Transgender Health

Fenway Health is a Leader in High Quality, Informed Health Care Regardless of Gender Identity or Expression. Whatever Your Gender, We’ve Got You Covered.

 

Join our Transgender Peer Support Group!

This group is held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month.  Find us on the 9th floor at 1340 Boylston Street from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Walk-In Information & Resources for Trans Health Care

Walk-In 20-minute information and resource appointments with the Trans Health Patient Advocate are available from 4-7PM on Wednesdays.

1st & 3rd Wednesdays at 1340 Boylston Street, 2nd floor.

2nd & 4th Wednesdays at 142 Berkeley Street, 2nd floor.

Contact transhealth@fenwayhealth.org for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1) Do I have to transfer my primary care to Fenway to get hormone treatment at Fenway?

Not necessarily. Fenway does not require patients to have their primary care at our health center sites in order to manage hormone treatments, however, your health insurance may require you to do so. Contact the member services phone number on the back of your insurance card if you have a question on whether you can receive specialty care at one primary health center if your primary care provider is located at another center. For people insured by MassHealth or Medicaid/Medicare, you will be required by those insurance plans to change your primary care to Fenway if you want any medical services here.

2) How do I find out if my insurance covers hormone treatment and/or surgery?

Insurance coverage and benefits are specific to the plan a person has and all insurance coverage is not the same even within the same insurance company (Blue Cross, Aetna, Tufts, etc.). In order to get information that is about your personal coverage benefits, you must call the member services phone number listed on your insurance card to ask about coverage for the specific services you need. You have a right to request a copy of your policy that covers any trans/gender affirmation medical treatments. You may want to bring the information you learn or the policy copy to your medical visit to talk about what it means for your access to care. If you have additional questions regarding insurance, or you do not have insurance at all, call and ask for an appointment with Financial Services at 617.927.6000.

3) How do I find a surgeon and how do I get a referral to get surgery once I find one?

There are many physicians who perform gender affirming surgeries. One place to search for some names of known gender affirmation surgeons is at transcaresite.org. Some people check online with others who are in surgery groups for trans and nonbinary people, such as transbucket.com where they can see photographs and talk with people who have worked with a particular surgeon. It is important to learn what you can about a potential surgeon before finalizing your choice when there is more than one option to choose from. Sometimes there may be only one option available. Be sure to ask about what insurance coverage a surgeon accepts for payment, if any, as you make a decision on who to pursue surgery with.

Fenway provides surgery assessments and assists with referrals for their primary care patients when surgery is the appropriate treatment needed. Before Fenway mental health and medical providers can write a referral letter for surgery, you must have a specific surgeon and a specific procedure that they are requesting for a patient. Fenway providers do not write referral letters addressed “To Whom It May Concern.” Contact your medical provider or care team to request a surgery assessment and assistance with the referral process.

4) How do I find a therapist?

Fenway Health has behavioral health services that provide episodic brief treatment and assessments for surgery referrals for trans and nonbinary patients of Fenway. It is best to call the Behavioral Health intake line at 617.927.6202 to ask what the current wait time is for starting treatment and whether the services available are the best fit for your needs. Fenway’s primary care patients may ask for an internal referral for surgery assessments by contacting their primary care provider’s care team or their provider. To find a therapist outside Fenway Health, there are a few places people may search online. One website is transcaresite.org. Another public site is psychologytoday.org that may be narrowed down using key terms such as “transgender” (listed under “issues” a provider works with). Also available is the NASW.org website and many health insurance carriers have lists of gender therapists if you call the member services phone number on the back of your card.

5) Can I start hormones before I leave for college?

If you are already a patient at Fenway Health and are 18 years of age or older, make an appointment to speak with your provider about hormone therapy. You can find more information on hormone treatments for adults by clicking on the “Adults and Hormones” PDF at the top of the page.

If you are already a patient at Fenway Health and are currently under the age of 18, your parent(s)/guardian(s) must consent to any hormone therapy. You can find more information on hormone treatments for individuals under 18 by clicking on the “Minors and Hormones” PDF at the top of the page.

If you are not a patient at Fenway Health and are 18 years of age or older, call our appointment line at 617.927.6000 and ask to schedule an appointment to discuss hormone therapy. You can find more information on hormone treatments for adults by clicking on the “Adults and Hormones” PDF at the top of the page.

If you are not a patient at Fenway Health and are under the age of 18, a parent/guardian must schedule an appointment for you by calling 617.927.6000. They need to ask for an appointment in the “Trans Youth Clinic.” One parent/guardian must attend this first appointment. You can find more information on hormone treatments for individuals under 18 by clicking on the “Minors and Hormones” PDF at the top of the page.

Fenway has no way to promise or insist that a college student health center provide or continue hormone treatments for a student. Please make sure to discuss with your provider, parent(s)/guardian(s) and school administration what you need and how your care will be continued when you start school.

6) What is this I am hearing about a “Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)” – Is that a real diagnosis or medical condition?

