Turned Away from the ER and Other Trans Experiences: June 8th Program

June 5, 2015 | Bess

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On Monday June 8th, in conjunction with Pride Month, researchers from Rainbow Health Ontario and the TransPULSE Project will present the findings of their groundbreaking 2010 survey on the lives of transgender people in Ontario. They will discuss the impact their research has already had on policy and health care access in Ontario, and what remains to be done to improve the health and well-being of trans people in this province.

The TransPULSE survey has generated numerous reports and articles, and has been used by researchers and organizations from across Canada and the US. Here are just a few findings summarized in a recent report:

  • Ten percent of trans people had been refused help in emergency rooms, and twenty-one percent had avoided the ER despite needing help.
  • Forty percent of trans people who had visited a family doctor reported discriminatory behavior from their doctor, including refusal of care and demeaning treatment.
  • Twenty percent had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans.
  • Fifty-seven percent had avoided public washrooms, while two-thirds had avoided one or more types of public spaces.
  • Thirteen percent had been fired for being trans, and another fifteen percent had been fired, but weren't sure why.
  • While forty-four percent had post-secondary and/or graduate degrees, the median income of trans people was $15,000.
  • More than half had symptoms consistent with clinical depression, and forty-three percent had attempted suicide.

Toronto Public Library hosts a program next week with presenters from Trans PULSE and Rainbow Health Ontario who will describe the key findings of their work.

The report's authors note that: "Contrary to the notion that depression and suicidality are primarily attributable to distress inherent to being trans, we found evidence that discrimination and violence had strong adverse impacts on mental health. This means that interventions to improve the social and human rights situation of trans people have the potential to reduce depression and suicidality."

Trans Health: From Delivering Data to Catalysing Change
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium (Ground Floor)
Monday June 8th, 6:30-8:30pm

Toronto Public Library’s LGBTQ collections include trans issues. Search the catalogue using one or more of the following terms: transgender, transgenderism, genderqueer, and, for a broader search, gender identity.


Trans bodies trans selves      Transgender 101     Transgender history

Trans bodies, trans selves by Laura Erickson-Schroth

Transgender 101 edited by Dan Irving

Transgender history by Susan Stryker



GenderFailure    Trans Activism in Canada    Transgender rights and politics

Gender failure by Ivan E. Coyote and Rae Spoon

Trans activism in Canada edited by Dan Irving and Rupert Raj

Transgender rights and politics edited by J. K. Taylor and D. P. Haider-Markel


Finally, in case you haven't already seen it, Lana Wachowski, one of the Wachowski duo responsible for blockbuster films like The Matrix Trilogy and The Cloud Atlas, gave an articulate, humorous, and deeply moving speech on her life experience as a transgender woman when she received The Human Rights Campaign's Visibility Award in 2012.