Community-driven terms to describe transgender health care
The term “gender-affirming care” has surged in popularity over the past few years, thanks to the increased politicization of transgender people’s lives. But people aren’t always using it the same way. That’s why we asked focus groups of trans adults and families of trans youth how they understand terms commonly used to describe healthcare for transgender people.
We focused on the terms “gender-affirming care” and “trans-inclusive care” because those were the terms we heard used most often by trans folks in Central Oregon as well as by healthcare providers trying to signal that they welcome transgender patients/clients.
Based on our conversations with community members, we crafted the following working definitions:
Care that is delivered in a manner that is respectful, relevant, and responsive to the needs of trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse individuals and their families. This is inclusive of general, transition-related, and specialty health services.
Care that is specific to a patient’s sexual organs or secondary sex characteristics. Examples include: cervical and prostate exams, mammograms, and treatment of reproductive and sexual health conditions.
Care that is designed to holistically support an individual and/or their family through gender transition. This may include social and legal transition supports, counseling, puberty suppressing medications, hormone therapy, hair removal, voice therapy, surgeries, and pre- and post-surgical care.
What terms do you use to refer to healthcare that is inclusive and affirming of transgender people? What do you expect from providers who describe themselves this way?