Trans and gender-expansive populations face a healthcare crisis in the United States and abroad. Trans people are less likely to seek healthcare, and more likely to delay seeking care when they’re sick or injured, than their cisgender counterparts. When they do seek care, trans patients often have to educate their doctors about their health, face discrimination from clinic staff, and encounter physical and structural violence from healthcare providers.
Outshine NW is a small, Trans-led non-profit organization working to promote LGBTQ health and equity through education and advocacy. We actively engage medical professionals, social service providers, and community members from all walks of life to bridge communication divides and heal people.
We have planned an intensive working and healing retreat for core staff and volunteers, taking place outside the country this winter. The purpose of the retreat is two-fold:
1) To provide space for those driving our work to connect with training and community in order to develop professional skills needed to successfully advocate for healthcare equity and to heal from trauma endured in the name of transphobia.
Skill-building: Volunteers are matched with mentors conducting trans-focused health research and healthcare. Trans communities are dramatically underrepresented in healthcare professions, which limits the progress of trans-centered care and results in very few role models for aspiring trans healthcare professionals. Through ONW’s network of trans health researchers and healthcare professionals, each volunteer will be matched with a mentor. Your support will allow us to facilitate these mentoring relationships and provide volunteers with training in professional skills specific to an aspect of advocacy in trans and LGBQ healthcare.
Community healing: The working-healing retreat was designed using a trauma-informed, radical self care framework maintained by core staff and is supported by outside mentors and volunteers. Mental health is a critical concern among trans communities as a result of interpersonal and structural violence. Your support of this fundraiser helps to build a safe and healing space. This community healing also includes the area surrounding the retreat, as we work to strengthen and engage meaningfully with the individuals and local businesses who enable and support our presence.
2) To develop Outshine NW’s core programs to promote trans-led, trans-centered health research and care. We have identified two initiatives as the focus of this retreat.
Trans health buddy system: Using the combined expertise of volunteers attending and working at this retreat, we aim to design a training manual for our “buddy system” program, where trans individuals and their allies learn specific skills to advocate for trans patients in medical settings. Your support enables us to take on one of our highest priorities: reducing barriers for trans folks to access the healthcare they need and deserve!
Trans-focused, community-driven HIV prevention educational materials: Educational materials promoting health behaviors such as prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections are rarely inclusive of trans individuals, and even more rarely targeted specifically toward trans individuals. We aim to design materials for an HIV prevention campaign designed by, featuring, and targeting trans individuals. Your support allows ONW staff and volunteers to collaborate among themselves and with outside community organizations to identify specific gaps in public health materials and design campaigns addressing those gaps.
Donations to this fundraiser directly support travel and lodging for our volunteers first and foremost. Additional funds help to cover administrative expenses, internet costs, and sliding-scale legal support as our startup organization works to obtain independent 501c3 status.
Share the wealth for our health by donating and sharing this #GivingTuesday! https://www.generosity.com/volunteer-fundraising/outshine-nw-winter-working-retreat/