Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida names 1st openly-gay chair

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: New PPSWCF chair Dr. Boyd Lindsley (R) with PPSWCF president and CEO Stephanie Fraim (L) and UCF professor Dr. Jennifer Sandoval at a Planned Parenthood event. (Photo courtesy PPSWCF)

ORLANDO | Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida (PPSWCF) elected Dr. Boyd Lindsley chair of its board of directors. The 23-member board is from a 22-county region of Florida, which includes Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples. Lindsley is the first openly gay man elected to the position.

Lindsley, who is the senior associate director for the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media, began volunteering with PPSWCF in 2011 and joined the board in 2013. He says he began volunteering after first utilizing Planned Parenthood’s services and being motivated by the work they do.

“[Planned Parenthood] is a wonderful organization that provides excellent health care; non-judgmental healthcare,” Lindsley says. “No matter who you are, who you love, that doesn’t matter to us, we will provide health care for you if you need it.”

Lindsley says he was also motivated to volunteer back in 2011 because of his recognized privilege.

“I am a tall, thin, Caucasian male. I have some means,” he says. “So I have a great deal of privilege. And I think it’s incumbent upon those with privilege to deploy it in a way to help those who do not have such privileges.”

While PPSWCF is traditionally talked about as an organization providing female reproductive services, the organization offers services for all individuals, including: STI testing, family planning services, contraception, screenings for cervical, breast and testicular cancer and hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a service that is not provided universally across all Planned Parenthood affiliates but has been a part of PPSWCF for the last three years.

“We have been serving more than 800 transgender individuals since we started our program,” Lindsley says. “Those folks are coming from all over Florida, as well as from 10 other states in our nation, showing how badly the need is for this kind of health care.”

Recently, Planned Parenthood has been in the news as the Trump administration instituted a “domestic gag rule on abortion,” which prohibits health clinics from receiving certain federal funding if they provide abortions or even if they refer patients to other health centers where they can receive abortions. These funds, known as Title X funding, make family planning and other preventive health services more affordable and accessible.

“Because the state of which we live in, we have not had Title X funds for a number of years,” says Lindsley. “As Planned Parenthood, we have had to raise funds to provide the kind of care that is needed for family planning services. That is what Title X funds supports, family planning, never abortion. So we’ve had to supplement that through fundraising.”

PPSWCF holds several fundraisers through the year to raise those needed funds, including one in Orlando on Nov. 6. The event called Rosé for Reproductive Rights is a beer and wine tasting mixer that will be held at the Orlando Museum of Art. Future events include a Choice Affair luncheon at Briar Glazer Family JCC in Tamp on April 17 and a benefit dinner at the Alfond Inn in Orlando April 24.

As we head into next year’s election season, Lindsley says it is important to remember, especially for cisgender white men, how LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive rights are entwined.

“The modern LGBTQ rights movement is on the shoulders of the women’s rights movement,” he says. “We have the same enemies and through all of our intersections, we are stronger together.”

For more information on PPSWCF, visit PlannedParenthood.org.

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