One Colorado Statement on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and Access to Gender-Affirming Care

Denver, CO — One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families released the following statements on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and Access to Gender-Affirming Care.

“One Colorado’s health reports show that transgender Coloradans experience significantly worse health disparities compared to their non-transgender peers and that they have face unique barriers when seeking gender-affirming care. We’ve made progress here in the state to improve access to care for the transgender community, including non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the Colorado Division of Insurance and publishing resources like the Transgender Health Insurance Buyers Guide, but we have a long way to go.” – One Colorado Executive Director, Daniel Ramos

“One of the greatest barriers to access to gender-affirming care is the paucity of training amongst medical and psychiatric providers. Very little, if any, time is spent in medical schools or residency training focused on gender-affirming care or cultural competency.  The onus is on the medical community to obtain necessary training and education so that all clinicians can provide accepting and informed gender-affirming care.” – Co-Founder of the UCHealth Integrated Transgender Care Clinic, Dr. Robert Davies

“All patients should have access to inclusive and medically necessary care. The data demonstrates that inclusive care plays a significant role in patients actually getting the care that they need. From the healthcare perspective, gender-affirming care is medically necessary care in the same way treatment for diabetes or high blood pressure is medically necessary.” – Associate Professor of Medicine at University of Colorado School of Medicine, Dr. Rita Lee

LGBTQ Health Awareness Week is March 25th – March 29th, a national week-long observance to bring awareness to the unique health needs and disparities of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ people encounter discrimination in employment, relationship recognition and insurance coverage on a regular basis; consequently, they are less likely to be able to afford vital health care than their straight and non-transgender neighbors. For LGBTQ people of color, barriers to care and health disparities are even greater. This is the 17th annual observance of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week.