Queer Goggles

No News is Good News

April 22, 2019 Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Raquel Lorenz, Kristen Loya, Max Smith Season 1 Episode 4
Queer Goggles
No News is Good News
Chapters
Queer Goggles
No News is Good News
Apr 22, 2019 Season 1 Episode 4
Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Raquel Lorenz, Kristen Loya, Max Smith

This episode we talk with Max, Ace, Kristen, and Raquel about their experience accessing reproductive health in Central California. They discuss STI screenings, gender identity, as well as what it's like to hear, "no news is good news" when waiting for your results. Finally we hear from them about their favorite moments in our Leadership Academy and who inspired them this year. 

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Show Notes Transcript

This episode we talk with Max, Ace, Kristen, and Raquel about their experience accessing reproductive health in Central California. They discuss STI screenings, gender identity, as well as what it's like to hear, "no news is good news" when waiting for your results. Finally we hear from them about their favorite moments in our Leadership Academy and who inspired them this year. 

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 2:

Welcome to this week's episode of Queer Goggles. I'm Brian Path from the source LGBT plus center. So this episode we're going to be taking a deeper look at our leadership academy clinic visits. There are eight participants in our leadership academy and they all go out to local clinics to see what it's like to access reproductive health care for LGBT plus youth. So , um , without further ado, let's hear from them exactly how those clinic visits went .

Speaker 3:

Ace just got pulled in when I texted you. I was like, oh boy, it's going to take a minute to go. Whoa , whoa . That person the too , I had a lady first like a nurse, yeah. Person. And then after doctor came in and told me that I wasn't pregnant and wondering like what was going on cause I had a makeup fit my period, but late in the morning, oh Holly . So I just made up a date and like, oh it's been two months. I'm like, now what about like , um, did they on the intake forms, did they ask you any like uh, like so now nothing pronouns, nothing, no preferred name. I just use Max . Yeah, that's good. [inaudible] um, so overall like if you're going to get a grade a a minus two B plus. Really ? Yeah. That's good. That's good to hear. Um, was there anything like about it that was felt like not great the way, I'm not kidding. It was pretty navy . Just , yeah. And I told my old teacher and I was like, cause my LZ , someone , one of my old schools and I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. My teacher was not. Yeah. Oh my gosh. What's in there waiting for one of her kids with her kids. And I was like, she has my mom's phone number. I can't let her see me here kind of thing because my mom is not that I'm doing another clinic. Yeah. So I was like, okay, okay. So that's like, that's the problem with living in a small town and yeah, we're going to see somebody. Right. Both their roles are so sad really. And I could hear everything wanting to hear them talk shit about her. And the worst part for me was the bathroom cause it was like covered in pee. Those pee everywhere in the bathroom. It was so gross. Yeah. Going to high school. So how did it go? Lacking? You not willing to speak? No, no, no . When did that bad? No , it wasn't , it wasn't guide is she's like awkward cause that's what that is. Yeah it was . It was fine. They were fine. I don't think I would even talk lot about sexual history, which was weird I guess because you're there for an STI test. Right? Um , all the list got real with depression and drugs. That was fun. That happened last time with one of our other participants. Real real with depression and drugs. I was like, I don't need to be Trager Brandon . Yeah . I'm just here to see if I have like a really gross sexual diseases . Like did they ask about um, partners or any past how I identified and I was like, I'm a bisexual. Oh good. They asked and so did that trigger any other like special bisexual questions? No .

Speaker 2:

