WHY does this matter?
Historically, trans people in the Tenderloin, the red light district of San Francisco, lived in lousy Single Room Occupancy hotels, and were at times homeless. Hormones came from medical "quacks" or on the unreliable street market. Even at the height of the AIDS epidemic, many transgendered folks mistrusted the health care system, and often faced life-and-death situations
- National estimates of unemployment among transgendered individuals range from
a low of 35% (R. Juang 2006) to much higher among inner city residents.
- Of those who are employed, 59% earn under $15,300 per year!
- Some 55% of trans youth report physical attacks, while over 33% attempt suicide.
(facts from Journal of Homosexuality and GLSEN).
- Roughly 15 trans individuals are murdered per year, and likely more whose
gender identity remains undisclosed.
But 18 years ago a team of HIV providers at Tom Waddell Health Center and
trans activists from every ethnicity broke the mold by providing something crucially
needed, along with hormonal treatment: respect and a new sense of community.
In 1993 Transgender Tuesdays clinic opened in the Tenderloin-- the first public health clinic in the country specifically targeted toward transgendered people and their care.
WHY this particular clinic?
Transgender Tuesdays, and its 1993 "Protocols For Hormonal Reassignment of
Gender" created a new model of treatment: Primary Care for all those who self-
identify as transgendered, not just those that could afford the specialists who once
made that decision. Based on "harm reduction" as key to reaching a difficult-to-
reach group, the clinic has proven for 18 years now that this can be done. And the
people behind the stories prove that it should be done-- everywhere.