What Is a Gender Specialist?
A Gender Specialist is a professional who
advises individuals dealing with questions about their gender identity.
He or she has specialized training, experience, and interest
in gender identity issues, as well as appropriate credentials for
his or her profession. Collaboration with other knowledgeable health
care providers is essential, as well as familiarity with the other
resources that transgender individuals need. Membership in relevant
professional organizations and continuing education in this area
are also important.
More importantly, a Gender Specialist is someone
who is open-minded and compassionately curious about the many different
ways that individuals experience and express their gender identity
and sexuality. A Gender Specialist does not label people or tell
them who or what they are.
How Did You Become a Gender Specialist?
I have always been aware that there are some people
who are born with a different sense of their gender identity than
what one would expect. I have always been open and accepting of
gay, lesbian and bisexual clients. So when a transgender individual
could not find a Gender Specialist in central New Hampshire, the
Executive Director of the New Hampshire Psychological Association
asked me if I would be willing to see him. He came in with a stack
of information he had found on-line, and we embarked on a journey
of discovery together. This was such a positive experience for both
of us that he referred others to me, and I sought out the resources
I needed to become more informed.
That was in July of 1998. Since then I have assisted many transgender individuals, and
their families, friends, and employers. My clients' ages have ranged from 7 to 72, and
have included MtF (male-to-female), FtM (female-to-male), intersex, and androgynous
individuals. In 2011 I wrote and published The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition, to assist clients and others understand the transition process. I have also recently published the first Transgender Workbook: Your Journey to Womanhood, and am working on the second volume.
I am a member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (formerly the
Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association). I am available to work with trans-identified people on the myriad issues that accompany the
decision process, and to assist them to transition to whatever point they find comfortable.