Meetings began in the summer of 2002, after a series of programs on trans health care co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's GLBTA Programs Office, Schochet Center for GLBT Studies, and medical school. Renowned transgender activist and author Leslie Feinberg participated in lectures and roundtable discussions with various cross-sections of the community during the series, inspiring a desire to actively bring about change in the health care system.
The goal of the coalition is to improve health care access and the quality of health care received by trans individuals. One way we are doing this is by creating a network of trans-friendly, trans-competent health care providers, using a combination of networking, assessment and training. Actions include developing assessment tools for clinics and providers, providing trans-related training to clinics and providers, and encouraging awareness and self-advocacy in transgender health care consumers through outreach and education.
Any transgender health care network must have support and input from local transgender and allied communities. In order to answer the question, “What does good transgender health care look like?” the Coalition conducted surveys to gather opinions, insights, ideas, and experiences on health care. In 2003, surveys were sent to several local trans groups and listservs, and surveys were also completed at both Twin Cities and Duluth GLBT pride celebrations. In addition to these surveys two community forums on transgender health care were held, the first in October 2003 with a follow up forum in December 2003. Both forums were organized by the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition and were co-sponsored by the Women’s Student Activist Coalition at the U of M, genderBLUR, and the Rainbow Health Initiative. More community forums are being planned for the future.
The Coalition has been reaching out to the community through our annual Trans Community Health and Wellness Fair, started in 2007 and held annually. Starting July 2008, the "Trans Health Matters" Community Forum was launched. We seek feedback after each of our events, and host information tables at various community events throughout the year.
How You Can Get Involved
In addition to the Shot Clinic, Syringe Exchange and Support Group, the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition maintains a resource directory of trans-friendly and trans-competent health care providers such as physicians and therapists who are interested in or actively working with the trans community. Additions to this list from individuals in the trans community are welcome.
The coalition is also looking for other trans people and allies who are invested in improving the health care experience of transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer, and other gender variant people living in Minnesota. Time commitments can vary.
See our Get Involved page for more details!