So that was ace and Max. They both went to planned parenthood to see if they could get their reproductive health screening and they needed to make an appointment. So what ended up happening is that we went to another clinic, a family healthcare network, and that's where those visits came in. Max had a fairly positive experience, I think. Um, he gave them an a minus ace, however, felt less comfortable and gave them a c minus. It was a fun experience to spend the afternoon with them. Certainly learned a lot. What seems to happen is that a lot of these clinics don't ask, so g data questions, which is sexual orientation, gender identity, there is no place on the form for people to self identify. So what often happens is someone who does the intake and ask the first set of questions, we'll broach the subject with whoever is there for their STI test. And sometimes there is a little bit of uncomfortability either between the person asking the question or the person who is, you know, telling a stranger how they identify, whether it's their gender identity or sexual orientation. Sometimes just telling that to a stranger's awkward, almost as awkward as a , the way that came out. But , um, our participants overwhelmingly say that if they were asked the question sort of anonymously on a form right up front, that they would feel more comfortable answering it truthfully. Uh , honestly. So it's nice to be able to put it on a form so that people can self identify and not have to deal with maybe some perceived bias of the individual who's asking, especially when you're living in a very conservative rural environment, there is the perception that people aren't going to be accepting. Whether that's true or not, it would be helpful just to have it on a form. So we spoke with three of our participants at the same time to see how their clinic visits went. Let's hear from Max, Kristin and Raquel. Hi, I'm Max and my pronouns are he him. And how old are you? Max? 17 hi, I'm Chris thin . My pronouns are she, her and I'm 18 years old. I'm Raquel. I prefer they them pronouns and I am 21 all right, thank you. Yeah. Okay. So everybody here did clinic visits and I was with Max when you did yours? Yes. And that was interesting. It was . Can you talk about, do you remember if they had any like gender identifiers like on the application that were non binary or was it just male? Female?

Speaker 4:

I Omni at Omni, they did have non-binary and transgender as an option I think. Oh Wow. If I remember correctly.

Speaker 2:

Great. But the other place, no. No. Okay. That was family healthcare network. Right. What about you recall , was that something that you noticed on the intake forms? Um, planned parenthood did not have anything like that. However, the Visalia health care center, they had male, female, trans , um , female to male and then trans male to female and gender queer and other, oh, great. Yeah, that's pretty inclusive. Yeah. Yeah. No non-binary option . But gender queer is not really the same thing. That kind of clothes that they had me, I'm gender queer, that's all . Well they, they've worked really hard to do that. They actually asked us advice on that. Yeah . Just grew up really good. There is other options right in. So that that was trying their best. Yeah. What about you, Kristen ? Did you notice anything about your intake form that that might not have been as inclusive?

Speaker 5:

Well, I also went to planned parenthood and like Raquel said, they didn't really have an option for non-binary. But I think there might've been a question about , um, if you were the same gender as you were at birth. I think there was something like that, but it was like one of the later questions, but it was more so a , wasn't like what you identified as it was just to ask.

Speaker 2:

So give us like, do you identify with the sex assigned at birth? Is it the same or different? Is it that kind of aggression the same or different? Yeah. And it was later on. I think so, yeah. So when you got into that question, was it like before you ever saw anybody or after it was before I saw anyone . Okay. Okay. So a lot of people went to planned parenthood and couldn't get an appointment, couldn't get in. Right. Like there wasn't, they needed to either go back and make an appointment or there wasn't a , they weren't open like the hours that people wanted to go. Um, so what was that link for you Max? I think you went for an appointment at can ? Yeah . Okay.

Speaker 4:

So when I went to go in for a walk in, they wouldn't, they were no walk-ins that day. So they said that all day was booked and I would have to come back in another day to make it that appointment. Not even for like

Speaker 2:

