Gender-affirming care is a thoughtful and compassionate approach to supporting and respecting an individual’s gender identity. Its aim is to provide them with a sense of value, understanding, and validation. This comprehensive care extends beyond medical interventions such as hormone therapy or surgeries, if desired, and encompasses aspects like using the correct name and pronouns, establishing safe spaces, and ensuring individuals feel acknowledged and heard. The overall goal is to empower people to feel authentic and true to themselves.
To prepare for readiness assessments for hormone therapy, you will engage in consultations with a clinician who is trained in the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) guidelines. These sessions aim to explore your intentions for pursuing medical gender affirmation, contributing to the validation of your gender identity. The readiness assessment adheres to the WPATH Standards of Care Version 8 and typically encompasses a range of subjects, including personal and familial medical histories (both physical and psychological), your social and financial support systems, and your individual gender identity. Potential risks and managing expectations of medical care are also discussed. It’s vital to note that we do not seek a specific narrative, as we acknowledge that there is no universally correct path to transitioning. The number of sessions required varies based on the complexity of the matters discussed. Generally, clients will meet with a psychologist for two to three sessions. After this assessment, the clinician will help affirm that you are prepared to start feminizing or masculinizing hormone therapies or are able to provide informed consent for gender-affirming surgeries. If you meet the criteria, you will receive a letter of support, which will be reviewed with you at a final session.
In the case of hormone readiness assessments, a single letter from a medical or mental health professional is all that is necessary. For surgery readiness assessments, you will require a letter from a physician specialist in addition to a letter of endorsement from a mental health provider trained by WPATH.
At times, it may be agreed upon that there are barriers that would impact your access to gender-affirming medical care (e.g., unmanaged physical and/or mental health issues that would contraindicate care; instability around living situations; lack of support needed for after care). In these cases, our clinician will be able to support you through affirmative counselling, case management, and collaboration with other professionals. Our clinicians also offer general gender-affirming care and counselling through the process of medical and social transitions, and they have connections with other gender-affirming care providers (e.g., estheticians, hair stylists and barbers, personal shoppers, speech-language therapists, endocrinologists, and pediatricians) to provide wraparound and comprehensive care. They can also help navigate an often confusing and oppressive system.
The fee for gender-affirming care testing is $200 per session. The number of sessions needed is based on case complexity. Sliding scale options may be available but are limited.