LGBTQ youth resources flourishing across Palouse

Planned Parenthood is one medical resource for LGBTQ community in Pullman

LGBTQ+youth+and+young+adults+deserve+to+have+access+to+medical+care+that+supports+their+identity.+

KESTRA ENGSTROM

LGBTQ youth and young adults deserve to have access to medical care that supports their identity.

KESTRA ENGSTROM, Evergreen columnist

WSU Pullman has numerous resources for students in the LGBTQ community.

The Women*s Center is a major organization on campus that works toward the goal of inclusivity and uplifting marginalized voices of students.

The Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center is another on-campus resource that specifically serves LGBTQ students, alumni and faculty members by “providing resources, fostering community building and relevant initiatives,” according to their website.

In 2017, GIESORC helped Cougar Health Services take important steps to actively improve care for LGBTQ students. In particular, they focused on teaching how to better serve transgender patients, such as ensuring students’ preferred name and pronouns are on file if those differ from their name and pronouns assigned at birth.

Although they certainly seem to be a majority, not every person living in Pullman is a WSU student, so not everyone has access to these services.

Luckily, there is no shortage of other resources for queer people living in Pullman.

Planned Parenthood is an incredibly well-known and important organization. Paul Dillon, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, said the clinic in Pullman focuses especially on health care for transgenders but is proud to serve all members of the community.

“Our health centers provide education, support, and sexual and reproductive health services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and intersex patients. We are proud to stand with the LGBT community and provide a safe and welcoming place to get health care and information,” Dillon wrote in an email.

Planned Parenthood is a wonderful resource because it also has connections to other LGBTQ organizations across the Palouse.

In Pullman, Planned Parenthood sometimes works with the queer-friendly United Church of Christ.

The organization also works with Inland Oasis, a volunteer organization that supports queer communities across the Palouse and other surrounding areas.

Planned Parenthood and Inland Oasis have worked together on Palouse Pride, a pride celebration that happens in August, rather than June, so WSU students and our neighboring University of Idaho can attend.

Some organizations even work directly with WSU. Women*s Center Director Amy Sharp said she is aware of numerous resources in the area and has worked with doctors both on and off-campus.

“There are a few doctors within Pullman I know … Stephanie Fosback, she’s super popular just because of the work that she does; she also works with a counselor as well in her clinic. But I know she’s trying to hire more doctors because she’s booked,” Sharp said.

Pullman is a great place to be for members of the LGBTQ community — for those who attend WSU and those who do not. 

Anyone living in Pullman has access to resources like Planned Parenthood that can help connect them to even more resources.

WSU students have a wide array of helpful resources, services and organizations, led by people knowledgeable enough to direct them to specific doctors.

When discussing life in Pullman, people often think just about WSU and its students and faculty members.

But there are so many other people living in Pullman who are contributing to the community. It is important that people who live here but are not associated with WSU have access to compassionate and inclusive medical care.