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BY AJ Trager
FERNDALE – The 2015 Fall Transgender Health Fair is fast approaching and Transgender Michigan is geared up to connect local services with trans women and men in southeast Michigan.
“Many transgender individuals do not know what agencies offer health care for them. Come and find out all the things that are out there for you,” said Transgender Michigan co-chair, Rachel Crandall.
The Transgender Health Fair is the only health fair in Michigan and surrounding states dedicated to trans health care and will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 19 at Affirmations. The fair will include networking opportunities, panel discussions and key workshops for southeast Michigan trans residents such as: how to pick a therapist presented by Rachel Crandall, LMSW and Rosemary Jozwiak, LMSW; hormones presented by Darnell Jones; and speech therapy presented by Corinne Barringer M.A., CCC-SLP.
New and returning exhibitors will include: Rosemary A. Jozwiak, PC and Associates; Southeastern Michigan HIV/AIDS Council; Transcend; FernCare Free Clinic, Inc.; Claddagh Chiropractic Wellness Center; Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan; Integrative Empowerment Group, PLLC; University of Michigan Dental School; Community Health Awareness Group; and Sylvie Lombardo, Ph.D., Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychologist.
The statistics for healthcare disparity for the trans community are staggering. A 2010 survey conducted by The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force found most transgender respondents received some kind of transition-related medical care. However, 19 percent said they had been refused care due to their gender status, with higher numbers among people of color. Twenty-eight percent said they had been harassed in a medical setting. And half said they had to teach their medical providers about transgender care.
Through the Transgender Health Fair, TGMI aims to address these issues on the local level. Crandall, through her many years of practice, has been at the center of these issues, hearing first hand recounts of Michigan residents avoiding healthcare due to discriminatory practices by local offices, some even turning away transgender patients.
Access to affordable, affirming healthcare remains to be a struggle. Attendees will have a chance to sit down with expert, local healthcare providers at the free event.
Affirmations is located at 290 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. Contact Transgender Michigan for more information at 855-345-TGMI. Visit their website at http://www.transgendermichigan.org/events/health.html.