Trans Health Forum

April 10, 2016 Winchester Free

In the US, over 27% of transgender/gender non-conforming people have been denied health care. As a result, the trans community has increased rates of anxiety, depression, job loss, alcohol and drug use, and HIV. Many trans-related care is still not covered by insurance, forcing trans people to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket for medical needs. Even for those who are able to achieve care, the health issues that incur when they aren’t treated in a proper time frame can exacerbate many issues. On April 10 at 7 pm, we invite you to join us with some trans advocate experts to explore the following: In what ways are the transgender community’s health suffering? How does lack of health care lead to more serious health issues for trans people?
What does a nurturing Jewish community could look like for trans people?

Our discussion will be lead by Sonny Oram, Shir Tikvah member since childhood, trans activist, and Founding Editor of

To lay groundwork for the discussion, we’ve invited special guest and Trans Law Advocate Shiona Heru to present her groundbreaking work from her recent publication in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, proving that trans healthcare is cost effective for insurance coverage. Her research provides insight into the types of health concerns the trans community face when they don’t receive proper medical treatment.

We will then open the discussion to our panelists, whose experience with their own trans health efforts combined with their activism will provide a great backdrop for a discussion around trans health in our community.


Shiona Heru, trans health law advocate who proved the cost effectiveness of trans healthcare in her latest study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Ryley Rubin Pogensky, a Black Jewish trans advocate who has written for the Huffington Post Queer Voices, dapperQ, and Matador Network. He was a featured model in Barney’s 2014 ground breaking trans fashion campaign.

Hannah Simpson, a Jewish trans advocate and speaker from NYC, was featured on Refinery29, and as a commentator on trans issues for Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC and Fox 5 Good Day New York. She has worked as a volunteer trainer for the Trans Lifeline and lived for eight years in greater Boston, including completing her bachelors in Biomedical Engineering at Boston University.

All levels of knowledge welcome. Teens welcome – please note there will be some mature content. Refreshments to follow.

This is event is sponsored by Temple Shir Tikvah and Keshet.

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Fact Sheet
Sunday, April 10, 2016, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Temple Shir Tikvah
34 Vine St
Winchester, MA 01890
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