The Health and Well-being of Transgender People
In many U.S. states, legislators are pursuing discriminatory legislation targeting transgender people. Many of these laws—and the often-hateful discourse surrounding them—are intended to limit access to high-quality health care supported by leading professional medical associations. Such laws inflict harm on transgender people, their families, and communities and represent an unacceptable undermining of public health. Already, transgender people suffer from stark health disparities, employment and housing discrimination, and challenges with legal gender recognition. Policies that restrict access to high-quality care will only exacerbate these issues.
We deeply appreciate the efforts of those in our School community working to counter these trends. These efforts include those of the LGBTQ Public Health Working Group, our LGBTQ Public Health Certificate Program, the Baltimore-based project CLEAR, collaborative research such as the ENCORE study, as well as other projects across the country and the world. Recently, our podcast, Public Health on Call, featured a candid and inspiring interview with Dr. Helene Hedian, director of clinical education at the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender and Gender Expansive Health. In April, Gov. Wes Moore signed the Trans Health Equity Act, which directs Maryland’s Medicaid program to provide coverage of gender-affirming care. Johns Hopkins supported this legislation, with Dr. Hedian and others from the University providing testimony on its behalf.
At the Bloomberg School, we value and support our community members who are gender-diverse. The University offers gender-affirming resources for faculty, students, and staff, including information on health coverage, directions for name changes in the University system, and resource groups. Our School’s Office of Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity (IDARE) is available to hear concerns and suggestions as to how we can make further progress. Given the immense stress of the moment, let us reach out to support one another.
We cannot stand by as hatred and discrimination gain traction. In public health, we stand for science, evidence, respect, and dignity—and we support the health and well-being of transgender people everywhere.
Ellen, Josh, and Joel
Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, ScM ’75
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Joshua M. Sharfstein, MD
Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement
Joel I. Bolling, MA
Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, and Equity
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health