Answers to questions we get asked a lot
What is TPATH and how do I join?
TPATH was designed to represent the needs of trans members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and its regional offshoots (CPATH, USPATH, EPATH and ANZPATH) and to provide a space for these members. We recognize WPATH’s importance in championing trans-related healthcare and rights globally, and wish to focus the efforts of trans WPATH members in the pursuit of these goals. Additionally, we would like to emphasize that one may be a member of WPATH in addition to TPATH or just a member of TPATH. And while WPATH is the primary organization for trans health care, our organization may appeal to those involved in this field through other organizations, such as the American Public Health Association and the International AIDS Society. Find out more about becoming a member.
I’m not trans, but I am an ally. Can I be a member?
While we very much appreciate and rely on the support of cisgender individuals, membership in TPATH is open only to those who self-identify within the trans and gender diverse spectrum. If you are cisgender and interested in supporting our work, please contact a member of the COT, as we would love to have your input and advice. You can also help us support other trans professionals through scholarships and other projects by donating.
What about intersex folks?
We are mindful that while there is overlap between trans and intersex issues, there are also fundamental differences, and many intersex folks do not want to be identified as trans and see their medical issues as entirely removed from those of trans individuals. Other intersex individuals do identify as trans and feel frustrated in being made to choose between the two. After much discussion and thought we have removed the word intersex from the title of our organization, as we don’t want to suggest that intersex and trans issues are the same. However, we recognize that intersex medical issues are continuously addressed within WPATH, regardless of propriety, and hope that TPATH can be a useful platform for intersex individuals who wish to confront this, as well as for those who identify as both trans and intersex. We also recognize that many may feel that their needs are best met and advocated for within separate organizations and are happy to support these efforts in whatever manner is felt to be most appropriate. In either case, intersex folks will always be welcome in all levels of TPATH.
Are there membership dues or fees?
Not at this time. We may institute membership fees in the future; however, should this occur, scholarships will be available for individuals with limited means and/or those who come from particularly marginalized communities. Organizational memberships may also be available.
What do you mean by ‘professional’?
Professional is defined, for our purposes, as anyone who works, advocates, or otherwise spends considerable time engaged in the field of trans health care. Many members are doctors, social workers, and/or employed professionals, and many more are advocates or activists. Most are both.
What do you mean by ‘trans’?
Language cannot be interpreted independently of its specific context and history. Meanings are shaped by the context in which they are delivered, reproduced, adapted, and transformed.
Trans is a Latin prefix that does not only mean “on the other side”, but also “beyond”. In TPATH we use trans as a broad umbrella term to refer to persons whose gender identity and/or expression differ from the social roles, norms, and expectations associated to their sex assigned at birth.
Terms within the trans umbrella, such as transgender, gender non-conforming, gender fluid, gender non-binary, and genderqueer, are widely used in certain regions, but there is a huge diversity of definitions around the world. Due to the lack of a globally-valid umbrella term, “gender diverse” will be used to include those who identify with local, indigenous, or subculture-specific terms (e.g. koti, ladyboy, tom, travesti, waria, etc.) as well as those in non-binary gender systems (e.g. fa’affafine, hijra, kathoey, muxé, two-spirit, etc.).*
Finally, while the title denotes transgender individuals, we are explicitly inclusive of all trans and gender diverse people.
*Adapted from the Transrespect vs. Transphobia research project (2016).
Who’s in charge?
TPATH’s primary leadership currently consists of 9 individuals, 5 of whom hail from the initial meeting at the WPATH conference in Amsterdam and 4 from the Facebook group. We call this group the Core Organizational Team (COT) and there is an open call for additional members. We are seeking to prioritize individuals outside of the Western World, including those from the global south, people of color, and/or especially marginalized populations.
What do they do?
The COT strives to work non-hierarchically and is responsible for coordination and logistics, like collating ideas brought forward in the Facebook group, planning and executing meetings across multiple time zones, and generally keeping TPATH moving forwards towards our goals. Individual members also act as administrators of the Facebook group. At this time, there is no minimum time commitment.
How can I help?
If you have a special talent or ability that you would like to volunteer, please let us know. This might be web and/or graphic design, meeting planning, data entry, grant writing, schmoozing, child care, or any number of other things. We recognize that we all have unique abilities and areas where we excel, as well as others that we’re not so great at. In putting together a database of member skills we hope to ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute in a way that best suits them.