the walk and I got to make the appointment, I have to come back another day. Oh they wouldn't even take an appointment from you. Okay. Cause that's how booked they were for the couple of days . It's good. They're busy but a barrier for you. So like with high school students you can check yourself out. Right? Like what if you checked yourself out of school and gone on the only day you had to go and couldn't get in and then had to go, like would you have gone back personally knowing wouldn't have, yeah. So you would have figured out another way to get what you need done? Yes. What about you recall? Um, I felt like I got really lucky cause I did do a walk in at planned parenthood and they took me in. Um, Christina was there the same day. I didn't know that it's not Christian . I'm walking out and crystal was telling me about , um , her struggles with it. I got there at two 30 in the afternoon and I left at three 39. Oh Wow. For walking. Yeah . Now what did you go for? And went for STI testing. But yeah, after hearing what Kristen had to go through, I felt pretty lucky. And so , um , for the STI testing, did they offer you, was that just, did they also offer you an HIV test? Yes, they did. Did you feel um, comfortable there? Yeah, the, the woman that , um, took me back was really nice and really helpful and gave me a bag full of condoms and plan B, so, oh good. Yeah. Okay. Talk to you about it or gave it to you. Just gave it to me. Wow . Yeah. And then did they talk to you about syphilis at all? They did not know . Okay . So That's interesting, right? Cause if you've had unprotected sex and you think you might be at risk for some other stuff, syphilis is , is something also you can catch. Right. And um, so that might've been helpful. Helpful to know. Did they talk to you about prep at all? They didn't know. Okay. And then what about your, how do you get your results from them? They said they'd call me but I haven't had to call back and they said , um , no news is good news. So, oh yeah. Famous last words. Notice his good days . We'll never hear from planned parenthood. Well that's, that's what we hear a lot from people like our youth that went out last year as well was that they got this, no news is good news thing and we don't really know if that's like accurate low . Yeah. I mean, I guess no news is good news, but you know what if I don't know, I would like to know. I think I would like to know, we might want to see if there's some sort of policy that we can work on in the future for California. Cause I feel like you should, you should, if you've gone through the hoops to get your, to go through and get an STI test or a pregnancy test or whatever, you should get your result back. They should know. I mean that's the, you've got to close the loop a little bit, right? Like if no one ever calls you, you might have something . And what about you, Kristen ? What was your experience like?

Speaker 5:

I went in after my class ended at like 9:00 AM so I took the bus over to planned parenthood. It didn't take that long to get there, but they had a sign on the door, no walk-ins . So I , um, called in to make an appointment and luckily they were able to schedule me for that day. But it was during a time where if my schedule was regular that day, I wouldn't have been able to make it. I would've had to go on the go the next day. But because my class happened to be canceled, I could go, I had to stay around the area for a really long time because I didn't know how long it would take to get, you know, there and back. I wanted to make sure I made this appointment. I didn't want to miss the bus again and then was out there for a couple of hours just walking around going to like smart and final [inaudible] yeah, just trying to find something to do. So I finally get there and I had to, it took me a long time to fill out the forms because technically my appointment was, I believe at one o'clock but they didn't come back until one o'clock so I didn't have time to fill out the forms before my one o'clock appointment. So, and because it was the first time I went in for birth control, it took like almost 30 minutes for me to fill out the form, get everything I needed with family packed , and then it was another 15 to 30 minutes before I could actually see someone that you were there for birth control.

Speaker 2:

Um, was there anything on the , um, and there's lots of reasons why a person goes into to get on birth control, right. It can be, it could be for a number of reasons, not just , uh , sexual activity, sexual activity or pregnancy or, so was there any question about like my why you want it or, yes. Okay. And then did they ask you anything about like were you sexually active

Speaker 5:

on the forms? They had almost everything they asked me if I was sexually active. They asked if I was like in a healthy relationship and they had questions and I thought that was actually really good that they had a lot of questions on what constitutes as a good and non abusive relationship. So that was really nice to see. And , um, they also asked about who you were having sex with if you were, they didn't really have like inclusive gender things but it just male, female both, but still, at least they had to me both option. Right, right. Cause that if I were sexually active that would be the option that I would choose. So I'm glad that they had it.

Speaker 2:

And there was no question before that about how you identified, so it wasn't like do you identify as LGBT? No. They just asked you behavior? Yes. Okay. Was the process easy? Did you feel comfortable there when you were getting

Speaker 5:

yes, it was very comfortable at planned parenthood for me because when the person would ask me questions regarding , um, just the facts and scientific stuff , um, regarding pregnancy prevention and I went over the birth control options. So she told me about everything. She was very honest with me about like , um, how long did they last and all that kind of stuff. Um, but when it came to like asking me personal questions and about just my life in general, even though it had to do with birth control, she was a lot more sensitive when it came to that. Then just like then when she was just explaining about the birth control. Hmm .

Speaker 2:

So if you were going to give a grade [inaudible] you know, like a , B , c , d , e, but if you were going to give a grade to planned parenthood, what, who, what, what kind of grade would you give?

Speaker 5:

Hmm. I think I would give like an a minus.

