I saw some folks mention the concept of a trans-positive therapist, so I wondered what exactly that meant, as I’m not sure I’ve seen any sort of criteria for that before. Since trans people seem to, as a population, often be in need of positive therapy – and often seem to experience not-so-positive therapy, I figured I’d put together a list of a few criteria I’d want to see in a therapist to call them “trans-positive.” I think I’ll start with some very basic and obvious criteria and then move on from there.
- Will see trans people
- Is not visibly uncomfortable around or hostile to trans people
- Does not view transness, gender dysphoria etc. as invalid – sees them as real conditions / human variation
- Does not need to be educated on the very basics of trans issues; has a basic understanding of transness, gender dysphoria etc.
- Does not subscribe to inaccurate, insulting, cissplaining models of transness such as the “trans women who are attracted to men are just gay men who are uncomfortable with their gayness; trans women who are attracted to women are just autogynephiliacs” model
- Does not expect male or female trans people to fit obsolete gender norms (“You’re not wearing makeup and skirts? Not a real woman.”)
- Sees trans people who are not men or women, who identify as non-binary, genderqueer, etc. as valid
- Does not see transness or gender dysphoria as something which the patient must constantly strive to “prove”
- Recognizes that different trans people have differing narratives and no one narrative is more “valid” than others
- Recognizes that different trans people have differing needs – not all trans women want or need vaginoplasty, some people who do not fit within the Western gender binary have physical needs in order to treat their gender dysphoria
- If a trans person is disabled, especially if they have mental health issues, the professional does not try to explain away their transness by saying “you’re only trans because of this issue and therefore it’s ‘not real’”
Obviously this is not a comprehensive list. It’s just sort of a start, and it’s based on my limited experience as a white neuroatypical trans woman who has not seen many therapists about these issues (I have mostly had the issue that they do not know the first thing about trans issues).
I also figure some of this can possibly be organized better – maybe some of these can be condensed into clearer, more “core” issues.
So I was really hoping for help on this.