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Universal Understanding: Gender Dysphoria & Local Resources


21 Jan 2016

It’s the penultimate instalment of our LGBT special feature.

Today sex, intimacy and relationships therapist, Emma Ziff, explains gender dysphoria and helps you find resources in your locality.

Gender dysphoria

Transgender, or gender dysphoria “is more generally used to describe someone who is unhappy with or does not identify with the gender assigned at birth,” says Michelle Bridgman, psychotherapist on gender identity and gender dysphoria.

“It simply means dissatisfaction with a person’s assigned gender and is not a pathological condition.”

Transgender is a big part of the LGBT community due to the support and a place to be heard, although in itself it has nothing to do with sexuality.

Even though ‘LGB’ is about sexuality and the last one ‘T’ is identity, they all have an extremely interwoven history.

As a pharmacist you could have transgender patients of all ages; those who are very young and may not have support from family and/or friends; teens and younger adults; and older people who have possibly not transitioned until the later stages of life.

They may be male to female or female to male.

With this group of customers, they will be at different stages, before, during and post transitioning.

It is important for you to have the information available to support them and for you to understand these issues.

Transgender people have often been harassed, socially excluded, and subjected to discrimination, abuse and violence, including murder.

There is a higher risk of depression, anxiety, self-harming activities and attempted suicide.

Understanding treatments, including drugs, which are prescribed, will be vital.

Note that a proportion of male to female trans community have contracted HIV.

Learning about your locality

There is a lot of information to support pharmacists around the subject of LGBT health.

Conduct research on your local areas as to workshops, groups and information, which could be beneficial directly in your area.

Look to see the resources that are available to you from the NHS and associations like the National Pharmacy Association.

A great resource is: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Public Health Outcomes Framework Companion Document.

Here is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating that LGBT people experience significant health inequalities, which impact both on their health outcomes and their experiences of the healthcare system.

Stonewall is also a key organisation and you can download Experiences of healthcare Stonewall health briefing and Sexual Orientation: A guide for the NHS.

Any extra knowledge to help the LGBT community will help your pharmacy and your patients.

Do you know how to create a welcoming environment? Join us tomorrow to find out more in our final instalment.


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