Questions About Transgender Concerns
I am having questions about my gender. Can you help me to understand this?
Gender diverse people have existed throughout time. Your feelings are just that, feelings. We can work together to help you make sense of your questions and to figure out how and if you would like to move forward in claiming your trans identity.
I have heard of a social, legal, or medical transition. What is the difference?
A social transition includes those activities that change the ways that others relate to you in a social setting. This might include a name change, a change in the way you style your hair, a change in the clothing you wear, or a change in the pronouns you use. This list is not exhaustive, but these are generally considered the basic elements of a social transition.
A legal transition includes changes to various identity documents. Changing your documents (e.g., driver’s license, social security card, passport) involves interacting with one or more governmental agencies. The process by which this change is made will change from one state to another. For a detailed explanation of the rues for various jurisdictions, you should check out the work of Lambda Legal.
Medical transitions include all or some of hormone treatment and surgeries. Hormone treatment is regularly straight-forward and can be prescribed by a primary care physician or an endocrinology specialist. Surgeries include “top” and “bottom” surgeries. These surgeries are best performed by a surgeon who has the knowledge and skill to work with trans people. One of the common challenges that trans people face is being able to afford medical care if that is a part of their identity. Although there has been some change in the insurance market, trans people still are more likely not to have coverage for transition related medical care.
What are the different types of trans identities?
The types of trans identities are quite diverse. Names that are used include: transgender, transsexual, gender diverse, gender creative, gender fluid, gender queer, stud, mahu, two-spirit, fa’afafine, hijra, and many others. Some of these names are based in cultural identities. This is not an inclusive list. Some trans people choose others names to identify their identity. From my perspective, it is more important for you to tell me how you identify rather than having me give you a label.
I need a letter for my medical provider. Do you write letters for transition?
Letters are an integral part of my practice. My approach in writing letters is to provide only that information about your history that is relevant to your needs. Generally, I do not require a long process or a specific number of sessions to learn about you so that I can write a letter.
Questions About Counseling
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different issues and goals for counseling, it will be different depending on the individual. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. My work is rooted in humanism and feminist approaches. I practice affirmative work with all of my clients and it is critically important to me that client’s are able to maintain autonomy. That means that you have the best knowledge about who you are and what is right for your life.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say here. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and the length of time counseling can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek counseling in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication will be crucial to your success.