Affirming Medical Care refers to a range of medical, social, and psychological interventions that are designed to help gender-diverse individuals feel more comfortable with their gender identity. This type of care is patient-centered, non-judgmental and based on the idea that each person’s gender identity is unique and should be respected and supported. It is an essential component of healthcare for gender-diverse individuals. It can help to improve quality of life, reduce stigma and discrimination, and support individuals in living authentically and with dignity.
Affirming Medical Care can take many different forms, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. Some of the most common forms of affirming medical care include hormone therapy, surgery, and counseling or therapy. These interventions can help individuals to feel more comfortable in their bodies and reduce the distress that can be associated with gender dysphoria. Treatment involves using gender-neutral language, providing safe and inclusive spaces for care, and being aware of the ways in which gender identity intersects with other aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Most medical associations support gender-affirming care as medically-necessary and evidence-based. These include the American Medical Association (AMA), American Psychological Association (APA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). These organizations provide guidelines and recommendations for healthcare providers to ensure that transgender and gender-diverse individuals receive appropriate and affirming care.
In addition to healthcare providers, many advocacy groups and community organizations also support gender-affirming care. These organizations work to raise awareness about the importance of inclusive and affirming care, provide resources and support for individuals seeking care, and advocate for policy changes that promote gender-diverse rights and access to care.
In Texas, there have been several recent legislative efforts aimed at limiting access to gender-affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse individuals, particularly for minors.
Currently, there are numerous bills that would restrict access to gender-affirming care to both minors and adults, and prohibit healthcare providers from providing hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or surgery to individuals under the age of 18 for the purpose of gender transition.
These legislative efforts have been met with widespread opposition from medical and mental health professionals, as well as advocacy groups and community organizations. These groups argue that gender-affirming care is a critical component of healthcare for transgender and gender-diverse individuals, and that limiting access to such care can have serious consequences for the health and wellbeing of these individuals.
Pride Family Medicine is commited to providing up-to-date, affirming healthcare. However, despite its vast support from most medical associations, we are very aware that current law-makers are actively trying to impose changes and limitations on what kind of gender-affirming care we can provide. Pride Family Medicine and its providers do not perform any gender-affirming surgical services. Pride Family Medicine will continue to monitor and adhere to all active laws and regulations, however, this will not change our commitment to provide safe, supportive and legal healthcare to all of our patients.