The Campaign for Southern Equality has made its “Trans in the South” directory fully available online. The resource is meant to help connect transgender individuals to gender-affirming legal and health services close to home.
The “Trans in the South” directory is organized by states. It includes providers in a range of areas, including behavioral health, hormone replacement, and primary care. Ivy Hill is the community health program director for the Campaign for Southern Equality. Hill says the directory is based on a long history of transgender people supporting each other and sharing resources.
“If you were looking for a doctor who could provide hormone replacement therapy, or even just a therapist who was trans-friendly, the only way to really find them was to find someone else who was trans, who was willing to share their experience of where they went," Hill said.
Similarly, the directory was developed by a team of trans leaders across 13 Southern states who’ve added service providers based on their local knowledge of what’s available. Now that the guide is completely online, Hill says, people can continue to update the resource.
“There’s a place on there where you can add a provider, so if you’re a trans person who’s listening to this, and you see that your provider is not on the guide, you can go and add a provider," Hill said. "If you’re a provider and want to be included in the guide you can add yourself.”
Hill says once those additions are vetted, they’ll be added to the directory on a weekly basis.
The Trans In The South directory currently lists 41 transgender-affirming providers in Western North Carolina. Only two of them are located in communities West of the Asheville area.
Hill says rural communities, particularly in the South, are often “resource deserts,” when it comes to health care services for transgender people.
“We also know that trans folks are chronically under and unemployed. Oftentimes, transportation is an issue, especially if you live in a rural area," Hill said. "I’m not even in a super rural area here in upstate South Carolina, but we serve folks who are driving over an hour to go see a doctor.”
Hill says telehealth has helped bridge some of that gap. But they add, the directory aims to be a stepping stone to help link providers across the South and to reassure transgender people that they are not alone.
The Trans In The South directory can be accessed here.