Panel Paper: Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Health: Discrimination, Disparities, and the Affordable Care Act

Saturday, April 8, 2017 : 2:50 PM
Founders Hall Room 476 (George Mason University Schar School of Policy)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

W. Victoria Mansfield, Virginia Commonwealth University
Rationale:The Trans and Gender Non-conforming (TGNC) population is a diverse and often invisible portion of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) population1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publicly recognized the limited research and knowledge surrounding the health needs  of the LGBT population and identified addressing these needs as a national health priority in Healthy People 2020 and the landmark report from the Institute of Medicine The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding2,3. Based on this, this paper does a literature review regarding discrimination and disparities in health, and the major policies that impact the TGNC population. The purpose is to explore the literature and gain a thorough context of the health disparities and discrimination experienced by the TGNC population.

Methodology: The review was approached as a broad search across multiple disciplines for a deeper understanding of the subject matter. A literature search was conducted of major databases and well known medical associations' produced literature. Due to the limited amount of research of the TGNC population, literature included was based on relevance to the topic and to the LGBTQ community.

Conclusion: The U.S. DHHS was correct that there is limited data available directly addressing the TGNC population in terms of health needs. Based on this, it is recommended that the lack of non-binary gender identifying questions on national and regional surveys, such as the Census, needs to be addressed at the policy level. Until this community can be accurately counted they will continue to be excluded in terms of understanding their specific health needs. 


1. Finlon, C. (2002). Health care for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 14(3), 109-116. Retrieved from

2. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2016, September). Foundation Health Measures: Disparities. Retrieved from

3. Institute of Medicine (2011) The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Report. Accessed: October 1, 2016. M. (2006). Thinking about Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender. Pearson Publishing.