Health/Fitness » Health

Fenway Health Launches Transgender Needs Assessment Survey

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Thursday Aug 8, 2013
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In an effort to assess the health and well-being of Massachusetts’s transgender and gender nonconforming adults, The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) and Fenway Health have collaborated on a needs assessment study entitled Project VOICE: Voicing Our Individual and Community Experiences.

"Project Voice is an exciting opportunity to work with and engage trans communities in Massachusetts," said Dr. Sari Reisner, research scientist at The Fenway Institute. "It is a chance to understand more about the health, well-being, and past and current experiences of stress that we as trans and gender nonconforming people face. Information from the project will help ensure public health efforts are grounded in the lived realities and needs of our community."

The 20-minute survey, entitled Project VOICE: Voicing Our Individual and Community Experiences, is available online and will be administered in-person at community organizations throughout Massachusetts this fall. Funded by the Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation, the needs assessment is an effort by MTPC and Fenway Health to assess the experiences of transgender and gender conforming residents of Massachusetts in the wake of the passage of H. 810, an "Act Relative to Gender Identity," which legally took effect on July 1, 2012.

Also known as the Transgender Equal Rights Law, the bill protects Massachusetts residents against gender identity discrimination in housing, credit, education and employment. While the passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Law was a huge coup for transgender and gender-nonconforming residents of Massachusetts and MTPC, who spearheaded the historic act, the bill failed to extend protections in public accommodations for gender identity.

"It is a chance to understand more about the health, wellbeing, and past and current experiences of stress that we as trans and gender nonconforming people face."

Now, a year after the legislation took effect, MTPC and Fenway Health have teamed up to examine the social stressors influencing health, including discrimination, among transgender and gender nonconforming people in Massachusetts.

Offered in both English and Spanish, the 20-minute survey is expected to yield robust data that can be used to inform programs and policies that help to create better opportunities, address stressors such as discrimination, and improve the health and well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming people across Massachusetts.

All transgender and gender non-conforming individuals aged 18 years or older, who have lived in Massachusetts in the past year are eligible to participate in the survey. Those who complete the survey, will have the chance to be entered into a raffle to win more than $500 in prizes, including an iPad mini.

To participate and/or learn more about the survey, visit www.fenwayhealth.org/voice, email the Project VOICE team at mtpcvoice@gmail.com or call 617-506-YOUR (9687).

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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