Cheyenne Regional Medical Group Endocrinology & Diabetes Education is proud to provide compassionate, comprehensive care services to our transgender and gender nonconforming adult patients. Our care team is here to support you through your journey.
What is Gender Dysphoria?
Gender dysphoria is the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics.
Some people feel so strongly that their body is incorrect that they decide to have medical treatment to help their body match how they feel inside. Treatment options range from hormones to gender-reassignment surgery.
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines gender dysphoria in adolescents and adults as a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and the assigned gender, lasting at least six months, as manifested by at least two of the following:
- A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics (or in young adolescents, the anticipated secondary sex characteristics)
- A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender (or in young adolescents, a desire to prevent the development of the anticipated secondary sex characteristics)
- A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
- A strong desire to be of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
- A strong desire to be treated as the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
- A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender (or some alternative gender different from one’s assigned gender)
Our endocrinologist will work with you to create a personalized and comprehensive care plan. Our team will support our transgender and nonbinary patients in a safe and welcoming environment. Your care team may consist of multiple disciplines and care lines that might include the following:
- Hormone Therapy
- Mental Health Services
- Gender-Affirming Surgical Services
You Are Not Alone
Whatever your gender identity, it’s important to realize that there are many people like you. Many of them have the same emotions and questions that you have.
It can be comforting and helpful to talk to people who know what you’re going through. You may be able to find someone to talk to through local or online groups. If you don’t know where to find support, check with:
- Primary Care
- Your doctor
- Your school counselor or a trusted teacher
- A therapist or other counselor
- LGBTQ clubs and organizations in your community
- Websites and online organizations (You can find a list of such organizations on the website for PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) at www.pflag.org.)
If you are transgender, you may be under a lot of extra stress because of discrimination in the community. Transgender people suffer from high levels of stigmatization, discrimination and victimization, possibly contributing to a negative self-image and increased rates of other mental health disorders. Suicide rates among transgender people are markedly higher than the general population.
- Cisgender: Describes a person whose gender identity aligns in a traditional sense with the sex assigned to them at birth.
- Gender diverse: An umbrella term describing individuals with gender identities and/or expressions that vary from expected developmental norms. This includes people who identify as multiple genders or with no gender at all.
- Gender dysphoria: A concept designated in the DSM-5 as clinically significant distress or impairment related to a strong desire to be of another gender, which may include desire to change primary and/or secondary sex characteristics. Not all transgender or gender diverse people experience dysphoria.
- Gender expression: The outward manifestation of a person’s gender, which may or may not reflect their inner gender identity based on traditional expectations. Gender expression incorporates how a person carries themselves, their dress, accessories, grooming, voice/speech patterns and conversational mannerisms and physical characteristics.
- Gender identity: A person’s inner sense of being a girl/woman, boy/man, some combination of both or something else, including having no gender at all. This may or may not correspond to the gender assigned at birth.
- Nonbinary: A term used by some individuals whose gender identity is neither girl/woman nor boy/man.
- Sex/gender assigned at birth: Traditional designation of a person as “female,” “male” or “intersex” based on anatomy (external genitalia and/ or internal reproductive organs) and/or biology (sex chromosomes and/or hormones). “Sex” and “gender” are often used interchangeably, but they are distinct entities. It is best to distinguish between sex, gender identity and gender expression and to avoid making assumptions about a person regarding one of these characteristics based on knowledge of the others. This is sometimes abbreviated as AFAB (assigned female at birth) or AMAB (assigned male at birth).
- Sexual orientation: Describes the types of individuals toward whom a person has emotional, physical and/or romantic attachments.
- Transgender: An umbrella term describing individuals whose gender identity does not align in a traditional sense with the gender they were assigned at birth. It may also be used to refer to a person whose gender identity is binary and not traditionally associated with that assigned at birth.