The term “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)” is not a medical condition or diagnosis recognized by any major professional health association. It is not a subtype of nor a recognized classification of any mental health condition or mental illness within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), used by mental health providers to diagnose mental health issues. It is not a diagnosis or any part of any classification in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) used by medical providers internationally to identify diseases and conditions. ROGD is nothing more than an acronym created to describe a proposed clinical phenomenon that may or may not warrant further peer-reviewed scientific investigation. [adapted from WPATH statement]

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health Board of Directors has issued a statement in response to the proposal of ROGD that can be read here. In this statement, the WPATH Board “reaffirms the deliberative processes by which diagnostic entities and clinical phenomena are classified and established. These academic processes reside within the respective professional medical organizations and are led by workgroups formed by expert scientists, clinicians, and stakeholders, often over long periods of time, with high levels of scientific scrutiny of the evidence-based literature.”

“At present, WPATH asserts that knowledge of the factors contributing to gender identity development in adolescence is still evolving and not yet fully understood by scientists, clinicians, community members, and other stakeholders in equal measure. Therefore, it is both premature and inappropriate to employ official-sounding labels that lead clinicians, community members, and scientists to form absolute conclusions about adolescent gender identity development and the factors that may potentially influence the timing of an adolescent’s declaration as a different gender from birth-assigned sex.”

We encourage anyone struggling with questions about their gender to seek the support and guidance of licensed medical and/or mental health professionals experienced in working with gender diverse populations to explore these feelings and any impact on daily functioning and well-being.

Do you have other questions? Email and ask at transhealth@fenwayhealth.org.

Trans/Non-Binary-Focused Groups

Fenway offers several drop-in, staff-facilitated, peer-led, short-term, therapy and one-time social group activities and options for transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people as well as for non-transgender partners, parents or guardians of TGNC individuals. A listing of these groups can be found here. Additional support and therapy groups at Fenway are available and welcoming of TGNC individuals. The full spectrum of available groups can be found here.

Support Resources

Trans Suicide Prevention

For information about trans suicide and helping a person who is feeling suicidal, please download one of the following brochures:

  • To assist a friend or someone you know in the community: Community Brochure
  • For professionals who serve trans communities and want information on helping suicidal clients or patients: Providers’ Brochure

Peer Listening Line & LGBT Helpline

  • Anonymous, toll-free information, referrals and support

Outside Gender Therapy Options

Fenway cannot guarantee transgender cultural competence of outside providers. We recommend you interview any provider and find one that fits with your needs and expectations.

Documents & Further Reading

Informed Consent Documents

Self-Injection Guide

Downloadable Self-Injection Guide for people who are managing their own intramuscular or subcutaneous injections of hormones. [These guidelines are not meant to replace proper training in injecting techniques and safety precautions. Please talk to your medical provider first and get proper training before attempting to self-inject using these guidelines.]

The History of the Fenway Transgender Health Program

Download this interesting and informative booklet about the beginnings, history and growth of the Transgender Health Program at Fenway Health.

Martorelli, T. (Ed.). (2015). History of the Fenway Transgender Health Program. Boston, MA: Fenway Health.

Transgender Youth Clinic

Fenway Health offers medical and behavioral health care for gender diverse youth under 18 at all of our clinical sites.

Our providers host a clinic for trans youth under 18 on the following days:

  • Every 2nd Wednesday at 1340 Boylston Street on the third floor.
  • Every 3rd Wednesday at Fenway: South End, 142 Berkeley Street.
  • Every 4th Wednesday at 1340 Boylston Street on the third floor.

To schedule a visit at the Trans Youth Clinic:

  •  1340 Boylston and Fenway: South End – 617.927.6000
    • These sites see ALL ages and treat trans children, including puberty suppression as appropriate.
  • Sidney Borum Health Center – 617.457.8140
    • This site sees patients 12-29 years old only.

Call the numbers above to request an appointment in any of the Trans Youth Clinic times.

TRANS YOUTH CLINIC PROVIDERS

Medical
Tracey Toner, NP-C
Ethan Brackett, MD, MPA
Danielle O’Banion, MD
Alexis Drutchas, MD
Karen Kelly, MD

Behavioral Health
Rebecca Henderson, LICSW

For more information on what to expect at the clinic, please refer to the Hormone Therapy Resource at the top of this page.

Trans Health Research Studies

The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health has a robust Transgender Health Research program that is conducting ground-breaking research to improve the health and well-being of transgender people everywhere. To learn more about studies actively enrolling transgender folks, please visit the current studies at the Fenway Institute.

*Sort by studies for trans people.

Provider Support

Webinars

For a webinar on how to assess readiness for gender affirming surgeries and write referral letters, click on this link.

For additional educational supports, please visit The National LGBT Health Education Center and check their free webinars and training modules. For more information please contact transhealth@fenwayhealth.org.

Sample Surgical Referral Letters

Hormone Therapy Resource

Need to learn more about hormone therapy? Here are some pointers that will help you understand how hormone therapy works at Fenway Health!

Adults & Hormones (PDF) Adults & Hormones (PDF) Spanish Minors & Hormones (PDF) Minors & Hormones (PDF) Spanish

Trans Health Program Information

transhealth@fenwayhealth.org

Upcoming Events