Empowerment in Healthcare - The Q Card and the TGNC Card

No one should have to deal with discrimination in healthcare settings or anywhere else. We at Out Youth and the Central Texas Transgender Health Coalition (CTTHC) believe that all queer and transgender people of all ages deserve quality, sensitive healthcare that meets their needs, recognizes their agency, and empowers them to be active in their health.

We are proud to announce the availability of two resources designed to support queer and transgender individuals with communication in healthcare settings! These two resources, the Q Card and the TGNC Card, are small but mighty. Designed to fit in a wallet, these cards can help facilitate comfortable, productive conversations with medical providers about personal health and wellness.

First a little backstory – The Q Card was developed by Genya Shimkin in 2012. Genya set out to create a simple communication tool that could improve healthcare, specifically for queer youth. Between 2012 and 2013, she developed a sample version of the Q Card, and brought it to interviews with local healthcare providers, educators, youth advocates, and queer and transgender youth themselves. With this feedback, Genya drafted a new version, this time with the help of professional graphic designer Alice Lee and queer-owned printer, Girlie Press.

Check out this video to learn more! 

Learn more at www.qcardproject.com
Videography by Reid Kuennen Funding generously provided by The Pride Foundation

A few years later, in 2015, a research team at The Fenway Institute called The Trans Masculine Sexual Health Collaborative noticed the need for a similar tool to assist transgender and gender non-binary people of all ages during healthcare visits. In collaboration with Genya of the Q Card, designer Alice Lee, and Girlie Press, and with feedback from many community members across the country, the TGNC Card was created.

This card is designed not only to empower people across the spectrum of gender and throughout the entire lifespan, but also to link healthcare providers to educational resources about transgender health. Along with the wallet-sized card, the TGNC Card includes a handout with research-based tips to minimize discomfort during healthcare visits, as well as links to the most affirming and up-to-date resources for providers to educate themselves!


Fast forward to today in Central Texas. Out Youth has been a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth for 26 years. What could be a better place to distribute the Q Card?

The Central Texas Transgender Health Coalition (CTTHC) is a brand new program of Out Youth designed to support the health and wellbeing of the transgender and gender non-binary community by facilitating access to quality healthcare resources, and to educate healthcare, mental health, and social services professionals in Central Texas. What could be a better organization to distribute the TGNC Card?

And so, we proudly announce the availability of these two resources, thanks to our allied organizations across the country! We have 500 Q Cards, all the way from Genya in Seattle, free for any youth who requests it. We have 10,000 TGNC Cards, all the way from Fenway Health in Boston, which we will give out during the CTTHC’s 2017 events: an educational conference for healthcare providers and a community health fair to connect transgender and gender non-binary individuals with quality providers. The TGNC Cards and Handouts are also available upon request before those events.

No matter how much work went into their creation, these resources can only empower people when they’re in the hands of those who need them. No one should have to deal with discrimination in healthcare settings or anywhere else. We invite you to help yourself to these resources and to give them a try next time you visit a healthcare provider.