Transgender people are fleeing to New Mexico to escape anti-trans legislation introduced or passed in other states. However, the state's healthcare providers can't keep up with the demand for gender-affirming care.
The context: New Mexico is one of the few states with protective measures for transgender people, but they have a shortage of healthcare providers that can give gender-affirming care.
- The US Department of Health and Human Services has designated part or all of 32 of New Mexico's 33 counties as health professional shortage areas, according to KFF Health News.
- The majority of providers of gender-affirming care are near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but 60% of the state's population live in rural regions.
The bigger picture: Trans people and their families are being financially impacted by anti-trans legislation. Many choose New Mexico because of its affordability.
- Compared to other states like California, New York, or Colorado, which also have protections for trans people, the low cost of living in New Mexico makes the state a popular choice for trans people looking for refuge.
- According to Zillow's Rent Comparison Tool, the median rent in Albuquerque is $936 for a 1-bedroom apartment — less than half of the national median rent, which now stands at $2,011 according to Rent.com.