Clinic facilities

Gender Health Clinic has a home in Connecticut

Hartford Healthcare is opening a new medical clinic to provide care for transgender and gender nonconforming patients.

Record-Journal reporter Cris Villalonga-Vivoni wrote about the Center for Gender Health and the many services it will offer: endocrinology, urology, gynecology, plastic surgery, voice therapy, primary care and behavioral health. We are accepting referrals and making appointments for when we will be welcoming patients in September. The center is located inside the Community Care Center at 132 Jefferson St., Hartford.

Dr. Patrick Cahill, medical director of the Community Care Center, said the goal is to create a safe space for those seeking medical attention.

According to Villalonga-Vivoni’s report, transphobia is frequently encountered, even in the medical field. A 2015 US transgender survey found that 29% of respondents who consulted a healthcare professional said they had had at least one negative sex-related experience, such as refusal of treatment, verbal harassment and even physical or sexual assault.

Dawn Ennis, a transgender woman, said: ‘There are too few places to help all trans people who need gender affirming care and that’s not just in Connecticut but across the states -United. People are going to travel from all over the country to Connecticut because they can’t get that kind of care where they live.

Ennis is likely correct in his assessment that with Hartford Healthcare offering these specialized services, the state stands out in a positive and welcoming way for those in need of care.

This isn’t the first time Connecticut has been at the forefront of taking a forward-thinking stance on human rights issues that other states have struggled to address.

In 2005, the state stood out as the second state, after Vermont, to pass a civil union law. In 2008, Connecticut went beyond civil unions to become the second state, after Massachusetts, to legalize same-sex marriage.

Governor Ned Lamont recently took advantage of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade in what has been called a corporate recruiting tool. He urged businesses “to move to a state that supports women’s rights.”

These examples, along with the progress seen in local schools, municipalities, and many faith communities, as well as private businesses, in accepting a wide range of individual expressions make Connecticut stand out.

This new Hartford Healthcare clinic can be seen as another part of creating a sanctuary state. A place where everyone has the freedom to pursue their best life.