Post submitted by: Collen Kutney, State and Municipal Program Manager
Every year, the Municipal Equality Index (MEI) finds that more and more cities are taking the lead on addressing the unique challenges the transgender community continues to face. Transgender Awareness Week calls to elevate the lived experiences of the transgender community, including the various solutions municipal leaders are taking to create more inclusive communities for their transgender residents and employees.
The 2016 MEI rated 506 municipalities across the country on how inclusive their laws, policies and services are of the LGBTQ people who live and work there. In addition to rating cities based on LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections, the report encourages cities to adopt transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and to support services that address the needs of the transgender community.
Transgender individuals have long faced barriers to adequate health care coverage and benefits. Cities can better serve those who work for them by offering gender affirming care to all employees. This includes hormone replacement therapy, gender reassignment surgery, mental health care and other gender affirming care. To date, 86 cities across the country offer transition-related healthcare to their employees and that number continues to grow. To learn more about how cities are offering these benefits to their employees, see the issue brief that outlines trans-inclusive health benefits featured in the 2014 MEI.
This week, HRC marks Transgender Awareness Week, dedicated to the progress, continued challenges, and unfinished work in the fight for transgender equality. Throughout the week, HRC will dedicate each day to urgent and important issues facing the transgender community, including support for youth and families, workplace equality, access to life-saving and inclusive health care, and combatting violence against the transgender community. The week concludes with with Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20 when the community comes together for vigils around the country to honor those lost in the past year. Learn more at hrc.im/TransAwarenessWeek.