Transgender Health

Being transgenderTransgender symbol

Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from the gender assigned to them at birth. Transgender people include transsexuals (trans women and trans men); individuals who cross-dress or dress androgynously; agender, demigender, genderfluid, and genderqueer individuals; and people with many other non-binary gender identities.

Transgender health at UHS  |  More campus resources
 

Transgender health at UHS

Names and pronouns
Your name in the UHS system reflects your name in SPIRE. However, you can inform staff of your preferred name and pronouns. These changes will be noted in your records and respected by UHS staff.

Gender-inclusive restrooms and changing areas
Each floor of UHS has a gender-inclusive restroom. Staff can direct you to the closest inclusive restroom or changing area.

Primary care and gender-affirming hormone therapy
UHS provides transgender/gender non-conforming students with primary care, including gender-affirming hormone therapy.  A team of providers is available to provide information and prescribe masculinizing and feminizing hormone therapy in collaboration with mental health services as needed.  In addition, UHS will administer and monitor hormones prescribed by your outside endocrinologist or healthcare provider, and can also refer you to local providers who can prescribe, administer and monitor hormone therapy.

Transgender nurse liaison Cindy Hildebrand, R.N., is available to help patients with hormone management issues including injections.  She is also available to help patients with concerns that may arise in connection with transitioning. Email cdugan@uhs.umass.edu or call (413) 577-5040.

Health insurance
The Student Health Benefit Plan covers hormone therapy for transitioning students. Other health insurance plans may also provide coverage. Consult your policy or contact your insurance carrier for details UHS' Patient Services department can answer general insurance questions; call (413) 577-5192, weekdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Gender-affirming surgeries
UHS can refer you to local surgeons who perform gender-affirming surgeries. The Student Health Benefit Plan covers the most common gender-affirming surgical procedures. Other health insurance plans may also provide coverage. Consult your policy or contact your insurance carrier for details. UHS’ Patient Services department can answer general insurance questions: call (413) 577-5192, weekdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Advocacy and support
The UHS Diversity Patient Advocate for students experiencing discrimination based on gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation is Cindy Hildebrand, R.N. A UMass-designated “transgender point person,” she is the the first contact for transgender students who need further medical assistance or run into difficulties with campus healthcare. She can be reached at cdugan@uhs.umass.edu or (413) 577-5040.

More campus resources

Counseling
Counseling can be helpful in addressing a range of issues experienced by transgender students, including adjustment to UMass Amherst; identity expression and transitioning; stress, depression and anxiety; relationship and family issues; and career concerns.

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) offers crisis intervention services; individual, couples, family and group therapy; psychiatric services; support groups and more. Length of therapy at CCPH varies, with a primary focus on short-term treatment directed at helping students function in a university environment. You and your therapist will determine the best approach for you; this may include referral to a local gender therapist.

For information or an appointment, call (413) 545-2337, weekdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mental health emergency services are available 24/7. During business hours, call the main CCPH phone number; after 5 p.m., on weekends and holidays, call UHS’ main number, (413) 577-5000 and ask for the CCPH clinician on-call.

The Student Health Fee, paid by all students taking five or more credits per semester, covers initial psychotherapy visits at CCPH. After these prepaid visits, your primary insurance will be billed. For more information about the Student Health Fee or general insurance questions, call UHS Patient Services, (413) 577-5192, weekdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Transgender and gender-nonconforming student support group
During the academic year, CCPH and the Stonewall Center offer a weekly support group for UMass trans students, facilitated by a trans-identified therapist.  For more information, contact Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center: genny@umass.edu or (413) 545-4826.

On the Stonewall Center website

UMass transgender FAQs
Get information about trans-specific policies at UMass, including an explanation of gender-inclusive bathroom, housing and locker room options, and how to change your name and gender on university records and documents.

Western Massachusetts Transgender Resource Guide
This guide lists area trans-supportive providers, including therapists, primary care providers, endocrinologists, obstetricians/gynecologists, plastic surgeons, pediatricians, electrologists/laser hair removal professionals, beauticians/cosmetologists, and lawyers. The guide also provides information about how to receive a legal name change in Massachusetts and how to change the name and/or gender on a Massachusetts driver’s license.