The Tri-State is recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility on Thursday. The day is a chance to celebrate transgender people and highlight the challenges and discrimination they face.
There are several events planned throughout the region, including at the public library branch in Downtown Cincinnati.
“Our libraries are here as incubators of community to bring people together to connect with resources, meet each other and grow together,” said David Siders, civic engagement coordinator at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
The event will include speakers and organizers that support transgender people. It runs from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown main library branch.
An organizer said events like these give people a chance to learn more about the transgender community.
“For the for the CIS population that isn't as familiar with trans issues and stuff to get a better understanding of what our lives are like, so the good and the bad, the struggles that we have, and things that they may not realize that we have to deal with and stuff like that,” said Elliot Kesse, a board member on the Transgender Advocacy Council, who also works with Heartland Trans Wellness.
The Cincinnati Library also has several LGBTQ+ resources available online and a service called “Queer Gabby” that allows kids and teens the chance to ask anonymous questions that will be answered publicly in a format similar to a “Dear Abby” advice column.
Across town, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has created and expanded a transgender medicine program in recent years. The curriculum is meant to educate students on how medicine can help and support transgender people. It was launched in 2016 by Sarah Pickle, MD from UC’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and Aaron Marshall, PhD, from the Department of Medical Education.
Some medical students said it’s part of the reason they chose to go to UC.
“When we look towards the future of medicine, a lot of people hope that this next generation will take over some of the roles that will be more educated on our community that will understand how to integrate medicine and into community practice,“ said medical student Malia Schram.
Schram is in their third year at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine and is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. They plan to go into family medicine.
Schram said they chose UC in part because of the range of opportunities that allowed them to be themselves. On campus, they’ve studied transgender medicine and worked on independent community projects.
Studies show people in the LGBTQ community can face discrimination while seeking healthcare. The university said transgender medicine programs are not widespread.
Schram said increasing diversity in the healthcare industry will improve patient care.
“The more representation you have within training, and within your ability to care for people who are similar to you and different from you, the better you're able to connect,” Schram said. “The better you're able to advocate.”
Faculty with UC’s College of Medicine said the transgender medicine curriculum is for all students and skills learned can help in caring for other marginalized communities too.
You can learn more about some of this work by watching WCPO’s 2021 Pride Special.