Our People: Ivy Hill – QNotes

Greenville, S.C. native Ivy Hill is the neighborhood well being program director for Marketing campaign for Southern Equality (CSE) and has been on the frontlines within the battle for LGBTQ equality within the South since becoming a member of the CSE workforce as LGBTQ rights toolkit coordinator in 2015.
Along with working with CSE, Hill is a co-founder and govt director of Gender Benders, a non-profit transgender, gender non-conforming assist and advocacy non-profit group.

Ze developed a trans-sensitivity coaching program that was authorised by the U.S. Division of Justice below the Obama Administration and has delivered this coaching to high schools, universities, hospitals, non-profit organizations and companies throughout the Carolina’s.

Since 2004, Hill has labored round problems with LGBTQ fairness starting from advocating for hate crime laws to serving on the SC Equality TransAction Committee, and qnotes had a possibility to take a seat down and meet up with Ivy to see what it’s like working with CSE and to see what different issues ze enjoys doing exterior of ze’s work locally.

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Are you able to describe your place as CSE well being program director in addition to any of your different roles?

In my function with CSE, there are a variety of completely different initiatives that I oversee and assist implement. A couple of of these have been the Trans within the South information that lists greater than 400 trans-friendly medical suppliers in 13 Southern states. I additionally coordinate pop-up clinics throughout the South the place we offer free companies like identify change help, self-defense lessons by and for trans people, details about immigration and extra. I additionally do a variety of work to coach medical suppliers in trans sensitivity to assist improve the variety of competent suppliers within the South. Additionally over the past couple of years, I’ve been concerned in a variety of analysis about trans and queer well being within the South and revealed the “2018 Trans Well being Focus Group Report” and the findings from the “2019 Southern LGBTQ Well being Survey.” CSE has been a serious voice for the LGBTQ neighborhood within the South in a lot of methods.

What’s it like being part of one thing so influential?

I’ve at all times been so proud to be a part of this workforce at CSE and at Gender Benders. Every single day I get up and get to work with the individuals who encourage me most — my teammates are no doubt, my heroes.

What are some main CSE victories you’ve been aside of?

Since I’ve been at CSE I can consider a variety of victories we’ve been capable of have fun collectively. In my earliest days with the group we have been preventing for marriage equality, and working direct actions throughout the South. I believe the victory I’m most pleased with although is fairly latest. We have been capable of strike down the “no promo homo” legislation in S.C. that stated the one time you can speak about LGBTQ folks in sex-ed class was when you’re speaking about HIV and different STIs. We struck down that legislation with a federal court docket case earlier this 12 months. As somebody who grew up within the public college system in S.C. that felt like a very large and private win.

Along with your place with CSE, you’re additionally the manager director of Gender Benders trans and gender non-binary assist group. Are you able to present just a little background on the group and clarify a few of the methods it helps people who’re trans and gender non-binary?

Gender Benders began in 2011 with three associates getting espresso and speaking about what wants we had as trans and GNC (gender non-conforming) folks within the Upstate of S.C. We simply requested ourselves the place we wished to be, the place we have been then and what we might feasibly do to assist bridge that hole with no cash or assets that have been already in existence in our space particularly for trans folks. Now the group serves greater than 600 trans and GNC folks throughout the South with chapters in Hattiesburg, Miss., Hendersonville, N.C, Clemson, S.C, Columbia, S.C, and our authentic chapter in Greenville, S.C. From these early conversations, we developed a three-pronged method to serving trans and GNC Southern: 1) Connecting folks to the assets they should lead full and wholesome lives; 2) Partaking in advocacy and schooling work to assist make our neighborhood a safer place for our folks; and three) Creating area for folks to attach with one another and construct peer assist networks.

Have you ever ever skilled challenges related to physique and/or self-image, and if that’s the case in what means(s)? Have you ever ever used any form of artistic self-expression or different means to have fun or construct confidence in your self-image?

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I’ve actually struggled with physique picture my complete life, and it’s nonetheless one thing I wrestle with generally if I’m sincere. I’ve been an individual of dimension my complete life, and I used to be socialized as a woman after I was rising up. So, these messages about there being one thing fallacious with my physique have been fairly deeply ingrained in me from a younger age. As I obtained older, my chest began to vary and I needed to begin carrying a shirt exterior. That’s the primary time I skilled dysphoria associated to my gender, although I didn’t have the vocabulary to specific that at the moment. I didn’t know that there have been another choices when it got here to gender. At the moment I’m rather more snug with being an individual of dimension, and I’m working in direction of high surgical procedure, however undoubtedly should do artistic issues to assist me really feel snug in that regard. Generally that appears like carrying binders, generally that appears like throwing on my favourite hoodie, generally that appears like taking three showers a day as a result of it helps me reset after I’m in a funk, and generally that appears like getting on the telephone with another person who understands what that appears like and simply supporting one another by means of it.

Along with artistic self-expression, have you learnt of another ways in which people can construct confidence of their outer picture?

There are a variety of issues people can do to really feel extra snug with their our bodies when it comes to gender that embody instruments like binders, packers, breast prosthetics, gaffs, and so forth. However actually what I believe the extra necessary message is that after we restrict ourselves to the traditional customary of magnificence, we truly miss a few of the most stunning issues life has to supply.

What are some stuff you get pleasure from doing exterior of your skilled and volunteer efforts?

I’m truly a reasonably large nerd. I actually like to play with Rubik’s cubes and do puzzles. Extra just lately I’ve picked up artwork although, and that has been a variety of enjoyable. In the course of the pandemic, I’ve reconstructed a ping pong table with a design impressed by the Australian artist Mulga. That has actually helped get me by means of to this point.

As a local of South Carolina, what would you say is your most and least favourite factor about residing within the South?

Within the South, we have now an entire lot extra structural boundaries than people should take care of in different elements of the nation, so I hate to see my folks wrestle for issues like primary medical care, and even simply security in transferring by means of public areas. What I see within the South that I like although is that the neighborhood right here is so vibrant, sturdy and resilient. When it’s important to depend upon one another to your survival, you truly turn out to be bonded in a deeper means that I don’t suppose people perceive who’re from different elements of the nation.

What’s your favourite meals?

I actually love sushi.

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