We are pleased to have Dr. Jennifer Hastings with us at Gender Odyssey this year. She is an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF Department of Family & Community Medicine, and founding director of the Transgender Health Care Program at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. Hastings is actively involved in supporting transgender services around the country. She recently talked to guest blogger Nathan Tabak about her work.
What is your background working with the transgender and gender-diverse community?
I have been providing transgender health care for many years, and I identify as non binary. I started a formal program at Planned Parenthood Westside in Santa Cruz, CA in about 2005, and was very happy to be approached by PPFA (the national Planned Parenthood organization) in 2006, to help create protocols for providing transgender care. I continue to work on these protocols, and support programs around the country, teaching medical providers and support staff. I work closely with Gender Spectrum and am part of the Medical Advisory Board for the UCSF Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.
What will you be presenting at Gender Odyssey this year?
For this conference I am talking about Creating Family, primarily for youth, as they embark on medical decisions that may affect future fertility. Things are changing extremely rapidly in the area of reproductive options. I will present both current and future fertility options, for youth who have and have not been on puberty blockers. We do not have a lot of research on this topic yet, so it can be frustrating, and perhaps confusing. I hope to clarify what we know and don’t know.
What would you like attendees to take with them from your presentation?
I hope attendees will understand the different possibilities for trans expansive individuals who want to be involved in creating family, whether that be contributing eggs, or sperm, or uterus for carrying a pregnancy, or adopting, fostering, etc. I hope I will be able to provide a foundation for understanding the possible consequences related to fertility for puberty blockers and hormones. It is a huge topic, so I hope we can be patient with each other!
In a climate of unprecedented visibility and new challenges confronting our community, what makes your topic particularly relevant?
I think there has been an incorrect assumption for some, that if one is trans or gender expansive, that one is not interested in family creation. Or that being on hormones means that one cannot get pregnant or contribute to a pregnancy. Or that being on hormones means that one has to remove one’s reproductive organs. I want to share information and experiences that dispel these misunderstandings.
What do you hope to take away from this year’s conference?
I love learning new things, and am sure I will be exploding with what I learn. I’m excited to be part of Gender Odyssey!
Tickets to Gender Odyssey are still available. Join the conversation.
Washington State Convention Center. Professionals: August 23-24.
Families, Individuals, Community Members: August 25-27.
You can also join our FREE community events throughout the conference!