Jessica Halem, program manager of the LGBT Office within the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at HMS, shares some of the ways the Harvard Medical School community is working to reduce health care disparities for transgender patients. Efforts range from medical education and faculty training to research programs to environmental modifications, such as on doctor’s office intake forms and bathroom signs.
Bullying started early for Nicole Maines, now a college freshman, who has known since she was 2 years old that she was not the boy she was born as. She wanted to dress as Ariel the mermaid in a world that expected her to be a Batman.
By age 12, her transition was complete. She took the name Nicole and switched to using the girls bathroom at school. But one complaint was all it took to unleash what Maines called “the adults with outdated values who don’t understand or don’t want to understand.”
Bullying forced the family to flee Orono, Maine.
“No one should have to grow up being bullied for who they are,” Maines said.