Gender Identity Consultation
As a transgender psychologist, I bring professional expertise and personal experience to my work with gender issues. While I am a transman, I have experience with both transmasculine and transfeminine people. I’ve consulted with numerous types of differently gendered clients, including those who identify as transsexual, transgender, gender-variant, gender-fluid, genderqueer, cross-dresser, intersex, and questioning. I’m clear that not everyone who is gender-variant needs to or will be able to transition to living full-time as a different gender. When needed, I have a network of healthcare providers and support groups giving additional help and services to my clients and their families. My aim is to help clients clarify and accomplish their goals in ways that honor themselves and preserve the parts of their lives they want to maintain throughout their questioning and/or transitioning.
Supporting Family, Social, & Academic/Professional Transitioning
I am also glad to provide support for families and partners/spouses of children, teens, and adults who are exploring or transitioning. As a transman myself, I am familiar with the challenges of transitioning with family, friends, and career. I’ve been blessed to have transitioned successfully in all areas of my life through a great deal of deliberation, patience, and planning. I have tremendous appreciation and compassion for the loved ones who seek support, practical suggestions, and useful information about how to adjust to a loved one’s transition. To the degree the family seeks my input, I have guided parents in planning and managing all aspects of their child’s transition. As a transgender psychologist, I have presented and written on this topic because these are essential issues for anyone who is transitioning.
Evaluations & Consultation
As many clients with gender identity issues know, there are several ways in which consulting a knowledgeable mental health professional can be helpful. Some clients are already clear that they are transsexual or transgender and seeking gender reassignment. I can assist clients, after evaluation, by providing the letters needed for hormones and surgery to proceed with treatment for gender identity issues. Others need to sort through gender identity confusion, and may need support in clarifying their truths and their options. I can provide this help as well as ongoing support, if needed, through the transition process. Other clients seek consultation to understand and feel comfortable with their gender-variance, such as cross-dressing, but have no interest in medical changes to their bodies.
I am aware that the role of psychologist as “gate-keeper” to medical care for gender reassignment is controversial. Yet, since this is the current reality, I believe it is best to seek “the letter” from a qualified, affirmative professional. I am a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). I use the WPATH (formerly Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association) Standards of Care as guidelines, but this leaves room for clinical judgment to assess cases on an individual basis. I have seen some transgender clients only a few times, but others I have seen more often, to affirm the need for gender reassignment. Scheduling clients for unneeded appointments is unethical in any situation, but I am sensitive that this is a particular concern in the trans community.
Since 1995, I have worked with over 500 clients exploring their gender identities, presentations, and/or transitions. Additionally, because many relationships are gendered (e.g., father-son, aunt-niece, and marriages/partnerships), I work with loved ones in understanding and adjusting to changes in gender presentation and identity. I guide many parents through the social, academic, family, medical, and legal aspects of their child’s gender transition.
Working with organizations and healthcare professionals, I’ve also consulted with numerous schools about gender transitions within the academic setting for transchildren. I have also consulted with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and trained many professionals in transgender and gender diversity issues. I published review of The Transgender Child, and I’m on the committee revising the Standards of Care of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. In 2007-2008, I facilitated a free support group in Atlanta called Gender Crossing. I presented seminars at the annual Southern Comfort Conference from 2009 to 2013. I have written numerous articles educating psychologists about my transition and about the trans community.