability, income, and gender identity.


      Almost 8% of the participants had been denied trans-specific health care, and >3% had been refused general health care. Transgender (compared with nonbinary), older, biracial, or multiracial, and lower-income participants, as well as those with less than a high school diploma and those with disabilities, were significantly more likely to experience refusal of care in general or trans-specific healthcare settings.


      There is a need for better training of healthcare providers to be inclusive and reduce denial rates of their transgender and nonbinary patients. However, it is also clear that current rates of denial must be considered through a whole-person lens, considering the experience of concurrent oppressed identities and recognizing the increased risk those with multiple marginalized identities experience in being denied needed health care.
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