The news cycle has been full of troubling and confusing news for the LGBTQ community this past week. Like many of you, I’ve been reading lots of articles, thought leadership and activism reacting to what appears to be information “leaked” out of the federal government threatening changes in the definitions of a person’s gender as solely determined by their sex at birth.

I’ve had moments of anger and sadness, and fear. Through it all, what’s remained top of mind for me as the Director of the LGBT Health Resource Center (LHRC) at Chase Brexton is this: We provide welcoming and affirming health care for transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, intersex, lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Nothing in this (or any) news cycle changes that mission nor our commitment to it.

Public policy debates and political activity can be extreme, and the language is often harmful and divisive. We must always remember that even during critical public discourse on public policy issues, we are talking about people. We are defending their access to affirming health care among other basic human rights and protections.

Here at the LGBT Health Resource Center, we are champions for LGBTQ health equity and access every day. We came together Monday morning to talk about what this current political and media moment might feel like for our patients and we prepared to meet them where they are today. This is what we do.

Today, and every day, we stand with our transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex patients. Politics and public policy shifts and debates cannot redefine the truth that we celebrate every day, nor erase the truth about gender diversity that medicine and science have proven. We see you. We are here for you.

If you’re feeling angry, sad and afraid – as I have been – reach out to us. Reach out to your friends and family (of origin or choice). Reach out to your faith community. Activism can help you feel more powerful. If you want to participate in the fight for justice yet to be done, reach out to organizations such as Free State Justice, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Baltimore Trans Alliance.

Though I initially intended to pen an opinion editorial, it seems my heart and soul just wanted to write something else. The political environment and public debate that speaks of our lives as if they are “issues” is rarely kind or gentle, but we can be. We can be kind to each other, we can listen, we can hold space for each other. In moments like this, we must do exactly that.

To reach the LGBT Health Resource Center at Chase Brexton, call 410-837-2050 x1049 or e-mail lgbt@chasebrexton.org.

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Sam McClure
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