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This week is Transgender Awareness Week, a time to raise visibility about transgender people and address issues faced by members of the community. The week ends November 20, on Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience, a day to honor the memory of people murdered in acts of anti-transgender violence.

During this important week, we are reminded of a grim reality: despite some progress in recent years, many transgender people, especially Black and Latinx trans women, deal with discrimination and violence on a daily basis. 

If you’re not already taking action, now is the time to start.

While there’s been noticeable progress in some areas in recent years, like the visibility of transgender people in popular culture, historic wins in the recent election, and improvements in health care, the transgender community still faces daily discrimination and violence from loved ones, our education systems, our workplaces, in social services and shelters, from law enforcement and medical professionals.

Health care can be especially unwelcoming and uncomfortable places for transgender and gender-nonconforming patients. Navigating a system not designed to support you can be exhausting, and made worse by the language used on forms and in waiting rooms, gaps in insurance coverage, or dealing with staff who do not understand or respect transgender identities.

At the core of our mission is a commitment to ensuring transgender people are acknowledged, respected, and understood. 

Planned Parenthood of Illinois provides crucial sexual and reproductive health care to transgender patients, including cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and birth control. Our education team also provides high school sex education that includes in-depth, inclusive discussions on gender identities and experiences, to help raise awareness and acceptance of issues affecting the transgender community.

We are also one of Illinois’ largest gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) providers statewide—and the only provider for many areas outside of Chicagoland. By offering GAHT at all 18 of our health centers, we make it easier for people to access the care they need without traveling long distances. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have also expanded our telehealth services, making GAHT treatment more accessible to all who need it.

During this transgender week of awareneess, and every week of the year, we are committed to fighting until people of all gender identities have their full civil and human rights recognized, including adequate access to high-quality, affordable health care and accurate, non-judgmental education.

You can learn more about the services we offer by visiting ppil.org. If you’re ready to get started, call 800-230-7526 to make an appointment today.

We are proud to do this work, this week and every week.

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If you’re transgender and in need of urgent help, please call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. You can also visit the National Center for Trans Equality and the Transgender Law Center for more resources.

Tags: trans health, transgender-issues