Provide Overview of Chicago House Founded in 1985, our mission is to serve individuals and families by providing housing, employment services, medical linkages, HIV prevention services, and other supportive services to those who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity All Chicago House services are provided without discrimination and are designed to guide people towards wholeness and self-sufficiency
Our culture tends to limit its understanding of gender to only two options: Male and Female Our gender is often translated for us at birth. However, we know that life is more complex.
We think that gender is a lot more complicated and looks a little something like this: There are a lot of things to consider, a lot of pressures at play, and we have all been conditioned in such a way that our first instinct is a very limited model.
Gender Identity Gender identity refers to an individual’s sense of being a man, a woman, neither of these, both, and so on—it is one’s inner sense of being and one’s own understanding of how one relates to the gender binary. Everyone has a gender identity. Gender Expression Gender expression describes how people manifest masculinity, femininity, both, or neither through their appearance, behavior, dress, speech patterns, and more. This term refers to how a person expresses their gender identity or the cues people use to identify gender. Sexual Orientation Sexual orientation refers to sexual, affectional, and/or romantic attraction, and is different from gender identity. Gender and sexual orientation are often lumped together, despite being different, because of societal expectations around sex and gender. Transgender individuals can have any sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and straight are examples of sexual orientations. Everyone has a sexual orientation. Biological Sex refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized or assigned as male, female, or intersex. There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia. Emphasize that everyone is unique and lives each of these categories in different ways. Example: Kevin Aviance, famous singer, designer
These are the core terms that we want to share with you around transgender definitions. Define Terms Emphasize the importance of honoring an individual’s claimed gender identity. Example: If you are working with a person and you perceive them to be male or their chart or file states they have been assigned male at birth, and they are presenting as female, don’t make the assumption they are male and use male pronouns. Always ask which gender pronoun they use? Address them with the preferred name and Language is important; it defines human relationships. That is why it’s important use language of equality and inclusion.
So why do we say ‘cisgender’ instead of ‘non-transgender’? Because, referring to cisgender people as ‘non trans’ implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal. Many people have said ‘transgender people’ and ‘normal people’, but when we say ‘cisgender’ and ‘transgender’ neither is implied as more normal than the other. Using the word ‘cisgender’ is also an educational tool. To simply define people as ‘non-trans’ implies that only transgender people have a gender identity. But that’s not true. Like sexual orientation, race, class, and many other identities, all of us have a gender identity. Again, I want to emphasize that Language is important; it defines human relationships. That is why it’s important use language of equality and inclusion.
“Keisha is right – it doesn’t happen all at once. From violence to poverty to lack of healthcare, research shows that the cards are stacked against transgender people.” sr Talk through statistics on slide. Additional points to highlight: Violence – Injustice at Every Turn report shows transgender people face higher rates of violence than cis-gender counterparts. Poverty - 15 percent of the sample population earns less than $10,000 per year (an additional 21 percent earns less than $20,000); Injustice at Every Turn
Emphasize inclusion and affirmation Vs. exclusion and tolerance
CAB member: Talk through Practice Tips from the community
In this work we are partnered with a wide range of organizations.
Trans 101, Know Your Chicago 2014; Transitioning: Challenging Our Understanding of Gender Tour
Providing Trans* Affirming &
Funding for this project comes from Health Resource Services Administration
Grant No. XXXXXXX
Founded in 1985, our mission is to provide
services to those who are disenfranchised by,
poverty, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and/or
Funding for this project comes from
Health Resource Services Administration Grant No. H97HA24965
Transgender: a person whose sex, gender identity or
gender expression differs from the one assigned to them
Transition: The period of time in which a person begins to
live in a gender role which is in accordance with their
internal gender identity. May include period of time where
person begins dressing, hormone therapy or getting
surgery to align their physical self with internal gender
“Trans” can be shorthand for transgender and
transexual and a number of additional gender-non-conforming
Source: Keatley, 2008. Killerman, 2013.
“Transgender” was first used as a way of distinguishing people
with no desire for surgery or hormones from transsexuals
(people who may want to legal and medical support to align
their internal and external gender).
Transgender or Trans* is currently used to include all people
who fall outside of mainstream ideas of gender.
Cis, is a word that is becoming increasingly popular to
describe people who are not trans or gender variant.
Cisgender is a description for a person whose gender identity,
gender expression, and biological sex all align (e.g. man,
masculine, and male).
