What is Gender Non-Conformance?
Gender non-conformance or gender non-conformity refers to a spectrum of conditions, which are characterized by behaving or appearing in a way that is considered atypical for one’s gender. The cardinal feature of gender non-conformance is the feeling of gender dysphoria, the uncomfortable feeling of one’s assigned gender. The diagnosis of gender non-conformance is typically made using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by an experienced mental health professional with experience in gender identity disorders. The exact prevalence of gender non-conformance in the United States and most countries is not known. It is estimated that 1 out of 30,000 to 100,000 individuals have gender non-conformance; however, these are likely under estimates since many individuals do not seek therapy due to the social stigma of gender non-conformance that remains even in the present day. While for some biological sex and gender identity match, this is not the case for everyone in all situations. Following a period of counseling, individuals are often referred for hormonal therapies and/or surgical therapies to initiate their transition into the appropriate gender.
What is the cause of gender non-conformance?
- Unknown and likely to be multi-factorial
- Several proposed contributing factors include: pre-natal hormone exposure, biological differences in the brain including the hypothalamus, genetic and environmental factors. However, no single factor provides the sole explanation for the gender dysphoria experienced by individuals with gender non-conformance.
What are the treatment options for Gender non-conforming individuals?
Treatment for gender non-conforming individuals involves a multidisciplinary approach. Detailed hormone regimens are outlined in the Endocrine Society Guidelines for Treatment of Transsexuals published in 2009. Male to female transgender patients receive estrogen and anti-estrogen treatment. Female to male transgender patients receive testosterone therapy. Monitoring of hormone levels and potential side effects of therapy is important in the initial years of starting hormonal therapy. At The SHOW Center we can work with you and help with monitoring your hormone levels to develop an integrative, holistic pathway to care.
Your SHOW Center provider understands that fear of judgment is the greatest barrier members of the LGBTQ+ community face when seeking adequate healthcare. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers require patients to identify as male or female only, and some LGBTQ+ patients report being subjected to insensitive and discriminatory remarks in medical offices. By providing a safe healthcare space, the SHOW Center aims to diagnose problems earlier and offer a safe space where patients can seek evaluation and treatment without judgment in order to improve their health and wellness.
*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms