GENDER ACCESS PROGRAM: Accessible, Tangible, and Competent Services by and for the Trans & GNC Community

Elijah Johnson uses they/them and he/him pronouns. They are a social worker, community organizer, and YP4 fellow working for intersectional trans liberation. In their final year as graduate student with The Ohio State University pursuing his Master of Social Work with a specialization of Community Organizing and Policy Analysis, they look to create a transgender health and wellness program in collaboration with their practicum site, Stonewall Columbus. After creating positive working relationships, the staff, clients and community members disclosed to him most frustrating obstacle for trans folx. “While there are resources for trans people, they are only online.” There are minimal ways to receive chest binding products clients and community members need. These ways include spending close to $40, waiting 2-3 weeks for shipping and binding unsafely in the meantime without any support or connection with other trans people.

While listening to stories of isolation and confusion, Eli remembered his experience as a trans masculine non binary person only receiving community and services online. Through this continuous narrative of isolation, confusion, and lack of community resources Elijah works to create the Gender Access Program. Through three donations per year from GC2B (a trans founded, owned and operated online chest binder store) valued close to $1,700 each, trans and GNC people now have access to free chest binders along with face to face interaction with trans folx giving safe binding and care tips. Through creating one on one interaction this allows trans folx a safe and affirming place in order to access chest binders with someone willing to talk about such products and identities.