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What Doctors Should Know About Gender Identity Kristie Overstreet

"One of the many challenges in identity management is for things like this, where there are certain values that are volatile in the sense that they change, like a last name change or maybe somebody changes their address or phone number," Cidon said. "But it could also be in this area of gender and gender reassignment, where not only will what was once considered a fixed value actually changes ... it's [also] something that needs to be accounted for."

What doctors should know about gender identity | Kristie Overstreet

There also needs to be a way to include sexual identity and gender identity in patient documentation, the latter of which should be optional, said Kristie Overstreet, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and clinical sexologist in Jacksonville, Fla.

Another issue that must be considered when it comes to transgender patient documentation is privacy, Cidon said, because it's not always clear how much a patient wants others to know about their prior identity.

Since the idea of identifying as transgender emerged, many doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists have tried to pathologize it rather than acknowledging it as an identity. Because of this discrimination, roughly 33% of transgender people have negative experiences with health professionals.

When J Mase III, a trans performance poet and founder of awQward, consulted a psychiatrist to be approved to donate a kidney to a friend, the psychiatrist assumed something had traumatized him and caused his transgender identity. He saw being transgender as a mental health problem, not an identity someone could be happy about.

What Doctors Should Know About Gender IdentityDiscussion about how to understand and discuss gender identity with patients, led by Kristie Overstreet. What the Gay Rights Movement Learned from the Civil Rights Movement Talk highlighting the overlap of gay rights with civil rights to pursue equity 041b061a72


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