Speaker 2:

And if you had a suggestion to make , what would, what would make it an a or an a plus for you?

Speaker 5:

Gender is, even though I identify as a CIS female, I think that gender is really important. Also, there were some things that she didn't really go over. She basically said , um , I'm not going to discuss about the side effects with you because if that happens we'll cross that. Um, we'll like deal with it if we need to. But she went over like the basic ones that were very important, but she didn't really talk about like the mental effects of birth control. And I had put that I had depression on the form and she didn't talk to me about that at all. Which is something that you should be concerned about when you're on birth control. Oh Wow. Yeah. Cause it can cause intense mood swings and depression.

Speaker 2:

That's good to know. Yeah. That's good to know. I know that there was some questions about depression at family healthcare . Right? Do you remember what those questions were, Matt ?

Speaker 4:

Uh, mainly just like kind of, they weren't really on point about depression and it was kinda like going around it like, Oh do you, oh do you, are you a family member who was alcoholic? Or do they smoke around you? Do you smoke? Are you an alcoholic? Um, how long have you had anxiety? Stuff like that. Like small stuff. But then it led up to like deeper stuff like, Oh have you been suicide ? All kinds of stuff like them . It kind of like gotten me a little bit cause I was like, okay this is good stuff to know if you want certain things tested. Yeah. And I think at one point I brought up PTSD like a little bit and then like with depression and stuff it like, it was good, like good questions and all that. And I think it could have been like more blunt about the questions. I know the child be like, Oh kind of Nice about it. But if they were more on point or blunt, I think that'd have been better

Speaker 2:

with some where some of those questions a little bit like maybe triggering for you because you're not really there for that. Yeah . But they're bringing that up.

Speaker 4:

It was a bit triggering when they brought the PCSD. Yeah. Cause it's like, Oh oh you have those. Okay. And they didn't even like say anything about it to me. They didn't bring it up at all in my appointment.

Speaker 2:

And did you answer like an affirmative? I guess I am . Something like that. Yeah .

Speaker 4:

And they didn't say anything about depression. Oh . And I was going in for a pregnancy test and I let them know they had birth control already. Okay. And they said, oh you should be fine then and I need to bring up depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, they bring up any right there . Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

And you went to another place, Omni family health, right? Yeah. And you couldn't,

Speaker 4:

they wouldn't let me make an appointment or anything cause device audio one did not have the family packed yet. Apparently that's what they told me. And they would say, oh we need your insurance if you want an appointment today or an appointment at all or just be seen even . And I was like, I don't need my parents to know. I don't want you guys kind of ascending the bill cause they said they have to bill . And I said okay, I don't want my parents to know. They said, well we can't help you then in the long run. They didn't give me an appointment or anything. They didn't even give me another option of where else to go. I was like kind of having

Speaker 2:

let them know where you can access services with family packed and if they can't help you then they can just say, hey, you know what, a couple of blocks down this way, there's planned parenthood, maybe you should go there. So

Speaker 4:

that would have been nice to know.

Speaker 2:

Raquel, if you, so did you go, you did two clinic visits? Yes, it did. Okay. What was the other place that you went?

Speaker 6:

Um, I went to planned parenthood and Visalia healthcare center often have a goal step . There we go. Can I say it again? Yeah. Okay. So I went to planned parenthood and then I also went to the Visalia healthcare center on [inaudible] Boulevard.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Yeah . And how , and you said that one was pretty inclusive. They have lots of different gender markers ,

Speaker 6:

markers and yeah. So they had 'em for your gender, the , they put, do you consider yourself to be heterosexual or slash straight? Um , lesbian, gay or homosexual. And bisexual. They also had an unknown category, which was kind of cool. And then they choose not to disclose.

Speaker 2:

I love that one. Yeah. Yeah. And then in your business? Yeah. Well that's good to know. Um, how did it go at Visalia? Uh, what's it called again? My Selia healthcare center. Yes. How did it go there?

