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Issues of the Transgender Community

            American governmental and state laws which imply gender are written on the principle that there are two sexes: male or female. But with nearly 700,000 transgender people living in our country, these laws overlook a large portion of society; Where do men and women making a change from one sex to another fit into our legal codes?.
             The transgender community is, at best, viewed as a counterculture - and at worst, is labeled as an unnatural and deviant choice. These negative stigmas can have a powerful negative effect on the mental, physical and emotional health of those who are part of this community. Not only does the transfer from man to woman/woman to man create health issues, but it also creates stringent barriers to health care access. In addition, the minority status of this community increases the difficulty of health care providers to care properly and thoroughly for their transgender patients. It is only through education and cooperation of our health care community and society at large that these obstacles can be broken down and the disparities in health care access can be corrected.
             The transgender community is a very diverse one in terms of race, ethnicity, and economic status. The members of this community also express their "transgenderness" in many different ways. Transgender is an umbrella term that encompasses any person who "[lives] full or part-time in the gender role opposite to the one in which they were born, or [displays] characteristics that are not typical of their assigned sex" (Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, www.gmla.org). Within this community there are many different types of people. There is such diversity that often the only thing that transgender people share in common is the negative stigma attached to their lifestyle.
             One type of transgender person is a transsexual. This is a person who chooses to live full time as member of the opposite sex.

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