US: Black Femmes’ Needs Are Ignored in Health-Care Debates, Yet They Have Much to Lose

If Republicans in Congress have their way and pass their repeal bill to the Affordable Care Act, Black femmes in particular stand to lose.

For this piece, Black femme includes a Black transgender woman, a Black nonbinary person who identifies as a femme, and a Black cisgender woman. (It is important to note that, not all Black individuals with “nonmasculine” gender expressions would classify themselves as a Black femme and some Black individuals with “masculine” identities not listed here would.)

Black femmehood is a recently visible concept used in social justice and Black queer safe-spaces. It acknowledges that Black feminine individuals experience oppressive forces in similar ways and requires social spaces to acknowledge blackness and femmehood in tandem.

Black femmes experience health-care discrimination on arguably two mega levels: anti-Blackness and anti-femmehood. Academia lacks evidence that shows the shared health concerns of Black femmes and consequently lacks the data to express how the Affordable Care Act benefits them—but Black femmes know it does.

Black people in the United States are among the most discriminated when it comes to health care— which is further exacerbated when they are not a cisgender man. Additional layers of oppression, such as gender expression- and sex-based discrimination, bring to the forefront critical issues for Black femmes that are often ignored in health-care debates, such as: Black maternal and infant health; Unplanned pregnancies; and Transition-related care.

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