There’s a little piece of San Francisco history – special to this wonderful city – that isn’t really all that well known except in a few communities. Transgender Tuesdays. 18 years ago a team of HIV providers at Tom Waddell Health Center and trans activists from every ethnicity broke the mold by providing something crucially needed. In 1993 Transgender Tuesdays clinic opened in the Tenderloin – the first public health clinic in the country specifically targeted toward transgendered people and their care.
Why is this important? Historically, trans people in the Tenderloin, the red light district of San Francisco, lived in lousy Single Room Occupancy hotels, and were at times homeless. Hormones came from medical “quacks” or on the unreliable street market. Even at the height of the AIDS epidemic, many transgendered folks mistrusted the health care system, and often faced life-and-death situations without help.
So why is it important now? Mark Freeman, a good friend of mine, was a Family Nurse Practitioner at Transgender Tuesdays clinic from its inception, until retiring last year. He is now directing a movie about the clinic’s groundbreaking work. You can find out more at the movie’s website, Transgender Tuesdays. And why would you care if you are not part of the trans community yourself? Well, first of all, the trans community is part of the rich tapestry of San Francisco and is part of your community if you live here. Second, the clinic described in the movie is an example of how to provide care and healthcare to a disadvantaged minority in the right way with dignity and respect. And finally, you simply should know more about the fantastic history of the community in which you live.
The team making the movie is crowdsourcing the funding via IndieGoGO and you can contribute here. Please do.