What some patients call life saving care is now available in the Big Bend.

Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida is bringing transgender services to Tallahassee. That includes services like Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy, preventative care and telehealth.

Jay Galante is the president of Florida State University’s Gender Odyssey, a student organization dedicated to supporting, empowering and advocating for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

He’s also been a Planned Parenthood patient for the last two and a half years.

“I drove five hours to Kissimmee to receive my hormone replacement therapy,” Galante said.

Now he can receive that care in Tallahassee.

Program Director Samantha Cahen says the expansion will help reach patients across North Florida and get them the care they need.

“We’re now providing these services, it’s opened up a gate especially for our Tallahassee students as well, any of the college students up there. It’s very easy access,” Cahen said. “A lot of patients have issues going to the healthcare center for gender dysphoria, they have that anxiety of meeting up with people and now they have the convenience of actually being seen in their own home, in the comfort zone.”

Galante those within the transgender and gender non-conforming community have some unique challenges. Often times those needs are overlooked by medical professionals, especially those with little experience caring for transgender individuals.

When that happens, it can deter people from seeking out the care they need.

“Just people not understanding pronouns, and not understanding what trans people have to go through in regards to changing their legal name,” Galante said. “Because they’re actually scared of being misgendered, they’re scared of the interactions they’re going to have, they’re scared of being turned away.”

Galante says he just hopes more people take the time to educate themselves about their community, especially those in the medical field.

Because this care, he says, can be life saving.

“It’s life saving in the sense that it literally changes our lives. I would not be the person I am today,” Galante said. “I wouldn’t have the personality that I have, I wouldn’t have the self assurance, the confidence, the comfort, the relationships.”

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