By empowering clients to be well-informed medical consumers and by delivering care providers from the straitjacket of inadequate diagnostic standards and stereotypes, this book sets out to transform the nature of transgender care. In an accessible style, the authors discuss the key mental health issues, with much attention to the vexed relationship between professionals and clients. They propose a new professional role; that of “Gender Specialist.” Chapters 3, 4, and 5 provide definitive information (in the context of consulting health professionals) on hormone administration, aesthetic surgery, and genital reassignment surgery. Chapter 6 takes up the little-examined issue of HIV and AIDS among transgender people. There is also a chapter devoted to issues of transgender people of color, as well as a chapter on transgender adolescents. The book contains a wealth of practical information and accounts of people’s experiences about coming out to one’s employer or to one’s friends or spouse. Several essays spell out the legal rights of transgender people with regard to insurance, work, marriage, and the use of rest rooms. The second part of the book consists of thirteen essays on a range of controversial topics. They include three personal stories of transgender life, one essay on the new academic field of Transgender Studies, two essays on legal rights, three essays on medical issues, and two essays on the origins and possible resolution of the conflicts between therapist and client. The authors have also provided useful listings of organizations, centers, and Web sites. The book has been reviewed by a national committee of professionals and consumers, some of whose members have contributed the essays in the second part of the book.
By Gianna E. Israel and Donald E. Tarver, 1997