Speaker 6:

Um , I didn't care too much for the front staff, nor did I care for the nurse that took me back and took my vitals. Um, and why, why, what was the, what was the thing that was going on? They were just not welcoming at all. Like it's, it's the north side. I came from the north side. They were just acting like they were from the north side. So not great customer service. They make you feel welcome. They act like they do not want me there. Oh really? Yeah. Okay. I was just like, oh , another customer. But like it was weird, Huh? Yeah. That's good to know. Yeah. Okay. Um, they did have a lot of grammatical errors on their forms, which is weird to me. Um , something that I noted cause I was just reading them and I'm like, there's a , there's a word missing there. There's something. Oh yeah. That's also good to know. Yeah , right. That's something you noticed and probably doesn't really inspire a lot of confidence. Right. If you're looking at a form that's supposed to be pretty official. Yeah. And it's got spelling errors and mistakes and stuff in it, you're going for healthcare . Right. Good. As a healthcare here, man.

Speaker 2:

That's , that's good to know. Um, and so when she got back [inaudible] uh , if you were giving them a grade , um, what would you have given them?

Speaker 6:

I would have given them a c to be honest. They wouldn't even see me. Um, the doctor wouldn't see me cause they only did STI. S they only did STI testing by swab. Okay. I wasn't a candidate for swab at the time. Okay. So he would , he would not take a urine sample from me. Oh, all . So that was weird. Since they did they say you need to come back? Yeah. They said, come back when you're, when you can do a swab. And I'm like, okay.

Speaker 2:

It was weird. Huh? The end. Did they give you any, anything about safer sex? Any pamphlets, any condoms, any, anything? Nope. No. So this was not a good experience? No. Okay. Um, and, and so was in stark contrast to your experience with planned parenthood

Speaker 6:

customer service wise. Yeah. But , or not the customer, but like patients are , yeah. Yeah. Oh , that's a weird word to say with the health care , but no, I think it is customer service, just basic human decency. It was weird. I like their forms better a little bit just because they were trying, but also the chromatic, it was weird. So good for the A, for effort a for effort D for execution. Execution was bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um, okay. And then, you know, like I had mentioned before, and I don't know if we'll get a chance to talk to the today youth that had a problem getting into planned parenthood, but that was the biggest barrier there is that people wanted to go there, but they couldn't find a time that fit with their schedule. Yeah. So , um, so that's something that we can ask them to, you know, look at maybe improve. I know that's hard with staffing and it costs money. Honestly, we could talk about these clinic visits all day long, but I want to move on to our leadership academies experience with equity on the mall and their impressions of some of our presenters during leadership. We had 12 different sessions and many of them were inspired by some of the same people. If you went to equity on the mall, if you could think of one word to describe it, how would you describe it ?

Speaker 5:

One word. Um hmm . Enlightening. Great. Yeah , yeah, yeah.

Speaker 6:

Um , really informational. Like I haven't, that's two words really informative and informational. Um, I think about equity a lot. Just the different things that people were pushing for and what they wanted. Um, so that's something I think about every day , that experience if I'm honest. Um, yeah,

Speaker 5:

that's great. And as an LGBT person, you always think about like the LGBT community, cause we're here at the leadership academy. We're here for that reason. But you forget like so many other people had their own concerns and just coming together and realizing like, we should all work together and it should be like more of a joint thing rather than just trying to do things. You're on your own. Yeah,

Speaker 2:

and I love, what I love about the San Joaquin Health Fund is that the policy platform for the years is all developed by all these different organizations. And so , um, they're looking at things like immigration and water and land use and health care . But everybody's community is so diverse and, and a lot of us are so marginalized that when you finally get us all together, there's so much power , um, in that because water affects everybody. You know, immigration affects everybody. LGBT rights affects everybody. If they start stripping our rights away, who's next? Right. So it's not just a one, it's not just a one community issue. It's a whole, it's a whole California issue. Um, so Raquel do you

Speaker 6:

to Sam Brinton ? Yeah. You want to talk about Sam? Yeah. So Sam was pretty Rad, right? Yeah. Sam was pretty inspirational and I really loved Sam. Like they , they were great. Yeah. Um, so I, I do think about conversion therapy a lot and what Sam had to go through and it just, it did just having that information and knowing that if I felt like it was good to open my eyes to that, because not a lot of people know that conversion therapy is still a thing. Um, so it was really inspirational to hear him talk about that or hear them talk about that and their struggles. So yeah.

