Photo by Kai Huang
On April 2nd, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) named the UCLA’s Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.” The HRC surveyed more than 600 health care facilities and UCLA’s hospitals received this award because they have some of the best staff training programs and non discriminatory policies that help ensure that LGBTQ+ patients receive quality healthcare.
The Ashe Center offers a variety of services to LGBTQ+ students. For example, transgender students can receive hormone replacement therapy and practitioners ask students their gender, preferred name, and pronouns. The Ashe Center’s website contains lists of specific resources for queer students. For example, the website has lists of information that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patients can read about and potentially discuss with their healthcare providers. should talk to their healthcare providers about.
Monique Vaillancourt is a nurse practitioner who has treated many LGBTQ+ students at UCLA, including myself. I asked her about what she values about her work in LGBTQ+ healthcare and she says, “I value the opportunity to give LGBTQ+ identity affirming health care at a time when they may face difficult transitions or rejection in other aspects of their life. I hope to assist students to flourish at UCLA so that when things ultimately improve in life they are empowered by having a degree from UCLA, from having embraced all possible experiences and that the time here jump starts their post graduation life success”.
As a transgender student at UCLA, I can speak to the quality of the healthcare I received. I was pleased that my practitioner, Monique Vaillancourt, always asked me my preferred name and pronouns. In addition to helping me get started on hormone replacement therapy she also provided a personal side to healthcare. She asked me about my relationship with my family and if I was ready to come out to them. These factors made a difference– they made me feel comfortable during a time that I was scared.
If you’re a queer student at UCLA struggling with mental health, accessing hormone replacement therapy, or if you need information about sexual health or any other LGBTQ+ health needs, you should check out the Ashe center.