What is the GAP Advocates initiative?

GAP stands for gender affirming procedures. We thought this was an appropriate acronym since there are so many gaps in the healthcare system. GAP Advocates was created to assist students in accessing gender-affirming health care at UIC, specifically through CampusCare insurance, in a way that values and prioritizes their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
 
This initiative at UIC was developed in the spring of 2015 in affiliation with the Gender Umbrella Society (GUS) a student organization and the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). The initiative is financially supported by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer People and Allies (CCSLGBTQPA). 

Who are Advocates? What is their role?

GAP Advocates are trained volunteers- students, faculty, and staff- that are paired with students and are available to offer resources, support, and advocacy for students seeking gender-affirming healthcare. They are from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and identities.
GAP Advocates are trained to be student-centered, trauma informed, and offer various types of logistical and emotional support for students. Advocates are here to first and foremost, provide accurate, up-to-date information about exactly how to access gender-affirming health care at UIC (a process that is constantly changing). Advocates are also available for other things such as accompanying students to medical appointments or communicate with doctors, counselors, or insurance representatives on a student’s behalf.
 
The goal of GAP Advocates is to ensure that every UIC student receives the gender-affirming health care they deserve in a competent and timely manner. By pairing students with an advocate of their choice, we believe we can make the process of accessing such care simpler, more direct, and ultimately more affirming. If you are interesting in being connected to an advocate, please email gapadvocates@gmail.com. 

GAP stands for gender affirming procedures. We thought this was an appropriate acronym since there are so many gaps in the healthcare system. GAP Advocates was created to assist students in accessing gender-affirming health care at UIC, specifically through CampusCare insurance, in a way that values and prioritizes their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
 
This initiative at UIC was developed in the spring of 2015 in affiliation with the Gender Umbrella Society (GUS) a student organization and the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC). The initiative is financially supported by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer People and Allies (CCSLGBTQPA). 

Meet our Advocates

Katja Tetzlaff

Biomedical Visualization, M.S.

they/them/theirs

Katja is a recent UIC graduate from the Biomedical Visualization Master's program. As a medical illustrator, Katja's work centers around reproductive anatomy, LGBTQAI+ family building, and gender expansive and intersex healthcare. Passionate about LGBTQAI+ health, Katja gives presentations about trans/gender expansive health, intersex medicine, and normativity in healthcare imagery to students in both the health sciences and humanities.

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