Hawaii’s only clinic that provides gender-affirming care for trans/nonbinary youth is in danger of closing, according to a recent fundraiser launched by the nonprofit.
The Lavender Clinic, located in Honolulu, describes itself as “an LGBTQ-friendly, inclusive medical practice offering Primary Care, Behavioral Health Services, and Social Support for all communities and all genders.”
Recently, their website was updated with a desperate plea: “Please help us survive–our community needs us! We are raising money to benefit The Lavender Clinic, and any donation will help make an impact.” In total, the clinic needs to raise $150,000 to stay in operation.
“Our plan for the future success of The Lavender Clinic is to include cash services to financially support the vital care we provide to the community, the majority of whom are LGBTQ patients,” the GoFundMe page reads. “In the long term, we plan to maximize applications and support from grants.
“If we cannot secure funding within days, we will cease to exist within weeks, and we will never get to put the above plan into action. Our patients will be losing a safe space to go for medical care, and our trans and non-binary patients, specifically those receiving gender-affirming hormone therapy, may not have any other options for care.”
The situation comes just as Hawaii’s legislature is introducing three anti-LGBTQ+ bills, one of which would target trans healthcare, according to ABC affiliate KITV. Just last year, former Governor David Ige signed three pro-trans bills into law. The first established trans healthcare as medically necessary, the second prohibited jury exclusion based on gender identity, and the third created an ongoing commission to support LGBTQ+ rights. Later in the year, David Ige was succeeded by his lieutenant governor, Josh Green.
Speaking to KITV, The Lavender Clinic’s director of gender-affirming care, Renee Pedersen, stressed the urgency of their situation. “I think that most people don’t know that in a small medical clinic, literally everything has to come out of the insurance reimbursement, the lights, the internet, all of the equipment,” Pedersen said.
As of this writing, the clinic is about $20,000 short of its goal, and they have until this Friday, February 17, to raise the necessary funds. Donate here.