HRC Foundation and Whitman-Walker Health Release Comprehensive Transgender Sexual Health Guide

by Sarah McBride

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, and Whitman-Walker Health, a community health center with special expertise in LGBTQ and HIV-related care, released Safer Sex for Trans Bodies, a comprehensive sexual health guide for transgender and gender expansive people and their partners. The guide fills a significant gap in inclusive, publicly-available sexual health resources for transgender and gender expansive people.

“Transgender people are too often denied crucial and relevant guidance around sexual health that everyone needs to live healthy, safe and whole lives” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Transgender health issues, especially those related to sexual health, are all too often stigmatized or completely ignored. Safer Sex for Trans Bodies provides essential information that will help minimize health risks that can develop because of a lack of knowledge.”

This first-of-its kind resource was drafted by HRC and Whitman-Walker Health in consultation with Casa Ruby, Trans United Fund, and TransLatin@ Coalition. It was made possible with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with HRC in creating this important resource for the community,” said Josh Riley, Director of Community Commitment at Whitman-Walker Health. “Too often in healthcare settings, if there is a focus on sexual health at all, it is only explored through the lens of pathology or dysfunction. Sexual health for trans bodies is even less recognized, rendered invisible because of ignorance or stigma.  This new guide emphasizes sexual health, wellness, and exploration, in addition to risk reduction, and will be a valuable tool for trans-identified individuals across the spectrum, as well as their healthcare providers and other allies.”

The guide is written by and for members of the transgender community and offers them a long-overdue resource on potentially life-saving and affirming practices, from respectful terminology and definitions to helpful practices for sexual health following transition-related care. It will be available online and at Whitman-Walker Health's locations in Washington, D.C. A Spanish-language will be released in the coming months. HRC and Whitman-Walker Health will also host a Facebook Live conversation about transgender health on Wednesday, August 24th at 1 PM Eastern on the HRC Facebook page.

Ruby Corado of Casa Ruby, a bilingual, multicultural organization providing life-saving services and programs to LGBT people in the DC-area, offered her support of the guide. “This publication is critical to support informed decision-making in trans communities that lack access to many resources. Through this guide, providers will have ready access to culturally competent guidance,” Corado said.

Transgender people frequently experience significant barriers to inclusive and competent care.  Last year, the HRC Foundation released a guide for transgender people navigating insurance plans, which often exclude coverage for medically necessary transition-related care. The annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), the HRC Foundation’s national benchmarking tool that evaluates health care facilities’ LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices, measures services and treatment of transgender patients.  

To learn more about how HRC’s work on transgender equality, visit

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Established in 1978, Whitman-Walker Health is a non-profit, community health center serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Through four sites in the District of Columbia, Whitman-Walker Health offers primary medical and dental care; mental health and addictions counseling and treatment; HIV education, prevention, and testing; legal services; and medical adherence case management. Whitman-Walker Health is committed to meeting the health needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.


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