(Bala Cynwyd, PA) Dr. Sherman Leis, founder of The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, has identified 10 important trends that will affect America and its transgender community in 2015.
"Although society has made a great deal of progress for the transgender community this past year, we still have a long way to go," said Dr. Leis. "Having recently observed Transgender Remembrance Day (November 20), it's sad to see that there are still too many victims of transgender violence," he said.
Dr. Leis' annual list of trends include:
1) More children and teenagers are coming out identifying as transgender. Thanks to expanding transgender education, supportive institutions and societal acceptance, transgender children will be able to reach balance with gender dysphoria at an earlier age, resulting in an improved quality of life.
2) More mainstream health institutions are recognizing a need for specialized transgender care. Major children's hospitals in Philadelphia and Boston, for example, have opened separate departments for transgender health and care for children.
3) More insurance companies are covering transgender surgery and health care because a growing majority of Fortune 500 companies request it, influencing the entire business community.
4) Transgender surgery is more accessible now as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicare are more available to everyone. This is a big step but a limited solution because most independent doctors do not accept Medicare because their fees don't begin to cover their costs.
5) New transgender surgery techniques and equipment result in better outcomes and safer surgeries. Patient care is also improved as more training courses are being offered for medical professionals.
6) Global standards are being set. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) has implemented a certification process for mental health professionals internationally. Mental health is a critical step in the transitioning process.
7) Dramatic breakthroughs in medical science will change the transgender world. For example, a recent uterine transplant at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, resulted in the birth of a healthy and developed child. Although still in the testing phase, this could mean that transgender women who have transitioned from male to female, may be able to receive a uterine transplant from which they could give birth to their own biological child.
8) Improving care from the medical community - unfortunately today, there are still too many physicians, urologists and gynecologists for example, who draw a line when it comes to treating transgender patients for common health issues, saying that this is not their area of expertise. We see a trend towards wider acceptance of transgender people as regular patients from health care providers overall.
9) The fact that more states are voting for same sex marriage indicates that more politicians, representing their own communities, are becoming more understanding and accepting of LGBTTI rights.
10) There has been a significant increase in media interest in transgender news and issues this year. As well, in the entertainment industry, there has been an increase in the number of transgender characters included in mainstream plays and television shows, such as "Orange is the New Black," on Netflix.
From our media partner EDGE