Comments on: Intersection of Sexuality and Gender Identity http://www.transtherapist.com/gender-sexuality-theory/intersection-of-sexuality-and-gender-identity Therapy for Those Coping with Life Transformations Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:27:23 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9 hourly 1 By: Team-Reid http://www.transtherapist.com/gender-sexuality-theory/intersection-of-sexuality-and-gender-identity/comment-page-1#comment-220 Team-Reid Thu, 04 Aug 2011 01:54:13 +0000 http://174.36.82.196/~transthe/_blog/?p=80#comment-220 Hello Bridget, Sorry for the long delay in responding, sadly I didn't understand until now how to navigate this process! This website is quite new to me. Anyway... to answer your questions: 1. No, there aren't enough, especially in Portland. There is one person in Eugene. I'm not aware of others outside the Portland area, though there may be individual counselors who have been helpful to a few trans people over the years. But no one other than my colleague in Eugene is actually marketing to, and taking an ongoing interest in, trans clients. In Portland, there are perhaps a dozen therapists I consider knowledgeable enough that I would refer trans clients to them. 2. I don't think it's the responsible of the state of Oregon (assuming you mean state government) to rectify this situation. The state has done its part, making discrimination based on gender identity illegal. 3. No, there is no certification available in this arena. I'm not aware of any state that has such an official certification. Right now, it's hit or miss whether students in any counseling program receive any training at all re GLBT issues. The GLB part is often covered in a cursory manner in a sexuality class, but is not usually incorporated into classes on relationships. The T piece is often covered via a one-paragraph explanation in a sexuality textbook that differentiates between sex and gender. Given that degree of coverage in counseling programs, it's not surprising that post-graduate certification is equally non-existent. This may come in the future, as trans people are more on the radar. 4. No idea. This is an impossible population to count. First, you'd have to operationally define "trans community." Does that mean people who have taken hormones? People who have had surgery? What about people who identify as trans but have yet to take any steps to transition physically? Or those who identify as trans and don't want to transition physically, either because they don't feel the need to, or because life circumstances are such they don't feel they can undertake such a life-changing process? And then there are the invisible trans people who move here post-transition and have no desire to stand up and be counted. I don't believe it's really possible to obtain an accurate "head count." 5. I have to separate Portland from the rest of the state to answer this question. In Portland, trans people don't often encounter difficulty, though some have told me of being stared at and occasionally verbally harassed. One of the many paradoxes of transition is, trans people are more likely to be spotted in Portland because there are so many here, people are more used to seeing trans people. But, they also don't care. In smaller communities, with much less awareness, people don't spot trans people as easily. Which is a good thing, because it's in the smaller communities that there might be more risk of a negative reaction. Many people have moved here from other parts of the country, usually in order to transition, and often tell me how much easier the whole process is here. So, I think overall, this is a great place to transition and a great place to live if you're trans. Hope this helps, and again, I apologize for the delay. Take care, Reid Hello Bridget,
Sorry for the long delay in responding, sadly I didn’t understand until now how to navigate this process! This website is quite new to me. Anyway… to answer your questions:
1. No, there aren’t enough, especially in Portland. There is one person in Eugene. I’m not aware of others outside the Portland area, though there may be individual counselors who have been helpful to a few trans people over the years. But no one other than my colleague in Eugene is actually marketing to, and taking an ongoing interest in, trans clients. In Portland, there are perhaps a dozen therapists I consider knowledgeable enough that I would refer trans clients to them.
2. I don’t think it’s the responsible of the state of Oregon (assuming you mean state government) to rectify this situation. The state has done its part, making discrimination based on gender identity illegal.
3. No, there is no certification available in this arena. I’m not aware of any state that has such an official certification. Right now, it’s hit or miss whether students in any counseling program receive any training at all re GLBT issues. The GLB part is often covered in a cursory manner in a sexuality class, but is not usually incorporated into classes on relationships. The T piece is often covered via a one-paragraph explanation in a sexuality textbook that differentiates between sex and gender. Given that degree of coverage in counseling programs, it’s not surprising that post-graduate certification is equally non-existent. This may come in the future, as trans people are more on the radar.
4. No idea. This is an impossible population to count. First, you’d have to operationally define “trans community.” Does that mean people who have taken hormones? People who have had surgery? What about people who identify as trans but have yet to take any steps to transition physically? Or those who identify as trans and don’t want to transition physically, either because they don’t feel the need to, or because life circumstances are such they don’t feel they can undertake such a life-changing process? And then there are the invisible trans people who move here post-transition and have no desire to stand up and be counted. I don’t believe it’s really possible to obtain an accurate “head count.”
5. I have to separate Portland from the rest of the state to answer this question. In Portland, trans people don’t often encounter difficulty, though some have told me of being stared at and occasionally verbally harassed. One of the many paradoxes of transition is, trans people are more likely to be spotted in Portland because there are so many here, people are more used to seeing trans people. But, they also don’t care. In smaller communities, with much less awareness, people don’t spot trans people as easily. Which is a good thing, because it’s in the smaller communities that there might be more risk of a negative reaction. Many people have moved here from other parts of the country, usually in order to transition, and often tell me how much easier the whole process is here. So, I think overall, this is a great place to transition and a great place to live if you’re trans.

Hope this helps, and again, I apologize for the delay.

Take care,
Reid

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