November is Transgender Awareness Month. This month is about the recognition of and education around transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary identities. Here are some basic definitions that are important when discussing trans health:
- To be transgender is to identify with a gender other than what you were assigned at birth.
- If you are nonbinary, you identify with a gender (or no gender) that is not exclusively male or female along the gender spectrum.
- People who are agender, genderfluid, and genderqueer may consider themselves nonbinary and/or with the trans umbrella.
Gender is as expansive as there are people in the world. These basics are just a starting point and may or may not fit everyone’s personal experience.
Trans health can look different for everyone and encompasses mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Healthcare for trans people can include hormone therapy, birth control, surgical navigation and the letters for medical procedures, and culturally competent mental health providers. Legal recognition, which includes name changes and gender marker updates, is also vital to a person’s health because it reduces barriers when it comes to insurance and healthcare. Here are some services available for trans folks at Howard Brown:
- The Youth Hormone Program – Howard Brown is expanding its services to transgender and nonbinary youth under 18 seeking hormones. The youth hormone program works to create a holistic environment that supports youth and families through this process by providing education, connection to resources and evaluation, or short-term therapy services. If you have questions about hormones, services at Howard Brown, or your particular situation, please reach out to the trans and nonbinary youth hormone team. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.388.1600 ext. 1984 to learn more.
- Informed Consent with Hormone Therapy – Howard Brown believes that people have a right to make decisions about their gender, gender identity and whether they would like to use hormone therapy. In many places in the past, patients had to get a letter from a therapist before they could get hormones. Howard Brown does not believe that people need therapy before they can make a decision about whether hormone therapy is right for them. People should be given complete, accurate information, and be supported in making their own decisions about their body. If you’re interested in informed consent hormone therapy, make an appointment with one of our providers and call 773.388.1600 to get started.
- Surgical Navigation – Howard Brown offers surgical navigation services for gender-affirming surgery. Our Health Navigators can assist you with planning and coordinating your surgery from pre-surgery requirements to post-surgery recovery. Contact HBHtranshealth@howardbrown.org to request a consultation and learn more.
- After Hours – After Hours is a space for transgender and gender nonconforming people ages 18 and up to talk to a healthcare provider, with free refreshments. Appointments are limited and scheduled first come, first served. Arrive early to reserve an appointment. Join us every first and third Friday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at 4025 N. Sheridan Rd.
There is never a wrong time to start to understand yourself or others. Join us this Transgender Awareness Month by and celebrating and supporting transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people in your life and community.