The Gender Clinic
The Gender Clinic at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital is dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of transgender, gender diverse and questioning youth across Northern New England. We give treatment to children and their families from childhood through adolescence.
We have a team of different kinds of providers within the Maine Health system who work together to care for your child. Our team includes members who are Pediatric Endocrinologists, Child Psychiatrists, Clinical Social Workers and nurse practitioners. We also talk with members of the hospital’s Clinical Ethics Committee on a regular basis.
We are committed to giving the best care and using only evidence based treatment. We are working to improve treatment right here in Maine and at the national level. We work to educate and help medical and mental health providers who care for gender diverse children.
We work with individuals to decide on the different services they may need. We do not believe all patients will benefit from the same services and if patients are already working with an individual therapist, we will talk with that therapist about treatment. We have the following services to offer our patients:
- Mental Health evaluation
- Individual Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Psychiatric Medication Management
- Ongoing consultation between mental health and endocrine providers
- Endocrine assessment and monitoring
- Menstrual suppression (stopping unwanted periods)
- Puberty Blockers (ways to stop puberty hormones)
- Gender Affirming / Cross Sex Hormones
- Referrals for more resources in the community
- Working with outside providers and other agencies
- Working together with schools
The first step to working with the Gender Clinic is to ask your primary care doctor to make a referral to The Gender Clinic. Your doctor will do this through the Pediatric Endocrinology department. Our coordinator will then reach out to work with you to decide the first treatment goals and plan to start with the clinic.
We know that there is no treatment plan that will work the same for everyone. We see each child individually within the setting of how they see themselves, their family system, social support and other resources. To help us do this, we plan for the first visit to our clinic to be with a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and a Clinical Social Worker.
We support each child by accepting them without judgment and letting their gender identity and expression unfold over time. We have a gender affirmative approach to treatment. We do not approve of any kind of conversion therapy; we believe that trying to change a person’s gender identity is harmful. We work with children and their families to build strength, gain better understanding and get ongoing support while they are with our clinic. Our treatment is different for every child and our whole team works to use evidence based treatments.
The term ‘transgender’ is often used to describe a person who identifies their gender as different than the sex that was decided when they were born.
What is the difference between Sex and Gender?
Sex is decided based on anatomy, hormones and DNA. Sex is often assigned at birth and is usually decided based on appearance of outside genitalia, as male or female. Sometimes we refer to ‘sex’ as ‘natal sex’ or ‘sex assigned at birth.’ Gender identity is what a person feels their gender is. It may match their sex assigned at birth, or may be different. Sometimes gender identity is confused with gender expression. Gender expression is different, it is how a person looks on the outside (clothing, hair, voice, behavior, interests).
For more information about Gender
The Gender Unicorn explains one way to think about gender
The American Psychological Association “Transgender People, Gender Identity and Gender Expression”
Phone: (207) 662-5093.
For Healthcare Professionals - Fax a Referral
Please select Endocrinology and fax attention to The Gender Clinic
Fax: (207) 662-5528
(Providers with EPIC as electronic record, please use that referral process)
The Gender Clinic
At the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital
Maine Medical Center
1577 Congress St, 2nd Floor
Portland, ME 04102
Phone and Fax Numbers
Phone: (207) 662-5522 or (866) 860-6277
Fax: (207) 662-5526