Most people by now have heard about the Bruce Jenner story in the media; a former American athlete who won an Olympic Medal in 1976, and is also known as a reality TV-show stars on “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s.” Jenner recently publicly disclosed her story as a Transgender woman. Transgender can be defined as an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression is different from those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g. the sex listed on their birth certificate). In Jenner’s case, he is currently a man (the sex assigned to him at birth), but feels and is a woman (and vice versa). Jenner seems to have the social support and the means to go through with this change. Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate to have this opportunity.
The reality for most Transgender people is that they are often targets of extreme forms of discrimination, including hate crimes such as murder, rape, and assault. These individuals also experience discrimination during their everyday lives, such as in the work place, at school, at home, criminal justice system, the healthcare system, etc. These unfortunate realities can create dangerous and traumatic experiences for transgender individuals. For instance, many transgender teens are homeless due to lack of social support from family members. According to the article “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness,” a 2006 study done by N. Ray, shows that between 20 to 40 percent of homeless youth in the US identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Twenty-six percent of LGBT youth who come out to their parents are told to leave home. Many also report experiencing abuse both from family members and in shelters.
TPAC’s mission is to ensure the availability and coordination of comprehensive and integrative health and social services to individuals who experience:
We currently work with about 160 transgender individuals in the Philadelphia area. TPAC developed a center where trans women and men can find a safe place to be and care for themselves as well as to be able to access direct care in a non- traditional setting where medical and supportive services will go to them and not the other way around. Ultimately the “one stop shop model” enhances active engagement and retention in Quality Care for trans women and men.
TPAC provides a safe environment for trans-identified individuals to come to support groups, trainings and certification in prevention, counseling, testing and referrals as well as other certification trainings required to assist them achieve work readiness possibilities and positions such as outreach and peer specialist as well as certified prevention counselors.
Transformation group is planning the creation of a “Residence and Vertical Garden” to foment community development, sustainability and home independence. Furthermore, Transformation group will function as a self-sustaining commune where all house guests will contribute towards the facility maintenance and repairs and your support will help us get there!
The Transformation group will focus on identification of social norms in regards to emotional abuse in the transgender individual relationships with the hypothesis that traditional social norms can indicate actual or potential for engaging in high risk behaviors and/or sexual abuse, and thus the potential for HIV transmission or retransmission. In emotionally discriminative situations, the person being rejected is more likely to experience self-doubt and fear for safety- and be less likely to actually initiate discussion – around safer sex precautions. This increases their risk of contracting HIV and other STIs. Even if there is no actual physical violence involved, the threat of violence and discrimination can pressure someone into unsafe situations in order to “escape” and/or avoid the “pain”.
TPAC in collaboration with JFK Behavioral Health Center facilitates a support group for Transgender persons (Transformation Group) every Tuesday from 3pm to 5pm, for more information you can contact TPAC at 215-988-9970.
Charlene Moore Memorial Services at William Way, starting at 12:30 pm.
For next Counseling Certification Training
Contact: Anita Joshi 215 -9889970 x302