Recent news has brought increased attention to transgender people in society and in the workplace. With this attention, I have been getting questions about how best to support a colleague who is going through transition.
Transitioning is both a public and a private process. For the person going through the transition, they will have spent years making this decision and going public with that choice can be a scary time. They may have questions that range from "How will I be received by my colleagues?" to the practical "Which bathroom can I use?"
Here are some tips for easing the transition:
Find out more with these transgender resources:
GLAAD: Transgender FAQ: GLAAD.org/transgender/transfaq
PFLAG: Straight for Equality Transgender page StraightForEquality.org/trans
Human Rights Campaign: HRC.org/resources/category/transgender
Susan’s Place: Provides news for the transgender community and also member chats and information: Susans.org
Creating a welcoming and supportive healthcare environment for all LGBT patients is a critical part of patient-centered care. Getting to know your patients, including aspects of their sexual and gender identity, behavior, and desires is key to providing quality care. With the transgender community becoming more visible, some questions may arise. When people decide to make their transition public and live openly, it can be a very challenging time for them and others. Without a doubt, this is the time when providers, family, and friends need to be supportive.
We have put together some tips for providing care for transgender patients.