Texas has 125,000 trans people and now – finally – one free clinic to offer them care.
On Wednesday (8 March), the Lone Star State took a massive step back for trans rights. SB6 – their version of North Carolina’s bathrooom bill – cleared its first hurdle and is now on the way to the full Senate.
But yesterday (9 March), Austin took a step forward. Texas’ first free clinic specializing in caring for trans and non-binary people opened its doors in the capital city.
It is the first clinic of its kind in Central Texas and, according to some reports, the entire state.
The non-profit Kind Clinic, in the state’s capital of Austin, aims to assist trans and non-binary citizens.
It will be providing full-service care, including hormone replacement therapy, STD screenings and HIV prevention and treatment drugs.
They will not provide gender-confirmation surgery.
The clinic’s services will be at very little or, if possible, no cost at all.
Texas Health Action said they will cover any expenses not covered by patients’ insurance.
And they’re already looking to extend their services beyond physical care.
‘In the future, we’d also be able to offer some counseling services,’ Dr Cynthia Brinson, Texas Health Action’s medical director, told KAGS TV.
‘This will be a wonderful opportunity to really find out how patients in Austin will seek out are care and we’ll get a better idea of how many people need this care.’
Despite its specalization on trans people, the Kind Clinic’s care will be open to anyone regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Texas’ trans population is the second largest in the United States by numbers.
Only California’s trans community is bigger, with 218,400 people identifying as trans according to a 2016 survey by the UCLA law school’s Williams Institute.
Where is SB6 right now?
The Kind Clinic opened a day after SB6, Texas’ version of the bathroom bill, was cleared with an 8-1 vote in the legislative committee.
The proposed law, which would force trans people to use the bathroom compliant with the gender on their birth certificate, will now be considered by the full Senate.
A majority of Conservatives, as well as one Democrat, have already signed on to SB6.
But it might not pass: Republican Joe Straus, speaker of Texas’ House of Representatives, denounced the bill, while Governor Greg Abbott, also Republican, has not indicated where he stands on SB6.