Connections to Medical Care

Connections to Medical Care: Support in accessing competent, affirming care while acknowledging past and present gender-based stigma in medical systems.

The history of transgender healthcare has been largely about gatekeeping, and because of that, GALA™ has made the idea of empowering medical connections one of its core components. The main ideas behind empowering medical interventions are systemic transparency, informed consent, and advocacy. For example, systemic transparency is all about making the medical bureaucratic process clear, understandable, and not so intimidating to navigate for patients. Currently, the WPATH SOC (World Professional Association of Transgender Health Standards of Care) requires one or two letters of referral for any genital surgeries. Getting these letters can be a very complicated and difficult process for many TGNC people, and can end up acting as a barrier to their care. One way to make this process more empowering and transparent, is for health care providers to explain referral letter process, write the letter with the patient, give the patient their own copy, and make themselves available to discuss any part of the process that the patient may need clarified.