Category Archives: International Center for Transgender Care

Katie Couric Explores Gender Diversity in ‘Gender Revolution’

Prior to filming ‘Gender Revolution’, her new documentary for National Geographic, Katie Couric thought she understood gender. People are born either boys or girls, and they grow up to be either men or women, respectively. But as transgender people become more visible in the media, our national dialogue surrounding gender has evolved, as well. Noticing a cultural shift, Couric set out to explore, dissect, and understand this phenomenon—dubbed the “gender revolution.”

While filming the documentary, Couric travelled across America, interviewing a diverse group of transgender children, adolescents, and adults. In Washington, D.C., she met Ellie, a young transgender girl who at the age of four told her parents “I’m a girl in my heart and my brain”. In Phoenix, Couric visited Camp Outdoors, a summer camp for LGBT teenagers. There, she spoke with several transgender teens about their experiences using puberty-blocking and hormonal medications, and what it’s like growing up trans. In San Francisco, she met with Dr. Marci Bowers, a gynecologist who performs hundreds of gender-affirming surgeries each year, and happens to be transgender herself. Couric also interviewed several older transgender people about the radical changes they’ve seen in society over the years, including tennis star Renee Richards.

Although gender diversity might seem like a relatively new concept from a Western perspective, Couric learned that it’s actually quite mainstream in many cultures. Ancient Jewish texts refer to six distinct genders. And in places like Samoa, India, and Oaxaca, Mexico, transgender people are recognized and honored as an integral part of society.

In Virginia, Couric met with Gavin Grimm, a young man who has become the newest symbol of transgender rights in America. At the age of 15, Gavin began the process of transitioning from his assigned to his experienced gender. Initially, Gavin’s high school was supportive. Classmates and faculty members utilized appropriate pronouns when referring to Gavin, and he was able to use the restroom facilities he felt most comfortable in. However, following a parent complaint, the local school board voted to deny Gavin access to the boy’s restroom, instead offering him the use of a separate “unisex” bathroom. Recognizing this as a clear violation of his constitutional rights, Gavin and his mother vowed to fight the school board’s decision. The case is now slated to be heard in front of the supreme court, where Gavin will be represented by the ACLU.

Couric travelled to Yale University, as well. The Ivy League school in New Haven, Connecticut, considers itself to be at the forefront of transgender student rights. Last year, Yale added more than 330 “all gender” bathrooms across campus, and it also allows transgender students to use their preferred names on ID cards and diplomas. Additionally, costs related to gender confirmation surgeries are covered under the school’s student health plan.

During her time at Yale, Couric met with a group of transgender students from the university’s LGBTQ affinity group. In chatting with the students, Couric was struck by the major generational divide she noticed in attitudes towards gender. While baby-boomers tend to view gender as fixed and binary, their millennial counterparts are much more likely to perceive gender as something that is fluid and occurring on a continuum or spectrum. Thanks in part to exposure to gender issues on websites like Tumblr, Facebook, and Tinder, gender diversity is likely to be recognized, accepted, and celebrated among this younger generation. It’s true that transgender rights may be one of the newest battlegrounds in the civil rights movement, but it certainly seems that the world is moving towards acceptance. Make way for the gender revolution.

Watch the episodes here.

Introducing a New Approach to Transgender Care

Accessing quality care can often present a challenge for members of the transgender community. Although awareness of gender diversity is on the rise in the United States, many healthcare providers remain uninformed about the unique issues faced by transgender individuals, and are unequipped to assist patients who seek treatment for this condition. Furthermore, patients who identify as transgender often face discrimination within the healthcare establishment; the results of a recent survey indicated that 19% of transmen and transwomen had actually been denied care based on their transgender status. And for those patients who do manage to access care, treatment is often disjointed. Patients commonly see one provider for hormone therapy, one provider for surgery, and another for gender therapy. Clearly, a better approach is needed.

The International Center for Transgender Care (ICTC) was created in response to this critical need. Founded by a group of plastic surgeons and a mental health therapist, all experts in their respective fields, ICTC seeks to offer a higher level of care for members of the transgender community. Here, our approach is truly holistic. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of gender transition surgeries, ICTC offers gender therapy, a med spa, and a research division. All of our services are delivered in a welcoming and affirming environment at our state-of-the art surgical center in Dallas, Texas.

At ICTC, we believe that gender therapy is an integral component of the treatment process for transgender patients. Our therapy division is headed by Caroline Gibbs, a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) who is internationally recognized as an expert in transgender mental health issues. Caroline practices holistic therapy, a multi-faceted treatment that aims to consider the patient as a whole person. Therapy at the Trans Center emphasizes empathy, acceptance, and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by transmen and transwomen. Depending upon the unique needs of each patient, specific modalities offered may include individual, group, child, or family therapy, voice coaching, and assistance identifying treatment options and resources.

The surgeons at ICTC are internationally renowned for their work in transgender surgical care. With over twenty years of experience performing transgender procedures, our vision is to become the destination of choice for transmen and transwomen throughout the country. We offer a full range of surgical services, including facial feminization and facial masculinization, breast augmentation and mastectomy, body feminization and body masculinization, and gender confirmation surgery. Our surgeons follow the WPATH guidelines for transgender care and will work with you to design a gender transition treatment plan customized to your unique goals and needs.

The transition process is an important time for transgender patients. Many transmen and transwomen have spent their entire lives unhappy with their physical appearance, and the transition period may be the first time that they feel truly comfortable in their own skin. The Med Spa at the Trans Center offers a range of innovative aesthetic procedures to enhance the results of gender transition surgery. Patients may opt to complement their surgical procedures with cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal, fat reduction procedures, or Botox. Our experienced med spa staff is committed to assisting each patient in looking and feeling their very best during this important life stage.

In addition to providing world-class transgender treatment and care, the experts at ICTC are dedicated to understanding the biological causes and consequences of gender diversity. ICTC is the first institution of its kind to combine research with clinical care. Through our work in the clinical research division, we hope to gain enhanced insight into the transgender experience and positively impact the lives of our patients. Our goal is to become the de facto source for transgender research and publication through a rigorous, methodologically-sound scientific process. Our research interests include gender dysphoria, the causes and implications of transgenderism, and the effectiveness of various treatments and therapies for this condition.

At the International Center for Transgender Care, our mission is to provide the very best holistic therapy and surgery options for the transgender community. Our experienced and compassionate staff look forward to assisting you throughout your transition surgery—please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss our innovative approach to holistic transgender care.

We look forward to assisting you in achieving the very best possible results for all of your gender transition procedures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (972) 543-2477.