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Trans-Centered Care

Trans-centered care is language I developed when I found “trans-affirming care” to be limiting. It takes the principles we’ve learned from trans-affirming care and builds on them. I wanted language that helped shift the frame from trans folks as “other” to trans folks as normative. Trans and non-binary identities have existed across time and across cultures. There’s nothing new about trans and non-binary experiences – they’re older than the currently imposed and limiting binary gender system.

What does trans-centered care look like in therapy?

Trans-centered care doesn’t assume that trans or non-binary folks should or want to be more cisgender. Cisgender describes a person whose gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans-centered care shifts the cis-normative frame that we all live within to recognize and hold sacred the trans experience without comparing and contrasting it the experience of cisgender people.

Ok, sure, but what does it actually look like in therapy?

It looks like you getting to be you. Without pre-conceived notions of what your gender is supposed to be. Without pressures or assumptions of how you’re supposed to act or feel or look.

I’m a therapist who wants to practice trans-centered care. What should I do?

Practicing Trans-Centered Care

  1. Practice the use of social location (The use of social location is also dependent on the privileges of the clinician. It is not safe for all clinicians to be out about all of their social locations.)

  2. Having an awareness of cis-privilege (your own or others) and white privilege (your own or others)

  3. Creating a vocabulary with clients to talk about cissexism and white supremacy

  4. Naming cissexism and white supremacy when it happens

  5. Supporting transgender and non-binary identified clinicians and BIPOC clinicians

  6. Redistributing power/leveraging cisgender privilege and white privilege when relevant

  7. Actively engage with other clinicians to dismantle cissexism and white supremacy

  8. Attend trainings about transgender care that are led by transgender people

  9. Read books about cissexism, trans-affirming care, and anti-racist practice that are written by transgender people, non-binary people, and BIPOC people

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