All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Robin G Lanzi

Advisory Committee Members

Ann Elizabeth Montgomery

Michael Mugavero

Dorothy Pekmezi

Nicholas Van Wagoner

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health

Abstract

This dissertation examined the physical and mental health disparities in the transgender male community in a Southern community-based medical LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) organization via a convergent mixed methods study design. There is a paucity of research on the transgender male community in terms of their physical and mental health care needs, services, and disparities. Quantitative data were col-lected via a chart review of 130 transgender male medical charts at the Magic City Well-ness Center (MCWC). The MCWC transgender male medical chart data were compared to three groups separately of the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) dataset: (a) BRFSS Transgender Males: all transgender males from the BRFSS dataset; (b) BRFSS South: all BRFSS participants from the Southern US; and (c) BRFSS all: all participants from the BRFSS dataset. Overall, the transgender males at MCWC were under the age of 35 and not engaging in high-risk behaviors. The MCWC transgender male patients had a higher incidence of depressive disorder and anxiety than the BRFFS participants and the general population. The qualitative data included 13 in-dividual interviews conducted with a representative group of transgender males; 10 inter-views with participants who were past or present patients at MCWC, and 3 with partici-pants who were not past or current patients of MCWC. Qualitative interviews revealed consistent barriers to medical and mental health services included the lack of affirming providers, community resources, financial resources, and competent providers. This study is one of the first ever to investigate the physical and mental health disparities of the transgender male community in a LGBTQ medical and mental health facility in Alabama. Through this research, it is apparent that an affirming medical and mental health provider is critical to a healthier LGB and transgender community. Medical and mental health pro-viders must break down the barriers to care for the transgender male patient to ensure ac-cess to resources and tools needed to be healthy, happy, and find inspiration to become advocates and mentors to the next transgender male generation. Keywords: transgender male, LGBTQ, affirming, medical and mental health care, South

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