Recently, the Washington, DC LGBTQ community lost a giant. Fausto Fernandez, a physician, advocate and champion for the LGBTQ Latino community, peacefully passed away at 80 years old. For the last decade, Dr. Fernandez served mostly low-income, uninsured patients, many of whom were immigrants. He saw many patients who had no other options for healthcare and did so for a very low fee or for no fee at all. Many consider Dr. Fernandez, who was an out gay physician, a hero. Aside from his charitable work as a physician, he organized events in the LGBTQ community such as education and HIV prevention presentations, gay movie nights and other meetings to support the community.
As an observer of the LGBTQ community in Washington, DC, I continue to be impressed with resources and individuals who devote themselves to bettering the LGBTQ, the way Dr. Fernandez did. Casa Ruby is another example of a resource that serves the LGBTQ community. It’s mission is to create success life stories among the LGBTQ community. It’s vision is to create a world where individuals of the community can purie their dreams and achieve success in their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or gender identity/gender expression.
They provide an enormous amount of resources and support to the local community. This is all in the backdrop of a White House whose current occupant has little to no regard for the LGBTQ community. For example, President Trump enacted a transgender military ban, barring members of the LGBTQ community from serving our country. President Trump has insisted on targeting this community almost from the day he took office. In early 2017, upon taking his oath of office, President Trump rolled back an Obama-era memo directing schools to protect trans students from discrimination.
My hope is that more individuals and organizations like Dr. Fernandez and Casa Ruby come to the defense of the LGBTQ community, given the magnitude to which it has been used as a punching bag by the President and his allies.
LGBTQ Healthcare Directory is one of many organizations has been created for the LGBTQ community, especially the transgender and queer communities to find affirming healthcare options. They have created detailed lists outlining available healthcare professionals able to tend to almost any health needs. Whether it is physical or mental, their services aim to provide the best treatment and make such treatments readily available and easily accessible. It is important that individuals are able to access healthcare options despite their interests and values, and LGBTQ Healthcare Directory makes it a top priority to do so. Their goal is to work with all healthcare professionals until their entire office can provide an LBTQIA+ affirming experience through the entire process of the visit to the doctor’s office or therapy office. There is no reason people should be discriminated against due to their sexual orientation and members of the LGBTQ community are entitled to have access to equal resources and opportunities in our society. It will take a unified effort to shed light on the societal differences with this community, but with time and with action we can continue to spread awareness and enact change.