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LGBT Health. 2016 Oct;3(5):373-8. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2016.0060. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Experiences of Trans Women and Two-Spirit Persons Accessing Women-Specific Health and Housing Services in a Downtown Neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada.

Author information

1
1 Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital , Vancouver, Canada .
2
2 Department of Criminology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University , Surrey, Canada .
3
3 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, Canada .
4
4 Providing Alternatives Counselling & Education Society (PACE) , Vancouver, Canada .
5
5 Pivot Legal Society , Vancouver, Canada .
6
6 Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University , Burnaby, Canada .

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Little is known about trans womens' experiences accessing gender-segregated health and housing services, particularly services for marginalized individuals living in poverty. As such, we conducted a qualitative investigation into experiences of accessing women-specific health and housing services among trans women and two-spirit persons in a downtown neighborhood of Vancouver, Canada.

METHODS:

Between June 2012 and May 2013 interviews were conducted with 32 trans women and two-spirit individuals who had accessed women-specific health and/or housing services. Participants were recruited from four open prospective cohorts of sex workers and individuals who use drugs. Interview data were analyzed using a participatory analysis approach with two participants who were hired as research assistants.

RESULTS:

Participants were generally able to access women-specific services in the neighborhood. However, there were reports of discrimination related to gender identity, discrimination based on gender expression (e.g., requirement of a feminine gender expression), and lack of staff intervention in harassment from other service users.

CONCLUSION:

Trans women and two-spirit persons in our study relied upon services for their health and safety and, therefore, exclusion from women-specific services had potentially severe adverse consequences such as homelessness and sexual violence. Recommendations to improve accessibility, including policy development and procedural recommendations, are put forth.

KEYWORDS:

access to care; gender identity; health disparities; homelessness; substance use; transgender

PMID:
27575593
PMCID:
PMC5073237
DOI:
10.1089/lgbt.2016.0060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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