A local health and social-services agency is opening its doors — figuratively and literally — to trans communities.
Bebashi: Transition to Hope is gearing up to launch Trans Necessities, a resource program for people in transition.
“Our nickname for the program at Bebashi is ‘The Closet’ because it will be a closet of accessories, clothing, wigs, binding materials and things of that nature to assist our clients in their transitions,” explained Brenda Alexander, communications specialist at Bebashi.
Alexander noted that some trans clients expressed a need for affordable, fashionable clothing, as well as binding materials and prosthetics — which she said can run upwards of $200. A Bebashi work-study student, who identifies as trans, developed the idea for the new resource program to meet those and other needs.
The organization partnered with a number of companies that will be donating binding materials and prosthetics every six months and is also accepting donations for everything from clothes to makeup. There will be no eligibility requirements for Bebashi’s trans clients to access the resources.
Getting the word out about donations will be among the aims for a kickoff event this weekend.
OUTreach will be held 2:30-5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Calvary Center for Culture and Development, 801 S. 48th St. The event will include presentations on sexual health, aging, reproductive issues, breast and chest health and mental health. Food and drinks will be provided by Starbucks, Blackbird Pizza and Crust Bakery, and guests can enter to win raffle prizes from Passional Boutique and The Breast Form Store.
HIV and STI testing will also be provided on site.
Several local barbers and hair stylists will offer free services at the event, and Alexander said Bebashi plans to develop ongoing relationships with them for additional programming.
Alexander noted Bebashi intends to expand Trans Necessities with a support group in the future.
“The trans clients that we have right now attend groups under other umbrellas, like HIV/AIDS, other STIs or general counseling, but we’re going to work with the case-management team to develop a trans-specific support program,” she said. “And we’re always open to hearing what our clients need as far as mental-health services.”
Those and other services will soon be available in Bebashi’s new clinic, which will be located next door to its current space on Spring Garden Street.
“We just rented out that building and are in the process of opening a free clinic,” Alexander said, noting medical and mental-health professionals will see clients for everything from HIV screening to mental-health services to general-health issues. No medical insurance will be required.
The clinic is expected to open later this fall.
For more information about Bebashi, visit www.bebashi.org.