After focusing on the health needs of the trans and gender non-conforming communities last year, Trans Pride Initiative is adding health screenings for the entire LGBT community at a health fair Saturday.
Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, said she planned a Chest & Breast Wellness Day at UT Southwestern Medical Center last year so gender non-conforming individuals would have access to healthcare without feeling uncomfortable or facing discrimination at a doctor’s office.
This year’s event on Saturday is called the Out Healthy Fair. It will again feature chest/breast screenings, diagnostic exams and same-day results, and informative presentations will be offered throughout the day on various topics like skin cancer, lung cancer and smoking cessation. A transgender Affordable Care Act coordinator will also be in attendance.
“We’re trying to expand our audience and we’re expanding the types of things we’re offering,” Gaither said.
Last year, UT Southwestern saw about 15 people, but Gaither said the response from people who attended and the training of the staff helped Trans Pride refer LGBT people to the hospital throughout the year for services because they knew they’d be comfortable.
“Our original idea was to expand it and grow it each year so that it became more of an LGBT community-wide health event for the entire LGBTQI community and something that the trans community could say this is us, this is our work for the entire community as a way of instilling trans pride,” she said.
Screening costs are covered by sponsors for persons who don’t have insurance or whose insurance won’t cover them. While people can call to schedule an appointment, Gaither said walk-ins are encouraged on Saturday.
Dallas Voice’s coverage of the event last year sparked interest in other departments at UT Southwestern. Gaither said she expects more departments to participate in future years to again grow the event.
Vendor booths will include participation from UTSW Community Prevention and Intervention Unit, AIDS Arms, LULAC Rainbow Council 4871, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Black Transmen Inc., Black Transwomen Inc., Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, AmeriDoc, University of North Texas Center for Psychosocial Health Research, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Transgender Education Network of Texas and Lambda Legal.
The Out Healthy Fair is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Seay Biomedical Building, 2201 Inwood Road. To schedule an appointment, call 214-645-2526. For more information, go here.