RAD Remedy: Be a part of the remedy!
Synopsis (TL;DR Version)
Donations to this campaign will help fund initiatives that address the significant health disparities and care barriers faced by trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer (TGIQ) communities. The most impactful of these projects is the Referral Aggregator Database (RAD), a Yelp-style database designed specifically to connect TGIQ folks to safe, affirming, and comprehensive care nationwide. This database currently has 2,000 resources throughout the country, with each state represented. Each and every week, we’re adding new resources and updating old ones. Additionally, we are working on adding new features to improve functionality and user experience.
The RAD Remedy team has been at this since March 2014, and has loved every minute of outreach and collaboration with local organizations all over the country. In addition to prioritizing geographically under-resourced areas, RAD Remedy is diving deeper into outreach to and support of underserved groups (examples: undocumented folks, people of color, active duty service members and veterans, sex workers, intersex folks, seniors, youth, fat folks, kinky folks, etc).
RAD Remedy is taking a multi-system, empowerment-based approach to addressing health barriers faced by trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer (TGIQ) communities. Because we are operating on a national level, and given the variety of issues occurring in communities across the country, we have chosen to focus on basic access to care and building individual capacity for navigating systems of care.
These are some of the big barriers to care, as stated first-hand by respondents to our needs assessment survey:
Lack of Access to Providers: “Searching [for providers] and testing each place is draining and exhausting.” | “[I’m] tired of putting off visiting the doctor for fear of bad care.” | “[My] experiences have made me distrust the medical and mental health care systems.”
Discrimination in Healthcare Settings: “My [doctor] doesn’t treat me like a person.” | “I once had to pull out my own catheter because a nurse didn’t want to touch me.”
Providers Who Lack Cultural Competence: “I generally have negative experiences with doctors who view my identity as psychologically ‘abnormal’ or as a medical concern and who spend time trying to tell me why that is rather than just listening to me define my own experience and tell them what I need from them or what my own concerns are.”
Current Efforts to Improve TGIQ Healthcare
There are many trainings for healthcare professionals on different aspects of trans health, but there isn’t a good understanding about who is teaching them or how often these are being accessed. They differ greatly in content and quality. On top of this, organizations and trainers often have different ideas about what it means to provide trans affirming care. There are also a growing number of community specific healthcare agencies that seek to provide competent services to our communities.
Community organizations have been compiling resource lists of known and/or suggested providers. Most TGIQ groups have little capacity to do this, but they respond to the needs of their community anyway. While they are a great starting point, they are at times static and cannot provide adequate information for the diverse needs of our communities. There is no built-in feedback loop for these organizations to hear back about the care people receive. Most of all, these resource lists take a lot of time and effort to manage and thus become quickly outdated.
What We’re Doing About It
RAD (Referral Aggregator Database) is an interactive database of care providers that serve trans, gender non-confirming, intersex, and queer populations. It allows individuals to find providers, review the providers they see, and it will allow us to see trends where things need improvement. RAD has a wide variety of care providers included, from medical care, housing, and legal services to yoga and massage. It is currently in an open beta, which means that we haven’t entered all the data we have, though we have almost 2000 resources listed currently. Additionally, we are still working on adding new functionality to add to user experience and more detailed search options.
Zines. Our first one is entitled “Dr. RAD’s Super Sparkly Super Splendid Very Queer Health Show!” We are currently partnering with radical illustrator Isabella Rotman to release a zine/medical guide about self-exams and checkups in ways that are affirming for our people. We have other topics we’d like to cover in the future, like hormone options and getting the most out a doctor appointment. They will be made available for patients and providers alike, in print and online. ·
Consulting. We provide consulting services for providers of all kinds, examining systems, processes, and intake forms, making things easier for trans, gender non-conforming, intersex, and queer folks to navigate.
Money raised through this campaign will go through our fiscal sponsor (FORGE, Inc) which is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. Therefore donations can be received as tax-deductible, but that will need to be specifically requested.