It isn’t always easy for women, transgender and gender-nonconforming people to talk comfortably about sex, sexual health and body positivity. But a Rogers Park health clinic offers monthly drop-in sessions hoping to address this need.
SexuWellness, at 6650 N. Clark, aims to create a unique space where people of all ages can talk about these issues in an open, non-judgmental setting.
The program, run by Howard Brown Health, “exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness,” according to the clinic’s mission statement.
Amy Miller is the manager of Howard Brown’s Women’s Health Services.
“We don’t shame people for anything that they’ve done, whether that’s their sexual health behaviors or whether they’ve been to a doctor or … what their level of knowledge is about HPV or HIV,” she said.
Topics like masturbation, body positivity and sexual wealth, among others, are discussed with attendees.
“When we talk about things like, you know, positive, healthy behaviors or topics like queer sex or masturbation, topics that are sometimes taboo for women to talk about, we hope this space will inspire folks to have more open and honest conversations with their peers,” Miller said.
SexuWellness wants their attendees to seek out providers for support and advice on future choices surrounding not just physical, but mental health, she said. The program provides services where patients can get vaccines, health counseling and a walk-in clinic for medical attention.
“We know that for women and trans folks there are a lot of barriers already, so we’re just trying to create a space where we can relieve as many of those barriers as possible,” Miller said.
The drop-in sessions are held on the fourth Friday of the month 5-8 p.m. at Howard Brown Health’s Rogers Park location.