By Luis G. de Jesus, MD
An estimated 0.6% of adults, about 1.4 million, identify as transgender in the Unites States based on the Williams Institute report published in June 2016. Transgender can be defined as having a different gender identity from the sex assigned at birth. This may include transmen, transwomen or individuals who are not exclusively masculine or feminine (non-conforming, non-binary, fluid, genderqueer).
Some transgender individuals may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned. This is termed gender dysphoria. Individuals with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress associated with their physical body particularly during puberty.
People with gender dysphoria may allow themselves to express their true selves and openly want to be affirmed in their gender identity. They may use clothes and hairstyles and adopt a new first name. Some may want support or counseling to help manage the distress experienced with gender dysphoria. Others may want a more extensive treatment including hormone treatment and/or gender reassignment surgery.
In collaboration with Counseling Services, Health Services provides counseling and hormone therapy (feminizing or masculinizing hormones) to our transgender students.