Gender Resources & Definitions
Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from their biologic sex. Even though someone may look like a boy/man, they might feel like a girl/woman, and vice versa. Some people even feel like their gender identity is neither male nor female, but rather something in between or other. We’re not quite sure why some people are transgender. It isn’t something that a person chooses or learns, it isn’t because of the way a person is raised, and it doesn’t mean that someone is mentally ill.
Most of us don’t think very much about our gender, but gender is all around us. When people talk about us, they use pronouns, like “he” or “she”, or we might be called “sir” or “ma’am”. We have to choose whether to use the men’s or the women’s bathroom, or whether to buy clothes from the men’s or women’s department. For people who are transgender, it can be very difficult to live in a body that doesn’t match how they feel inside, and this may lead to anxiety or depression.
There is no way to change a person’s gender identity. Instead, people should be allowed to live as the gender they identify with.
Natal/biological sex: when we are born, we are assigned a sex—male or female—based on what body parts we are born with.
Gender identity: in childhood, we will start to think of ourselves as a girl or a boy. This is our gender identity—it is the gender that we feel on the inside.
is how we choose to express our gender
, such as by the clothes we wear, the way we style our hair, and the things we do.
Most people have a sex and gender identity that match, i.e. most females feel like girls, and most males feel like boys. But this isn’t always the case.
Binding, Tucking, Packing - Binding, tucking and packing are common practices utilized by some transgender or gender variant individuals to help them live as their affirmed gender. Although these practices are common, they are not always risk-free. Below are education materials with information that patients and families should know before they begin binding, tucking or packing.
What to do if you have lack of family support
We advise you to connect with our social worker, Theresa Emery at 802-847-3811 who can help connect you with support and will provide direction to other resources.
Transgender-Related Articles and Blog Posts
Legal issues facing transgender youth and their families
- Lambda Legal: the website provides issue specific fact sheets/brochures/toolkits
How to change my name
In Vermont, it’s fairly easy to execute a name change by filing out an application in the probate court, though the appropriate form depends on whether the person seeking name change is a minor or adult. Visit the VT Probate Division where all of the forms and FAQs can be accessed.
How to change gender on a birth certificate in Vermont
It is fairly easy with physician support. An affidavit by a licensed physician who has treated or evaluated the individual stating that the individual has undergone surgical, hormonal, or other treatment appropriate for that individual for the purpose of gender transition shall constitute sufficient evidence for the court to issue an order that sexual reassignment has been completed. The affidavit shall include the medical license number and signature of the physician (Statute: 18 Vt. Stat. § 5112 (2011).
Forms in Vermont
Forms in New York
Does insurance company cover any care?
Insurance coverage for transgender care is variable and frequently changing. We are committed to the care and well-being of the child. We'll work to advocate on behalf of your child/adolescent with insurance issues. We advise the parent who carries the insurance on the child should call the insurance company directly to find out what will/won't be covered for this specific condition. If a prescription is not covered, parents can talk to human resources at their workplace to start problem-solving before they even have to think about paying.
Are there any other resources if my insurance does not cover trans care?
- If you cannot afford your medication, contact: pparx.com or call the toll-free number 888-477-2669 (income dependent)
- Abbvie (makers of Lupron) patient assistant program: 1-800-332-1088 (income dependent)
- Needy Meds Drug Discount Card: www.needymeds.org; www.drugdiscountcardinfo.com, 888-602-2978
For those who have high co-pays or high deductible, the Abbvie assist card can be activated, which can help with up to $2000 per year (as long as the program continues)
- Brill, S. and Pepper, R. The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, 2008. San Francisco: Cleis Press.
- Ehrensaft, Diane, Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children, 2011. New York: The Experiment
- Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Transgender Law Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights. Beyond the Binary: A Tool Kit for Gender Identity Activism in Schools. 2004. San Francisco: Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
- Kuklin, Susan, Beyond Magenta, Transgender Teens Speak Out, 2014. Somerville: Candlewick Press.
- Krieger, Irwin, Helping your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents, 2011. New Haven: Genderwise Press.
- Teich, Nicholas, Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue, 2012. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Amy Ellis Nutt, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, 2016
- Laura Erickson-Schroth, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, a Resource for Transgender Community, 2014, Oxford University Press
- Mary Boenke, Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones (2nd edition, expanded)- Editor; Foreword by Arlene Ishtar Lev; Introduction by Jessica Xavier
- Stephanie Brill, The Transgender Teen, A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens, September 2016
- Harrington, Lee, Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Realities, June 2016
- Ehrensaft, Diane, The Gender Creative Child: Pathway for nurturing and supporting children who live outside gender boxes, April 2016
Suggested Websites and Resources
- Trans Youth Family Allies (TYFA)
- Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)
- Gender Spectrum Education & Training
- Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network(GLSEN)
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association(GLMA)
- Family Acceptance Project: for GLBT, diverse families at risk for suicide, DV, MH issues, homelessness
- The Trevor Project: suicide prevention for sexual and gender minority youth
- Trans Youth Equality Foundation (TYEF) : support, resources and networking services, based in Portland, ME
- Children’s National Hospital Gender and Sexuality Psychosocial Programs, under the direction of Dr. Edgardo Menvielle, Washington DC (search: Gender); email: email@example.com
- Schools in Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students in K-12 Schools
241 N Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT 05401
Pride Center of Vermont
255 S. Champlain Street, Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401
Vermont Diversity Health Project
255 S. Champlain Street, Suite 12, Burlington, VT 05401
New York Resources
Adirondack North Country Gender Alliance
PO Box 1113, Saranac Lake, NY 12983