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The trans­gen­der com­mu­nity is def­i­nitely hav­ing a mo­ment, with Lav­erne Cox, Cait­lyn Jen­ner and other high pro­file trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als step­ping into the spot­light and start­ing con­ver­sa­tions over the past year or so. But out­side of that spot­light, there re­main a num­ber of trou­bling is­sues af­fect­ing the com­mu­nity, from the rash of mur­ders of trans­gen­der women, high HIV rates in trans­gen­der women, lack of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity over­all, and so on.

HIV/AIDS and over­all health ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion Some­one Cares Inc. of At­lanta aim to ad­dress some of those is­sues at their third an­nual Na­tional Trans Health Sym­po­sium on Nov. 12–13 at the Lou­d­er­milk Con­fer­ence Cen­ter.

Some­one Cares is look­ing for physi­cians, nurses, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers, front­line clin­i­cal staff, so­cial work­ers, case man­agers, men­tal health/sub­stance abuse coun­selors, peo­ple from the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity, and oth­ers to take part in the event, the theme of which is “Open­ing the Doors of Op­por­tu­nity—the Trans­gen­der Per­spec­tive.”

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, sub­stance abuse ses­sions on sched­ule

An open­ing night re­cep­tion at Jun­gle At­lanta on Thurs­day, Nov. 12 will lead into a packed day at the Na­tional Trans Health Sym­po­sium on Fri­day.

“The round­table dis­cus­sions will cover every­thing from do­mes­tic vi­o­lence to per­sonal safety, hor­mone re­place­ment ther­apy, em­ploy­ment bar­ri­ers, just the dif­fer­ent is­sues that peo­ple deal with,” says Ron­nie Bass, founder and CEO of Some­one Cares. “We’re talk­ing about com­mu­nity-based resources, and that can in­clude any­thing from men­tal health to med­i­cal care as well as just on­go­ing sup­port.”

Ad­di­tional sub­jects on the sched­ule for the round­table dis­cus­sions in­clude the Trans Lives Mat­ter move­ment, hu­man sex traf­fick­ing,

Oc­to­ber 30, 2015

Some­one Cares Inc. of At­lanta CEO and founder Ron­nie Bass will give a wrap-up speech to the crowd in at­ten­dance at the Na­tional Trans Health Sym­po­sium on Nov. 12–13. (Cour­tesy photo) sub­stance abuse in the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity, trans­gen­der le­gal is­sues and more. Speak­ers in­clude Olga Lugo-Tor­res from Gilead Sciences, Ses Soltani from AIDS Health­care Foundation, Hol­i­day Sim­mons from Lambda Le­gal, nu­mer­ous physi­cians and other med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, and a sym­po­sium wrap-up by Bass on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Get­ting trans­gen­der in­di­vid­u­als proper in­sur­ance cov­er­age will be an­other ma­jor fo­cus of the sym­po­sium, with Bass say­ing that in­sur­ance car­ri­ers don’t rec­og­nize trans­gen­der peo­ple as a pop­u­la­tion and that gen­der mark­ers need to be made avail­able in or­der to help cor­rect that.

“The trans­gen­der pop­u­la­tion at this con­fer­ence has an op­por­tu­nity to get em­pow­ered be­cause we are en­gag­ing our clients in an up­lift­ing, em­pow­er­ing way and build­ing com­mu­nity and vil­lage,” Bass says.

“It’s for them to talk amongst them­selves in a pos­i­tive way and just giv­ing them the knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion and even the con­sumer skills to go out and make good choices whether it’s about a physi­cian, whether it’s about med­i­ca­tion, their safety, about re­la­tion­ships, all of those things.”

Spon­sors of the event in­clude AIDS Health­care Foundation, Ful­ton County Depart­ment

2015 Na­tional Trans Health Sym­po­sium Open­ing Re­cep­tion:

Thurs­day, Nov. 12, 2015 at 6 p.m. at Jun­gle At­lanta

Fri­day, Nov. 13, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Lou­d­er­milk Con­fer­ence Cen­ter

Sym­po­sium: Early Bird Spe­cial: Reg­u­lar Reg­is­tra­tion: Group Rate of Five:

of Health and Well­ness, Janssen Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Com­pany and Emory Hope Clinic.

Key­note speaker to talk about self-em­pow­er­ment

The re­cent as­cen­dance of the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity in the na­tional con­ver­sa­tion over civil rights hasn’t gone un­no­ticed by Kylar W. Broadus, a trans­gen­der man and the key­note speaker for this year’s sym­po­sium. He just hopes the com­mu­nity can co­a­lesce in or­der to take ad­van­tage of it.

“We should all come to­gether to build a pow­er­ful trans move­ment, set­ting aside any dif­fer­ences be­cause trans peo­ple are ca­pa­ble of lead­ing our own move­ment,” he tells Georgia Voice. “Black peo­ple lead the civil rights move­ment and women lead the women’s move­ment, it makes sense that trans peo­ple lead the trans move­ment. We must re­al­ize that we are pow­er­ful as in­di­vid­u­als and to­gether.”

Broadus, a pro­fes­sor, at­tor­ney and long­time ac­tivist from Mis­souri who founded the Trans Peo­ple of Color Coali­tion, is tak­ing part in the sym­po­sium be­cause he feels it’s im­por­tant for trans­gen­der peo­ple and other marginal­ized pop­u­la­tions to take con­trol of their own health is­sues.

“I will be talk­ing about self-em­pow­er­ment,” he says of his key­note speech. “I think it’s im­por­tant for trans peo­ple to re­al­ize that we as in­di­vid­u­als are unique and spe­cial. We were born this way and are beau­ti­ful as we are. We are pow­er­ful peo­ple in our own right. We should love our­selves as we are and then oth­ers will love us. One way we can love our­selves is by tak­ing care of our phys­i­cal and men­tal health but also we can build wealth as well.”

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