A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality revealed that when it comes to accessing comprehensive health care, transgender and non-conforming communities face significant barriers and discrimination. Respondents were living with HIV at a rate five times higher than the general U.S. population, for example, and 23% of respondents did not see a doctor or seek out medical care because of their fear of being mistreated or humiliated.
In an effort to combat these obstacles, Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley (PPPSGV) has introduced TransCare, which aims to provide transgender health care and support PPPSGV’s goal in providing access to treatment and care for vulnerable populations. As the most trusted provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare, PPPSGV’s vision is to provide non-judgmental, inclusive, evidence-based health care to transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals, and to empower them on their journey in becoming the healthiest, most authentic version of themselves.
“Historically there have been few places in the San Gabriel Valley where transgender, non-binary, and non-conforming people can access safe, non-judgmental care,” says Sheri Bonner, president and CEO of PPPSGV. “We understand that in order for our communities to thrive, people need access to health care and education that is inclusive of gender and sexuality. We are working to be a part of the process of healing by honoring the diversity of our patients’ identities and needs.”
PPPSGV’s health centers also provide hormone therapy and education, as well as helping patients navigate necessary social and financial resources. Patients who need assistance with legally changing their name or gender marker, finding housing and food banks, accessing mental health services, or finding medical facilities offering gender affirmation surgeries will be able to receive referrals to other providers that can ultimately improve their health status and quality of life. The Patient Navigator also conducts community outreach in order to forge partnerships with various social service agencies and increase public understanding of the needs of transgender and gender non-binary people.
“At the San Gabriel Valley LGBTQ Center, we receive daily calls from people seeking health services and have to send them out of their way in order to get the care they need,” says Board President of the SGV LGBTQ Center Jessica Amaya. “The TransCare initiative is life changing for the transgender community in the San Gabriel Valley. By being the first organization to provide these locally-based services, PPPSGV will positively highlight the conversation about trans rights and provide easy accessibility for those who may feel too intimidated to seek out health care and support services.”
Every patient accessing care at Planned Parenthood has different needs, experiences, and knowledge. By providing compassion and respect for each individual patient, PPPSGV aims to eliminate barriers to care, as well as ensure that patients feel safe, comfortable, and are able to access the resources they need to live fulfilling lives.
PPPSGV’s service area extends from Glendora to Glendale, and from the San Gabriel Mountains to the San Bernardino freeway.