Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach (GALA™)

Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach chart of core components and philosophical values

Clinically, the Center has developed a set of innovative practices tailored specifically to address issues across the entire lifespan; children, adolescents, young adults, adults and older adults, known as the ‘Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach’ (GALA™). Based in theory and research showing stigma and discrimination contribute to negative health outcomes for transgender and gender diverse people, GALA™ is aimed at countering the internalization of this stigma and improving mental health outcomes by:

  • Gender Literacy: Understanding cultural “rules” about gender, and making intentional choices about whether to follow those that are not congruent with one’s gender expression and identity.

  • Resiliency to Stigma: Increasing one’s ability to overcome adversity and effectively cope with challenging situations.

  • Beyond the Binary: Deconstructing the gender binary and developing awareness that gender identity and expression are on a spectrum.

  • Positive Sexuality: Promoting pleasure-based sexuality by focusing on sexual self-esteem and satisfaction.

  • Connections to Medical Care: Ensuring access to quality care by facilitating referrals for a range of medical services such as puberty suppression, hormones, and surgery when needed.