‘Out of the Closet’ Film Series at Ithaca College Highlights Pioneering Health Clinic

By David Maley, March 29, 2016

‘Out of the Closet’ Film Series Highlights Pioneering Health Clinic

ITHACA, NY—The story behind the country’s first public health clinic to offer primary care specifically for transgender people is told in “Transgender Tuesdays,” a documentary that will be shown at Ithaca College on Tuesday, April 5. The 7 p.m. screening in Textor 103 is free and open to the public.

In 1993, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, a team of trans activists and HIV providers at Tom Waddell Health Center in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district broke the mold by providing something crucially needed along with hormonal treatment: respect and a new sense of community. The clinic created a new model of treatment by offering primary care for all those who self-identify as transgendered, not just those who could afford the specialists who once made that decision.

“Transgender Tuesdays” follows a dozen of those patients, whose stories reach back to the “bad old days” of the 1950s and through the sexual freedom of the ’60s, the drug ravages of the ’70s, the women’s and LGBT liberation movements of the ’80s and the HIV epidemic and queer activism of the ’90s. The documentary’s director, Mark Freeman, not only created the film but as a family nurse practitioner was one of the founders of the clinic.

The film is being shown as part of the Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen series, sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services. For more information, visit www.ithaca.edu/lgbt