The Transgender Health Action Coalition (T-HAC) is a result of a forum held in June of 1996 called "Bridges to Coalition - A Community Forum on Transgender Issues." Locally, this was the first time that transactivists and transfriendly supporters worked together to define ourselves, our needs, and our diversity, and discussed ways in which we, as individuals and organizational representatives, could work together to address the identified needs.
The "Bridges" forum revealed that transgendered people lacked access to quality medical and mental health services regardless of which segment of the community they were from. Thus T-HAC was formed to try to address this tremendous problem. Some of the initial priorities of T-HAC have been:
Throughout the first year of our existence, we were overwhelmed by the momentous task we undertook. In the process of writing and obtaining our first grant through the Legacy Fund, we were able to set two primary goals for our first year. The first was to assess the needs of the TG community in the Philadelphia area. The second was to get our board members some training in organizational development in order to address the organizational structure of our fledgling group.
These goals took us along routes we never envisioned. We struggled with communication across the very real lines of diversity across race, gender, sexual orientation, class and age differences. This is, of course, an ongoing struggle. We completed our needs assessment and have been able to form new, useful collaborations through that process. We have all broadened our concepts of community and continue to honor affiliations with those who are not the same as us but who share our needs for quality, accessible health care services.