On Trans Day of Visibility, we are thrilled to announce the launch of COIN – a program to provide FREE healthcare for sex workers in partnership with iconic transgender leader and activist, Cecilia Gentili.
The pop-up clinic, named Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network, or COIN, is the first of its kind and emphasizes the holistic well-being and dignity of sex workers while promoting an affirming, supportive environment to obtain healthcare without judgment, fear, or stigmatization.
Cecilia Gentili, a notable transgender community leader and activist, underlines the significance of supporting sex workers who have historically been excluded from conversations around safe working conditions, access to healthcare, public accommodations, and discrimination protections.
“For so long, sex workers like myself have been left out the equation and our rights completely excluded. It’s empowering to see momentum in correcting that history and head in a direction where we can fully respect sex workers’ lives, labor, and liberties,” said Ms. Gentili.
COIN officially launches on Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31st) as a nod to the invaluable contributions by transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who set an exemplary foundation and vision for the transgender community, as well as the current generation of transgender leaders who continue their legacy and the fight for sex worker rights.
The program is currently funded with a $500,000 grant by the New York City Council which will cover all health-related services through June. . The City Council has been progressively supportive of decarcerating and decriminalizing sex work in recent years, calling on the State to repeal the “Walking While Trans” ban that was ultimately passed in February of this year. The funding for the COIN clinic also dovetails with Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to decriminalize sex work while increasing access to supportive services for victims of sex trafficking.
Zil Goldstein, Associate Medical Director for TGNB Health at Callen-Lorde, helped to design the care model to be affirming, sex-positive, and inclusive. Zil has an extensive background in providing community-based healthcare for sex workers, and previously served as Clinical Director for Persist Health Project – a peer-led, community-based health organization by and for sex workers.
“Zil and Cecilia’s steadfast leadership for sex workers rights helped pave the way for this collaboration,” said Wendy Stark, Executive Director of Callen-Lorde. “We’re grateful for the City Council’s support and recognition of their efforts to increase access to healthcare for folks that are disproportionately impacted by incarceration and violence stemming from racism, misogyny, and transphobia.”
The pop-up clinic will be providing direct services through June, including primary medical care, sexual health services, HIV prevention and treatment, transgender health services, GYN care, and more. Sex workers can call 212-271-8134 to schedule an appointment and can visit the COIN landing page for more details