By Victoria Michaels special for Diversity News Magazine
The T-HOUSE Project, originally created in 2007, is proud to introduce a new, re-invented 2012 online organization for the transgender community and would like to invite all new and existing members to take an inside sneak peak at the latest features available and get registered now to become part of the newest “online power house” for the Transgender Community across the nation.
T-House is a non-profit organization and features an exclusive new web site, www.T-houseonline.com
which is where interested individuals may register and now includes national and local transgender linkage and care, health and medical resources for the T-Community, national and local news updates, listing of events and groups, and a special section for Trans-youth.
Today, fully implemented by the by the Health Departments, it provides a myriad of additional information including an providing easy accessibility to important information on HIV / STD testing, events calendar, special topics and nationwide articles to keep you in the know while addressing the growing needs within the transgender community. Recent analytics show that T-House on line has reached an average viewer base of over 1800 consistently and still growing.
The purpose of T-HOUSE is to benefit Transgender and gender-questioning providing quality information regarding HIV testing, HIV/AIDS related services and providers, assistance regarding service access, and determining those eligible for Ryan White funded services. Our values are in providing important Transgender community information regarding events, activities and news features, and providing cultural competency training to service providers so they have the tools to address the needs of transgender clients. Just one of many exciting events planned for 2013 is the 3rd annual Transgender Medical Symposium.
The greatest aspiration is for T-House to be a group in which “EVERYONE” can bring something to the table and T-House wants to insure new and existing members that all of their contributions for their newsletter are welcome and will be embraced with high regarded upon review. T-House encourages group effort, group input, and a family type atmosphere.
TERI (Transgender Equality Rights Initiative) which has been a pioneer for the T-Community for years is now headed by Jacqui Charvet who oversees the organization. It is sad that attendance has been reduced dramatically at TERI meetings and serious concerns from members of the T-Community are worried that TERI may be in jeopardy of failing . Although the community as a whole would like to see the organization succeed once again, TERI’S success depends on the participation of the transgender community. Members of the community have offered to help, but it wasn’t embraced.
TERI still produces their own weekly news letter called, “Transgender Digest,” which is valuable to the T-Community. Articles submitted to the “Digest” are reviewed for content approval before being offered to the community. However, we have heard that so many of the articles do not get recognized and there have been complaints some people have been “dropped” from the email list without an explanation.
Jodi Ihme coordinator of the program expressed,” The T-House project and THIA don’t just work to cover matters concerning health care. They are all inclusive programs working to create a community comradery through a support and informational system that transgender individuals can call their own. One of our goals is to create a news letter, supported by news worthy articles related to Trans-topics. “I have seen to many good transgender publications turn into a dating zone or dating site with pictures posted of people seeking a companion and that is not what this is about. I know there are transgender individuals out there that do look for substance and quality with educational value and ultimately that is the goal with T-House.”
“We have always looked at this program as all inclusive reaching out to all aspects of the transgender-gender questioning community, a support system that can cover anything from individual needs to what to expect when transitioning genders.” In addition Ihme goes on to say “ An area we are also looking at is developing a comfortable “safe space location” to be able to discuss anything, which also includes sharing information imperative to safety and well being. “
Recently T House introduced their THIA program “Transgender Health in Action” a local initiative serving as an off spring under the guideline’s of the nationwide CATCH assessment developed by the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at the UCSF, The goal of THIA is to provide mentorship to new comers, a sense of well being and self worth while addressing safety issues, prevention, and stigma within the local transgender community.
During the past 2 years we have spent a great deal of time building a comprehensive referral and directory, designed to afford service providers, as well as the community the availability to access transgender specific care. We welcome any information from transgender individuals on service providers that they have had experience with to submit their contact information to us to include in this booklet. It is an ongoing process, and one that requires continued community dedication to keep it current.
About Florida Department of Health:
To protect and promote the health of all residents and visitors in the state through organized state and community efforts, including cooperative agreements with counties. For more information visit http://www.doh.state.fl.us/
Source: Florida Department of Health
Graphic credit to: T-HOUSE Project