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Week 3: Navigating Trans Health Care in the Valley

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

The news from Washington last Friday that the 45 Administration would be eliminating healthcare protections for transgender people came as a huge blow to our transgender family. Navigating trans healthcare is already a challenge, particularly in rural communities where providers are less likely to have training or experience in treating transgender people’s particular needs. 

If you’re new to the transgender community, you may wonder what resources are available locally to help you in your journey to becoming yourself. The path looks different for each individual, just as the goals for each individual may be different. For many, the best place to start is with a supportive therapist who can listen to you, affirm you, and support you throughout your journey. From there you can explore non-surgical, non-medical gender alterations such as binders, packers, breast prosthetics, wigs, waist cinchers, gaffs, and padded underwear. You may decide you’d like to pursue hormone replacement therapy or surgery when you feel ready for it. Luckily, there are a number of providers nearby who can help you with all of those options.

Over the past two years, the Shenandoah LGBTQ Center has worked to forge relationships with local providers in both mental and medical health fields. Through direct conversations and client feedback we’ve done our best to search out trusted providers with the experience necessary to provide excellent care. On our website, we list resources for transgender medical care, including pediatric transgender services, links to trans-supportive therapists, and other transgender resources including the Trans Health Alliance of Central Virginia (THACVA) which maintains a comprehensive list of supportive professionals.

Wherever you are on your gender journey, know that there is a supportive community right here in the Valley, and that the Center offers monthly peer-to-peer support groups for trans and gender nonconforming individuals. You don’t have to navigate this alone, and there are experienced, compassionate professionals who are dedicated to your care.


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