Your treatment policy and core values at the Feminist Women’s Health Center were recently brought to light online before several feminist communities — including fourth-wave trans feminists like me — on how your clinic adequately treats cis women and trans men.
Your clinic, in contradiction to its name, the Feminist Women’s Health Center, categorically treats men (trans men are still men), while it categorically refuses to treat women — that is, any woman who discloses that she has a transsexual body. Your core values categorically begin with this statement: “We provide quality healthcare and community education regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic or immigration status.”
First of all, I would like to personally thank you for your suggestions and thoughts on the Trans Health Initiative Program here at the Feminist Health Center. As an organization dedicated toserving our community, we take your questions and concerns very seriously and with much thought. As a direct result of your feedback there has been much discussion in regards to our services provided and the demographics we serve.
To clarify any misunderstood details,the Feminist Health Center is a gynecological clinic. Our mission statement, which can be found on our websiteat www.feministcenter.org, is to “to provide accessible, comprehensive gynecological healthcare to all who need it without judgment.” Thus, we operate and have the capacity to first and foremost meet the medical needs of those seeking gynecological services. Besides those focused programs, we are happy to meet any other needs to the best of our abilities.
Specifically regarding trans healthcare, we are proud to offer various gynecological services including lower exams, colposcopies, wellness lab work, and biopsies as well as testosterone hormone replacement therapy. This program dedicated to trans men was created 12 years ago with support from Lola Cola, partner of Robert Eads of the documentary film “Southern Comfort.” Regardless of gender identity and/or sexual identity, we are happy to provideHIV, STI/STD testing, counseling and referrals. The Trans Health Initiative is not a “partner” but rather an additional program of our Center. Because of our limited capacities of wide-range healthcare services as a gynecological clinic, we are not equipped to serve the specific medical needs of trans women, cisgendered males or estrogen hormone replacement therapy. Thus, our reasons for not offering hormone replacement therapy for trans women are because we are not currently able as a clinic to provide that type of care. However, we are more than happy to welcome any person of any gender identity and/ or sexual identity into our clinic and offer them the best support we can, including referrals to doctors and community organizations. In addition, we are equipped to assist with physician-ordered lab work for trans women who are on hormone replacement therapy.
FWHC is working to move beyond gender binaries and conflating “woman” to “person with a uterus.” As a result of your feedback we are re-evaluating and revising our website and other marketing materials to be more inclusive and more clear about who we are able to serve. At the same time, we have to walk a fine line between moving beyond biological essentialism and gender binaries and speaking the language of our clients. We have to “meet people where they are at” so that we can move forward together.
As a clinic and organization, we are dedicated to our community and having conversations tobroaden our commitment to inclusivity. Unfortunately, the issue of concern is not something that can be fixed overnight. We hope to continue down this “progressive road” with your support and suggestions. Roadblocksthat include funding and expanding our staff are issues that limit us in our scope of provided services. Rest assured, we take your concerns to heart and we are going to continue this conversation in the clinic and in the community. Thank you for your patience and time—-I apologize for the lengthy email but we highly value these concerns and hope to continue to foster this conversation with you in reaching our goals.
*I just want to note that the formatting of this email made it obvious that it was a cut-and-paste response.
Voicing may coincide with coming out, or it may precede coming out on the order of several years. Voicing describes when a trans person first distinguishes themselves from cis people. To voice oneself might precede any self-awareness of concepts like “trans”, “transgender”, “transsexual”, or “gender non-conforming” — such as when a CAFAB child confidently maintains that they are a boy. Voicing signals one’s visceral, unassailable self-awareness that they are trans.
Voicing is unique to the life experiences of trans and gender non-conforming people, as it affirms how an omnipresent cissexism inherent to the cisnormative corridors systemically disrupts and interferes with a trans person’s own self-paced path toward their healthy transition.
The conscious, deliberate act of confiding trust in a person(s) or institution that one is transgender, has a transsexual body or, in some cases, is in some way gender non-conforming.
Disclosure is contrasted against coming out, in that disclosure may occur several times throughout the post-coming out lifetime of some trans persons, whereas for other trans persons it may never occur at all. A trans person, similar to those who have non-heteronormative sexual orientations, may experience coming out once — namely around when they first voice themselves as trans and not cis.
A trans person who is afforded a degree of cis transparency reserves the elective decision to disclose themselves as trans as they determine to be appropriate. Disclosure is a conscious act of autonomous agency, of choosing to entrust another party with personal information which — in that trans person’s judgement — may be useful for a particular situation (for example, disclosing to a new physician or to a potential life partner).
In of itself, disclosure is not a political statement. Disclosure, however, affirms the continuing boundary of social privacy to which a trans person is entitled — much as cis persons already enjoy. A conscious absence of disclosure to other parties neither harms, helps, nor impacts those who have not earned that trans person’s implicit trust. An absence of disclosure affirms that the person(s) or institution in question must first earn the trust of that trans person on the trans person’s undisclosed terms — leaving it exclusively to the trans person if and/or when it is safe to disclose that they are trans.
In short, disclosure is a social reflection of respecting and dignifying trans people’s humanity; their ability to make decisions for themselves; and their privacy. Disclosure places the burden of a trans person’s trust to those persons or institutions who have yet to earn it.
(trigger warning: sexual violence, relationship abuse)
we are not gonna mess with telling you more than what’s already been said. here’s what we want you to do:
— write an open letter taking full responsibility for your rapes of e.w. and lauren, and your abuse of us and any other partners. do not mince words, do not explain yourself, just say outright that you are a serial rapist, are terrible at consent, are a violent misogynist in both beliefs and practice, and have been an abusive partner in the majority of your relationships. send this letter to every organization that has ever given you a platform, including: the orange county ftm group, the arizona transmasculine society, TRACK, arizona state university’s lgbtq coalition, and the huffington post.
— resign from any positions of power you hold. that includes the self made men, az feminist action network, one in ten, phoenix youth pride, and any other positions that include you working with people who do not have access to male privilege.
— take down your blog, your youtube channel, and any other “educational” platforms you may manage. never again give a workshop, run or organize a lecture, accept a speaking position, or ever spout your brand of “activism” before another human being. explicitly renounce your role as an educator. do not ever again refer to yourself as an activist, a role model, a teacher, an example, or an ally (even aspiring).
— do not participate in any activist events, meetings, online forums, protests, workshops, parties, or any other gatherings, in person or online. remove yourself from any community where you might interact with someone who does not have access male privilege, or where you might convince someone who has access to male privilege to act as you have.
— do not EVER contact e.w. again. do not contact our friends or family members. relinquish all claims to shared social and activist circles to us. do not contact our mutual acquaintances to talk about us. do not read our blogs. do not read our facebooks. basically, remove yourself entirely from our lives, forever.