Transgender info and process
WPATH has released their new Standard of Care (SOC Version 7) which includes major new initiatives emphasizing depathologizing the experience of being transgendered and insisting medical professionals take a more collaborative approach with clients who approach them for assistance.
This page is a work in progress. I invite you to email me websites you think are appropriate. Email me at [email protected]
I will use this space to describe the process I generally use to help people deal with gender identity issues and for passing on links to other sites.
Awareness of history and potential
We begin by exploring the individual’s own sense of who they are, when and how they came to understand that they were somehow different, and their awareness of how others have proceeded. We then discuss how they would like to move forward and any problems that need to be resolved to accomplish their goals. It is important early on to provide realistic hope that peace is possible, that they are not the only one to have felt the way they do, and while their path is unique, together we will find their best way to deal with it.
Identify and understand living/working/social problems and opportunities. Complete bio-psycho-social history.
When a client is unable to make a decision about how to proceed they may decide to make a tentative decision. Tentative in the sense that it is a trial or experiment, just something to try on and imagine what it would be like. We do this sometimes by simply using the desired names and pronouns, talking about how they might tell others, how they might appear in public as their true self, trying on different looks in the office, etc. There are times where we might use MtF hormones as a diagnostic tool and as such it too is a tentative decision.
Clients who are considering living as a different gender, or perhaps to live agender/gender fluid/gender queer or however they may feel more authentic, will often begin by experimenting. Challenging society’s rigid binary system often brings up feelings of fear and inadequacy. First forays into their new world may be here in my office or with a group of loosely similar people. Supportive but real conversations and interactions may solidify or modify one’s belief about exactly what their path to feeling whole will look like. They may begin to venture into safe places in the world. Shopping, dining, and the theater are frequent first destinations. Later in their work, when they are ready to come to the office as their true self I may ask them to come in as though they were going to an office or out to a social event or a sporting event. We ALWAYS go at the client’s pace.
The quality of many finished products depends mostly on the preparation. Whether you are preparing to paint an aircraft or preparing to live as your true self, much more than half of the work is preparation.
Frequently the older the person is the more time needs to be devoted to getting ready to live the life you have dreamed.
Together we will figure out which tasks need to be accomplished and in what order. Some of the common issues involve:
How will loved ones, friends, family, employers, peers, and organizations be informed? Does any one even need to be informed? In what order should they be told? When shouldn’t they be told?
What will the new you look like? Will there be a need for medications or surgery? When? How will you arrange finances? How will your life be different?
Are there other psychological conditions that need to be addresed? Before dealing with your gender issues? After? During?
How will you support yourself and those dependent on you as you move forward? Will you find new employment? Stay where you are? Who should you tell first? How will you present yourself at interviews? Who and when, if ever, will you reveal your history to?
What do you want to do about future reproductive possibilities? Are you aware that even though you MAY be able to have biological children by stopping contra-hormone therapy it is probably safest to assume you will not. How important is this to you? What can you do to preserve the ability to have your own biological, children in the future?
How will you begin the process of moving through the world as your true self? How will you learn what it will really be like? Where will you get the things you need? Where will you first begin experimenting? Where will you learn the reality about living as your true self? How will you handle potential losses? All of these issues and many more, unique to each individual, should be thought through in some detail. You have to make all of these decisions. My job is to help you figure out how (and if) you can get to your goal. I will always be supportive of what you want to accomplish, and empathetic about the obstacles you face but I will also never lie to you or ignore problems that I think are important to address.
National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK
Hopeline Depression is treatable, Suicide is preventable
The Keystone Conference March 20-24 2019 - stay tuned for 2020 information
Dr Christine McGinn's Papillon Center
Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline
Lynn's Place Supporting our transgender, transexual and intersexed brothers and sisters with all the resources they need for a sucessful transition. Our goal is to strive for social justice, equality, support and resources for our transgender and intersexed individules and their significant others.
Dr. Becky Allison
Anti Jen's site for young folks
Fenway Health great basic information
True selves: Understanding Transsexualism-For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals, by Mildred L. Brown & Chloe
Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working With Gender-Variant People and Their Families by Arlene Lev
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity , by Julia Serano
Transparent: Love, Family, and Living The T With Transgender Teenagers, by Chris Beam
Trans-sister Radio A Novel, by Chris Bohjalian
Transgender Emergence Therapeutic Guidelines For Working With Gender Variant People And Their Familes , by Arlene Lev
The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation From Male to Female , by Max W. Valerio