2023 National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week
One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, is celebrating the 21st National LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week from March 20-24, 2023 in partnership with the National Coalition of LGBTQ Health. This year's theme is "Awake & Aware."
Awake to what’s happening and aware of what's right.
Despite a number of positive steps forward, LGBTQ+ people continue to face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services. This includes the discrimination they encounter from insurers and medical providers, as well as the delays or denials of care they face. In addition, in many cases, a lack of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity is the primary source of these barriers.The recent introduction of new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the country is a major concern for LGBTQ+ healthcare advocates. These bills target transgender and nonbinary youth’s ability to play sports, receive gender-affirming medical care, use bathrooms that align with their gender identities, and more.This Week is intended to help the healthcare community advocate for reducing barriers to LGBTQ+ persons by creating and maintaining safe, inclusive and welcoming environments—and ensuring quality, accessible and non-discriminatory health care.
Throughout this week, One Colorado will be sharing LGBTQ+ Health information, resources, and inspiration on social media. Follow along on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and subscribe to our emails to stay up-to-date on LGBTQ+ health news, resources, and opportunities to get involved!If this work is important to you, please make a one-time or monthly donation to support One Colorado's LGBTQ Health Equity Program!
Gender-Affirming Care Resources:
- Transformative Freedom Fund – TFF supports transgender Coloradans by removing financial barriers to transition related healthcare. Applications for funding are currently open through April 1, 2023.
- Plume – Plume provides gender-affirming care directly from your smartphone. Membership with Plume includes everything you need to start, continue, and maintain your gender-affirming hormone treatment.
- Folx – Get the care you deserve with medical providers who get you. Get quality, affirming support on your time from the comfort of your home.
Gender-Affirming Mental Health & Community Health:
- Transgender Center of the Rockies
- The Center on Colfax Transgender Programs
- Queer Asterisk
- Joy as Resistance
- I Matter.
- Word of mouth (friends, social media, support groups)
- Call your health insurance plan
- LGBTQ community centers and databases
- Search provider profiles
- Ask about the provider’s experience
Note: It is your right to change providers without need to explain yourself.Gender-Affirming Closet Resource in Colorado:
- Marsha's Closet – Denver, CO Located at the Transgender Center of the Rockies in Denver, Marsha's closet offers gender-affirming clothes and products to gender-expansive and trans folks at no cost. Some products offered include: clothing, shoes, binders, breast forms, beauty products, and menstrual products.
2023 Colorado Essential Health Benefits Benchmark PlanColorado is the first state to include gender-affirming care in our state's benchmark plan. This means insurance companies must cover certain procedures such as electrolysis, chest surgery, and facial feminization surgery.The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) has created a Gender-Affirming Care Coverage Guide that outlines which insurance companies currently cover which services, with many going beyond the DOI requirements.
Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:
- I Matter. – I Matter is a public behavioral health program funded by the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health. I Matter provides at least 3 free counseling sessions for every youth in Colorado.
- Queer Asterisk – Queer Asterisk Therapeutic Services provides queer-informed counseling services "with an emphasis on queer resilience and vitality." They accept Medicaid, most private insurance providers, and offer sliding scale and full/partial scholarships. (Telehealth appointments available.)
- YouthSeen – Youth Seen offers mental health services, youth support groups, training & education, and short term case-management for youth. Youth Seen specifically works toward supporting QTBIPOC folks in Colorado.
- Joy As Resistance – Joy as Resistance provides one-on-one therapy, group sessions, and family consultation for folks ages 10-24. They also have a "Big Queer, Little Queer" mentorship program to connect youth with queer adult mentors. (Telehealth appointments available.)
- i Am Clinic – i Am Clinic serves the LGBTQ+ community and their family members, and offers individual, couples, and family counseling. They specialize in sexuality, trans identity, parents of LGBTQ+ children, anger management, anxiety/depression, and trauma therapy. (Telehealth appointments available.)
- The True Center by Children's Hospital Colorado – In addition to gender-affirming medical care, the TRUE Center for Gender Diversity provides counseling services for gender-expansive youth in Colorado. They have a pediatric clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, art therapist, and multiple social workers on staff. (Telehealth appointments available.)
Community Building Resources for LGBTQ+ Youth:
- Out Boulder County – Boulder, CO
- Out Front Youth Group by the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance – Pueblo, CO
- Denver Element NXT Drop-in – Denver, CO
- Inside Out Youth Services – Colorado Springs, CO
- Rainbow Alley at the Center on Colfax – Denver, CO
- Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center – Durango, CO
- Fortaleza Familiar – Commerce City, CO
What is a gender support plan?
Gender Spectrum created a document called a "Gender Support Plan" for gender expansive youth to communicate with school staff, other students, and parents on how to best support and affirm them. Sections of a Gender Support Plan include:
- Parent/guardian involvement
- Confidentiality and disclosure
- Student safety
- Names, pronouns, and student records
- Use of facilities
- Extra curricular activities
- Next steps: a plan for review and revision