What Gender Affirmative Therapy is and is not

While not a research study, this piece is a thoughtful and straightforward overview of affirmative therapy for trans youth.

Author: Meg-John Barker. Published March 18, 2019.

Two years on from 2017 when it began, we’re still in the midst of a moral panic about trans. Daily news stories across all sections of the media continue to spread myths and misinformation about trans people. It’s hard to even imagine the extent of the damage caused to trans people living our lives in this culture of hatred and denial of our basic existence and human rights, particularly young people who are growing up in this climate.

One topic which comes round frequently in this moral panic is the help and support given to people – particularly young people – who are gender diverse, or exploring their gender. Claims are often made that people are pressured to go down particular roots, for example that anybody who questions their gender is pressured to come out at trans, or that everyone is quickly pushed down a particular pathway of medical treatment and surgeries.

I was recently asked to put together a factsheet about what Gender Affirmative Therapy – or Gender Affirmative Practice in general – actually looks like: to put the record straight about what therapists, activists, and other practitioners in this area are actually doing – and inviting others to do. Here it is. You can download the pdf, or read the whole thing below that.