Published : Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | 5:41 PM
Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley has introduced TransCare to provide vulnerable populations with transgender health care and access to treatment.
Planned Parenthood’s vision entails providing non-judgmental, inclusive, evidence-based health care to transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals, empowering them to become healthy, authentic versions 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,” said Sheri Bonner, the group’s president and chief executive officer in an April 17 statement.
A 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality revealed that transgender and non-conforming communities face significant barriers to comprehensive health care.
According to that survey, respondents were living with HIV at a rate five times higher than the general United States population. Some 23 percent did not seek out medical care for fear of being mistreated or humiliated.
According to Christian Port, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley, the organization has seen over 150 patients that self-identified as transgender, non-binary, or gender-conforming (genderqueer).
Los Angeles County estimates suggest there could be as many as 6,000 people in the San Gabriel Valley who identify as transgender, according to Port.
Additionally, Port said, the UCLA Williams Institute reports that 27 percent of California youth aged 12 to 17 identify as gender non-conforming.
“Based on this data,” he stated, “we anticipate that our number of gender non-conforming patients will continue to grow.”
Since TransCare was launched in early April, nine patients have applied for hormone therapy services.
“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 Jessica Amaya, the center’s board president. “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, we 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.”
Planned Parenthood’s health centers provide hormone therapy and education. They assist patients in navigating social and financial resources. Patients requiring assistance in changing their legal 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.
The Patient Navigator also conducts community outreach, forging partnerships with various social service agencies to increased understanding about the needs of transgender and gender non-binary people.
Founded in 1933, Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley has been serving Northeast Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley for 85 years. The group’s service area extends from Glendora to Glendale, and from the San Gabriel Mountains to the San Bernardino freeway, home to 24 communities and a diverse population of 2 million people. www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-pasadena-san-gabriel-valley