TRANSformation: How BLISS CARES Uplifts and Supports Trans Individuals
You may not know that members of the trans community are statistically one of the highest risk populations for contracting an STD in their lifetime. Or that trans individuals are far less likely to receive adequate medical care due to reduced access to employment, housing, and trans competent medical treatment. Unfortunately, these statements are true. We are helping members of Central Florida’s transgender community navigate their transition and become advocates for themselves and other transgender individuals.
At BLISS CARES, we know the struggles that trans people experience. That’s why we’ve created BLISS TRANSformation.
What Is BLISS TRANSformation?
BLISS TRANSformation is an annual conversational educational series that helps trans people in Central Florida learn ways to cope with the societal difficulties of being trans, advocate for their rights, build leadership skills, and live a successful life through the power of peer-to-peer led groups. BLISS CARES TRANSformation program welcomes trans men, trans women, and anyone who identifies as non-binary.
BLISS TRANSformation was initially created in 2016 with the vision to serve the underserved trans populations and help connect trans people to STD, HIV, and hepatitis treatment and prevention. It has since evolved into a seven-part conversational educational series that aims to create lifelong leaders and voices in the Central Florida transgender community.
What’s Included in the Course?
Each week, participants meet to discuss a topic that is relevant to the trans community. Due to COVID-19 precautions, virtual meetings may be in place. Each conversation is led by a guest speaker who is either a member of the trans community, or a professional who works within the trans community. Conversations are moderated by a BLISS CARES team member and supported by Bliss Healthy Minds We introduce new topics every year to stay relevant to current events.
Topics that are typically part of the program each year include:
- HIV, STD, and hepatitis education, prevention, and treatment.
- Safety (in collaboration with the Orlando Police Department)
- Transition-related surgeries
Our aim at BLISS TRANSformation is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in their communities and to advocate for themselves and others. We collaborate with the Orlando Police Department, the City of Orlando, the Legal Aid Society, and Drs. Bauback Safa and Sidhbh Gallagher on transition-related surgeries.
Graduating From BLISS TRANSformation
Participants who have completed the program with no more than one absence are eligible for graduation. Hooray! BLISS CARES helps graduating participants navigate the process of changing their names, including helping them submit the proper documentation and fingerprinting. We also sponsor the costs of name changes, including fingerprinting.
Want to Learn More About Trans Care at BLISS?
If you’d like to learn more about how BLISS can support you or a loved one through transition, or if you’d like to apply to join the BLISS TRANSformation program, contact us online.