Document Type


Publication Date



Transgendered persons, Population research -- Evaluation, Gender identity, Transgendered persons -- Medical care -- Research, Transgender people -- Health and hygiene, Discrimination


Transgender people deserve representation in health research and in the clinic. Unfortunately, the existing literature includes very little about the particular health burdens and risks experienced by transgender people, such as institutional or interpersonal anti-transgender discrimination. While several anti-transgender biases are manifest in the published literature, one deserving particular attention by researchers is that transgender individuals seldom have an opportunity to self-identify as such both because sex and gender are typically collapsed into a single question (e.g. ‘Sex: male or female.’), and because change in the individual’s sex or gender is typically not represented. This talk presents the collaborative efforts of four queer and transgender health professionals who seek just and accurate representation of transgender individuals in research, and brings attention to the special challenges facing researchers and clinicians because gender variation and the language used to describe it are occasionally labile and often contested, including special difficulties in identifying transgender children. We outline six principles to guide the solicitation of gender identity during research, and also we give examples of the problematic misrepresentations that can arise when violating these principles. Because questions equal money in research, we conclude by building from our principles with our recommendations for a minimal set of questions pertaining to gender identity, prioritized according to the number of questions permitted.


Presented at LGBTQ Meaningful Care Conference. Portland, OR in March 2014.

Persistent Identifier