Lesly Romero (Staff)

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I’m a straight, cisgender Latina and, prior to 2013, I had never met a transgender person.

Now I spend my days in Health Services providing case management for pre-surgical trans patients. I make sure they have letters for mental health clearance, provide referrals for those seeking surgery, connect them with surgeons, help with insurance, and link them to resources for their name and gender marker changes.

Working with transgender people has helped me to learn so much and to evolve and grow in a way that has made me a better human being. I wanted to work with this population because they are so underserved. I feel connected to the patients and want to share my expertise and experience.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am working from home and connecting with patients on the phone and via email.

One patient was in the middle of having her surgeries when the pandemic hit and, because the surgeries were not considered urgent, they were pushed back. She called me to report she had lost her housing. To have surgery, one criteria is to have safe housing or it might be canceled. I reached out to an organization that helps trans Latina women, and they linked her to a housing shelter in a matter of two days. I was so happy she called me. Now, she can look forward.

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Hometown: Inglewood., CA

Year Started Working at Center: 2019

Staff Position: Trans Health Program Specialty Care Navigator

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