For several decades, a lack of comprehensive sexual education has harmed the health and safety of people across all sexual identities. At the dawn of discovering our sexualities, we are taught to suppress and stigmatize them, rather than becoming educated about our bodies, healthy relationships, and how to maintain positive health outcomes. From the void of knowledge purposefully left by our public education system, many turn to their families, peers, and the internet to educate themselves about sex and relationships.
We are all too familiar with the shortcomings of this method; unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, bodily injury, and domestic violence just to name a few. But for those of us in the Queer community, we are completely left to fend for ourselves when it comes to education on our physical and emotional well-being. We have been systematically neglected by being left out of the conversation and by the stigmatization of the tools and information we need to achieve positive health outcomes.
It goes without saying that both access to healthcare and education are fundamental human rights. When you are prevented from being educated about your body and your sexuality, it does not just result in negative health outcomes, your human rights have been violated as well.
Through a combination of rising public acceptance, medical advancements, and a digital renaissance; humongous strides have been made in reclaiming our health and well-being. Providers like the Kind Clinic seek to empower and treat our community without judgment, shame, or dogmatism. They arm us with facts, support, and empowering knowledge about our bodies. When we as a community lack the resources and information we need to maintain our health and safety, we are prevented from living as our authentic selves. We are held back from wanting to find connections through relationships or fall into making decisions that result in negative health outcomes.
Personally, I have been fortunate enough to obtain the proper knowledge on how to safely navigate both my physical and interpersonal relationships. I have been privileged enough to have health insurance to keep me on prescriptions like PrEP. I have been lucky enough to find a supportive and empowering provider like the Kind Clinic that enables positive health outcomes. The result?
I am liberated to live as my authentic self. I am free to live without shame and fear. I am empowered to pursue and maintain healthy relationships. I am enabled to be in the driver’s seat of my health and well-being.
Those who stand against our community understand this far too well. The Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance providers cover preventive medications like PrEP, and several attempts are being made for this provision to be reversed. In the fight to both progress and preserve Queer liberation, we must always defend our access to medication and healthcare from those who seek to take it away from us. For me, access to PrEP will always be access to Freedom.
David Eisenberg has been a resident of Austin, TX and a patient of the Kind Clinic for the past 5 years. Originally from Houston, David obtained his B.A in Communication Studies from Texas State University and has worked in Talent Acquisition for various technology companies in the Austin area. In his free time you can find David working out, doing upkeep on his aquariums, spending time at Lake Travis, or enjoying Austin’s vibrant local drag scene.