OUR MESSAGE TO FCA and FASERVIC
The largest need among the communities we serve is our low-income transgender clients. Increasing requests for assistance of all kinds is coming our way from so many of them. These are people across the age spectrum, from adolescents to seniors, and they are very frequently people of color who are rejected by their families and multiply stigmatized.
There is a rising tide of anger from a very vocal section of the community who seem determined to “other” anyone trans. That is particularly true of the most powerful voices with the biggest microphones among them who have no experience relating person to person with someone on a gender quest. They do not see neighbors who are fellow human souls aching to be true to themselves. They see only someone they consider freakish and disordered.
Many of our trans clients cannot afford medical assistance, even if they can get a medical provider to offer it. So many physicians are backing away from providing care because of threats to their own professional lives. We would channel any financial help we can get to the right sources to provide some kind of stability and hope for their future, whether it is assisting them with paying for hormones or even just getting decent clothing, make-up, binders, etc., to express their gender identity-- to be true to themselves.
We can establish a small discretionary fund to be used by our youth and adult transgender service teams to members of our adult ”SafeT” support group or the adolescents nearing the age of readiness for trans medical care. That often means helping them make it to age 18 now! Of course, those will likely be a small amount in the big picture. Still we could tell our clients that there are professional mental health people in our state who are saying to them “Unlike many, we don’t look AT you, we SEE you.”
We are very grateful for any way you can help us.
Jim Lopresti, PhD, LMHC-QS
SunServe Clinical Care Team
Florida Counseling Association is a non-profit organization, branch of the American Counseling Association.