Historically, researchers and clinicians have viewed the transgender experience through a narrow diagnostic lens and have neglected to acknowledge the diverse experiences of those who identify as transgender. Currently, under the mainstream treatment paradigm, in order to be deemed eligible for gender transition services, transgender clients must meet criteria for a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria” as described in the DSM-5. An alternative to the diagnostic model for transgender health is the Informed Consent Model, which allows for clients who are transgender to access hormone treatments and surgical interventions without undergoing mental health evaluation or referral from a mental health specialist. This model shows promise for the treatment and understanding of the transgender experience outside of the lens of medical pathologization.
By Sarah L. Schulz, 2018