by Peyton Durkee, Repro Fund NH Intern
The Reproductive Freedom Fund is excited to announce our newest project in partnership with 603 Equality, the Queer Care Fund!
This new project will provide funding for New Hampshire residents to access necessary, gender-affirming care out of two independent clinics in the state. The Queer Care Fund began with RFFNH’s core belief that the fight for reproductive justice and queer liberation are interconnected. Although we specialize in abortion care and resources, aiding in providing trans healthcare supports our ongoing fight for bodily autonomy for all in New Hampshire. For this project we’ve proudly partnered with 603 Equality, an emerging New Hampshire organization educating, connecting, and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community.
To launch this initiative, RFFNH has provided initial grants to Equality Health Center in Concord and Joan G. Lovering Health Center in Greenland. Both clinics provide abortions, birth control and emergency contraception, HIV and STI testing, and specific gender-affirming care. EHC and Lovering also offer Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy (GAHT), sometimes known as Hormone-Replacement Therapy or HRT. Medical transition such as GAHT is not necessary for every trans person. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to be trans; transness and one’s journey within their gender identity is entirely unique to the individual. However hormone therapies do provide some queer folks with both a physical and mental gender euphoria as they experience the characteristic changes that come with GAHT.
Forms of medical transition like GAHT is not the only gender-affirming care trans people want or need. EHC and Lovering can also provide individuals with screenings, examinations, and referrals to outside counseling. These indie clinics strive to be safe, affirming places for queer NH residents to access the healthcare they need.
Since the fall of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, anti-trans bills have continued to grow in numbers and flourish in red states including New Hampshire. The new year brought the conception of New Hampshire House Bill 619-FN, which will prohibit gender-affirming care and education for both trans youth and trans adults. HB 619 would enact a ban on HRT and other gender-affirming therapies for transgender people up to the age of 21. It frames HRT as a harmful medical practice “relative to the definition of conversion therapy.” (HB 619) HB 619 also states that teaching students about more than two gender expressions and that they are “free to choose their own gender, name, pronoun, or sexual orientation” in schools is a violation of parents rights as the “sole educators” of their children (HB 619).
Described by LGBTQ+ activist Erin Reed, bills like HB 619 “have always represented a major government overreach, seeking to put the government between doctors and families making medical decisions that are recommended by all medical organizations.” (Reed) Alongside causing direct harm to trans folks by denying them gender-affirming healthcare, HB 619 seeks to censor queer education in New Hampshire public schools, making it even more difficult for queer and trans youth to be educated and supported through discovering their identities.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial to make queer healthcare in New Hampshire affordable and accessible. Our fund will keep raising money and supplying both clinics with periodic donations to continue providing queer NH residents with the necessary healthcare they deserve. Help us keep this funding sustainable and donate to the Queer Care Fund here!