This November, and every day of the year, Planned Parenthood stands with transgender people.
As a health care provider, we are committed to serving all people in our community with care and respect. Transgender and gender nonconforming people are Planned Parenthood’s patients, our supporters, and our staff. We know firsthand that people of all gender identities deserve civil and human rights, including the right to high-quality, affordable health care and accurate, nonjudgmental education and information. That’s why Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast launched gender affirming hormone therapy services at our health centers in Houston and New Orleans this summer.
We know that transgender people face unique challenges when accessing health care. Some health care environments can be unwelcoming to transgender and gender nonconforming patients — from forms to fill out to the language used in waiting rooms, to insurance coverage, to the lack of understanding of transgender identities among staff. Making our health centers a safe and supportive environment is valuable for all patients and we strive to make sure the gender identity of transgender people is acknowledged, respected, and understood. This means creating an environment that affirms their gender identity, understanding and communicating the kinds of care they need, and using inclusive language that acknowledges the full spectrum of gender identities.
As our partners at Transgender Education Network of Texas pointed out at the launch of our hormone therapy services, the right to bodily autonomy and having control over your private medical decisions are reproductive justice issues. The progress we’ve seen on LGBTQ rights in this country is rooted in principles that also underlie reproductive rights: that politicians should not get to decide what you do with your body or what your family looks like, and that rights should not depend on the state you live in.
At Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, we are proud to provide sexual and reproductive health care and education to transgender people across Houston and Louisiana -- including cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, birth control, and hormone therapy, as well as sex education that includes transgender people’s identities and experiences. We see you. We care about you. We stand in solidarity with you – no matter who you are, no matter what.