New Health Guide Breaks Barriers for Transgender Men of Color

Cover photo: Rebecca Emmanuelle Photography

The Brown Boi Project, a community of masculine of center womyn, men, two-spirit people, transmen, and allies committed to transforming privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving racial and gender justice, released a groundbreaking health guide created by and for transgender men of color and masculine-identified women of color. Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois serves as a “tool for empowerment, as transgender men and women on the masculine spectrum continue to face a health sector in which they are largely invisible.” The health guide is a much needed resource full of personal essays, informative charts, medical articles, useful illustrations, and compelling photography that cover topics such as depression, safe sex practices, parenting, diet, gender affirming surgery and more. People of color in these communities often do not have access to health insurance and experience high levels of unemployment, discrimination in public service delivery, and income inequality. "We searched for a health curriculum that spoke to our communities, that centralized our experiences, and reflected images and practices from communities of color. And after looking high and low, we realized it didn’t exist. So we created it," said B. Cole, executive director of The Brown Boi Project and editor of Freeing Ourselves. "It opens up conversations that are deeply taboo and gives us a framework to talk about our bodies and health. Not just a guide, this is a handbook for life in the face of unique challenges that our community struggles with day to day." Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois can be ordered online through The Brown Boi Project. A portion of all the proceeds from the guide continue to support The Brown Boi Project's ongoing leadership development work. GLAAD commends the Brown Boi Project and its contributors for creating such an invaluable resource for transgender men and masculine of center womyn of color. Freeing Ourselves will be released during a national conference in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, August 19.