Carrie Requist: Article about lack of health care for LGBTQ people was misleading
In response to the article “LGBTQ people face lack of health care in Routt County,” while the article does point out real issues in access to specialists in Routt County, it was misleading.
It was surprising that the first half of the article focused on transgender healthcare but quoted someone who is not transgender and chose to use dramatic quotes that “anything involving trans health care [in Routt County] is terrible” and “…if I [was trans] I don’t think I would be able to live here…”
My husband and I raised our transgender son here in Steamboat, and this has not been our experience. He went through the Steamboat public schools, participated in Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, worked on the ski hill and received all his primary medical care here in Steamboat. When he came out at age 15, all of his medical care providers in Steamboat were supportive and helpful, updating his records and using his correct pronouns right away. They continue to treat him with professionalism and respect.
When he decided it was time to start hormone therapy, he did get referred to a fantastic endocrinologist at UCHealth Anschutz in Aurora because Routt County does not have an endocrinologist who specializes in transgender care in. However, this required just one visit to the Front Range.
Our nurse at Steamboat Medical administered his weekly shots. Lyons Drug filled his hormone prescription. He got his labs at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center where they were immediately available for his endocrinologist to access. He converses with his endocrinologist online and has been able to have continuity of care no matter where he is living (Steamboat, or now out of Colorado for college and back here for the summer).
With Routt County’s small population, we will always lack certain specialists in a hit and miss way. When my kids were younger, we didn’t have a pediatric dentist, so we had to take them to Glenwood Springs to have cavities filled. Last year, when I needed a tonsillectomy, we didn’t have an ENT, so I had to have a consult on the Front Range.
Members of the LGBTQ community, and transgender people in particular, should not be scared by this article. Lack of medical specialists and having to occasionally travel out of Routt County is not a slight to the LGBTQ community, it is just a shared experience for everyone living in a rural community.
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