The African Society of Sexual Medicine held their 3rd biennial congress in Durban from 27-29 November 2015.
Amongst the diverse range of topics discussed, transgender health was included. A workshop was held by PACT’s own Dr Anastacia Tomson in collaboration with Dr Elma de Vries, from the Department of Family Medicine at Mitchell’s Plain Hospital. The session was chaired by endocrinologist Dr Ray Moore.
The subjects discussed included the differentiation between concepts of sex, gender and sexual orientation, as well as an exploration and discussion on several transgender topics, such as dysphoria, social support for trans individuals, and the role of prejudice and stigma in society. The workshop also spent some time focussing on the ethical ramifications of withholding gender affirming services from transgender people, as well as highlighting the importance of acknowledging non-binary identified and gender non-conforming persons within the healthcare setting.
The workshop was very well received, generating much discussion and positive feedback from the audience, who clearly were interested to learn and understand more about transgender experiences and issues, with a view to improving the treatment that transgender patients receive. PACT hopes that discussions like this will open the door to more conversations around transgender issues, and ultimately lead to greater access to safe, reliable healthcare free of discrimination.