LGBTQ Commission speaks for underrepresented community

Excerpt from San Francisco Examiner

By  on June 16, 2016 1:00 am

When a transgender woman visiting San Mateo County from the Philippines found herself unable to obtain hormone replacement therapy drugs, she turned to a rather unusual community resource for help.

Formed two years ago, the San Mateo County Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Commission provides outreach and support for underrepresented LGBT community members, including seniors, people with disabilities and minorities.

When the Filipina visitor unexpectedly found herself unable to obtain her medications while in the U.S. because she had no prescription and no health insurance — which are not required of her in the Philippines — the commission stepped in to help.

LGBTQ Commission Executive Director Honora Miller made about 40 phone calls before she found a Planned Parenthood clinic willing to provide the patient with the needed psychiatric evaluation and prescription.

“That was a good two weeks of making phone calls,” Miller said. “It underscored the need for an easy way for people to get the information they need.”

In the two years since the commission formed, Miller said she has also received several calls from parents seeking referrals to LGBT-friendly pediatricians, because their children have recently come out to them as transgender.

The county is looking to fill two vacancies on the 11-member commission, which is believed to be only the second LGBTQ Commission created by any city or county government in California. The first was the LGBT Advisory Committee to San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission.

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