Before You Go: Enabling Access for Autistic Trans People in Healthcare

Originally aired on: October 28, 2020

The Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network and the National LGBTQ Task Force hosted a panel with Kayley WhalenFinn Gardiner, and Noor Pervez, with Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán moderating, about autistic trans access to healthcare in October 2020.

The Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network and the National LGBTQ Task Force are excited to share a brand new guide for trans autistic people called Before You Go: Know Your Rights & What to Expect at the Doctor and in the Hospital. This guide will help our trans and autistic community members know better what to expect when going to doctors or hospitals, understand rights and responsibilities, and strategize for safety planning, effective communication, accommodations, and more.

We hosted a live watch party of a panel of autistic trans advocates discussing autistic trans people’s access to healthcare, health disparities, and advocacy strategies to challenge ableism and anti-trans discrimination in health care settings.

Our event included introductory remarks by Victoria Kirby York (National LGBTQ Task Force), Sharon daVanport (Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network), and Lydia X. Z. Brown (Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network).


Kayley Whalen

Kayley Whalen is an independent communications consultant who works with organizations dedicated to social justice. She has led digital campaigns for numerous organizations including Sins Invalid, the Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, Trans United Fund, Greenpeace USA, Casa Ruby and the National LGBTQ Task Force. She is a neurodivergent transgender Latinx advocate and writer and was Miss USA in the 2020 Miss International Queen transgender pageant in Thailand. Her blog TransWorldView records her experiences interviewing members of the transgender community in Southeast Asia and around the world.

Finn Gardiner

Finn Gardiner is the Lurie Institute’s communications specialist. He is a disability rights advocate who is primarily interested in accessible communications, intersectional disability justice, inclusive technology, and equitable access to community resources including education, employment, and health care. Throughout his work, Finn combines disability advocacy, policy analysis and research, and written and visual communications through policy briefs, original reports and white papers, and contributions to research projects. His research and advocacy interests include education and employment for autistic adults, comparative disability policy, inclusive technology, LGBTQ cultural competency, and policy that takes into account the intersections between disability, race, LGBTQ identities, class, and other experiences. He holds a Master’s of Public Policy degree from the Heller School and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Tufts University. Finn also serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Human Services Research Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to research and policy advocacy benefiting people with disabilities and seniors.

Noor Pervez

Noor Pervez is a community organizer who works at the intersection of race, religion, LGBT+ issues and disability. He is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Access Director at Masjid Al Rabia. He previously led his campus LGBT+ advocacy group, Rainbow Guard, and gave a number of talks regarding intersectionality. His previous work centered on exploring the intersections of disability, LGBT+ and religious issues. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Emerging Media and Communications.

Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán

Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán is the senior policy manager for AIDS United, where she brings her own unique intersectional specialties to the fight to end the HIV epidemic. Particular areas of expertise and focus are the issues affecting people living at the intersections of transgender identity, disability and mental illness from a social justice lens. She frequently speaks on discrimination issues impacting the trans and disability communities. She has been profiled in multiple national media outlets and has been published in multiple academic outlets. Before joining AIDS United, she was senior policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force where she led the Trans/GNC Justice Project and the Disability Justice Project. She currently serves in the boards of directors for both HIPS, an organization dedicated to harm reduction for sex work and drug use in Washington, D.C., and Equality New York, New York state’s leading LGBTQ equality organization. Victoria holds a B.A. in psychology with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, and a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

Communication Access Team