Transgender Health Program: Resources for Patients, Families and Allies

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The OHSU Transgender Health Program can guide you to services and answer questions about care. We also recommend the following resources. Please verify offerings with organizations, as some may have changed.

We’ve gathered information on:

  • Support groups in Oregon and beyond
  • Crisis and support lines
  • Finding a mental health therapist
  • Changing your documents
  • Care for gender-diverse young people

Visit our Patient Education and Events page to learn about additional resources.

Crisis and support lines

Several organizations offer immediate help if you are in a crisis, just need to talk to someone or have questions. Their confidential services are available 24/7.

Trans Lifeline: Trans Lifeline, which offers emotional and financial support to transgender people, has a peer support hotline for trans and questioning callers. The hotline is staffed by transgender volunteers.

The Trevor Project: The program offers crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ people younger than 25.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: This national network of local crisis centers has a hotline to provide emotional support to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

OHSU guides and handouts

Support and information groups

  • Basic Rights Oregon: Statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy and social justice organization,
  • Brave Space LLC: Creates community and connects transgender and genderqueer children, teens, adults and allies with expert providers,
  • Central Oregon Coast Trans Community: Newport-area support group for transgender people and their families, on Facebook
  • Human Dignity Coalition: Bend-based group seeking equality for the LGBTQ+ community and allies,
  • Northwest Gender Alliance: Nonprofit social, support and educational group,
  • Oregon LGBTQ Youth & Family Resources: Services and support for LGBTQ+ youth and families,
  • Outside In: Offers resources for name and gender change on identity documents,
  • Portland Q Center: Provides a safe space to support and celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity, visibility and community building,
  • Rainbow Youth: Salem-area organization that offers welcoming spaces where LGBTQ+ and gender-diverse young people and their friends can connect,
  • SAGE Metro Portland: Local SAGE affiliate providing advocacy, social events and other services for the older LGBT+  community; part of Friendly House.
  • Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC): New Avenues for Youth  safe, supervised space with activities for sexual and gender minorities ages 13 to 23,
  • SO Health-E: Southern Oregon group dedicated to improving access to health care across lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and income, It includes the LGBTQ+ Equity workgroup, which seeks to remove barriers to health care in Jackson and Josephine counties for people in the lesbian/gay/bisexual and gender-diverse communities.
  • TransActive Gender Project: Provides support groups, information, advocacy and other services to families of Portland-area transgender and gender-diverse youths ages 4 to 18.
  • Trans*Ponder: Eugene nonprofit that offers support, education, advocacy and other services for transgender and gender-diverse people,

  • National Center for Transgender Equality: Social justice advocacy organization for transgender people,
  • National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center: Provides education, resources and information to health care organizations to improve LGBTQ+ health care,
  • SAGE: Provides advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ elders,
  • Transgender Law Center: Civil rights organization led by and working to advance transgender self-determination,
  • Transgender Youth Equality Foundation: Works to advance the rights of transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex youths ages 2 to 18,
  • World Professional Association for Transgender Health: Promotes evidence-based care, education, research, advocacy, public policy and respect in transgender health,

Finding a mental health therapist

The Transgender Health Program does not consider being transgender or gender-nonconforming a disorder or diagnosis. Instead, we recognize that mental health professionals can offer support and guidance. They can also provide the letter of support needed for some surgeries.

Transgender Health Program services: The THP offers psychological services for shorter-term assessment and support, including providing letters of support. We can also help you find a therapist in the community if you’re interested in ongoing care.

Searchable database: Psychology Today maintains a Find a Therapist tool. You can click on your state and filter by ZIP code, specialty area (such as transgender care) and type of insurance, such as the Oregon Health Plan.

We recommend that you seek a therapist with experience helping gender-diverse clients. For example, you may want a therapist with skill in helping clients consider the implications of transitioning.

You might ask:

  • How many transgender and gender-nonconforming clients do you have or have you seen?
  • How long have you been working with transgender and gender-nonconforming clients?
  • What is your educational background and/or training that prepares you to work with gender-diverse clients?
  • What is your philosophy about working with transgender and gender-nonconforming clients?
  • Have you worked with any clients through the course of surgical transition?
  • Do you follow the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) Standards of Care?
  • How long do you usually see clients before you consider writing a letter to support medical or surgical transition?

Find a primary care provider

See our Primary Care page for information about finding a gender-affirming provider:

  • At OHSU if you live in the Portland area.
  • In your community if you live elsewhere. 

Change your official documents

You can update most government documents with a new gender marker or name. You also may want to change nongovernment documents such as credit cards and employment records.

Basic Rights Oregon has a step-by-step guide to making identification and gender marker changes in Oregon.

The National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Documents Center has information about making those changes in other states, including Washington.

Some federal documents require a confirmation letter from your doctor about your transition before you can change your gender marker. OHSU providers can write such a letter for you.

The National Center for Transgender Equality’s ID Documents Center has information about applying for federal document changes.

More information and resources

  • The OHSU Partnership Project offers services to people living with HIV. It is also the parent organization of the Transgender Health Program.
  • The OHSU Center for Diversity and Inclusion leads and supports efforts to make OHSU fully inclusive.
  • OHSU Pride, an employee resource group, seeks to build an inclusive environment across OHSU for LGBTQ+ employees, students and visitors.

For patients

Request services

Other questions and concerns

Refer a patient