A new study from academics found that 1 in 5 non-binary people in the United States are denied healthcare and medical treatment due to their gender identity.
Dr. Walter Liszewski, a resident at the University of Minnesota, and three other co-authors published Persons of Nonbinary Gender — Awareness, Visibility, and Health Disparities for the New England Journal of Medicine in December.
‘As our society’s concept of gender evolves, so does the visibility of contemporary nonbinary people,’ they wrote at the start of the paper.
‘Yet many members of the medical community may not know how to interact with nonbinary patients respectfully or recognize their unique needs and barriers to care.’
The alarming findings
According to the paper, 23% of non-binary people have avoided seeking medical treatment due to fear of discrimination.
Another 19% said they’ve been denied treatment altogether due to their identity as non-binary people.
The authors further revealed other details about non-binary people’s health. They found that, overall, non-binary people face higher rates of certain health and life conditions than other people.
Some of these conditions include psychological stress and mental health struggles, being victims of domestic abuse, and poverty and unemployment.
‘We need to do better’
Liszewski said in a press release he hopes the paper will make doctors ‘aware of nonbinary patients, and realize we need to do a better job of allowing these individuals to access quality healthcare’.
‘Our findings really highlight that there’s a lot of skepticism and hesitancy around nonbinary and gender nonconforming patients to engage with healthcare professionals,’ he added.
Previous studies have shown similar results, both abroad and in the US.
A study last year out of UCLA revealed, out of LGB people, bisexual people in the US have the worst access to a regular doctor, as well as higher rates of unhealth behavior.
In general, discrimination is a massive problem in the world of healthcare for LGBTI people.
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Author: Anya Crittenton
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