Source: Keatley, 2008. Killerman, 2013.
The Research Transgender people are disproportionately likely to experience violence in the
home, on the street, and in health care settings (26% report being physically
assaulted at least once)
Transgender people are 4 times as likely as general population to live in
Transgender people are more likely to be uninsured (19% of study reported
no insurance; among African American increases to 31%) and less likely to
get preventative care (50% reported not being able to afford it).
Recent study of more than 6,400 trans people in US, 41% of respondents
reported attempting suicide (a rate 25 times higher than general population)
CDC data shows new HIV infections among transgender people occur at
almost 3 times that of non-transgender men and 9 times that of non-transgender
SOURCES: 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report;
Centers for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/hiv/transgender.pdf, 2011.;
Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 2011.
Inclusion: Welcoming, respecting and valuing each person’s
unique characteristics and integrating them in an open and
supportive environment which helps build strong clients, employees
Affirmation: To recognize and accept a person as true and valid
and to hold them in positive regard as a member of the
A word from the community
Saying “transgendered” or
Transgender or trans
Using language like “sex change,” “pre-op,”
or “post op”
People's surgical status is rarely
appropriate to discuss
Not using a person’s preferred name &
insisting on using legal name
Use name that person prefers
Not using appropriate gender pronoun It’s Okay to ask pronoun preference
(he/his, she/her, or they/them”
Getting called “sir,” “guys,” “buddy” Gendered language should affirm a
persons gender ID
Displaying a judgemental attitude about
a person’s ability to “pass” in affirmed
It’s not your place to judge anyone’s
A word from the community
Outing a person or asking about their
Respect confidentiality; if you don’t
need to know, don’t ask
Excluding a trans person from services
b/c they are not “ideal” client
Don’t ask trans client to choose
between hormones or treatment
Hormones are critical to a person’s
health (if they choose)
Work with a transgender person if you
“don’t approve” of trans people
Seek out clinical supervision if you
need support or have feelings about
working with trans people
Allowing staff and other clients to use
transphobic language or treatment
Interrupt transphobia and call it out
Making trans clients responsible for
Agencies provide staff training and
education around trans identity
Community Advisory Board
Aja Fe’Rae Blalark
Josie Lynne Paul, LCSW, Director, TransLife Center
Channyn Parker, TransCare Coordinator, TransLife Center
Owen Daniel-McCarter, Esq, TransLegal Director, TransLife Center
Lex Lawson, TransWorks Coordinator, TransLife Center
Kevin Pleasant, TransHousing Manager, TransLife Center
Brill, S.,& Pepper, R. (2008). The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and
Professionals. San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Infection Among Transgender People,
Garafalo, R., Deleon, J., Osmer, E., Doll, M., Harper, G. Overlooked, misunderstood, and at-risk:
Exploring the lives and HIV risk of ethnic minority male-to-female
transgender youth. Journal of Adolescent Health 2006;38:230-236.
Grant, Jaime M., Lisa A. Mottet, Justin Tanis, Jack Harrison, Jody L. Herman and
Mara Keisling. Injustice at Every Turn: A report of the National Transgender
Discrimination Survey. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011.
Keatley, J. (2008). “Transgender People: Epidemiology and Treatment.” Slide set. Center of
Excellence for Transgender Health University of California, San Francisco.
2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report. January 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality, Rockville, MD.
National Coalition for LGBT Health’s Disparities Working Group. HEALTH PRIORITIES SLIDE
Killerman, Sam. Comprehensive List of LGBTQ Terms & Definitions. It’s
pronouncedmetrosexual.com. Retrieved February 1, 2013 from
Live Oak and UCAN (2007). Clinical Philosophy Training Series: Trauma, Violence and Loss, Module 3.
Chicago, IL: Live Oak and UCAN.
British Columbia Ministry of Health (2005). Harm Reduction: A British Columbia Community Guide.
British Columbia: Ministry of Health.
Transgender Law Center (2011). 10 Tips for Working with Transgender Patients (Brochure). San
Francisco, CA: Transgender Law Center.
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual , and Transgender Issues, NASW (2008). Position
Statement, Transgender and Gender Identity Issues. Socialworkers.org. Retrieved
February 1, 2013 from ww.socialworkers.org/da/da2008/finalvoting/do cuments/Transgender%202nd