In March, Texas Health Action's KIND Clinic opened a free transgender care clinic, the first of its kind in Central Texas. Through a new program called Transgender Wellness, Out Youth is piloting an array of holistic services in partnership with the KIND Clinic to promote the wellbeing of transgender Texans.
Texas Health Action's medical director Dr. Cynthia Brinson hopes the clinic will be “a place where people who are seeking help for gender issues can feel at home.” At the Kind Clinic, transgender adults receive gender-affirming care such as feminizing hormones, masculinizing hormones, STD screenings, and HIV treatment and prevention drugs.
In addition to receiving medical care, patients of the Kind Clinic can access Transgender Wellness, a program of Out Youth, to meet more of their needs. Transgender Wellness provides a weekly support group, individual counseling services, and case management including help with the process of name and gender marker changes.
“Not everybody who goes to the Kind Clinic for gender-affirming care will have a need for these services,” explains Out Youth’s Clinical Director Sarah Kapostasy. “But for those who do, we are pleased to be able to help. Navigating the journey of gender affirmation can be difficult and stressful. Transgender Wellness supports people in both the logistical and the emotional aspects of this journeys.”
At launch, Transgender Wellness saw immediate success. Attendance at the weekly Gender Affirmation support group is strong and consistent, with members expressing gratitude for the opportunity to meet others and share their stories in a supportive space. Appointments for individual counseling and case management services also began filling up right away. As Out Youth supports the mental health and wellness of transgender and gender non-binary people, we will collect data showing of benefits of these services to pursue additionally opportunities to fund Transgender Wellness beyond the pilot period.
The need for free transgender wellness services in Austin is indisputable, and Out Youth is pleased to partner with the Kind Clinic to be able to offer them.