Every day in her role as the chief executive of Dallas’ Resource Center, one of the largest LGBTQ community centers in the country, Cece Cox, J.D., hears stories of people who have experienced discrimination because of who they are, whom they love, or their HIV status. She hears from folks who have been abruptly fired from their jobs, asked to leave their apartments or denied service at businesses.
“So much of our work at the center is focused on providing or connecting LGBTQ people to quality health care that addresses their specific needs, whether it’s information on sexual health, support around HIV/AIDS, or hormone replacement therapy,” Cece said. “LGBTQ people in Texas have specific health experiences and frequently report feeling discomfort, anxiety or humiliation when going to the doctor. Transgender people especially have shared stories with me about service providers who have either lacked basic knowledge about transgender health or have been openly hostile, refusing to use patients’ correct names or pronouns.”
“It’s paramount that we push for express and enduring nondiscrimination protections at the state level in Texas,” Cece said. “It’s vital that we build unprecedented momentum here in Texas and across the country to pass a federal law prohibiting anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Even after we do all of that, we’ll need to keep pushing, keep educating our communities, and keep supporting LGBTQ people in their daily lives. At the Resource Center, I need to always be thinking of ways that we can best serve our communities. Our state lawmakers and our federal government should do the same.”