Prism Health Logo Unveiled!

CAP is thrilled to unveil the new logo for Prism Health, our LGBTQ+ primary care center opening in Spring of 2017!

Located at 2236 SE Belmont Street in Portland, Prism Health will offer a safe, affirming, and non-judgmental space where all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community can obtain the compassionate and culturally effective health care they need and deserve.

In addition to comprehensive primary care, it is anticipated that the center will offer specialized services for the transgender community, HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing, mental health care, and specialty pharmacy services. With this health center, CAP is committed to removing barriers, improving access, and most importantly providing quality health care for all LGBTQ+ patients in the Portland metro region.

Patients do not have to be LGBTQ+ to receive care, but services will focus on addressing the sensitive issues of sexual minorities and their families and friends.

To sign up for more information about Prism Health visit: www.prismhealth.org

Trans Day of Remembrance: Honoring Trans Lives Lost in 2016

A Message From CAP’s Executive Director 

Yesterday, November 20th, we observed Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those who have lost their lives simply for living their truth.

Despite the great strides we have made in our fight for equality and human rights, this year alone, more than 21 transgender Americans – mostly women of color – were tragically murdered because of their gender identity. These devastating losses highlight just how much work we still have ahead of us. Separately from these threats of physical violence, simply accessing health care, housing, education and employment opportunities can be like navigating a minefield for people of trans experience.

transgender-memorial1

One of the most valuable roles I play as Executive Director of CAP, is hearing from our community. In response to feedback from many past and current staff and community members, earlier this year CAP committed to building organizational capacity for trans-inclusion and trans-affirming practices. In this process, it has been important that we recognize and acknowledge that CAP has not always been historically responsive enough to trans communities. As the leader of this organization, I have a responsibility to understand where we have made missteps along the way, to learn from them and make a commitment to doing better.

After extensive conversations, CAP hired external consultants to bring expertise from outside of the organization. This decision was made as part of understanding that we cannot rely solely on trans staff at CAP to bear the workload of building trans-affirming practices at the organization. Consultants contracted with CAP to improve trans-affirming practices across the organization, both for internal policies and work culture as well as external service work, particularly through the Employment Program, known as Bridges to Work.

A new trans-affirming committee has been formed at CAP and in the coming months will be finalizing and tracking progress on the trans strategic plan that our consultants helped us to draft. They will also develop and monitor organizational benchmarks around trans service outcomes and engagement of trans communities.

CAP is committed to moving forward to make meaningful change for better-serving trans communities.

Sincerely,

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Tyler TerMeer
Executive Director

Stigma & Employment Discrimination

stig·ma
ˈstiɡ-mə/
noun
A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. “the stigma of mental disorder”.  Synonyms: shame, disgrace, dishonor, ignominy, opprobrium, humiliation, (bad)

For the folks in Bridges to Work, CAP’s Employment Program, dealing with employment-related stigma is a reality. It is no new fact that both trans individuals and those living with HIV/AIDS are fighting an uphill battle with every step in the journey towards employment. As The Center for HIV Law and Policy writes, “HIV-related stigma is among the most formidable obstacles for people living with HIV and their advocates… it creates very real obstacles for people with HIV in obtaining treatment, housing, education, and employment, all of which are essential to their health.” HIV-related stigma works against individuals looking to increase their confidence, engage or re-engage in the workforce, and improve wellbeing.

Bridges to work

For folks who are transgender, research proves an equally difficult struggle against stigma. A study published by the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, Vol 1(2), June 2014, 146-158, states “Stigma toward transgender individuals (i.e., transphobia) poses significant barriers to employment and other areas of functioning. Transgender individuals with a history of mental health concerns may encounter double stigma.” The National Transgender Discrimination Study, published by The National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality reports that 90% of trans individuals have experienced harassment or discrimination on the job. Even more so, in the Positively Trans study of 2016, trans and gender nonconforming people living with HIV in the US stated employment discrimination as the second of their top 5 health concerns, only behind HIV-related discrimination.

I have the privilege of working with individuals who have seen the underbelly of our culture and continue to experience work-related discrimination based on their HIV status and/or their gender. Each week in Job Club, we support each other through the hard parts of looking for a job and encourage each other for the week ahead.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors.” The individuals, who I have the honor of working with daily, are quintessentially resilient. They are endlessly inspiring and brave in the face of employment-related stigma and discrimination. Bridges to Work is invested in the act of working with individuals towards their goal of employment. The statistics are reminders that our work is not done, in fact it has just begun.

By Effie Stansbery

Effie