Trans and non-binary people: how can they meet their social and medical needs?

Assane, a non-binary trans man, has a urinary tract infection. Seeking a doctor is a must, but her last experience at the clinic was so bad she didn’t want to come back because the staff showed a disrespectful attitude to her gender identity. However, a simple antibiotic administered at the first symptoms would have been enough to cure the infection, which has now spread to the kidneys and requires hospitalization.

Assane’s story illustrates well the harmful effects caused by the fear, very present in the trans and non-binary communities, to consult a health professional.

As part of her research, University of Montreal School of Social Work professor Annie Pullen Sansfaçon has heard too often about young trans and non-binary people delaying important medical appointments at the cost of worsening their health.

Building on the success of the first online course Transdiversity: Understanding and respecting transdiversity through educationthe team led by Annie Pullen Sansfaçon has designed a second version, this time targeting healthcare and social services professionals, as well as the next generation of students in these fields.

“There is a significant slowdown in catching up with the integration of the knowledge and practices needed to better support trans and non-binary individuals,” emphasizes Morgane Gelly, research professional who participated in the creation of the new training.

Many health or social services institutions, both private and public, are still ill-adapted to the realities of trans and non-binary people. “The staff of these establishments, despite their good will, often struggle to adapt as the vast majority do not know how to make the environment more inclusive and have never been trained to properly meet the needs of these people says m.me Sansfaçon, who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Transgender Children and their Families at UdeM.

“The training aims to understand the complexities of the journeys and experiences of trans and non-binary people within the health and social services system, as well as show how simple adaptations can really help improve access to services. improve,” explains. Rosalie Gravel, a research assistant who also helped set up the project.

daily emergency

A 2019 study of trans and non-binary youth in Canada shows that in the past 12 months, 43% of these youth were unable to receive the required physical health care and nearly three-quarters did not receive mental health care despite their need. “Trans or non-binary people face a recurring form of discrimination and therefore they have[1] often avoid going to a health or social facility for treatment,” says Annie Pullen Sansfaçon.

The professor and her team bet that their online training will help improve access to care by fostering the development of more inclusive environments for all, regardless of gender, and by training healthcare providers to respond appropriately and respectfully to patients’ needs. – binary people.

Anyone who works or studies in health and social services and wishes to enroll in this training can now do so on the EDU website.lib.


[1] the pronoun she, a contraction of “she” and “she”, denotes people without distinction of sex.

About “Trans Diversity 2: Health and Social Services”

This distance learning, referred to in the education community as “online courses open to the masses” (or MOOC for massively open online course), is free and takes about five hours. Enrollers can obtain a certificate of attendance upon request if they pass the final test with a minimum score of 70%.

Course Transdiversity 2: Health and Social Services was established through a partnership between the Canada Research Chair on Transgender Children and their Families, the Vice Rectorate for Student Affairs and Studies of the Université de Montréal, the Université de Sherbrooke, and the Integrated University Centers for Health and Social Services in Estrie and Montreal’s North Island . Its creation was made possible, among other things, by the financial support of the Quebec Ministries of Education and Higher Education and the participation of people responsible for developing and revising the content.

Anyone wishing to register can do so by clicking here.

The official launch of Transdiversity 2: health and social services will take place on May 12 at 4:45 pm virtually at the Acfas Congress as part of the conference “Trans and non-binary youth and their families in the face of adversity: experiences, strengths, strategies and innovative practices”.

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