Friends, Family, and whatever random visitors this page probably won’t attract,
Between now and October 2020, I will be raising funds to support the Chicago Women’s Health Center (CWHC) as part of their Chicago Marathon Team.
I chose this charity for many reasons. Here are a few:
1. They do great work in my hometown.
2. I have been #blessed to have an abundance of excellent women in my life.
3. I know plenty of people who have directly benefited from organizations like CWHC.
4. Whether you're aware of it or not, you probably know plenty of people who have directly benefited from organizations like CWHC too.
Now that we have some things in common, here are some cool and good things you should know about this organization.
The Chicago Women’s Health Center provides over 6,000 women, trans folx, and young people with safe, affordable healthcare services and education every year. They’ve been helping underserved and vulnerable communities across the City of Chicago access compassionate, comprehensive care since 1975.
Here are some other things I really like about The Chicago Women’s Health Center:
• Respectful: CWHC takes a non-judgemental approach and emphasizes cultural competence because that’s, like, the kind of basic human decency we should all be practicing.
• Inclusive: TERFs are the worst at being right about gender identity stuff. Since 2008, CWHC has been explicitly trans-inclusive. That means they serve ALL women (and more) and do not cater to the objectively dumb and bad opinions of TERFs.
• Affordable: If you haven’t been paying attention, healthcare is really expensive—prohibitively so for an estimated 78% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. CWHC offers a sliding payment scale so every patient can afford the healthcare they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
• Comprehensive: The variety of services CWHC offers is amazing. Patients can access primary care, counseling, preventative care, fertility, trans health services, and the resources they need to make informed decisions about their health.
• Alternative: Vaccines are really necessary and essential oils aren’t a substitute for a medical professional. But, good smells, relaxation techniques, and traditional medicine can all be used to help people heal. That’s why CWHC works with alternative medicine providers to offer services like therapeutic massages, acupuncture, and more.
Here’s an idea of how Chicago Women’s Health Center might choose to leverage donations:
$1,000: Counseling services for one person for the entire year
$500: All appointments and screenings needed for one trans client to begin gender-affirming hormone therapy
$300: One comprehensive sexual health education class for 25 young people
$150: One primary care appointment or gynecology exam
$75: Sexual health education for one student for a year
$20: One Pap test (screening for cervical cancer)
$15: Lab cost for one trans client to initiate care
Okay, now let’s talk about me:
Hello, my name is Johnny. I am a straight white man. My gender matches the sex I was assigned at birth. I was lucky to grow up in a safe community. My parents and extended family encouraged me to pursue higher education and helped shoulder the cost of a college degree. Access to healthcare has practically never been an issue for me—except for that time I married my wife, in part, to get in on her insurance plan (thanks, Mara). My basic survival in this world has really only ever been at risk due to my own dumb choices.
I have so much to be grateful for. I’ve never had my wisdom teeth removed. I don’t have any chronic health issues. And I will probably never need any of the services that the Chicago Women’s Health Center provides. When I am sick, I can expect that my doctor will treat me with respect. I can be sure that my medical records and legal documents will use a name I identify with. Family planning methods are easily accessible to me. No one is trying to assert legal control my reproductive organs.
Too much information? Maybe.
The point is, I can take so much for granted because of the circumstances of my birth. I’ve got it pretty good because society or something. Like, I have enough free time—usually between 4AM and 6:30AM—to train for my fifth marathon. That’s really cool for me.
But not everyone can be a straight white man—like, eww, no one wants that—and all those things I can take for granted are real, existential issues for a lot of people who don’t match the weird, narrow, and wrong ideas our society has about gender—or who do meet those silly standards and just so happen to be women.
And while the Chicago Women’s Health Center can’t force dumb and wrong politicians to start working for their LGBTQ+ constituents or stop impinging on women’s access to basic family planning services, they can give individuals a safe space with supportive staff trained to treat every patient with the respect and humanity they deserve. And that’s pretty great.
So yeah, I hope you’ll help me support CWHC by donating on this page. I mean, they do great work for a ton of people. Reread the diatribes above if you missed the details. I’ve started things off myself so the number looks less daunting. Any amount you can spare would be most appreciated.
I’ll be sharing updates periodically...probably just photos of me looking miserable and sweaty while running in previous years. If that’s the kind of content your peers are into, feel free to share this page with them—just don’t be weird about it.