Thursday, September 01, 2016
On May 13th, President Obama issued a directive to public schools requiring them to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and lockers of the gender to which they associate. If a school did not cooperate, the President threatened to take away their federal funding. Last week, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor heard arguments against this directive and put a temporary stop on the order. Several other states are suing the President on this issue.
The arguments surround two issues. First is federal overreach – opponents of the directive claim that the directive came without time for input and that the President did not follow the appropriate rule-making process. The second issue is terminology. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex, but the word “gender” is not utilized.
Likely, this decision will be appealed and we will hear more about it in the coming months. In the meantime, healthcare facilities can be proactive about future transgender issues. Here are a few suggestions from the American Medical Student Association:
1. Have a gender-neutral bathroom at your facility. Many facilities already have bathrooms designated for family use – these could also be used as gender-neutral bathrooms.
2. When asking for gender on a health history form, leave a blank so that people can fill in their choice, rather than only offering two choices.
3. Use gender-neutral language when discussing a patient’s partner.
4. Be aware of health disparities and inequalities that occur in the transgender population.
For more information, please see:
Contributed by Valerie Connor, MA, CCC-SLP, CHES Adjunct Faculty, Saint Joseph's College
Posted by Twila Weiszbrod at 10:06 AM