National Trans Health Conference hits Atlanta next week

What’s the T on this week’s NTHC? On the forefront of the evolving awareness, National Trans Health Conference in Atlanta aims to educate the South and keep the T in LGBTQ

By Matthew Holley

Founded by Ronnie Bass, a doctoral candidate certified in HIV/AIDS counseling, Atlanta’s Someone Cares is a nonprofit HIV/AIDS Outreach Organization instilled with the principles of providing holistic support and interventions to LGBTQ members of under-served, sidelined and homeless populations, making it what Bass and other employees fondly refer to as a “One Stop Shop.”

“Someone Cares provides HIV/AIDS/STI prevention education, interventions, advocacy, support services, counseling & testing, mental health, research, screening, treatment and primary care,” Bass explains as the group sets to host this week’s National Trans Health Conference.

Executive Director Bass has spearheaded his vision to empower the Transgender community for over 20 years. So, what exactly is the 4th annual National Trans Health Conference?

“It is a platform for educating providers and creating an environment for dialogue between healthcare providers and the Transgender community,” he says. “The conference inspires the staff and volunteers at Someone Cares to continue their work at decreasing health disparities among the transgender community.”

This year’s conference features a non-stop roll-out of events, speakers, conference workshops information for trans and allied folks Nov. 17-19 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. The first of its kind in the Southeast, the conference aims to instruct providers in on “medical cultural competency” to interact with and treat trans patients with care and respect that every individual rightly deserves.

Workshops led by physicians, registered nurses and substance abuse counselors will educate, encourage, and strengthen relationships among those who directly affect the daily lives of the trans community.

Cecilia Chung, Senior Strategist of Transgender Law Center and a person living with HIV, kicks off the initial breakfast plenary on Friday, Nov. 18. Chung will discuss her work as a member of the Global Reference Group of Positive Women and her fight for transgender women and all people living with HIV.

Over the course of the next two days Jesse Milan Jr., JD, the Interim President & CEO of AIDS United, and Amy Lansky, the director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, will treat spectators with remarks, as well. Closing out the conference will be Ayana Elliot, a nurse practitioner who known for her research and interest focuses on health promotion, HIV prevention and treatment, and primary care for young MSM and transgender persons of color.

Capping off the weekend is the Illusions Mini Ball. Look for competition categories including “Trans Man Realness,” Trans Woman “Femme Queen Realness,” “Runway (OTA),” and “Butch Queen Sex Siren.” Each category offers the winners a four-figure cash prize. The lucky winners in the Trans Man and Trans Woman categories will also become National Peer Educators for the Trans Community.

The door is still open for all attendees and volunteers.

“I would like to thank everyone who will be attending the conference to support the organization and Someone Care’s vision for a more Trans* friendly community,” Bash says.

Atlanta’s Someone Cares hosts the 4th annual National Trans Health Conference Nov. 17 – Nov. 19 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Visit someonecaresatl.org.

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