All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Larrell Wilkinson

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts in Education (MAE) School of Education


Transgender individuals experience many challenges within the healthcare system including discrimination, socioeconomic struggles, financial strains, a lack of educated healthcare providers, and a health system framework that makes it even more challenging for them to receive their medical needs (Korpaisarn and Safer). One contributing factor to this lack of education is that on average medical schools in the United States only spend approximately five hours total on the health needs related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals (Miller et al.). Another contributing factor is the stigma around LGBTQ individuals within the medical community. The stigma is concerning and noticeable through the medical treatment of transgender individuals as well as the lack of knowledge regarding transgender medical needs. The purpose of this study was to identify the social, psychological, and healthcare needs of transgender adults and to find a way to better support the transgender population in Central Alabama. Sixteen transgender individuals (7 transgender women, 7 transgender men, 1 nonbinary, and 1 gender queer) in Birmingham, AL and surrounding areas participated in the qualitative study Assessment of Needs and Support among Transgender Adults in Central Alabama, which was conducted through UAB. Data was collected through two focus groups and seven personal interviews via Zoom meetings. Transcriptions of the meetings were obtained and Braun and Clarke’s six phases to conducting a thematic analysis were then used to conduct a reflexive analysis of the data. Through data analysis, five primary themes emerged (stress existing as a transgender individual, lack of support, lack of resources, lack of medical education surrounding transgender community, and positive experiences in the transgender community), each with their own subthemes. The theme of lack of medical education creates a significant barrier to transgender individuals’ basic healthcare needs as well as their overall health and way of living. This lack of medical education certainly contributes to the transgender community continuing to be an underserved population and facing many forms of discrimination. In addition, more research is needed to understand the community's resource needs, medical needs, and strategies to improve training for medical providers.

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