Speaker 2:

And we're talking about Sam Britton from the terminal project, right? Yep . And I thought it was really cool that he took the time. I mean we , we were meeting at that time, it was dark at , at like five o'clock at night. Right . And, and they took 'em they took the time to meet with us. Yeah . Um, I think at like 10 o'clock DCT at the time. Yeah . Zoomed in. Um, yeah, it was just really cool. I did, did they show us like high heat ? W were they at ?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, they had just come home from a party with like black lipstick. No,

Speaker 2:

this is awesome. Um, but yeah, conversion therapy is illegal in the state of health

Speaker 6:

14 , but there's still, you know, I mean more than half the states where it's still illegal in me. Resident California always lived here. Like I've lived here my whole life. I did not know that it was still a thing places and that's scary. Yeah. Um, so having them open my eyes to that was pretty great too . Just to know that that still happening and being, trying to be supportive of people that have been through that. Max, what, what was your, if you could think about , um, maybe your favorite session. Do you remember, okay, let me this paper spoken word

Speaker 4:

with Michael. Jessica [inaudible] also,

Speaker 3:

well , how Saturday I was [inaudible] who was ever told to me by Mrs. Johnson

Speaker 4:

with him, it was really fun because he gave a certain words to make poetry out of. And a , there's certain words that he gave us for the first one was like sadness and stuff like that, along those lines. And it just really like gave me like, it just really like made me happy that I got to get those emotions out that I was feeling at the time through poetry. And it made me feel that afterwards because I was like, yeah, it hurt at first to say it all that and speak it. But after the fact of that, I felt way much better. Yeah. Yeah. And then when we did the happy one with cause heard the dream .

Speaker 3:

Okay .

Speaker 2:

It wasn't my favorite because it was just so much brought to you by the source leadership academy customers and drinking.

Speaker 4:

But no, it was just a lot of fun. I've , I've enjoyed it.

Speaker 2:

Good. Is it something that you think you might continue doing?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I bet you've been doing it at home, here and there.

Speaker 2:

Good. Good. Yeah. That's awesome. I'm glad to hear that. That's , that's important. And you know, writing is, writing is one thing. It can get a lot of stuff out, but when you speak it, yeah. It's like so different. Yeah .

Speaker 4:

Like, I'll just call a friend and be like, hey, can I rent to you real quick and I'll just speak what I wrote.

Speaker 2:

That's great. Yeah, that gave me too well. Good. I'm sure Michael would like to know that as well because that means that he made a difference. Yeah . What about you Kristen? What was your memory? Well , um , I've

Speaker 5:

just want to real quick say that Mike session was really amazing and I actually went to one of the poetry slams afterwards. Oh, cool. Um, and it was like a really great experience, but the person that I'm going to talk about that really like changed my life was Sandra mead . Hmm . Um, she was the one who spoke about giving those small speeches and getting out the importance that , that you need to say in a short amount of time and gave examples from her own personal life of testifying in Chiles. And that really helped me a lot because I'm not the most concise person. Um , I like to talk a lot. I like to say lots of things and I cannot relate [inaudible] I don't know what that's like at all. So , um, being able to like take my passion, which I have a lot of and squish it down to a few sentences is really helpful for me. Especially if I'm doing a speech in my college classes or um, even just talking to people cause they talk way too much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I , I always love her session because she is so smart about making the ask when you're talking to, you know, say a legislator or um, someone in government or somebody that you need something from. I love that she taught, kind of coached us into what's in it for them. Like, you know, if they are , if they're concerned about their budget, talk about money, if they're concerned about people talk about the heart, like you know, really being smart about going in and kind of doing your homework about that person before you're to go in and talk to them. Exactly. And then sort of almost give them the solution to the problem with your, your ask . It's definitely a talent and she's very talented at it. It's probably something we should all practice.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 2:

If you like what you hear, please consider donating to the source LGBT plus center. We can't do these podcasts without your support. You can go to the source lgbt.org/donate okay .