We launched the coalition’s Trans Health Myths at the Hamilton Academy of Medicine’s 101st Annual Clinical Day.

We want to help family physicians recognize and dismantle the assumptions and errors that throw up barriers to trans individuals accessing health care. These are some myths we’ve seen in our practices.

“I should keep quiet about it.”

Are you one of Hamilton’s family doctors quietly providing primary health care to your trans patients?

Are you afraid of being deluged, of backlash, of stigmatizing, or that you don’t have enough support?

Help us understand why some Hamilton doctors are hesitant to advertise their competence in trans-specific health care, so we can ensure quality health care for all Hamiltonians.

“Those people can see a specialist.”

Questions and concerns about gender identity are a part of primary health care. Be ready to answer your patients’ questions and to help them navigate the clinical and social work they may undertake as part of understanding and confirming their gender.

Are you ready to answer questions, make referrals, and support the therapies your trans patients need? Do your patients know you’re ready?

“It’s all about surgery.”

The health care of transgender, transsexual, gender non-conforming, and gender-questioning patients can include developing support networks, accessing appropriate social and community services, securing funding, understanding hormones and medication, and fighting stigma in addition to surgical options.

There are resources to help you help.

“I don’t have any trans patients.”

Are you sure your patients aren’t one of half of transgender people in Ontario who do not feel comfortable discussing trans-related health with their family doctor?

If you are waiting until your first “trans patient” walks through your door to learn more about trans-specific primary health care, it may be time to make it known to your patients, new and old, that you are ready and able to support them.

“There’s too much psychiatry involved.”

Like all marginalized populations, trans health, when not addressed through proper transition-related care, has negative mental health consequences. But with supportive transition-related care we see that trans youth and adults have mental health outcomes equivalent to or better than their age-matched peers.

“My patients tell me everything.”

40% of transgender people with a family doctor report an experience of discrimination from that doctor, according to an Ontario-wide poll of trans and gender-diverse individuals.

Your patients use your choice of language and other signals that you and your team may not even be aware of to determine if you are someone they can safely confide in.

Your patients’ best health as they question or seek help with gender identity depends on trust and honest communication.

Learn more. Join the coalition.

Share your myth-busting with us.

If you know of trans health myths that should be shared with Hamilton family physicians and other health professionals, let us know. If you have questions about providing health care to trans individuals, ask us. If you’re working to increase the capacity of the Hamilton health system, join the coalition.

Contact the coalition if you would like electronic or printed copies of the Trans Health Myths flyer set.