One Colorado Statement on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week: Impact of Reflective Identity Documentation on Health

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 from Executive Director Daniel Ramos and Transformative Freedom Fund Co-Founder Anaya Robinson on LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and the Impact of Reflective Identity Documentation on Health.

“Transgender Coloradans who have an identity document (ID) with a name or gender that does not match their gender presentation are more likely to be verbally harassed, denied benefits or service, or assaulted. For officials to properly identify a person and address them correctly, it is important that an ID gender marker reflects that individual’s gender identity and expression. Requiring verification from judges, healthcare providers, or other officials puts in place an unnecessary barrier for individuals seeking to obtain an accurate identity document, as they may not have access to a healthcare provider or money for a court petition. Individuals know best what gender marker is appropriate for them for interactions where they must show official identification.” – One Colorado Executive Director Daniel Ramos

“Transgender Coloradans are disproportionately lower-income, despite often being more highly educated than their non-transgender peers. Without ID documents that match who they are, they are often unable to access necessary support services to keep them healthy and safe, like housing subsidies and medical services. Individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to experience interactions with police, and not having accurate ID makes these interactions and their outcomes unpredictable and potentially dangerous. When individuals have access to identity documents that match and accurately reflect who they are, we see a correlation to improved access to services, employment status, and financial stability.” – Transformative Freedom Fund Co-Founder Anaya Robinson

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.