Trans Wellness Center (TWC) headed to Los Angeles Comic Con to spread the word about its services to attendees at the city’s biggest multimedia pop culture convention. TWC’s booth was located in the Karma Korner section at Los Angeles Convention Center.
“It’s important to reach out to people who really don’t know anything about LGBT people or maybe have never met a trans person,” explains Parys Hall, an outreach health education specialist at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “They can meet us, see who we are and learn about our culture and community.
“Comic Com gets some members of our community out from behind their computers and into a comic book convention which they may look at as another safe place for them,” says Raine Jo-Fung, who helped staff the booth.
“This kind of work is us literally going out and meeting them and showing them that we can be trusted and that we are a safe place as well,” adds Jo-Fung, a health educator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Last year, 90,000 fans attended the Comic Con event, now in its eighth year. It is the city’s biggest multimedia pop culture convention featuring comics, movies, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, anime, gaming, and more.
“I have a deeply-vested interest because I am trans and these kinds of events are where I found my safe place, where I learned about community, where I grew,” Jo-Fung says. “It’s a pleasure to give back, to meet people face-to-face.”
Jo-Fung, Hall, and others at the booth will shared information about TWC services, which are guided by an eight-member Community Advisory Board (CAB) made up of people who identify as trans or non-binary. The board works together to ensure TWC truly reflects what the community needs.
TWC offers HIV testing and care, mental health services, sexual health education, hormone therapy and transition resources, employment services, cultural competency trainings, youth services, healthcare and benefit enrollment, peer mentoring, and workshops.
There are also general legal services lending support with such issues as immigration, discrimination, and name changes, among others.
For more information about TWC and its partner organizations, go to mytranswellness.org.
TWC is a community-based partnership between the Center, which is leading the management and operations support, and five other local community organizations: APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team), Bienestar, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Friends Community Center, and TransLatin@ Coalition.