Transgender doctor breaking barriers, helping transgender patients in OKC metro

Dr. Laura Arrowsmith sees transgender patients at the Trust Women South Wind Women's Center in SW OKC. She says she has been denied medical care by her peers because she's transgender. (KOKH)

A metro doctor is breaking barriers for the transgender community.

In today's world the transgender community still faces an uphill battle with discrimination.

"I've had multiple instances where I've been told 'we don't see you kind of people',” Dr. Laura Arrowsmith, DO, said.

Dr. Laura Arrowsmith has dealt with it firsthand, even by some of her peers.

"When I first came out as a transgender person the family practice doctor that I had been seeing for years refused to see me anymore,” Dr. Arrowsmith said.

Dr. Arrowsmith says about 50% of transgender individuals have been denied medical care, some even mocked and humiliated. Now she's determined to make sure no one else feels that way.

"There's a definite demand. People seem to be very very thankful that we're here. I think they really like the idea that they're being treated by someone who's been through this process themselves,” Dr. Arrowsmith said.

Dr. Arrowsmith sees transgender patients out of the Trust Women South Wind Women's Center in SW Oklahoma City on Mondays.

She says being transgender is a biological condition that's widely misunderstood as a mental illness or choice.

"It's important for people to understand that this is a very very difficult journey for us. Like I mentioned we get rejected from our families, we lose our jobs, we get kicked out of our housing,” Dr. Arrowsmith said.

A journey Dr. Arrowsmith knows well, one she's now using to give hope to her patients who are in transition.

"Often times being able to get hormone therapy may be the only reason some people don't give up and become suicidal. It can be that dramatically life changing,” Dr. Arrowsmith said.

To learn more about the Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center and the services they offer: click here.

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