Philippines’ city introduces transgender care initiative for Pride Month

City mayor Joy Belmonte with trans women and other officials at the launch of the initiative. Photo lifted from X.
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The Quezon City government in the Philippines has introduced “Trans Health QC STARS,” a new program dedicated to addressing the health needs of transgender individuals in the country. This initiative, launched during Pride Month, is a significant step towards inclusivity and equality.

“Trans Health QC STARS” is designed to enhance healthcare services for transgender people, who often face unique and complex health challenges. By focusing on their specific needs, Quezon City aims to provide more comprehensive and compassionate care.

City Mayor Joy Belmonte, a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, highlighted the program’s importance at the launch event. She was joined by Anastacio Marasigan Jr., Acting Executive Director of TLF SHARE Inc., in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This partnership between the city and TLF SHARE Inc., an organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ health and rights, will help extend and improve health services for transgender and gender-diverse communities in Quezon City.

The program includes free consultations for gender-affirming hormone therapy, which is crucial for many transgender individuals looking to align their physical appearance with their gender identity. It also offers transgender-inclusive HIV services, addressing the higher risks and unique healthcare needs of transgender people regarding HIV.

Mayor Belmonte emphasized that the program goes beyond just healthcare. “The trans health program will provide essential services addressing the unique needs of transgender individuals, promoting their mental and emotional well-being. Transgender individuals often face significant mental health challenges due to societal stigma and discrimination. This initiative is more than just healthcare; it is a testament to our unwavering commitment to equity, dignity, and the well-being of every citizen, regardless of identity or sexual orientation,” she said.

Dr. Ramona Asuncion-Abarquez from the QC Health Department also spoke about the program’s benefits. She noted that it improves access to essential medical treatments and serves as a protective measure for the health of the transgender community. By offering inclusive and affirming services, the program aims to reduce health disparities faced by transgender individuals.

The initiative will also include educational campaigns and workshops for healthcare providers and the general public. These efforts aim to increase understanding of transgender health issues and combat the stigma and discrimination that often create barriers to care. By educating healthcare providers, the program seeks to ensure that transgender individuals receive respectful and competent medical care.

The launch of “Trans Health QC STARS” is a significant step forward in promoting health equity. It reflects a broader movement to recognize and address the diverse needs of all citizens. As Pride Month continues, the program stands as a beacon of progress and a reminder of the ongoing work needed to achieve true equality and inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community.

About Korina Estrada 186 Articles
A writer and an advocate of self-love and body positivity. She loves baking cookies, practicing her calligraphy, and creating short stories of local folklore.

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