By Albert H. Fulcher | Editor
There is a new event to go to that provides a safe place for the transgender and nonbinary community as a go to event to find clothing and learn about services provided by Antiviral Research Center UC San Diego and Good To Go. PrEP Trans Women & Nonbinary Clothing Swap founded by local LGBTQIA activist Prizila Dajia Vidal began in July with a Pride kickoff in partnership with Good To Go and is held the first Saturday of every month.
“I had a lot of people asking me for safe spaces for clothing, like where you can get clothing for plus size, and shoes because it is really hard to find sizes 12 and 13,” Vidal said. “Besides online shopping, which can cost a lot of money, I thought that maybe I could create a popup shop. Getting this idea off the ground alone wasn’t feasible so I reached out to organizations to assign a space and Good To Go picked it up.”
“The concept is to have people that are transgender and nonbinary to come in and have a safe place to get clothing for free, to find out about resources and to have the chance to mingle with others that are trans and nonbinary,” Vidal continued. “Folks from other organizations come as well to share about their individual resources that are available”
Dr. Gabriel Wagner, assistant professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, infectious disease physician was the invited guest for the evening. He spoke to the group in an informal Q&A session about PrEP (preexposure prophylaxis), PEP and hormone replacement therapy. He discussed the known benefits and side effects of the PrEP/PEP drug Truvada and spoke on the importance in individualized medical plans. He also talked about the various hormone replacement therapies for both men and women in transition.
David Vance, community marketing specialist for the Antiviral Research Center and Good To Go said that although they are a new employee, they have been connected to Good To Go for a long time.
“I have worked in HIV and sexual health for a few years now,” Vance said. “I used to work at the San Diego LGBT Community Center coordinating the PrEP program there, PrEP being the one-day pill that helps in the prevention of contracting HIV. Good To Go and the Antiviral Research Center were one of my top referrals for my clients. This is one of the places I would send folks to get an STI (sexually transmitted infections) screening and also through Good To Go and the Antiviral Research Center get connected to prescriptions.”
Vance said Good To Go is an amazing place to not only get tested for a wide range of STIs and get results in a couple of hours, but to do so in a comfortable, fun environment. Depending on test results, if someone wants to get connected to PrEP, Good To Go can do that as well.
“This is my first clothing swap and we are doing this once a month,” Vance said. “We are bringing programs here at Good To Go and create some fun and interesting things in the future in addition to the clothing swap.”
Jordan Silva, Good To Go community education specialist said Good To Go is a research project and a clinic so that anyone that is MSM (men who have sex with men) or transgender can come in and have free STI testing.
“Part of this event is a public Prep social so the idea is advertising preexposure prophylaxis, which is the drug Truvada for now which you can take to prevent HIV and this clinic is trying to get people tested and getting the word out on how to get PrEP,” Silva said.
For more information about Good To Go visit GoodToGoSD.com and follow it on Facebook and Instagram.
— Albert Fulcher can be reached at email@example.com.