Finding an ally in the doctor’s office can be difficult, especially for those who are transgender, non-gender-binary or who otherwise belong to the LGBT+ community. To combat disparities that can develop in the health care realm, a Fresno organization is hosting a free medical clinic for LGBT+ individuals on Saturday, July 13.
It’s called the HeaL Clinic, and for a day it’s taking over Common Space, a non-profit that serves the LGBT+ community in downtown Fresno. “We’ll be providing assistance with hormone replacement therapy, help with hormone injections, doing trainings on how to give yourself hormone injections, but then also basic healthcare screenings like blood pressure and glucose and HIV testing,” says Common Space Executive Director Justin Kamimoto.
Research increasingly shows LGBT+ individuals are at a higher risk of a variety of health problems, including mental health disorders, homelessness, STDs and suicide – all conditions that could be improved or mitigated with better preventive care.
But many in the LGBT+ community avoid doctor’s offices if they feel stigmatized, if they can’t use their preferred gender pronouns, or if they otherwise feel discriminated against. With this clinic, Kamimoto hopes to bring healthcare to LGBT+ individuals without such barriers. “We’re really trying to say that this is a safe place to receive care from professionals, and medical professionals who are allies, part of the community,” he says.
Medical care will be administered by providers from UCSF Fresno and Community Regional Medical Center, and the event is co-sponsored by the advocacy group Trans-E-Motion. It runs 11am-3pm on Saturday July 13 at Common Space in downtown Fresno.