Transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people may have unique health needs. They should receive care that is affirming, respectful and considerate of their health concerns and goals.
In New York City, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in public accommodations, including in health care settings.
You have the right to advocate for your health needs and ensure that you are receiving the care that is most appropriate for you.
Defining Gender Terms
Gender identity is different from sexual orientation, such as straight, gay or asexual. The following terms are popular but not the only ones that are used. A person's identity may reflect one or more of the following terms, or none at all.
For more information, see Trans Student Educational Resources: The Gender Unicorn. This infographic illustrates the differences among gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth and sexual orientation.
Due to stigma, discrimination and abuse experienced by transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary and other gender expansive people, these groups are more likely to have depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and trauma.
There are services available to help New Yorkers:
Community Support Resources
In addition to the local services listed below, you can find affirming care by visiting the NYC Health Map.
Gender Affirming Surgery and Procedures
For transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people who decide to medically transition, gender-affirming procedures may be part of the process. For those who decide to pursue such procedures, there are options to support their gender expression and transition-related goals. Not all transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people choose to undergo gender-affirming procedures as part of a medical transition.
There are procedures to reconstruct external genitals, such as vaginoplasty, orchiectomy, phalloplasty and metaoidioplasty.
You can also get procedures to increase or reduce the size of your breasts or chest, reconstruct your face, reduce an Adam's apple or change the pitch and resonance of your vocal chords.
Some transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people may seek illegal or medically unsupervised gender-affirming procedures and products. These procedures may be illegally performed by someone who is not licensed to practice medicine. This can be dangerous, as it can lead to poor or adverse outcomes, both short and long term, and even death.
For the best possible outcome and for your safety, visit a board-certified plastic, reconstructive or cosmetic surgeon. Any medical intervention should be supervised by a licensed practitioner to ensure appropriate follow-up and care. Speak to your provider about options that may be available to you and for help navigating the process.
If you do not have a provider or insurance, visit the NYC Health Map for health insurance enrollment assistance or to find an affirming provider.
For more information, visit Johns Hopkins Medicine: Gender Affirming Surgery FAQs.
The key to sexual health for people of any gender expression is open and honest communication with your partner and health care provider.
Learn more about how you can have a safe and pleasurable sex life with your partner(s):
The following sexual health tips are specifically for transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people.
Safety, Pleasure and Comfort