New Yorker turns gender-affirming care struggles into transgender advocacy

Gov. Hochul officially declared November as Transgender Awareness Month, and News 12 is highlighting one New Yorker who turned her challenges with gender-affirming care into transgender health advocacy.  
Shauna Brooks has been advocating for her own body since she was a teen, and struggled to get access to adequate gender-affirming care. In the process, she sought out a procedure that nearly took her life.  
“It was about giving my body more time with hormones and testosterone blockers… to not have that gender dysphoria weight on your shoulders,” said Brooks. “What was injected into me was carcinogenic and it was causing all sorts of neurological issues.” 
Brooks then turned to Amida Care, a nonprofit insurance plan that connects doctors and lifesaving care to members of the transgender community and those living with HIV and other disorders.  
Brooks remains on the long road to recovery and is now using her experience as a platform to advocate for others who may be in need.  
“That’s where I come in and tell my story,” said Brooks. “Even when I was temporarily disabled, I took myself to Albany to be a lobbyist, to advocate as an activist.” 
New York state landmarks will light up in pink, white and blue next Monday in honor of Transgender Awareness Month.