June 3 2016

Pride Month is a time to reflect and take stock of the advancement made by the TLGB communities. Our movement has changed history, created economic clout and political influence.  This calls for many of us in the rainbow family to hold our head a little higher this month.   We must not forget that true pride comes in carrying our traditions, values and legacy.

This month we look back at the leaders and advocates that staked claim to a better future. However, much remains to be done on behalf of Trans* folk across the nation.  Trans* people like myself face hardships in accessing civil liberties that may be taken for granted by many. For example: being called by the name we choose, accessing basic healthcare, and even using the restroom. These challenges are not merely perceived hardships but legislated hate intended to oppress an entire section of our family and we will NOT stand for it!

Power is evident in my community and is being waged with intention. I work at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center Transgender Health Programs. I witness the struggles of Trans* folk on a daily basis and we continue to face challenges in our work to create an inclusive health care system. We took matters into our own hands.  Last August, with community input, we developed a white paper that outlined policy recommendations that allies, system leaders and elected official can help us achieve. The recommendations are as follows:

  1. Remove the authorization process as a necessary component of accessing Hormone Therapy.
  2. Insurance plans should add hormone therapy to a list of “life-time approved” medications.
  3. Ensure equitable and timely access to gender affirming surgeries should Medi-Cal beneficiaries seek to do so.
  4. Increase and standardize trans* medicine education and training in medical schools and post-graduate medical education programs for primary care and surgery.
  5. Include “gender identity” as a domain that is protected from discrimination into the non-discriminatory hiring and employment policies for the City and County of Los Angeles.
  6. Facilitate legal name and gender change processes.

Purpose is the driving force behind all our initiatives here at St. John’s. Our purpose is to assist the Trans* communities go beyond surviving to thriving. Not by being a savior but by providing medical services that affirm and treat Trans* people with dignity. This lets our community have a taste for what they deserve and creates an empowered person ready to take on our message.

Our message is that “Trans* rights are Human Rights, Human Rights are Trans* Rights”, this makes it everyone’s issue.

Click here to learn more about St. John’s Transgender Health Program.

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