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A History of
In the United States
Although providers for transsexuals were generally felt to be practicing on the fringe, the creation of the clinics and development of professional infrastructure led to collaboration, research and some grudging respect in the medical community. The EEF helped to finance the Harry Benjamin Foundation, a professional organization devoted to case review and research. The Harry Benjamin Foundation held monthly meetings, attended by a number of prominent sexologists, care providers, and researchers from across the country, including John Money and Richard Green. The Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association, Inc. HBIGDA, the first professional organization devoted to the organization and education of providers for transsexuals, was formed in 1979. In 1979, HBIGDA published the first Standards of Care for diagnosis and treatment, guidelines designed to regulate and standardize psychological evaluation and medical treatment. In 2007, HBIGDA changed its name to World Professional Association of Transgender Health, an organization whose mission continues “to promote evidence-based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transsexual and transgender health.” In 2010, WPATH issued a statement on the medical necessity of gender-confirming surgeries, thus exerting pressure on insurance companies to include these procedures as a covered benefit. The Seventh Edition of the WPATH Standards of Care, published in 2012, offers flexible clinical guidelines that reflect further evolution of treatment guidelines, particularly the move to de-stigmatize, referring to gender nonconformity as a form of diversity rather than pathology. The development of the endocrine society guidelines for the treatment of gender diverse people further mainstreams medical care for this population.
1. Early Transgender Representation in HBIGDA/WPATH - Assigned: Jude Patton