Kayden Coleman, a trans father of two, told Today both of his pregnancies were traumatic due to discrimination from medical providers.
The 34-year-old said doctors used the wrong gender pronouns when talking to him or about him, called him a mother, and discouraged him from having his children entirely.
“There was a lot of questioning about my identity, a lot of misgendering. Being told I shouldn’t be in spaces I was seeking care from because they were considered women’s spaces. I was offered an abortion a ridiculous amount of times.”
In addition to discrimination from doctors, Coleman said he was denied access to pregnancy care like birthing classes, chestfeeding classes, and postpartum support groups because they were labeled as women’s spaces.
Over 22% of pregnant trans people opt to have home births due to medical discrimination, a small study suggests
A study by the National LGBTQ Task Force found 28% of trans people say they have faced harassment by medical professionals, and 50% have had to teach their doctors trans competent language.
Advocates say these kinds of interactions with physicians lead trans people to avoid interacting with doctors unfamiliar with trans health whenever possible.
“Health care is a fundamental human right. This study clearly documents that it is regularly being denied to transgender and gender non-conforming people,” Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality Executive, said.
“The study also provides information about the serious health impact of the discrimination that transgender people face.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, home births make up less than 1% of pregnancies in the US. However, a small 2014 study found over 22% of pregnant trans people opt for a home birth aided by midwives or doulas.
Guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state doctors should use inclusive language to refer to patients during the pregnancy like “parent” rather than mother, “birth giver” rather than expecting mother, and “chestfeeding” rather than breastfeeding.
Not using inclusive terms like these could cause a lot of distress to trans parents while they are pregnant, advocates say.
“It is outrageous that basic health care is being denied to transgender and gender non-conforming people and that so much additional trauma is being caused by doctors instead of being resolved by doctors,” Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director, stated in the report.
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