If you are looking for LGBTQ-friendly healthcare providers, visit OutCare's website. This organization is committed to maintaining a database of providers in all healthcare specialities, including mental health, endocrinology, surgeons, pediatrics, dentistry, and more. Their database allows for searches by geographic region and/or speciality. This is an ongoing collaborative project -- if you have had a great experience in the past with a provider, PLEASE submit their info for inclusion!
Thrive-ALis a medical clinic located in Huntsville, AL. While they specialize in offering screening and care for HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases (including PrEP), they also provide counseling, support, and resources for many folks who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Thrive-AL offers HRT for patients who choose to medically transition. (Please note, Thrive-AL is not an "informed consent" clinic, so patients will need a letter from a mental health professional in order to initiate HRT.)
Magic City Wellness Center (MCMW) is a LGBTQ community health center located in Birmingham, AL. They offer general medical and transition-related care (including HRT services), and also provide individual/couples counseling.
Affiliated with MCWC, is the Magic City Acceptance Center (MCAC), which provides services to LGBTQ+ youth and allies aged 13-24. They host such activities as movie nights, art workshops, health and wellness seminars, HIV/AIDS education and testing, support groups, and counseling services.
PFLAG (originally Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians & Gays) is a national organization with local chapters (including Birmingham and Huntsville, AL). PFLAG promotes engagement among LGBTQ persons, their families, & allies to support, advocate, & educate. Many local chapters hold support groups and social events.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is another national organization that focuses on advocacy & civil rights for LGBTQ+ persons. They also have state and local chapters to support engagement at the community level, along with a website chock-full of helpful resources.
The HRC recently published a guide for LGBTQ+ people of color called, "Coming Out: Living Authentically as Black LGBTQ People." This free, downloadable guide offers guidance for individuals navigating the coming out process, while addressing unique challenges created by the intersections of LGBTQ and black identities. The guide also explores historical and social issues, identifying oft-ignored pivotal black LGBTQ leaders and advocates.
Transgender Resources & Quick Links:
Parents, if you feel bewildered, confused, & at a loss of what to do/say to support your child, know that you are not alone. I encourage you to explore the following pages and organizations:
TransFamily Support Services (TFSS)provides support to families of trans- and gender diverse children, shaping a community where everyone feels welcome and affirmed. They offer support groups, school advocacy aid, and other services.
I am pleased to partner with the Huntsville, AL chapter of TFSS to offer a once monthly parent support group that meets with second Sunday of each month from 3-4:30pm. There is a supervised youth activity group that meets at the same time. Please call 938.238.2250 or email email@example.com for meeting location.
Check out Gender Spectrum. This site lists helpful information, terminology, & guides (e.g. how to talk to extended relatives, how to support your child at school, etc.)
HRC's "Schools in Transition" guide is a comprehensive resource for parents and educators of trans-students. With suggestions on such things as how to advocate for your child at school and how to address safety concerns, this is an invaluable resource.
I'm a huge fan of documentaries, believing the best way to learn about people is in their own words. Amazon has a number of documentary films, many of which are free to stream for Prime members. Here are a few of my favorites:
The WPATH-Standards of Care guide provides valuable information about transgender identity development and transition-related care for patients, providers, & families (free PDF download). This resource offers guidance and information for child, adolescents, & adults.
"Trans in the South" is a resource guide that lists trans-friendly providers and services in the southern United States. This list is ever-growing and evolving, so if you don't see what you are looking for now, check back again in future. (Also feel free to submit information for providers or agencies that you have found to be trans-friendly!)
"Southeastern Trans Resource Guide" is another handy guide listing resources across the Southeastern United States. Again, this resource guide is a continual work in progress, so check back periodically for updates (and submit your own suggestions!)
If you are wondering how to support a friend or loved one who is transgender, check out this "Ally Guide" put together by GLAAD, a national advocacy organization that is a great source for all kinds of information.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a national organization committed to advocating on behalf of trans-individuals for equal rights. The NCTE's website is a veritable fount of information on such matters as legal name change laws by state, bathroom usage, school safety, etc.
If you are in crisis:
If you feel like you are in imminent danger of harming yourself or experiencing serious thoughts of suicide, please call 9-1-1 or get to your nearest emergency room or hospital.
If you are struggling with thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or severe distress, but do not feel in imminent danger, please consider calling the following 24/7 hotlines: