My partner, who had waited for years to start testosterone as part of their transition, had exhausted nearly every option before finally turning to Planned Parenthood to start HRT.
Planned Parenthood had long been our provider of choice for many health care services because, as a low-income transgender couple, we needed care that was both affordable and queer-friendly.
Planned Parenthood made us feel safe and respected, in contrast to the misgendering, interrogating of our identities, and ridiculing by nurses and doctors who didn’t understand what it meant to be trans, let alone how to treat trans patients.
They modeled for us what respectful, competent healthcare looks like when dealing with queer populations.
Planned Parenthood stood by us, and when we were ready, they were there for my partner to start their medical transition when everyone else shut the door in our face.
LGBTQ media has been notably silent when it comes to the attacks on sexual/reproductive healthcare and in particular, on Planned Parenthood. They assume, wrongfully so, that this isn’t a queer issue.
They seem to ignore that when you defund Planned Parenthood, you are denying access to important resources that queer folks rely on each and every day.
It’s the hormones that will save a trans person’s life; it’s the HIV test and the support that helps a queer youth; it’s the exam that detects cancer before it takes a life; it’s the miscarriage care that helps a lesbian couple when their world is turned upside-down; it’s the preventative vaccine that protects us down the road; it’s the LGBT youth group that helps queer teens feel less alone.
It’s care that we might not otherwise have access to because of socio-economic barriers. It’s care that my partner and I have relied on for years because Planned Parenthood was the only place we felt safe and, often times, the only place we could go.
Planned Parenthood stands with queer folks every day, and gives them a safe space to get the necessary support that they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives. So why aren’t we standing with them?
It’s horrifying that so many LGBTQ media platforms have had plenty of time to publish (multiple!) articles on Kim Davis but can’t seem to write a single word on Planned Parenthood, despite there being so much more at stake.
It’s disappointing that countless queer folks remain silent while our elected officials try to pull funding from an organization that supports us, as if this doesn’t affect us or our community.
And I’m frustrated by this idea that the attacks on Planned Parenthood are exclusively a “cis women’s issue,” as if queer folks of every stripe aren’t impacted when you strip us of the resources that we rely on for our sexual and/or reproductive health.
I’m proud of the folks who have openly and unapologetically stated their support. But they are too few and far between.
Our considerable silence on this issue is not just hurting Planned Parenthood. It’s hurting ourselves, our families, and our community.
It’s time for all of us to stand with Planned Parenthood. Because even if you haven’t stepped foot in one of their clinics, I can promise you that you know a queer person who has.
Visit Planned Parenthood Action to learn more and find out how you can help.