On May 15, the Women’s Health Team at Fenway Health hosted its second Queer Women’s Health Roundtable, an evening for LGBTQ community leaders to discuss the health and wellness needs of Boston area cisgender women, transgender women, and gender-diverse individuals who were assigned female at birth. The Roundtable was launched in December 2016 to uplift and center the voices of community members speaking on behalf of the diverse populations that the Women’s Health Team serves.
A wide range of local organizations are represented in the Roundtable by leaders who self-identity as cisgender women, transgender women, or non-binary individuals. Groups present for this latest discussion included the Bisexual Resource Center, the Boston LGBTQIA Artists Alliance, Flashback Sunday: LGBT Elders of Color, the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, the Lesbians of Color Symposium, MASALA, Rally, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, OLOC, Queer Muslims of Boston, and MassEquality.
Building on the conversations that began last winter, this Roundtable discussion was focused on the power of resource sharing to bring together communities and improve access to services for marginalized groups. Networking proved to be a critical component, as participants shared their vast personal and professional networks to connect their peers with people and organizations who are also invested in the health of women and non-binary individuals.
The spring Roundtable also continued the work of the Queer Women’s Health Subcommittee, a group that formed out of the initial Roundtable. The subcommittee worked this winter to identify four key categories that are critical to the overall health and wellbeing of women and non-binary people assigned female at birth. The categories highlighted were Physical Health, Sexual Health, Mental/Behavioral Health, and Supportive Health. The Roundtable participants brainstormed Boston area organizations and programs that fit these categories. The extensive list that was generated from the discussion will be developed into a resource guide that will be shared with the wider Boston LGBTQ community, and the Roundtable will convene again this fall to continue this important work.
“The Women’s Health Team hopes to create a space to connect organizations that serve our community,” said Tanekwah Hinds, Women’s Health Program Coordinator. “Through the Roundtable, we also aim to create a resource guide that centers the experience of queer women and gender-diverse individuals, addressing their health and intersectional identities.”