Internet Resources for Information and Support for Gender Dysphoria, GID, Hormone Therapy and SRS Surgery
Plastic surgery to alter physical characteristics in the framework of treatment for gender dysphoria, formerly called Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is only one stage of transition. MTF breast augmentation and FTM chest reconstruction surgeries are usually performed following a period of careful contemplation about your gender identity and presentation and for some people hormone therapy to feminize or masculinize appearance before making more permanent surgical physical alternations.
A sex and/or gender reassignment program of treatment can take from many months to several years, and the process can be challenging. The physical, mental, and/or emotional changes you may experience occur in the context of your relationships with family, friends, and legal and professional requirements. This can be a stressful experience. Personal assistance, understanding and support are often necessary to make a successful transition.
The Internet offers a rich source of information for anyone seeking medical and general knowledge about gender dysphoria, how gender identity disorder is diagnosed, what treatments are available, and living as a transgender or gender non-conforming person. Advances in medical and social research have brought new understanding of transgender issues, and people in the trans community publish websites to exchange information and support with others seeking help or going through the treatment process.
The most accurate websites describing SRS plastic surgery options are internationally recognized medical guidelines and published professional medical standards.
- The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care SOC, Seventh Edition, are international guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria or GID.
- International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) is an official medical standard published by the World Health Organization for diagnosis and treatment of gender dysphoria, transsexualism, or GID. cdc.gov
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is an official medical standard for treatment of gender dysphoria, transsexualism, or GID. allpsych.com
FTM Chest Reconstruction Resources:
Many websites have been set up by and for FTM transpeople to describe their own surgeries and results along with general information. Specialized medical associations and online publications of clinical studies are also reliable sources of information on FTM surgical procedures and results.
- Transbucket is a project site set up for individuals to exchange FTM chest reconstruction information, including viewing and posting before and after photos. You must join to use the site but is it free and photos can be posted anonymously. transbucket.com
- Hudson’s FTM Guide is an educational site with comprehensive and detailed information describing surgery, surgical procedures, costs, benefits, risks and general advice (with the disclaimer that it is not intended to be a medical site).ftmguide.org
- The Transitional Male is an educational resource to inform transmen, their friends, family and their significant others. thetransitionalmale.com
MTF Breast Augmentation Resources:
Many websites have been set up by and for MTF transpeople to describe their own surgeries and results along with general MTF chest reconstruction information. Specialized medical associations and online publications of clinical studies are also reliable sources of information on MTF surgical procedures and results.
- Transsexual Roadmap, a very well-written and comprehensive website covering every aspect of MTF life, including surgical procedure descriptions. tsroadmap.com
National and International Organization Support Websites:
If you are exploring changes to your sex and gender identity but don’t know where to begin learning more about yourself and your options, it will be helpful to schedule an appointment with a counselor at a local chapter of an established professional organization. Here are some options for you:
- Transgender Network (TNET) is a large and well-established organization providing education and support. TNET is one arm of the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and more than 350 affiliates in the United States. A grassroots network, PFLAG is cultivated, resourced and serviced by the PFLAG National Office, Washington, D.C. community.pflag.org
- Renaissance Transgender Association is a national transgender support and education organization with many chapters in the eastern US. ren.org
- International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) is a non-profit advocacy organization working to create acceptance and overcome intolerance towards transvestitism and transsexualism caused by widespread ignorance. ifge.org
- Mathew Shepard Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to support diversity programs in education and to help youth organizations establish environments where young people can feel safe and be themselves. They promote understanding, compassion and acceptance of the LGBT community. MatthewShepard.org
- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a media and resource for those new to or unfamiliar with transgender issues. The site also includes further resource links. glaad.org
Community Members Sharing Surgery Resources:
There are many networking sites for transsexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming people including “life story” and diary reports describing personal experiences. There is no guarantee that the information given in these sites is medically accurate, but they can be a source of moral support and comfort.
- TG Boards is a Discussion Forum website of first-person accounts of life as a transperson. It offers an opportunity for community members to share information and advice and can be a source of inspiration and insight. The site requires registration and log in to participate. tgboards.com
- Real Life Experience (RLE) is a non-profit organization “committed to providing safe space and opportunities for self-exploration and learning for all members of our diverse community.” They present Fantasia Fair, a week-long celebration of gender diversity, the longest-running transgender annual conference in the world every October in Province town A. fantasiafair.org
- Susan’s Place is an Australia-based reference site with resources on every facet of transgender life. susans.org
- Yahoo Groups FTM Surgery Info is an extensive resource for information, photos, and research on surgery options for FTM transpeople. The group has been operating for over 10 years and highlights the work of more than 125 surgeons. The group has more than 4400 members worldwide.
Transgender Advocacy and Legal Rights Websites:
Knowing your rights is an important element in obtaining counseling, treatment and support. Learning about the legal aspects of living in a sex and/or gender that you were not designated at birth can help you avoid difficulties during and after transition.
- Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a non-profit organization that works proactively with other concerned lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations to ensure that transgender veterans receive appropriate care for their medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration’s Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity… as the first class citizen that you are.” tavausa.org
- Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is committed to ending discrimination based on gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transpeople through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts. transgenderlegal.org
- Transgender Law Center (TLC) works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. They offer programs in law, policy, health, economic justice, and movement building and legal services include information and referrals and in some cases, direct representation. transgenderlawcenter.org
- National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a non-profit social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment. transequality.org
- GID Reform Advocates are medical professionals, caregivers, scholars, researchers, students, human rights advocates, and members of the transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay communities and their allies who advocate reform of the psychiatric classification of gender diversity as mental disorder.
- The American Civil Liberties Union, LGBT Project fights discrimination and moves public opinion on LGBT rights through the courts, legislatures and public education. aclu.org
- Amnesty International GLBT Network works to protect human rights worldwide because gender, like race or sexual orientation, is not an acceptable basis on which to imprison people. ai-lgbt.org/
- Connecticut Trans Advocacy Coalition (CTAC) is dedicated to improving societal attitudes and the law to achieve equal rights for trans and gender non-conforming individuals and communities, through education, political and social advocacy and activism. transadvocacy.org
- The greater Sacramento area has a thriving LGBTQ community and there are many resources available to both allies and those within the community. Visit Sacwellness LGBTQ Resources to learn more.
Support Groups for Relatives:
- Anne M. Vitale, Ph.D. hosts a professional website of publications and essays by this noted psychologist specializing in treating transsexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming people. The site includes a comprehensive list of resources for relatives.
- COLAGE is a national organization supporting children, youth and adults with LGBT parent(s). colage.org
- TransFamily is a support group for transgender and transsexual people, their parents, partners, children, other family members, friends, and supportive allies. transfamily.org
- Straight Spouse Network (SSN) is an international organization that provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners (current or former) of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems. ourpath.org
- The TransFamily Alliance is a support community & resource hub for parents raising transgender, non-binary, & gender expansive youth.
- Rebecca Minor is a Gender Specialist partnering with trans and gender nonconforming youth through their journey of becoming and or expressing their truth; and a guide to their parents in affirming it.
- UCSF’s Child and Adolescent Gender Center offers comprehensive medical and psychological care, as well as advocacy and legal support, to transgender, nonbinary and gender-expansive kids. We bring together experts from within as well as outside UCSF to promote gender health and support positive outcomes for children and adolescents exploring gender identity and expression. The CAGC accepts new patients ages 3 through 17.* Patients may continue to receive care at the CAGC through age 25.
- Gender Spectrum’s approach is to take the critical areas of children’s lives and work to bring greater gender understanding and inclusion. We focus on creating gender-inclusive spaces throughout the primary domains of all children’s lives.
- The Gender & Family Project (GFP) empowers youth, families and communities by providing gender affirmative services, training and research. GFP promotes gender inclusivity as a form of social justice in all the systems involved in the life of the family.
- The Trevor Project is an introductory educational resource that covers topics and best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary young people.
- Ally-Parents is a group of parents who have come together across the U.S because we have a transgender child.
Spiritual and Religious Resources:
- Light in the Closet is a publication for Christian transpeople seeking comfort and advice.
- Kindred Spirits is the website of a spiritual movement celebrating transgender life as “Kindred Spirits” based in the Southern Appalachians, near Asheville, NC. trans-spirits.org
Regional US Support Groups:
There are countless regional support groups set up by or for transpeople. While you may not be located in their area, their websites are often excellent resource guides to networking and finding assistance in your own area.
- Central Texas Transgender Society is an informal association of groups and individuals living in central Texas.
- Connecticut Outreach Society (COS) is a Hartford-based transgender support group.
- Erie Sisters is a social organization run by transwomen in Erie, PA to support transgender individuals, their families and significant others.
- Mid-Hudson Valley Transgender Association is a non-discriminatory group structured to allow participation by all who support the transgender community of the Mid-Hudson Valley in NY. ren.org
- Tiffany Club of New England (TCNE) is one of the largest and oldest transgender support group in New England. tcne.org
- Ohio University LGBT website published specifically for information and guidance for students and prospective students and their families. The site contains easy-to-navigate sections on terminology, definitions, hormone therapy and plastic surgery information, and practical living. It also includes further resource site links.
Emergency Support When in Crisis:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service with over 120 crisis centers across the US. Help is available to anyone in suicidal crisis by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will be immediately connected to the closest possible crisis center to you. The NSPL is committed to providing immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself or for someone you care about. Your call is free and confidential. www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Information is the First Step in Treating Gender Dysphoria
Dr. Scott Mosser and his staff have reviewed and compiled this list of important websites and useful links for anyone contemplating SRS surgery and those who care about them. As in most human endeavors, “knowledge is power”, and Dr. Mosser is firmly committed to helping his patients reach important decisions regarding surgical alterations to their bodies only after being fully informed of both the risks and the benefits.