Transgender Law Center receives grant

San Francisco – The Transgender Law Center has announced that The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, has made a historic $138,000 commitment over two years to continue their partnership with TLC’s Health Care Access Project.

The grant, one of the largest ever made to a transgender civil rights organization, will be used to increase the cultural competency of health care services available to transgender people in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County.

“We are committed to removing barriers to appropriate and equitable health for all underserved communities, including transgender individuals and their families,” said Ignatius Bau, program director at The California Endowment. “This grant provides TLC with resources to educate community members about their rights to culturally competent care and to help health care providers better serve the health care needs of transgender people.”

In addition to supporting accessible and broad-based education, the grant will make possible the launching of the state’s first coordinated community organizing effort targeting health care access. “Our communities have been organizing informally for civil rights for decades,” said Masen Davis, president of TLC partner FTM Alliance of Los Angeles. “The community’s deep rooted desire for culturally competent health care provides us with a historic opportunity to transform these informal efforts into sustainable initiatives to win equality in health care and, eventually, all aspects of our lives.

At the top of the organizing agenda is an increase in the number of clinics that offer transgender specific clinic hours. “The experience of transgender-specific health care clinics in San Francisco and San Diego is that community members are more likely to seek out care when they know they’ll be treated well and get sound medical advice,” said Cecilia Chung, TLC’s deputy director. “We’ve also seen how having a transgender health care clinic in San Francisco has advanced knowledge about transgender specific health care needs and increased the pool of health care professionals trained to competently serve transgender patients.”

The grant period runs from July 1, 2006?June 30, 2008. The Liberty Hill Foundation of Los Angeles also recently approved a $25,000 grant to FTM Alliance of LA and TLC for similar health care access work in Los Angeles County.