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April 2020
Transgender Day of Visibility
By Alex Marshall, Youth Advocacy Coalition
Today, March 31st, is Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate the transgender community and raise awareness of the discrimination our community continues to face. It is not an easy time to be transgender in Marin. Frankly, it’s not an easy time to be transgender anywhere. Amidst the COVID-19 crisis, our community is facing a heightened level of fear, anxiety and isolation; without our normal support systems in place, it’s no wonder that many of us are scared of what the future will bring. It may seem somewhat ironic to be celebrating Trans Day of Visibility in the midst of a shelter-in-place. Especially now, as we are stuck inside and physically isolated, it is important for our community to come out and stand together (figuratively!) with pride and celebrate all that makes us unique. 
Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, New York, 1973
In times like these, when the future seems grim and hope is hard to come by, it brings me strength to think of our trans siblings throughout history who paved the way and fought for their (our) right to live authentically. Our community has been suppressed, silenced, and systematically erased from the traditional narratives of history.  And just as our predecessors paved the way for us, we will always make sure we say their names and re-write them into our collective history.  

Trans Day of Visibility is a celebration of our lives. The incredible journeys we have taken -- individually and collectively -- so that we may be seen. On this day, a day meant to celebrate everything that is “us”, we are asking you to see us, our struggles, our triumphs, our humanity. Our community is strong, resilient, beautiful and determined - we have always existed, and we are not going away anytime soon

We are living in an unprecedented time. Let’s make history together by standing in pride and honoring the strength, courage, resilience, and beauty of the transgender community. Trans family, post pictures of yourself on social media and tag #TDOV and the Spahr Center! Show off your joy and power! Allies, today is the day to uplift the voices of trans people. Post our art, stories, and voices, on your social media!
Hijras, India, 1852
Lili Ebe, Denmark, 1926.
We’wha, Zuni Tribe, 1886
Reed Erickson, United States, 1962
Fanny and Stella, London, 1869
Transgender Day of Visibility Awards
Trans HeartLine, our partner agency, has been nominated for the Community Forerunner Award! See their nomination video here and don't forget to watch the awards streaming on Facebook Live tonight at 5:30!
Maintaining Healthcare Benefits
By David Mon, Benefits Advocate
It is of paramount importance that all of The Spahr Center’s clients, including those with HIV, maintain access to healthcare coverage. We wanted to make sure Spahrkle readers are aware of recent changes to eligibility for a number of health care benefits, many of which are more relaxed as a result of Covid-19.

For all clients:

Effective Friday, March 20, Covered California opened the health insurance exchange to any eligible uninsured individuals who need health care coverage amid the COVID-19 national emergency. Anyone who meets Covered California’s eligibility requirements, which are similar to those in place during the annual open-enrollment period, can sign up for coverage through June 30. Contact coveredca.com for more information.
 
For HIV clients:

Eligibility for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) has been extended for individuals who were enrolled in ADAP as of March 13, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Please contact David, (415) 886-8552, if you were not enrolled in ADAP as of March 13, 2020.

Eligibility for Medi-Cal continues to be open year round.

For individuals who are not eligible for Covered CA or Medi-Cal, we are available to provide assistance purchasing “off exchange” policies and to help have the premiums paid for by the Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (OA-HIPP).

We are available to help clients find a way to have Medicare Part B and Part D (prescription) premiums paid for, as well as Medigap and Medicare Advantage premiums.

Please continue to submit medical co-payment bills and we will find a way to have them
paid either thru ADAP or the Ryan White program.

We are available to provide assistance regarding any issues that arise regarding Social Security benefits (SSI, SSDI, SSR), Unemployment Insurance and State Disability Insurance applications, as well as Cal Fresh and any Marin Housing (Section 8, HOPWA) issues.

Please call David, (415) 886-8552 if you encounter any difficulty picking up prescribed medications from the pharmacy.

We are committed to being available during this challenging period.