When A’hmea Branch started her career in prevention, she was not sure what she wanted to do, but she knew she wanted to make an impact. After joining Bebashi – Transition to Hope’s Prevention team in 2021, she was inspired to bring awareness to the trans community, especially trans people of color.
Branch, who identifies as a transwoman, began her transition journey in March 2021. She credits working in prevention and learning about available resources for aiding her in the decision to transition.
“I didn’t know I was able to go to a go to a doctor for hormones,” she said. “I thought it was like the 1990s, more back alley.”
She used her personal experience as a catalyst for The Healing Place, a support group for members of the trans community presented by Beabshi’s new Melanin Magic program. The program also offers HIV/STI testing, PREP, hormone therapy, and the Trans Necessities Closet.
“I saw there was a need for a support group people who identify like myself,” said Branch. “I saw other people of the trans experience having the same concerns and wanted a space to talk about those issues.”
Those who attend The Healing Place will have the opportunity to discuss their life challenges, socialize with other members of the trans community, and gain knowledge on important topics, such as how to obtain employment, receive hormone therapy, and legally change their name.
“Looking at the statistics the number of trans people that are incarcerated is extremely high, especially those from the African American community,” said Branch. “There is a lack of actual employment, and we have to work lots harder to succeed. The goal of The Healing Place is to empower one another and to serve the underserved.”
The Healing Place, which meets the first and third Thursday of each month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, will hold the inaugural meeting on October 7.