This Pride season the Center would like to take a moment to fill you in on all the programs, services and events we offer to transgender and gender non-conforming people, through our Gender Identity Project (GIP).
“We’re thrilled about the expanded services we’re able to offer this year,” said Gender Identity Project Community Prevention Coordinator, Cristina Herrera. “We have two exciting new groups: ‘Stories’ for trans and gender-non-conforming (GNC) people on the feminine spectrum, and ‘Voices’ for trans and gender-non-conforming (GNC) people on the masculine spectrum. We’ve also added Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services, and this July we’ll begin rapid HIV testing at the Center.”
The Gender Identity Project (GIP) was founded in 1989 and is the first transgender-driven project initiated and fully supported within a Community Center, and focused on the needs of the greater queer community. The GIP works to foster the healthy development of transgender and gender non-conforming people, partners, family and community. Through the delivery of a range of supportive services, advocacy, outreach, education and capacity-building, the GIP creates a safe and productive atmosphere for community-building, wellness and self-care, and leadership development.
The GIP is also the first transgender peer counseling and empowerment program in New York State. This landmark program serves 850 transgender clients yearly: 75% are transgender women, 30% are Black, 3% API, 53% Latino. Annually, these clients receive individual 230 counseling and referrals visits and made 620 visits to drop-in groups and events. The GIP offers bilingual services by staff members and peer interns, as well as outreach materials printed in Spanish, which are specifically designed for transgender immigrants.
As touched on above by Cristina Herrera, in addition its numerous regular offerings, the GIP most recently added several new services to meet the emerging needs of the community. The Trans/Gender-Non-Conforming (GNC) Feminine “Stories” Group is a weekly discussion group on topics including: gender pride, assertiveness skills training, managing relationships and coping skills. Members of the group are also encouraged to share their personal stories in a safe supportive environment. The group meets for 6 week cycles,
This article originally appeared on: http://www.gaycenter.org/centerblog/2012-06-20-pride-spotlight-centers-gender-identity-project-thriving-with-expanded-services/