The Santa Barbara Transgender Network educates individuals and organizations on best practices for transgender and gender-expansive clients, patients, students, congregants, and families and creates and develops spaces, actions, and policies that advance the welfare of transgender and diverse gender nonconforming individuals, their families, and allies in California’s Central Coast communities.
SBTAN has succeeded in providing access and improving policies in schools for transgender and gender-expansive youth, but health care remains our biggest hurdle. We have hosted three annual medical symposiums, educating medical professionals throughout the region on best practices. To date, we have not seen significant change. Transgender and gender nonconforming people still do not have many clinicians they feel comfortable seeing in our community; many either go without proper care or travel to Los Angeles for their medical needs. We need help in doing more outreach to medical professionals to ensure that the transgender community feels safe at local medical facilities.
In these times when bullying, harassment and hate crimes are on the rise, organizations like SBTAN make it their mission to protect those among us who identify as being transgender. As an educator for over 25 years, I have never come across an organization that is more dedicated to supporting and unapologetically advocating for the transgender community. In schools, I am happy to see that more and more youth are feeling comfortable coming out and living their true identity, and it is only with the work and support of organizations like SBTAN that this is possible. However, we all know that there is much more work to be done so that all, especially our youth, can feel comfortable fully living their true identity. As an all volunteer organization, it is critical that SBTAN continue to receive funding from multiple sources to be allowed to continue the vitally important work they do.
- Mary Ziegler