Andy Solano

After moving to New York City from California, Andy Solano (they/them) was introduced to Callen-Lorde by a close friend who was a patient at the clinic and recommended it for its services tailored to the queer and trans community. Andy’s journey with Callen-Lorde, marked by resilience, self-discovery, and the pursuit of authenticity, serves as a testament to the transformative power of inclusive healthcare. 

Reflecting on their initial experiences, Andy remarked, “Callen-Lorde put me at ease right from the start.” Amidst the discomfort often associated with traditional healthcare settings, Callen-Lorde offered a sanctuary where Andy felt understood and accepted. Through their comprehensive services, from hormone therapy to mental health support, Callen-Lorde became not just a medical provider, but a beacon of hope in Andy’s life. 

One of the key aspects of Andy’s experience at Callen-Lorde was the emphasis on honesty and openness in their patient-provider relationship. They stress the importance of being transparent about one’s needs and desires, even if they evolve over time. Andy’s journey involved transitioning not just physically, but also mentally, and Callen-Lorde provided the safe space for this exploration. 

As Andy navigated the complexities of their gender identity, they discovered a community of allies and resources at Callen-Lorde. “Community,” Andy asserted, “is at the heart of Callen-Lorde’s mission.” Through group support sessions and inclusive programming, Callen-Lorde nurtured a sense of belonging that transcended the confines of a traditional medical facility. In three words, Andy encapsulates the essence of Callen-Lorde: resourceful, adaptable, and communal. These qualities, embodied by the dedicated staff and inclusive ethos of Callen-Lorde, resonate deeply with Andy’s journey of self-discovery and empowerment.  

Looking towards the future, Andy envisions a path paved with self-assurance and continued growth. Despite uncertainties regarding insurance coverage and healthcare access, Andy remains steadfast in their commitment to advocating for their needs. With Callen-Lorde as their ally, Andy approaches the journey ahead with courage and determination. To Andy, queer and trans equity in the world looks much like what they found at Callen-Lorde. “I think the keyword is equity. To have resources not only at an equal level as others but specifically tailored towards queer and trans people. Not just getting the bare minimum or working with what we got but having access to services that prioritize the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.”   

Reflecting on their journey, Andy emphasizes the significance of authenticity, self-acceptance, and the courage to explore one’s identity beyond societal expectations or limitations. They offer advice to their younger self and others embarking on a similar path, “I would just tell them that it gets better. You won’t feel alone forever.”  

Andy’s story is one of resilience, community, and the transformative power of inclusive healthcare—a story that serves as an inspiration to all those navigating their own path towards authenticity and acceptance.