For trans college students, health care is often unavailable

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According to Campus Pride, only 86 colleges across the United States cover hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and gender-affirming surgeries for students, with 22 additional colleges offering only hormonal care.

There are over 4,700 colleges in the US, meaning that far less than 1% are willing to serve their transgender students.

The issue of college health care for transgender students was recently highlighted in a piece in The Progressive, that highlighted the case of a college physician, Annamaria Kontor, who was terminated by the Rochester Institute of Technology solely for offering HRT for transgender students of RIT.

An internal review of the case found that Kontor’s supervisor did not adequately address their concerns to the doctor, and also recommended that the school move to offer HRT to transgender students “as quickly as possible.”

The review committee, however, did not recommend the rehiring of Kontor, saying that it, “may not be in the best interests of all parties.”

Seven months after Kontor’s termination, the New York State Division of Human Rights found that the school likely discriminated against the doctor by terminating her.

The issue at RIT highlights a growing issue, as more and more teens are coming out as transgender or gender non-conforming. As they enter college, many may seek treatment through their schools.

Per an estimate conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, nearly 150,000 13-17 year olds in the US identify as transgender.

UCLA is one of the 86 colleges and universities cited by Campus Pride for providing both surgery and hormone therapy for their transgender students.

Issues around schools have recently been a major issue politically, with the Department of Education under Betsy DeVos pushing back against the previous administration’s directives requiring equal treatment for transgender students under Title IX.

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