2.2 Gender: Pronouns

Pronouns are an important way of respecting someone’s gender identity. A person’s appearance doesn’t necessarily tell you anything about the pronouns they use.

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated or it might trigger gender dysphoria. Respecting someone’s pronouns is key to creating a safe and inclusive environment for trans and gender diverse people. Consider the following scenario:

Ray Stowe is a 19 year old person who has presented to their GP for a cough”

Many health professionals may not be familiar with working with transgender or gender diverse individuals. As such, it might be challenging for them to navigate with confidence the correct terminology. Gender identity is protected by law and as such discrimination against transgender and gender diverse individuals in clinical setting could be unlawful. It is therefore extremely important for clinicians to have basic communication skills with transgender and gender diverse patients in order for them to provide accessible healthcare.

In the following section, we’ll develop some of your clinical skills when treating trans and gender diverse patients.

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